Let’s Go to the Video: Quick Tips that Capture Consumer Interest, Part I

8 seconds: According to new research from Microsoft, that’s the length of the average person’s attention span. That’s not only a drop from 12 seconds 15 years ago; it’s actually lower than that of a goldfish, which has an average attention span of 9 seconds.

The takeaway? Unless you’re marketing to goldfish, getting your message across quickly is more important than ever.

One of the best ways to do that is with video. Not only are more people spending more time viewing video content, videos offer an easy-to-consume way to simplify complex subjects, which makes them ideal for aesthetic marketing. In the RealSelf videos below, for example, doctors do a great job of capturing viewers’ interest, one reason they’ve been viewed hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of times:

Attention-getting titles are hard to resist

With his musical impressions and lip-synch battles, Jimmy Fallon is video gold, which may be one reason hundreds of people have clicked on Jimmy Fallon’s Finger Injury: Learn About Ring Avulsion and “9 Rules for 10 Fingers” by Heather Furnas, MD. (Even though he’s not in it, the title is a great example of “newsjacking.”) Likewise, video titles such as Turn Those Love Handles Into a Big, Beautiful Butt (GRAPHIC) (Johnny Franco, MD) and This Doctor Ran His Car Over a Silicone Breast Implant — Did It Leak? (David Broadway, MD) no doubt play a role in their popularity.

Short takes can have a long-lasting impact

Let’s face it, no one’s going to watch a minute-by-minute account of a procedure that can last hours. In many cases, people are just hoping to get a sense of what to expect when they finally decide to pursue a procedure, which is why short takes can be so effective. 15 Seconds of Lip Filler: See the Doctor at Work from Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS, takes just a quarter-minute to do that, while 13 Seconds of This 25-Year-Old Woman’s BBL Results from Dario Alberto Juris Lopez, MD, takes even less time to showcase results.

Longer videos are the survey courses of cosmetic surgery

Remember those survey courses in college, which provided general information about a subject? Once you manage to capture a viewer’s attention, longer how-to videos can serve the same purpose. David C. Mabrie, MD, for example, takes that approach in Botox and Fillers 101: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started, hooking readers with a “procedure 101” title and maintaining their interest by using interesting graphics, real-life examples and a personable approach.

Whatever the specific tactic, the idea, of course, is not just to snag people’s fleeting interest, but to actually hold it by addressing their underlying aesthetic concerns and sharing insights that can help resolve them. It is, as always, about providing timely, relevant content and we’ll look at some ways to accomplish that in a subsequent post.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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