Well the easy answer is as long as it needs to be, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to length of online marketing videos as it is dependent upon many factors, including the style of video, the online platform and your target audience.
With us all being bombarded by huge amounts of digital content everyday, it’s now more important than ever to ensure your content cuts through the noise and captures viewers attention. Obviously the best way to do this is to create fresh, interesting and engaging content – however it also needs to be packaged in an easy to consume form that’s suitable to the platform in which it’s being presented – this is where deciding upon the length of your video is extremely important.
Due to the increase in content, viewers attention spans are shorter than ever, the first 10 seconds of any video are essential to capturing people’s attention and hooking them in to consume the rest of your video content.
Fundamentally, you need to be clear on your aims and goals for what you want your video(s) to achieve before you decided upon the length of your content, within this blog I’ve broken down some of the common types of videos and provided my thoughts on what I feel should be considered to determine the perfect length for your video.
Before I begin, I found this really helpful blog that similarly discusses the optimum video lengths for different online platforms, that’s well worth a read also:
- Videos posted natively to Facebook generate more engagement – but it takes less views for YouTube videos to generate the same engagement rate.
- Engagement rate for Facebook video is a more reliable metric than view count.
- The most engaged videos on YouTube are nearly 10x longer than the most engaged videos uploaded to Facebook.
- Short-form video content tends to do better in terms of engagement on Facebook.
- The longer the video on YouTube, the more viewers will engage with it.
- Best place for a CTA on a YouTube video is around the 30 second mark.
Interviews / Testimonial Videos
Ideal Length: 45 – 60 Seconds
Customer testimonial videos are a really effective marketing tool, that’s proven to dramatically increase conversions and drive up sales due to their ability to give potential consumers confidence in your product and company. When it comes to deciding upon the length of this type of video, it’s important to consider your interviewee – are they charismatic and engaging? will your target market easily relate to them?
With a great subject you can afford to produce a slightly longer video but I’d recommend aiming for no longer than 45 seconds – within this time you should be able to present why the individual purchased you product, how it changed their life and how amazing their experience of your company has been, without making it too lengthy. One tip to keep the length of these videos short is to focus each testimonial on a different aspect of your product eg. if many of your potential customers have a concern that it might not work for what they need it to – alleviate this concern in one video and cover customer service for example in another. Most viewers would much rather watch 3 30 second videos with 3 different people in, than one person talking for 90 seconds which can often result in a loss of their attention.
Facebook Video Adverts
Ideal Length: 8 – 30 Seconds
Facebook videos are a brilliant way to reach a large audiences, engage viewers and quickly grow brand awareness. Deciding upon the perfect length for your Facebook video largely comes down to the type of content you’re creating. To get best results from your video campaign we often advise our clients to create short enticing teaser style content for Facebook that ends with a call to action linking to watch the full video, as it’s often much easier to convert viewers from your own website than on a social media news-feed where there are many distractions.
The ideal length for this type of video is around 8 – 30 seconds, the idea is to provide just enough content to grab viewers attention, but leave them wanting more (basically click-bait in video form!). Of course, if the aim of your video campaign is to grow brand awareness and get likes on your facebook page, you’d be better off creating a 20-45 second video that is highly likely to be shared by your target demographic.
Homepage / Brand Videos
Ideal Length: 45 – 90 Seconds
Homepage or brand videos are an excellent way to give credibility and personality to your company – especially if you’re just starting up or are an exclusively online business. Many companies make the mistake of creating a brand video that’s far too long (3+ minutes) which covers absolutely everything about the brand rather than focusing on the more interesting and visual engaging aspects of the company.
If you look at television adverts for inspiration it’s amazing to see and analyse the amount of information you’re able to translate in a 30 second video advert, we often advise our clients to write down the 3 most important pieces of information you’d like to tell every new customer to maintain focus in the video and avoid overloading viewers with information.
I’ve suggested a length of 45 – 90 seconds as it is dependent upon the complexity of the product or service you’re selling and how much explaining is actually required, in longer examples you can also include testimonials – which are great for adding an extra level of credibility & brand authenticity to a homepage video.
Ideal Length: 1 – 2 Minutes
Having analysed many successful crowdfunding campaigns videos the majority come in around the 1 minute 40 seconds – 2 minute mark, I think for this type of video the phrase “as long as it needs to be” is extremely relevant. Crowdfunding campaign videos are all about inspiring viewers in not only your product but the individual/ team behind it that’s going to bring it to life, as it’s going to be shared across many different platforms I feel the sub 2 minute length is necessary to maintaining viewer interested without going into too much detail.
Remember within a crowdfunding campaign you can use the whole page – the video is the most powerful way to quickly deliver information and express your passion for the project, but great visuals (GIFS, Infographics etc.) can also go along way to help explaining your concept to interested individuals.
Video Tutorials / Explainer Videos
Ideal Length: 1 – 3 Minutes
The very reason the number of businesses utilizing explainer videos for their product or service recently rocketed is largely due to their ability to quickly deliver information in an easily digestible and shareable manner. Once again in this type of video it’s important to not to overload viewers with information as they’ll most likely end up slightly confused and lose interest in your content, instead focus on the essential elements that are necessary to allow new potential clients to fully understand your product or service – this should definitely be achievable within 90 seconds.
If you’re business happens to be made up of many complex elements, consider creating multiple short videos to allow viewers to decided how they’d like to consume the information rather than trying to cram a huge amount of information into a single video. Well designed interactive videos can also be a great option for this style of content.
The above suggestions and video lengths are purely my opinions, based upon my experiences in creating video marketing content and a lot of research into the subject, as I mentioned early on in the blog I’d always say that videos should be as long as they need to be the most important part of the process is to carefully consider your target audience and the medium in which it will be played – there are many videos that buck the trend and a lot of really long viral videos. Therefore ensuring your content is always as engaging and interesting as it can be should be your foremost concern going into any new video marketing campaign – content is king!