July 17, 2014

Creating Content & Timing It Right Part 1


In video production, as in most things, timing is key.  Every phase of a project’s life has a calendar or clock of sorts to keep in mind, beginning with pre-production.

Before production begins, it’s important for the client and vendor to agree on deadlines for checkpoints in the process.  This keeps both parties accountable for their deliverables and keeps the project from stalling.  I recommend sharing a calendar or using a website like which lets you designate tasks and deadlines to certain individuals involved in the process.  Obviously unexpected events may arise, in which case, the situation is reassessed and new deadlines are agreed upon.

For the sake of this post, I’ll bypass going into detail on the obviously critical nature of timing in the filming and post production editing process.  But your concern for timing doesn’t end there. Depending on the piece’s use, you also have total length to consider.  Let’s focus on marketing materials in this post.  Through intuition, anecdotal information and access to a university’s Youtube account analytics, I had personally set my recommendation to 1 to 2 minutes for length.  I noticed the largest drop in viewership of videos at the 2:30 to 3 minute mark, where we typically made no videos longer than 10 minutes.  Then I decided to look around and see if anyone else had come to a conclusion about this.  That’s where Wistia, a video hosting site, came in.  In their research, which also utilized access to the analytics of a large stock of content, found that the sweet spot for people’s attention spans was around 1-2 minutes.

So when it comes to peddling your wares, you’d do right to keep it short and sweet.  Just like this blog post.  Keep an eye out for part 2 of this post series where we’ll cover some of the smarter ways to time the release of your content into the wild.

Continue to part 2 of this blog post here.


Pixel Thick is a video production company based out of Phoenix, AZ.


  1. Great post here, David. Do you have a hypothesis as to why shorter is better? Certainly we can nod our heads and say something about goldfish-memory-and-attention-spans, but I think it’s an issue of trust on the part of the viewer. Whether it’s a conscious value decision or not people are greedy with their time. When they are perusing content and not quite ready to buy-in to your peddled wares just yet, in thought or in currency, are they deciding whether or not they trust you? Can I trust you to keep my attention or be worthy of more than one minute of my time?

    • I think it’s a combination of things. Yes, people are trying to squeeze as much as they can into their day (much more than we used to) so the amount of time they’ll invest into a video is shorter and shorter. If you don’t win the viewer’s trust as soon as possible by expressing value through story, visual aesthetic or presentation of valuable information, they’ll (we’ll) click off. But it’s also become that all of the world’s information is available to us at the tips of our fingers. Without even consciously seeking it out, massive doses of data are fed to us on a regular basis. People will scroll down their Facebook/Instagram/Twitter feeds until they get to the content they’ve already seen. A current theory in neurobiology is that, over long periods of time, this is creating new neural pathways in the brain that make it easier to process rapid streams of information; possibly crave them, although retention might be another issue altogether.

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