Social Video, Video Inspiration

6 best video practices for capturing audiences’ 8-second attention span

By Erik Mathes | Nov 27, 2018


Every social media brand wants to figure out how to capture an audience, and video is one of the most effective ways to do it. Whether you believe humans have an 8-second max video attention span, which a 2015 study by Microsoft found, or you’re somewhat more optimistic, as a video creator, you must employ sound strategies in formatting and presenting your content to increase the odds that viewers stay watching until the end.

It’s not enough just to rack up a high view count — while your videos are meant to build a connection with your audience, you ultimately want them to compel viewers to convert. No matter what your conversion goal is, the following tips are surefire ways on how to capture an audience’s attention immediately and keep their eyes fixated on their screens until they reach your call-to-action.

1. Capture video attention span with clear and compelling titles

Viewers need to know exactly what to expect from your video before they hit play, so let them know right away what they’ll get from watching it with a descriptive title that answers the question “what is this about?” Get creative and use wordplay that will entice people scanning your social sites to click, like in this Wibbitz video created by Shape Magazine, “Bloomingdales & Everlast Are Knocking Out Breast Cancer.”

Bloomingdales & Everlast Are Knocking Out Breast Cancer

Bloomingdales and Everlast have teamed up to auction off one-of-a-kind boxing gloves for the fight against cancer. 15 brands including Sachin & Babi, SWAROVSKI and APL – Athletic Propulsion Labs have taken "DIY" to the next level. These gloves will be on display for entire month of October at the 59th Street location.

Posted by SHAPE on Wednesday, October 10, 2018


2. Use cover images that will elicit clicks

Before the play button gets any love, people get to see your video cover image to decide if they want to take it to the next level — the click. Do your videos a favor and start them off strong with a still shot they’d consider eye-candy, as BET did in this video they created in the Wibbitz platform. It features the striking Misty Copeland along with bold text stating that she’s set to appear in the next edition of the Pirelli calendar as the first frame you see, in hope that you’ll stick around for the full clip.

View this post on Instagram

@mistyonpointe is making her mark in the 2019 Prestigious Pirelli Calendar! #HitTheFloor

A post shared by BET Networks (@bet) on

3. Make people think “tell me more” in your intro (and every frame after)

The way to hook viewers to watch your videos from beginning to end is to have each frame serve to entice people into discovering additional details about the subject at hand. Amtrak crushes it in that department in its Wibbitz video about the Auto Train that transports people and their vehicles from Washington, D.C., to Orlando, Florida, in which each frame elicits a desire to know more about the train until you get the full picture of why it’s so awesome.

About The Auto Train

How can you save 900 miles of driving, gasoline, and wear and tear on your car, but still bring it with you? Nope, not a riddle, it's the Auto Train!

Posted by Amtrak on Wednesday, October 31, 2018


4. Lure viewers further down your marketing funnel with CTAs

It’s not enough to have a high viewer count on your videos; you also need each video to encourage viewers to convert to the next step in your funnel. That means you must include clear calls-to-action that represent your brand’s messaging and intent, and quickly, at that, if you hope to engage a short video attention span. RAND Corp. did this well in the following video created with Wibbitz, where at the 7-second mark in the second frame they posed the CTA to “Listen every Friday for insights on the issues that matter most,” which sounds informative as opposed to pushy.

Introducing the Policy Currents Podcast

Subscribe to our new podcast, Policy Currents, for insights on the issues that matter most. Five minutes, every Friday.Available on Apple Podcasts:

Posted by RAND Corporation on Friday, October 26, 2018


5. Place a video above the fold on your site and blog

If you work for a company that’s less of a social media brand and you’re leveraging the power of video on a landing page or blog post, incorporating it in a place where you know viewers will see it — namely, above the fold — is your best bet. After all, why risk placing it further down where there’s no guarantee your visitors will scroll? HuffPost knows the deal about proper video placement on pages and posts, as you can see in this article showcasing celebrity Halloween costumes – and a Wibbitz video on Queen B front and center, above the fold.


6. Use videos with compelling statistics to boost conversion rates on landing pages

Whether your conversion goal for site visitors is to make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or engage with your business another way, adding a video to any landing page will increase your chances. According to Larry Kim, CEO of MobileMonkey and founder of WordStream, 64% of viewers are more likely to make an online purchase after seeing a video related to a product, and you can boost your conversion rate by 80% if you include video on a landing page. Speaking of stats, including powerful statistics within your videos can also help convince prospects to convert, as our star customer SimilarWeb did in the following video within this blog post. Notice how they also included a CTA at the end of the video to encourage viewers to take action — and advance further down the funnel.


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Erik Mathes, Content Marketing Strategist
Erik Mathes

Content Marketing Strategist

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