A video can be a max of 2 minutes, right?
Customer retention is a lot like the tech industry: it's simple, but it’s not easy. As marketers, we've trained ourselves to keep video content brief, to the point with a distinct call to action at the end if they'd like to learn more. After all, our attention spans are shrinking and if we drone on longer than 2 minutes, we'll lose them forever. Sound familiar?
The fact of the matter is, this just simply isn't true. I had this exact same thought process until a few years ago when I met Roy Sekoff, founder of HuffPost Live. Roy’s message was clear: there is absolutely no limit to the length of your videos if the content is engaging. Today, HuffPost Live is a 24 hour, 7 days a week news outlet that allows interaction with other viewers watching the same content. But one of the most captivating aspects of HuffPost Live is right there in its name: the live factor. Anything can happen at any time and Huffington Post has never been afraid to push the envelope. These factors combined keeps users’ eyeballs on your screen for incredible lengths of time.
Speaking of live, its no secret sites and apps like Periscope, Facebook Live and live YouTube content has an enormous appeal as well. But I want to talk about another live video site that is absolutely exploding: Twitch.TV. Twitch is a live video game streaming site that I've fallen in love with. At any time, you can watch a professional gamer or entertaining personality playing just about every relevant game on the market. Live video, live interaction with other viewers and the streamers, and the rise of e-sports is a massive recipe for success. Anyone prior to Gen X may think it’s asinine to watch somebody else play a video game, but there's often more to it than that. It’s cool to hear that streamer call out your username when 10,000 other people are also watching. As a result, the average Twitch user spent more than 90 minutes a day watching in 2015.
So maybe you're thinking “we don't have a cool enough business or product to have consistent, entertaining live video, so were just going to stick to our 2-minute videos.” Let’s think of a boring product; kitchen appliances are pretty boring. Blenders are pretty boring, we understand their use. Blendtec blenders had other ideas. Their “Will it Blend?” series put unexpected items, like iPads, into their blenders starting almost 10 years ago, and the success of that series keeps it going strong today. While the videos themselves aren't often more than 3 minutes, they managed to accumulate more than 900,000 subscribers, many of whom likely watch multiple videos in a row.
So what's the takeaway in all this? Yes, the omni-channel experience is better than ever, making it harder to grab the attention of our consumers. But video continues to grow and creativity proves that we shouldn't restrict ourselves to a time limit on content if the entertainment value is high enough.