In recent years audiences have increasingly been consuming more, searching more and sharing more digital content creating a cause and effect now commonly known as digital fatigue. Digital fatigue is a common occurrence that can affect anyone who spends a significant amount of time using digital devices. The pandemic only amplified this issue by causing more people to work from home engaging in virtual meetings, hybrid events and spending more time than ever in front of screens. In fact, the average time spent with digital media is moving toward 7.5 hours per day.
Video and screen time has become a part of daily reality. Even when people remove themselves from their laptops, they’re carrying around a smaller screen with them by way of smartphones. This has resulted in a negative impact causing our attention spans to wain by the year. According to a study recently commissioned by Microsoft, the average human attention span has now dropped to a meagre 8 seconds – shrinking by nearly 25% in the space of just a few years.
Video and digital fatigue
The rise in video content as a medium to deliver information has also increased. According to data collected by Statista, there were over three billion internet users watching streaming or downloaded video at least once per month in 2022. This has led to businesses vying for the attention of their audiences and a requirement to make compelling, innovative video content that will stand out from the sea of information being delivered directly on a continual basis.
One of the main benefits of businesses utilising video is that it’s far more engaging and interactive than text or still images. This helps capture and hold people's attention for longer periods of time enabling them to retain more of the message while reducing the likelihood of fatigue. Research shows the global average for video consumption is 84 minutes per day. The result of this is ever increasing figure, of course, is that all businesses can expect to see more noise and competition for audience attention in the future. However, while oversaturation is a challenge, it isn't an insurmountable one. It simply raises the bar in terms of content quality. Videos now need to be well-planned, be of a high quality, engaging, interactive and very well-executed.
Combatting digital fatigue with video
Plan for interaction
Digital fatigue means it’s harder to hold the attention of audiences but when you introduce interactive video, passive views turn into active participants. Making audiences part of the ‘conversation’ means they are more likely to stay focused on video content and ultimately more invested in the brands offering. In fact, interactivity results in 3x-4x greater viewer engagement and conversion than traditional linear video. This statistic shows us that user engagement should be in the front of mind for professionals when creating video content.
So how can businesses achieve this? Well, it seems that this can be achieved by incorporating interactive features that allow viewers to influence, choose, or contribute to the content of the live stream such as including live chats, moderated chat rooms, direct messaging and opinion polls and surveys. Interactive formats can also span from Q&A sessions where people send in questions to the host having them answered in real time by the presenters or hosts in the video. According to Hubspot, 47% of marketers surveyed say interactive content is one of the top three video types that get the most engagement. This shows the benefits of interactive features for prolonged engagement and highlights how these tools can help battle digital fatigue in a saturated marketplace.
Make video digestible
Audiences being overwhelmed and fatigued by the mass amounts of video content out there can most likely be attributed to the rise in social media platforms. On these platforms, there has been an increase in short-form video content which is defined as, any video that is under 60 seconds long. Short form videos are known for keeping viewers’ attention and are set to see the most growth among different marketing strategies this year, with marketers planning to invest more in it than any other formats or tactics. A Hubspot report states that 21% of marketers plan to tap into short-form video for the first time in 2023, showing that if businesses aren’t already making the most of this format, they intend to.
The rise in end-to-end video platforms which allow users to create, manage, edit, improve and distribute video content comes into play here. With video editing tools, creators can trim and crop their best bits from their longer form video content into bite sized pieces that can easily be shared across multiple platforms easily. This not only gets content in front of more people; it allows businesses to repurpose content and spread it out to boost the likelihood of engagement. When using longer form video content to reach specific aspects of a target audience, businesses can ensure they’re not leaving out other potential viewers by adapting the length and channel of their messaging.
Short videos can convey complex information in a more easily digestible format. For example, instructional videos can demonstrate a task or process in a way that is much easier to understand than written instructions. This can help to reduce the cognitive load that is associated with reading and can make it easier to retain information.
Taking a human centric approach
In today's digitally dominated world, a human-to-human approach can help you stand out from the competition. Video creates an immersive experience that helps to establish a stronger emotional connection with the audience. This can lead to increased brand loyalty and customer satisfaction as they feel more connected and connected to the brand. When audiences are fatigued, they may struggle to pay attention to and retain information about a business's products or services. By using video to convey information in an engaging and interactive format, businesses can hold their audiences' attention for longer periods of time, increasing the chances that the message will be received and retained.
You hear it time and time again, consumers are changing. They are increasingly self-educating and are inundated with information and content. Today, audiences want more. Creative, personalised, physical and experiential touchpoints that supplement your digital outreach can help businesses capture buyer attention, build lasting relationships and achieve revenue goals. With such oversaturation causing virtual fatigue to be at an all-time high, businesses need to make every interaction count.
Going into 2023 knowing how to combat digital fatigue with video is going to be paramount for businesses wanting to stay ahead of the competition and yield great results from their video content. Its engaging, interactive, and immersive nature can help to hold people's attention, reduce cognitive load, and create a sense of connection.