6 Seconds for Storytelling

Tell your Story in 6 seconds. Whaaat?

We’ve all heard attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. It could be because we’re on the move, we’re multi-tasking, we’re on our phones, we’re inpatient — so much to do, so little time.

We, as Marketers, are challenged to claim some of that time to tell our story. And now, we have only 6 seconds to do it.

6 is the new 30

According to thehustle.co, who noted both Business Insider’s and Google’s articles on shorter formats, 6 seconds is now the norm. It’s the new 30. First we complained 30 seconds was too short! But audiences think 30 seconds is too long. And it’s all about our audience, is it not.

How do you tell a story that is compelling in just 6 seconds?

If you think of your story like a joke, as Maud Deitch of Instagram (and formerly with Mother Creative, NY) advised, you can “distill it down to the punchline and then figure out how to build that…”

Easier said than done, eh.

But you have visuals to go along with it. Use those pictures which are “worth a thousand words”. And more than that, images evoke feelings and feelings are thoughts and thoughts are quick. Time is irrelevant. As Topher Cochrane, Senior Producer at Le Burnett said, “Our brains aren’t really constrained by time.” Our brains are impacted by the power of visuals and are capable of drawing a conclusion in seconds.

So don’t be wary of this 6 second challenge. You’ll still need a beginning, middle, and an end for a good story. It doesn’t have to be the entire story arc; just part of an emotional, interesting scene could suffice.

When you’re able to do this, your ad or message will be less likely to be skipped whether it’s on Facebook or YouTube, and it will more likely to leave an impact.