social media

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.


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.  

Small business on a small budget

Marketing is a necessity no matter what your business. But, it’s important to remember that a solid marketing plan can come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and budgets.

Bootstrap marketing is all about making the most out of your resources, finding new ways to work with others, and becoming your own PR agent. It’s the best mindset for new business owners because it’s wallet-friendly and forces you to use your creativity.

Fortunately, there’s a vast array of tools that you can take advantage of...without depleting your bank account!

Gather quality research

Estimated cost: Free

Use a short questionnaire to gather the opinions of people on the street, outside of shopping centers, or events that fit your target demographic. Load your iPad with a set of quick questions to ask people, visual aids, and product comparisons -- then hit the street!   

Create a Contest

Estimated cost: Whatever you decide to give away

Contests are a great way to use social media to engage your followers. Create a small scale contest by having your followers respond to a question or share a picture accompanied with a fun hashtag. Have your followers share your business page or submit their email address for a chance to win a product from your business. For long term contests, be sure to drive excitement daily and encourage your followers to enter for their chance to win!

Give the inside scoop on social

Estimated cost: Free

When posting on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, keep the one in seven rule in mind. For every seven posts you create, make sure that one in focused exclusively on promoting your brand. The content of the other six should focus on providing information, testimonials, or entertaining images or videos.


Start a loyalty program

Estimated cost: A few discounts or free gifts

Keeping an existing customer is far less expensive than searching for new customers. Create a loyalty program to show your clients that they are valued with discounts, tier programs, exclusive shopping days, or points programs. Check out Belly, Perkville, PunchTab, or Brownie Points if you’re looking for an app to help get you started.  


Remember to always keep your email list growing! Give your visitors several opportunities to register every time they visit your website.

Launch an email campaign

Estimated cost: Free (until you reach a high volume sending list)

Use your creativity to keep your emails engaging and beneficial to your customers. Feature flash sales, rewards program perks, and anything new to your businesses.  Stream Send, MailChimp, and Benchmark Email are some easy to use email marketing services.  


Embrace guerrilla marketing

Estimated cost: $10-$500

Hand out custom t-shirts, stickers, or swag (like water bottles or dog toys). People love free stuff so give them something to remember you by!

Or, consider using sidewalk chalk or posters to get your message out around town.


Gather testimonials

Estimated cost: Free

Stand out from your competitors by providing success stories from previous customers. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your satisfied customers. Most are happy to write a review when they’re happy with a purchase. You can also offer a free trial or complementary item to select customers in return for an honest review. These are great to use in marketing materials of all kinds!


Maintain a blog

Estimated cost: Free (assuming you already have a website)

Most people would rather purchase a product or service from a brand with a personality rather than a stiff corporate tone. Use your blog to relate to customers as a person or small business! If you are new to blogging you could start with a customer success story, market trends, a behind the scenes look at your business, or maybe a feature of some of your staff members.

Things we don't recommend you skimp on?
An eye catching logo and an amazing website.

Partner with other businesses

Estimated cost: $50+

Look for local businesses that share similar values, target customers, and experience as your brand. Most businesses welcome connections, especially when they benefit both parties. For instance, if you own a bakery, partner with a nearby coffee shop on a special rewards card, let local vendors sell their wares in your storefront, or let a local artist offer painting classes at night. 


Host an event

Estimated cost: $500+

Think about the interests of your target customer and invite them to exclusive events. Anthropologie often holds special events for Anthro card holders. Guests are able to attend DIY workshops, fashion shows, and even pet adoption days. You can make an even larger event by networking with other businesses in your area. Many local businesses hold special shopping nights where customers can travel from store to store and enjoy sales and refreshments. There are endless event ideas, the key is to get your customer excited and eager to come.


Now that you’ve learned some budget friendly tips, remember that working with a small budget doesn’t necessarily mean a small marketing presence. Spend your money wisely and business will be booming in no time!

What to post: Twitter

The average tweet only has about a three hours shelf life. For business owners, that translates to needing to tweet often -- without sacrificing quality. You need to be on the top of your game to maximize your available 140 characters and capitalize on the few instants of attention you’ll get from followers. If you’re thinking that retweets will get you what you want… think again.

If you’re stumped on where to start -- or you’re just running low on ideas -- here’s a few things to test out:

  • Keep it industry related: No matter what you want to post, you can’t go wrong by keeping your content focused on your industry. This is one of the best ways to attract quality followers who have the same interests or profession as you.
  • How-to’s/tips/tricks: If you own your own business, you’ve got specialized knowledge of some kind. Think about what you know and boil your knowledge down to shareable tricks and tips that your clients can implement on their own. There’s no better source for original content than yourself!
  • FAQ: Think about what questions you hear most often from your clients and customers. If they want to know, chances are, other people will too. So, save everyone some time and tweet the answer! Play your cards right, and this will leave everyone following you wanting more...
  • Bold + high quality images: Whether you’re posting a photo from around the office or a sample of client work, an eye catching photo is key. An iPhone photo will definitely suffice, but make sure to use an app like Snapseed or Afterlight to clean up your photos.
  • Useful stats: People hear so much information every day it’s hard to know what to believe. Make yourself stand out as a reliable, industry source by sharing up-to-date, reliable stats on your industry… just be sure to double check your information and cite your sources.
  • A behind-the-scenes photo: Help people put a face to your company by sharing behind-the-scenes photos of what’s happening at your office. You’ll have to use your best judgment to decide if things like taking the team out to lunch fits with your image -- but no matter what message you’re trying to send there’s definitely something from behind-the-scenes that you can share.
  • Capitalize on local: If you’re a local business there’s no better way to connect with new clients than to focus on other local businesses, community events, and the general goings on in your area. Not only does this show you’re in the loop, it allows you to keep up with competitors, and can help you forge valuable connections.
  • Stay on top of trends (and help keep your followers up to date): Showcase your knowledge by staying plugged in to industry publications and key Twitter users in your field. This will help you stay on the cutting edge! For example, when a social platform rolls out a new feature we try to be one of the first to alert our followers.
  • Take a survey: Ask customers/clients what they prefer or are interested in, what they want to learn more about, which of your products is their favorite, etc. You’ll be creating great content… all while getting insight into your customer’s wants and needs!
  • Incorporate relevant hashtags: With limited characters it’s important to pick and choose the right hashtags to use. Content that isn’t related to the hashtag will annoy other users -- and won’t gain you any high quality interest. If you’re looking to reach a new audience (who isn’t?) then jump on to trending hashtags and try out some other new tags.

Do: have fun, have personality, be yourself, credit others when you share information, and respond promptly

Don’t: get political, don’t push too hard, or be too salesy

Keep in mind all of these posting ideas are for your business account. If you find it’s hard to keep your Twitter from getting too personal, start a separate account for yourself. This will allow people to get to know you...without tarnishing the professional reputation of your brand.

Need more tailored suggestions? We can do that. Leave a comment telling us a little about your business -- we’ll respond with more specific suggestions!

Friday Links: Mega Roundup

Happy first day of July!

We’re making a few changes to our blogging schedule, so for our last Friday Links we’ve rounded up a mega-list of some of the best resources we’ve shared over the last few months. From now on, we’ll be posting a long-format entry every Wednesday. With topics ranging from design and marketing to tips and tricks, each post will be an in-depth look at a different topic each week.

So, without further adieu, here’s our final Friday Links:


Design Links

One | 10 Commandments of graphic design  

Two | Introductory guide to choosing fonts

Three | How to utilize an inspiration board to design a consistent brand

Four | 15 Type Designers to keep an eye on

Five | An interview with Michael Bierut, Designer at Pentagram


Social Media Links

One | How to be social online (for the naturally unsocial)

Two | 10 Years of Twitter: Tweets that broke the Internet

Three |Essential LinkedIn Stats: When, how, and what to post

Four | 5 Habits of Successful Social Media Experts

Five | 9 Tips to create a cohesive, branded Instagram feed


Branding/ Marketing Links

One | The basics of marketing your blog or website

Two | Working with email marketing automation

Three | 12 Simple strategies the big brands use to leave a lasting impression

Four | Stand out on Pinterest as a small business

Five | More branding basics for small businesses


Miscellaneous Links

One | Website color schemes: The palettes of 50 visually impactful websites to inspire you

Two | The 6 best tools for creative work, according to science

Three | Free hand-lettering practice worksheets

Four | Why you should use Squarespace

Five | The best of Greensboro

We hope you’ve enjoyed this last Friday link post… but now it’s time to get excited for the future! We’ll be back on Wednesday with a list of SEO dos + don’ts that you don’t need a web developer to execute.

Going to miss our Friday Links series? No need to worry, we’ll be sharing more valuable resources than ever on our social media. Follow us here:

Friday Links: Get linked up

If you’re looking to network, you have a great tool right at your fingertips. LinkedIn is a powerful social media tool for anyone looking to give their professional persona a boost. With access to thousands of connections around the world, you can form new relationships, increase your sales leads, and gain invaluable professional insight.

A little skeptical about the power of LinkedIn? These five links will have you sprucing up your profile in no time.  

One | If you don’t have a LinkedIn page for your business, it might be time to rethink. LinkedIn is great for B2B marketing, and might just be the most effective platform for lead generation -- but those are only two of many reasons why having a business profile is important.

Two | If you already have a page for your business, here are a few tips to help you get started promoting it.

Three | Looking for the numbers on who and how people use LinkedIn? This breaks down everything from who LinkedIn’s 347 million users are to some fast facts on how people in other countries use the social platform.

Four | Before you get networking, you need a sleek and informative profile to turn heads. Things like a professional photo, custom URL, and exciting bio are just a few things that will have a big impact.

Five | Most importantly? When and what to post.

A little update never hurt nobody -- take a moment this weekend to make your brand a LinkedIn business page or spruce up your profile. Next week, we’ll be honing in on how to create an effective email marketing campaign -- you won’t want to miss it!

Friday Links: Must-see visual stats

I don’t know about you guys, but we love infographics -- they’re a great way to snag someone’s interest on social media and quickly communicate information. We’ve compiled 5 of our favorite infographics for you to effortlessly glean some new statistics from!  

One  |  At the beginning of the year, there was no end to the predictions being made about where 2016 would take design. See if they’re coming true with this infographic that predicts 8 design trends for 2016.

Two  |  When we say social media is a big deal, we mean like really big... literally. With 320 million users Twitter’s user base is almost as big as the population of the United States. Don’t believe us? Here’s more on social media’s active monthly users for this year.

Three  |  Did you know that the average user spends 20 minutes per visit on Facebook? Leverage these statistics to plan even better social content.

Four  |  The perfect filter can take a picture from good to great! Have you ever found your thumb hovering over two filters, wondering what other people would pick? Well, Canva’s mapped out the most popular filters from around the world. Can you guess what North Carolina’s most popular filter is?

Five  |  If you don’t read any of the other links today, be sure to read this one. If you want to be a successful social media manager all of the tips are a must!

We’ll be back on Tuesday with a coloring page. If you’re looking for some weekend enrichment, we suggest listening to The Ezra Klein Show or checking out one of our favorite places in Greensboro.

That’s all for today, have a great one!

Friday Links: The 411 on branding + custom Snapchat filters

Branding is so much more than visual -- it's what people associate with you when they hear your businesses name. You want your brand to give an accurate sense of who you are and what you offer. Today, we've got a few links on how to push your brand to the next level, an inspiring interview on transforming your idea into a brand, and how to boost your reach using Snapchat. 

One | Been building your brand for years, but now sure what to do next? Assess where your brand is at, then check out these 50 ways to give it a boost.

Two | In this digital age, we can’t emphasize the importance of social media enough! Follow these three steps to help embrace social media as an integral part of your business operations.

Three | Have you seen the cool geofilters Snapchat recently released? Did you know that you can make them for your business? With a low cost buy-in and millions of users, it’s a great way to advertise. This step-by-step guide goes in-depth and shows you how to make a filter.

Four | A creative profile + cover photo can make a big impression on a business page. Check out this showcase of big brands cover photos to get ideas for your own page!

Five | “Do one thing extremely well. Refine the process. Do it again.” That's Michael Luscher's advice on forming a big brand. Learn more about how he turned his one big idea into one big brand.

Always keep in mind that your vision + your voice + your visuals = your brand! Enjoy this long weekend :)

Friday Links: Breaking the Internet + All That

Oh Friday, we’ve missed you...  We’ll admit, we’re attached at the hip to our phone, so this week we’ve got links on social media, how to unplug, and a surprise throwback we’ve all wanted! Here’s a few articles to kickstart your weekend!

One  |  Did you know that Twitter celebrated its 10 year anniversary this week? To think, where would we be without these tweets that broke the Internet in the past 10 years?

Two  |  If you need some organizational help, check out these apps that will organize your life in no time. We love Trello!

Three  |  Promoting your website or blog is vital at any stage! For those new (and experienced), here are 10 tips to market your blog. (Hint: social media is a major key!)

Four  |  If you need a break from apps and social media, let’s get back to the books! If you’re in a reading slump, check out how to get out of your reading slump!

Five |  Nostalgia Alert! For all the 90’s babies, let’s rejoice! There’s an All That reunion!



Happy Weekend :)

Client Spotlight: Reclaimed Lumber and Beams

Reclaimed Lumber and Beams is a fun client to work with because, quite frankly, I want to personally purchase almost everything they sell. Partnering with this business on social & design projects means looking through photo after photo of gorgeous, hand-crafted wooden furniture and home installations. 

Today's Client Spotlight is a look at the warm, visual social presence we've created for RLB. 

Who They Are: A North Carolina-based business with a big national footprint, integrating reclaimed wood/antique lumber from the Appalachian mountains into residential and commercial construction (think: everything from rustic mantles, doors and tables to barnwood siding and flooring). 

What They Needed: RLB draws clients from all over the U.S., so they needed social that could reach wide and convert to sales, while still maintaining a personal, small-business feel.

What We Delivered: The Reclaimed Lumber and Beams Facebook page  is warm, conversational, and heavy on photography -- giving potential customers a glimpse of the wide variety of projects RLB could create for their home, office, or venue. Q&As and behind-the-scenes content keep followers engaged, and links drive them back to the RLB website. This is retail, but it's not big-box -- projects are personalized and driven by the customer. Glimpses of previous projects get those ideas moving for soon-to-be clients.

The takeaway? Every business has a personality, and its social presence should match up with it. A cool, detached tone works for some businesses, but that's not the personality RLB needed to project online. 

What personality are you cultivating for your business or organization on social media? If you have questions, I'd love to talk.


Friday Links: Twitter chats, font pairing, and Squarespace love

Hello, friends! It's been another full, busy week here at Hue & Tone and, now that it's coming to a close, I'm sharing some links I've been loving once again.

Friday Links: Twitter chats, font pairing, and Squarespace love -- Hue & Tone Creative

One | The impact of having an active social presence for your business is huge...but not everyone's naturally inclined to be a "sharer." I love this post on ways to train your brain to think social.

Two | Along the same lines as the link above, social media is best when you're genuinely using it as a tool to collaborate and learn from others...not a way to blast your own message without listening. Twitter chats are a great way to get started.

Three | The Hue & Tone website runs on Squarespace, and I'm a huge fan. Here's a good summary of the reasons why.

Four | Running a small business doesn't happen without its fair share of cold calls -- and cold emails. So, how to do it right? Personalize, be brief, and establish purpose.

Five | Here's a great -- and beautifully presented -- primer on the "art and science" of pairing the right fonts.

Recap of this week's blog posts: 

Have a great weekend!