How Long Should Your Video Content Be?
- Digital Marketing
- 23 February 2021
Video length on different platforms
Videos are increasingly becoming the more popular choice when it comes to digital marketing. After all, videos perform better than images on almost every social media platform.
Consumers generally remember the content in videos better than in images. This is as videos are a lot more dynamic, and engage both our sight and hearing. Images, on the other hand, are static and only engage one sense: sight.
Many marketers believe in the myth that videos are expensive and time-consuming, and not at all worth the slight advantage they hold over images. Furthermore, plenty of consumers may leave a video halfway, which would reduce the effectiveness of using such a medium.
However, video marketing isn’t as disposable as you might think it is. 81% of businesses that use videos in their marketing strategy agree that it helps to engage your audience, deliver clear messages, and promote your brand, amongst other benefits. 95% of video marketers also noted that videos have helped increase understanding of their product or service.
First off, videos definitely provide a significant advantage over images. Imagine if you were to convey a large amount of information via images. Your audience will most likely lose interest upon seeing such a lengthy wall of text.
Meanwhile, videos are able to keep things concise while still answering the basic questions to help consumers make an informed choice. 64% of consumers tend to reach a purchasing decision only after watching a branded video.
Not only that, but videos are far more engaging as well. Videos attract three times more engagement on Instagram than sponsored ads. They help to create a space for you to build connections with your audience, making your brand more personalised for them.
So how long should your videos be?
Be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, every platform has its knicks and knacks. In order to make sure your video does the best it possibly can, you need to understand not only the features each platform offers but the type of audience they cater to.
Take for example the users on TikTok or Snapchat. They are often used to watching short clips on these platforms and would probably not appreciate it if they were suddenly forced to watch a long video. On the other hand, YouTube users are more accustomed to watching lengthier videos and therefore it is more acceptable to show them longer content. Different platforms are able to hold attention for different amounts of time, so keep that in mind.
Facebook insights have discovered that videos “get shown organically to more people when they’re at least 3 minutes long.” Keep in mind that an organic Facebook video is one that is posted and gains exposure without any advertising spend.
At the same time, Facebook’s algorithm rewards engagement over duration, so it is not guaranteed that your video will get more exposure just because it is 3 minutes long. Therefore, make sure to focus not just on your video length, but your video message as well. By encouraging engagement such as likes, shares, and comments, your video is more likely to get a boost in their algorithm.
The same can not be said for Facebook Video Ads.
Marketers can also fork out a sum of money in order to get more views for their videos. For every person that watches your video for longer than 3 seconds, Facebook will charge you for a view.
Therefore, if you’re paying to promote a video ad, you need to get your main point across as quickly as possible. The viewers that Facebook push out your ad to might not necessarily be familiar with your brand or your content, so they might lose interest easily. If that’s the case, retention is the most important target — so cut to the chase and keep it short.
One additional tip that we recommend marketers to keep in mind is to optimise their videos to still be understandable even with the sound off. 85% of users on Facebook actually watch plenty of videos without the sound — perhaps they are in a public place — therefore, in order not to ostracise this crowd, the message of your video should be clear even while its muted.
On Instagram, there are two types of videos you can post: IGTV as well as Stories and Reels.
The latter has restrictions on the length of your video which means that your videos generally cannot be longer than a minute. If you wish to post a video longer than 60 seconds, you would need to post it as an IGTV.
However, HubSpot has found that videos that receive the most comments on Instagram are on average 26 seconds long. It would be best to keep videos on Instagram shorter than a minute.
This is because people are often used to scrolling quickly through their feed on Instagram, and pausing to watch a long video actually goes against their muscle memory. As such, their attention span for videos on Instagram generally does not last as long.
Furthermore, it is not possible to rewind these short videos on Instagram, which means that people would most likely skip or move on if they miss a part of the video and are unable to understand the point of it.
Twitter’s previous video duration limit was only a mere 30 seconds. Now, they have started allowing users to upload videos up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds long on their app, matching the character limit that they set for their tweets. However, this does not necessarily mean that you should post videos of that length.
In fact, Twitter users are also often scrolling through their feed quickly on that very same app, which means that they would be more accustomed to shorter content. Therefore, it is still recommended to keep video content under 30 seconds long.
If you want to get people to watch your long-form content on Twitter, you can create short teaser videos and link people out from there — be it to another social media platform such as Facebook or YouTube.
The main difference between YouTube and other social media platforms is that on YouTube, users are actively seeking out videos to watch. Instead of having a curated feed for them to scroll through, users are browsing through video content with the mental preparation to watch them.
It is also significant to note that unlike Facebook’s algorithm, YouTube’s algorithm actually rewards videos that have more watch time by pushing them up in search results as well as users’ recommendations.
Therefore, longer videos do have the potential to do better on YouTube — as long as viewers are engaged and actually stick around to watch your lengthy video content. YouTubers are, in fact, recording longer videos, which has been observed to rank higher in search results.
Planning out a video marketing strategy may sound complicated, but break it down and you will see that it is easier than you think. Why not ask MIU if you have any further questions on video marketing? It is, after all, the marketing tool to look out for in 2021.