How long should your videos be?

How long should your videos be?  |  Hue & Tone Creative

It’s no secret that video marketing is on an upward trajectory. In fact, on Facebook alone, more than 8 billion videos are watched every single day. If you’ve ever done any video marketing, you also know it’s no secret that video marketing can be tricky. Finding the right formula of content, length, and delivery method can be difficult to say the least. 

 

Defining the optimum length

The optimum length for videos is a difficult thing to define, and there are a whole load of variables that can influence the answer, like:

  • Who’s your target audience?
  • What’s your product or service?
  • Where is it being promoted?
  • What’s it about?
  • How engaging is your speaker?

Because of all these factors, the ideal length will vary from industry to industry and business to business.

As an example, let’s think about the type of product you’re promotoing. If you’re selling a $20 item, it’s likely your audience will be unwilling to invest five minutes to watch your video. If you’re selling a $2,000 service though, five minutes suddenly seems like a more reasonable request.

 

What the data tells us

When video hosting and analytics giant Wistia looked at the stats from 500,000 videos, the sweet spot was 2 minutes. According to their research, it’s after that point that there’s a fairly steep drop off and people click away. 

That said, their numbers also showed there’s minimal drop-off between 6 and 12 minutes -- so, assuming you can keep viewers until the 6 minute mark, by that point, there’s a good chance you’ve secured the next 6 minutes of their time too.

As with any type of content, it’s important to keep your message and goals in mind – if your video needs to be long, it needs to be long. There’s no use in condensing what would have been a 10 minute video down to 2 minutes for fear of people not watching, if the end result means you’re compromising on the quality and credibility of its substance. 

 

Videos on social media

Once you’ve got your video edited, it’s time to disperse it through social media. According to data from HubSpot, the most engaging video lengths for each platform are:

  • Instagram: 30 seconds
  • Twitter: 45 seconds
  • Facebook: 1 minute
  • YouTube: 2 minutes

 

Action items: Here's what you can do 

Discovering what works for you is all about trial and error, and engagement is a key metric to measure. So, what can you do to find your own sweet spot? Here are a few ideas:

  • Categorize your videos, because there’ll likely be different patterns for sales, ‘how to’ and tutorial videos.
  • Analyze the play to finish ratio from all your videos to date and see what’s working best.
  • Look out for trends in where viewers are trailing off. If there are any, engineer your next videos to this length and see what results you get.
  • Take a look at what your competitors are doing, and if they’re getting good engagement, see if you can identify any lessons from their success. 

If you’re new to the world of video marketing, check out our three-part series on producing and editing iPhone footage herehere and here.


HUE & TONE CREATIVE: SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT IN GREENSBORO, NC

Need a second opinion on your video content? Ask the experts. From compelling email campaigns to social media account management, Hue & Tone Creative is here to cover all your marketing needs.