It’s not an exact science…but it’s the closest you’ll get to ideal regarding video length!
We’ll say it. When it comes to video — size matters. Our attentions spans went from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to just 8 seconds today. Experts believe our digital dependency has everything to do with our dwindling focus. At the same time, expectations are increasing. We want brands to deliver exactly the right content in the right place at precisely the right time. We want that content to be personalized and valuable to us in some way. And if brands fall short in any of these areas, we have numerous competitors to turn to for a better experience.
Luckily, video affords marketers a couple of extra seconds to captivate and engage viewers. But after 10 seconds, if you still haven't piqued their interest, engagement radically drops. According to Ad Age, if you haven’t engaged your audience after 30 seconds, you’ll likely lose 33 percent of viewers. After one minute, make that 45 percent. By two minutes, you can bet that 60 percent of your viewers have vanished.
Generally speaking, viewers don’t respond well to long videos. The sweet spot typically falls around 60 seconds or less. However, video length isn’t an exact science. Several considerations will factor into how long your videos should be.
To help your busy brain recall these considerations, commit them to memory as The Four C’s.
The 4 C’s for Considering Video Length
Every marketing decision you make should begin and end with who your target audience is and what they want or need. There’s a big difference between a teenager who spends most of their free time surfing the web, a working mother with a stressed schedule, and an employee who is required to watch your video as part of their training. How much time does your target audience have?
How familiar is your target audience with the topic of your video? If your video is an attempt to market a complicated product, process or brand message, you may need a little more time to explain properly. If your video is expanding on a subject that your target audience is already familiar with, get to the point and don’t waste their time with information they already know.
Here’s where most marketers begin to stray. Think about what information your audience absolutely needs from your one video to take the next desired step (the CTA). Cut out anything that doesn’t contribute to this end goal. When brands talk about themselves, or their product or service, they tend to get verbose. Hey, we get it. You’ve got a lot of passion for what you do. But, you always want to leave your audience wanting more. Content should be used like bait. Lure your audience in with bits of snack-able information, and encourage them to make a move before you give them more.
Finally, think ahead to your distribution strategy and where you plan to promote your video. Each channel has a different subset of rules and best practices, including ideal video lengths. News Whip did a study of the top 10 most shared Facebook videos from September of 2015. The average length was about 57 seconds. Twitter’s optimal video length is similar to Facebook’s, landing around 30 to 60 seconds. Instagram, however, is much shorter — around 15 seconds or less. If these timeframes freak you out, there’s always YouTube. According to Tubular Insights, YouTube’s most engaged videos are 10x longer than the most engaged videos uploaded to Facebook, topping out around 15 minutes!Like we said, there is no magic runtime for optimal video performance. But there is a way to determine your best performance odds. Consider the customer, context, content, and channel before making any decisions about video length. You should also lean on a video marketing agency for advice and direction on everything related to the creation and distribution of your video campaigns. You just can’t beat their experience or video marketing intel. Plus, they have the scoop on all the latest video trends. For example, have you considered how the rise of voice search is affecting your video performance? We have! Click here to learn more.