We all have a tendency to overcomplicate things when it comes to marketing our services or products. Jumping on new trends, hiring and firing a new social media manager, starting a newsletter then stopping it, paying for Facebook and IG ads only to get nothing in return, or spending hours creating a video for it to fall flat on performance.
I know the pain – I’ve felt it myself.
It can feel confusing and overwhelming trying to keep up with the rapid evolution of technology these days, not to mention following your customers’ ever changing needs.
For as long as I can remember, I would tell myself that it’s not my content that’s the issue, people simply have short attention spans. This would then provide me with some short lived comfort.
“That video I spent ages creating was brilliant! People just don’t see the value,” my ego would whisper in quiet moments.
I would then continue as I had been, making content and videos that I believed my audience needed to see. I’d repurpose ideas from other brands, hop on new trends, and hope that my efforts would soon pay off with an overflow of positive statistics and high engagement that extended beyond supportive family and friends.
Until one day I heard this:
“Your target audience doesn’t have a short attention span… you’re just bad at telling stories.”
Ouch. That one hit me right where it hurt – my fragile ego.
Realising that actually, if I look closely at my own digital consumption habits, anytime I find something that captures my attention, I will spend anywhere from 2-60+ minutes consuming that content. Sometimes more, if there’s time.
Nextlix binges are a great example of this. How could I believe that people have short attention spans when Netflix binging is at an all time high?
This fact begged the question – what makes me re-watch someone’s video multiple times? Or if it was a long form video, what makes me watch to the end? And on special occasions, what makes me directly message the creator, effectively taking action on a video?
It came down to one simple factor:
Did the video solve a problem of mine?
That problem could be big, small or even a problem that I’ve yet to face. If I felt that the video was helping me to see a new perspective, or provided me with a tool or insight that allowed me to overcome friction in any area of my life, then the video was worth my attention. If it was worth my attention, I would be willing to give away as much of that attention as was necessary to receive maximum value from the video.
Little did I know, this hook on my attention was a result of a primal function of my brain.
Our brains are wired to constantly execute on one of two core tasks:
- Survive and thrive
- Conserve calories
This made sense from the first moment I read it. Everything we seem compelled to do has an underlying meaning behind it; the busy activity, the hustling, the creating, the socializing, the exercising, the nutrition, the networking, the consuming of content. These are all geared towards helping us survive and thrive.
And if we are not in survive and thrive mode, we are in conserve calories mode. We are resting, sleeping, bathing, and certainly not watching videos that don’t capture our attention.
As marketers, understanding how to provide value in the content and videos you create will help you tap into and maintain the vast attention span of your audience.
It all begins with your video’s brief.
In order to achieve that desired result, you have to ask yourself one simple question: How can I solve their problem?
If you don’t know the answer yet, you’ll want to figure it out before you start creating content.
A video is a capsule of information that can be used to deliver smart solutions to your clients’ problems, resulting in a deep rooted love for your brand. People need allies in this life, and a company that can help their customers survive and thrive is going to build a customer base of raving fans.
That is why it is so important that during the pre-production and script writing phase, all efforts need to be geared towards understanding the intention and core message that will be delivered in the video. Whether that be promoting a new product, educating your audience, showcasing a new service, or communicating your brand’s vision, everything needs to be delivered in such a way that helps your audience solve a problem which in turn helps them survive and thrive.
Understanding that people are simply cautious about where they direct their attention, and are more likely to direct it towards that which offers solutions to their problems, you now need to provide a good enough reason for them to spend it watching your video.
This is where the hook comes in.
The hook is essentially a signal that will let people know if you’re here to help them survive and thrive. Crafting a good hook is a skill that needs to be developed, but at its core boils down to how effectively you can communicate your customers’ problem in the first 3 to 5 seconds of your video.
In other words, your hook = your customer’s problem.
There are many different ways you can communicate this. For instance, your hook can be in the form of text on screen, an impactful visual, or someone talking directly to the camera. There are also a multitude of ways to deliver the hook, and the specifics of that should be brainstormed and decided on before the video is created. As long as it’s clear up front what problem the video is solving, your customer will be compelled to watch further.
So now you’ve created a compelling hook and grabbed their attention – great work! What next?
Everything your video does past the 3 second mark needs to be focused around delivering exceptional value, ensuring that you deliver on the promise of your hook. This needs to carry all the way through to the end of the video where you close the loop and deliver the solution.
If you can master this concept and video structure, you will find a huge increase in the engagement of your videos.
To reiterate, it all begins with communicating a problem that is close to your ideal customer’s heart, and then delivering on the promise of solving it for them. Learning this was like a big ‘Ah ha’ moment for me, and things really started to click when my videos became focused around the delivery of value.
People are intelligent and deserve to be treated as such. If your intention is pure and your mission is to add value to your audience, then you will be successful. It’s only a matter of time and learning how to harness the power of a value added video creation.
Our purpose at ZUZU is to help you add value to your audience through the creation of high quality, engaging videos.
To find out more about how we can support your business and help you help your customers, or to discuss a specific brief and learn about our full range of services, be sure to get in touch for a free video consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org