How to create great video content in the era of goldfish

We live in an era of goldfish, where the average attention span of an adult is 8.25 seconds, That’s technically less than the average goldfish (they can pay attention for a solid 9 seconds!).

Aaaand I have probably lost you already…But just in case you’re not the average goldfish human, I’ll keep going.

Some say this decrease in attention spans is due to us getting smarter and craving more information. Others suggest that because our attention is split between multiple screens at a time, our ability to flag irrelevant stimuli decreases – ergo we get distracted easily.

Everyone agrees, however, that our ability to multitask has greatly improved. Whether or not this is a good thing is debatable.

In any case, this lone statistic has a myriad of consequences for people and businesses alike. Today’s consumers tend to scan copy rather than read paragraphs. They are quick to judge and make decisions, and they won’t watch a video unless the first few seconds catches their attention while scrolling through a social newsfeed!

When we’re creating content for online now, we need to be brutal about editing, extremely picking about the choices we make for the content and invest the time (and money) into creating value adding content for our audience.

So what can you do to capture attention in 15 seconds or less when you create content for online?

The most important thing to remember is that It’s all about your audience

Use the right words

Speak their language

Make sure you’re speaking your audience’s language. Don’t get too creative, you’re not writing a novel or producing a feature film (unless you are, in which case, go nuts!). Visitors want quick answers and solutions, so keep it simple and easy to understand.

Arouse their senses

Use words that will have your readers drooling over your content. Words that evoke the senses will have a much better impact than non-sensory words. Think glistening, luscious, balmy etc.

Get to the point

It’s not an essay

Remember, you have less than 15 seconds to grab people, so vital info has to come first! Your visitors want to see the big picture as soon as they land on your page. This means they need to know what your business does and how you can help them. Then, if they like what they see (and have the time), they will dig a little deeper.

Be relevant and ensure easy navigation

Use keywords

Make sure your website reflects what your business is about. Think about the keywords your customers use to find you and use them. Make sure you let people know they’ve come to the right place when they land.

Easy navigation

Make sure relevant information is easy to find and navigating of your site is simple and uncluttered. Visitors will get frustrated quickly if what they’re looking for is not a simple click away.

Create content for scanners

No reading here

Your visitors will be scanning both your written and video content on your website. They won’t read huge amounts of text, but ironically will read subtitles on a video on social!

To allow for quick and easy scanning of written copy make sure you have:

  • Headlines that communicate what the content  is about,
  • Bullet points to summarise points and reduce wordiness in copy,
  • Short paragraphs – aim for around 4 sentences per paragraph,
  • Short sentences – no more than 12 words; and
  • Visuals that support your copy.

To allow for quick and easy viewing of video copy make sure you have:

  • Headlines that communicate what the content  is about,
  • Bullet points to keep you on track when filming piece to camera videos
  • Snappy intro – don’t waste precious seconds putting your branding at the front, get straight to the point of the video
  • Call-To-Action – make sure you give your audience clear instructions about what you want them to do after watching your video, and
  • Create a Custom Thumbnail – when scrolling through webpages or social feeds this is what will capture their attention

Don’t be scared of using a different colour, bold or italics to highlight important words or a sentence. Just make sure that there is a consistent hierarchy of styling and don’t over use it. Your content will look cluttered, confusing and too busy otherwise.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to delve a bit deeper into the creation of written, photo + video content for social media and online don’t hesitate to get in touch with Rebecca or one of the Deli Agency team by visiting or emailing [email protected]


Rebecca Saunders

Rebecca is one of Australia’s leading video strategists, Founder & CEO of the Deli Agency, The Vlog School and Pyrmont Studio, and is the creator of ‘ENGAGED: The Video Roadmap’. She’s leading the industry in making high-quality video both accessible and affordable and has created content for the likes of Microsoft, LinkedIn, Hitachi and ASUS. Rebecca also works closely with Thought Leaders + Industry Experts to give them the courage and confidence they need to make an impact through video.

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