How to stay relevant against the falling attention spans of your audience

Struggling to stand out in a crowded marketplace? You’re not alone. It’s more difficult than ever to capture the attention of your audience, so your next campaign needs to go beyond what your competitors are offering. 

It can be hard to know what your audience is looking for from your next piece of content, especially in the world of video. Traditional video metrics only reveal a portion of what your audience is most interested in when consuming video content, so it can be a battle to create content that you’re confident enough to invest in. Insivia found that viewers retain 95% of a video’s message, compared to 10% of a piece of text’s message. However, you need to capture your audience’s attention in the first place – which is where interactive video can help.

Interactive video can help elevate your video content, while offering more detailed insights into what your audience is truly interested in through the power of advanced analytics. Research shows that the average attention span of adults is just eight seconds, so every second matters.  Read on to learn more about how you can use interactive video to capture your audience’s attention for longer, even in a world where attention spans seem to be constantly getting shorter! 

People want shorter, snappier content 

The rise of social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok have conditioned people to gravitate towards content that’s over in seconds, not minutes. While TikTok now supports content that’s up to 10 minutes long, its popularity has been built off the back of <60 second videos. According to Oberlo, there are 244.4 million digital video viewers in the US, which is a large majority of the country. It’s fair to say that across the world, people are watching video more than ever – and social media plays a big role in the growth of video consumption. 

When it comes to creating content, first impressions are everything. You have to show the information you’re going to be sharing through your content quickly, otherwise people will move on. People want to learn about topics that they’re interested in, but they don’t always want to have to invest time that could be spent tending to other priorities – and if they’re not hooked in after the first few seconds, they’ll find something else to consume. 

The world of gamification (incorporating elements of video games into other mediums) has also made people more used than ever to interactive content, from Netflix’s ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ content productions, to the ability to control what you see next on TikTok through what you like/spend time watching (back in September 2021, TikTok revealed there were over one billion people on the app). Consumers are now expected to interact with the content they see on social media, but this experience isn’t always replicated in the world of marketing – unless, of course, you’re incorporating interactive video into your marketing efforts.

Personalized content is more important than ever 

More than ever, consumers want to feel like they’re in control of what they consume. Streaming services let people choose what they want to watch, while social media platforms like TikTok put the power of curation in the user’s hands. However, linear video doesn’t replicate this experience – instead, it is a passive experience. on-linear video, on the other hand, puts users in the driver’s seat, allowing them to browse a range of topics in a video and choose what’s relevant to them. They don’t need to sit through extraneous content to get the information they want or need – instead, by clicking on relevant interactions, they can access the desired content with ease. 

Econsultancy found that 93% of companies experience an increase in conversion rates through personalization that includes personalized video content. Using interactive video, brands can create a central video that then links to other pieces of video content through a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ feature, giving users the power to explore what they’re interested in within the video by clicking on interactions. Each user journey that is created by your audience is a chance to understand their wants and needs on a deeper level through the analytics that Vudoo’s interactive video platform generates, informing future pieces of video content.

So how does interactive video help you stay relevant?

Interactive video can help you battle disengagement and flagging attention spans by tapping into gamified content that adds real value to consumers’ lives. Rip Curl used ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ technology to their advantage, creating a virtual fitting experience to let users discover their ideal swimwear. By making decisions throughout the video journey, they were presented with products that suited them and what they were looking for, which isn’t an experience that traditional video can provide. Picking options gave users the chance to control the outcome of the video, rewarding them in a similar sense to completing a quest in a video (in this case, the quest was finding the perfect swimwear for their needs).

Watch Rip Curl’s video

Need longer than 30 seconds to tell your brand story, or showcase your latest range of products/services? Interactive video can help you keep your audience engaged for longer by putting them in the driver’s seat when pushing the narrative forward. Whether you’re looking to create unique user journeys through a ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ piece of content, or looking to poll your audience on what they’d like to see more of from your brand, interactive video turns your content from a passive to active experience. However, if you’re an organization that’s looking to educate, not turn users into customers, then interactive content can also prove to be extremely beneficial. 

Canesten used interactive video to share information with their audience through a virtual university, hosted by popular influencer Abbie Chatfield. As a brand, they wanted to educate people about intimate health, presenting a range of topics that could be accessed from a central video. Users were able to click on topics that were relevant to them, with the interactions taking them to different pieces of video content that provided engaging, bite-sized pieces of information based on the topic they selected. They then could go back to the main menu to learn more, or choose to ‘graduate’ from the university, which gives you the option to screenshot a certificate.

Watch Canesten's Video

Watch Canesten’s video

Looking to plan your content strategy? Interactive video’s analytics can tell you what people are most interested in through what interactions within your video they’re clicking on, so you can shape future content around what is piquing people’s interests. Vudoo’s video analytics uses measurements like interaction rate (percentage of users that interacted with a video while watching it) and conversion rate (percentage of users that completed the video’s goal) to truly understand whether your content is working for you.

Next time you’re looking to put together a compelling video for your audience, consider whether interactive video can help you achieve your goals, and hold the attention of your audience for longer.  If you’re looking to stay relevant in a world where your audience is inundated by content, then you’ll want to create content that you know will work based on data, rather than hoping for the best. Every second counts when it comes to creating compelling video content – the longer you can engage your audience, the more you can explain why your brand is the one that matters.