by Jack Hummel, Social/Digital Strategist


Imagine you’re in a pitch meeting and you have three to five seconds to sell your idea.

Sounds dramatic, right? But when it comes to advertisements and videos on social media, it’s reality.

Since the development of platforms like DVR, Snapchat and Instagram story feature, we’ve become reliant on the ability to “skip”. Whether it’s commercials or your paid ad, now more than ever, you have less time to capture your audience.

Be Urgent

Why is urgency so important in digital advertising? For one, our attention span is now shorter than that of goldfish. A 2015 study from Microsoft revealed that humans lose concentration after approximately eight seconds, 4 seconds less than recorded in 2000.

When reaching audiences with social videos, you should hook viewers with relevance in the first few frames of video. Whether it’s design, imagery or content, your first three seconds ultimately determine the success of your video. It’s once you’ve captured your viewers that you can then explain how your product or service works.

Be Platform-Specific

For videos on social media, there’s no blanket approach. It’s important to be specific to each platform you’re advertising in. When creating social video content, think mobile-first. According to Facebook Product Management Director Fidji Simo, 65% of video views happen on mobile devices. Another reminder when marketing social videos to users on mobile devices is to enable sound-off viewing. Think about it; when you’re at your desk, in public, or lying in bed, chances are you aren’t turning your sound up for everyone around to hear. Whether with captions, text overlay, or other creative design, incorporating text can take your social videos to the next level. Designing content that work with and without sound helps you reach larger audiences, whether they actually hear it or not.

Be Creative

Lastly, and most importantly, be creative. Those three to five seconds come and go very quickly. In a world where everyone is scrolling, it’s your design, creativity, and individuality that will bring that scrolling to a pause. From there, consider your messaging as well as the option for a call-to-action? Okay, we’ve seen your ad, now what?