It’s a question that gets asked quite often. How long should my marketing video be? There are a few statistics that offer some guidance and insight in the supposed ideal length of you video marketing. We’ve actually explored this topic in an earlier blog, but it could do with an update. Research has shown that 95% of the people are willing to watch a one minute video until the end. But when we increase the duration to two minutes, 40% drops out. And as you know, audience retention is key to get your full message across. That’s familiar information. Here is the interesting bit, the length of your video should fit the purpose and the platform.
What’s your platform?
Online video basically revolves around content marketing. And as such, any content marketer will tell you to tailor your content to the network you’re using. Let’s take the character limit as an example. The current limit on Twitter is 280 character whereas the company status update on LinkedIn has a limit of 700. And let’s not forget about Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg offers a whopping 63,206 characters in a status update. As you can see, every platform has its own specific preferences when it comes to text. One of our favourite networks, Instagram limits you at 2200 characters.
Video content specific
Yes I know that I’m only referring written content now. Let’s switch to the length of your video. Just as you would tailor your written message for the different outlets, you should tailor your video content. Given that 60% would still watch a two minute video, you would assume that posting the same video on all platforms will have the same result. Then again, think of paralel with written content.
Let’s be honest, people who scroll through their Twitter feed aren’t looking for the next full episode of Blue Planet II. Instead, they want quick and easy content that can be consumed in seconds. And since the average user has the attention span of a gold fish, roughly 9 seconds, why create content that’s longer than necessary. Anything between 10 and 30 seconds is, and should be, enough to convey your core message.
Facebook is a bit of a tricky one since it offers produced as well as live video content. Live content can be anywhere up to 10 minutes. When your ready to post your produced video content, we’d advise to stick to the 2 minute maximum for the length of your video. Please keep in mind that 90% of the videos on Facebook are consumed without sound! Use Facebook as a discovery and engagement tool to draw prospective customers to your website. Surely that’s often the place where they’ll be able to buy, register or directly engage with you.
Isn’t Instagram a beautiful medium. Not only is it completely visual, it offers a great restriction on video content. The maximum length of your video is exactly one minute. Some sources actually argue that roughly 30 seconds should be enough. Hubspot concluded that the videos with the most comments averaged on 26 seconds.
So we’ve covered three main social networks. Although there are many more platforms to use, I hope you got the key message: tailor your video content to the platform. But there is one platform that we haven’t discussed yet, your own website. There is a good chance that you’ve got some videos hosted by YouTube or Vimeo embedded on your site. Your website can display multiple styles of videos. Many of them can serve different purposes. An “about us” video, a testimonial video, an “how-to” video etc. Every video has it’s own merit and ideal length. However, in general you should stick to the 2 minute maximum length of your video. There always is an exception when your looking at How-To videos. If your producing educational content that teaches your customers how to operate or interact with your product, feel free to take a bit more time.
All in all, if you’re having trouble to determine the ideal length of your video, ask yourself this: “is my content worth the minutes of my audiences time“? And be bluntly honest with yourself. Time is a limited resource and you are asking your audience to give you their time and attention. It’s your responsibility to deliver content that is compelling, engaging and worthy of your audiences time.
Repurpose video content
This all might seem a bit overwhelming, producing different videos for each platform. Although this might be true, there is a clever way to make life a bit easier. For one thing, you can repurpose your video content to suite the different platforms.
Let’s say you’ve created a 90 second piece of testimonial video marketing with loads of contextual footage. That’s excellent content to share on Facebook and your website. Now you can re-edit the contextual footage into a vibrant Facebook Banner. You can cut it up into 7 or 8 10 second snippets to use on Twitter and Instagram. Even a ‘behind-the-scenes’ video will do wonders for your social presence. And have you thought about selecting 15 to 20 stills to share?
In most video production and video marketing projects, the biggest chunk of the budget goes towards the pre-production and filming. Post-production, or the edit, has a smaller role to play. In this sense, it is worth spending an additional day or two to get the most out of your content.