I came across one of those website optimization articles. You know, the kind that publishers post when they have nothing to tell you?
This particular one was about "Where should you place ecommerce videos on the product page?". In it, they list of a bunch of really poor examples while providing no insight, data, or analysis to help you make smarter decisions.
At the end, he writes:
It's probably worth investigating the pros and cons in a future post, but I would assume that the arguments for YouTube would center on greater exposure, while embedding on your own site gives greater control over the analytics.
No... it would have been worth it in the first article! What is the point of listing a bunch of random examples of how brands do video (and poorly), if you don't back that up with actual insight for how your readers should do it better?
But the craziness of these types of articles is not why I decided to post this. It was because of this:
The video plays in a popup window and is hosted on the Argos site. It relates to this specific product rather than airbeds in general and at just 42 seconds long it doesn't give users a chance to get bored.
For f*cks sake!(...sorry for my choice of words, but this is one of those times where profanity is justified).
I hear people say this every single day, even from some of the largest sites on the planet. And it's the most idiotic thing anyone can possibly say.
You don't solve boredom by making something shorter.
Imagine you went on a date, and 42 seconds after you have met each other, your date says: "Let's call it a day that way we won't get bored with each other."
Or let me take it a step further. Imagine you had sex, and after 42 seconds you are glad it's over, because otherwise you might risk getting bored.
How is that EVER a good way to think about it?
If you are doing something that people consider to be boring, making it shorter doesn't solve the problem. It just means you are reducing the attention people will give you. It's the 'I give up' mentality. You don't know how not to be boring, so you are just going to be short about it.
Not only doesn't it solve the problem, it also encourages a culture of shallowness where people don't care about you in the first place. You are making it harder for yourself to influence people. You are reducing your rates of loyalty. And you are diminishing your retention and return rates.
How is that a good thing?
You want your customers to feel inspired, and after you have done that, you want the same customer to head over to YouTube to subscribe to your channel so that they can continue to be inspired every single time you post a new video.
That is what you want.
And if you have trouble achieving this effect, it's not because of the length of your videos. It's because you are boring to begin with ...most likely because you have no passion or purpose for what you do.
Stop being boring!
You won't ever be successful if your strategy is to limit the amount of time people are exposed to what you do, nor if you limit how much attention people will have to pay to your brand.
This is not rocket science, it's common sense. Make yourself worth paying attention to.
And for you publishers out there. Stop posting such crappy advice!
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Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter
"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé