There are two stats when discussing website and social media engagement. These are that that video is a more effective marketing tool than photo or any other medium and that the average viewer doesnt watch more than 15 seconds seconds before moving on. So although viewers would prefer to watch a video rather than look at a picture or read, they still need a good reason to stay watching.
The reason for these findings are two-fold. Firstly it is almost impossible to keep people interested this days, so much so that a study has found that our attention span is as bad as goldfish. Secondly that the structure of videos have not been thought out in a way to keep viewers captivated. We can’t do anything about attention spans, in fact youve probably already checked your phone since you started reading this, but we can change the lengths of our videos to ensure critical information is placed effectively throughout the video to keep customers both interested and informed. To do this you must know how long a video should be depending on the platform you are using (which I will tell you in a second) and you must learn to structure your videos using storytelling as i wrote about HERE.
Now for the quick guide on ideal video lengths for each platform:
Whilst Instagram allows for regular posts to be up to 60 seconds try and keep videos to 30 seconds in length. The first 5 seconds are the most important for capturing the attention of the audience, with the key messaging or information shown within the first 10-15 seconds.
Regular IGTV posts can be up to 10 minutes. Data indicates that a 2-3 minute video is ideal length for promotional videos. The first 15 seconds should focus on keep viewers attention and 50-60 seconds in to entice the viewer to click to keep watching the remaining video on IGTV.
Facebook doesnt have as many restrictions as Instagram and you can post videos that are several house long, not that anyone would watch that video. For the best results for promotional content videos should be between 20-90 seconds. For educational or informative content you can stretch that out to several minutes, making sure that the last 15 seconds of each minute are particularly interesting, this will help you hold viewers attention.
If you want to release longer form content then you should create a ‘Series’ that viewers can come to know and love. This will ensure you dont turn off new viewers thinking that all your videos are that long and will give interested viewers something to recognise and look forward to each time you upload.
Youtube can be used for lots of different content and you must be adaptive to those. For anything promotional stay between 15-30 seconds, this includes ads, with a large emphasis on the first 5 seconds. For regular educational and informative videos keep them limited to 2-4 minutes, with emphasis of being concise and structured with delivering great information. For entertaining content don’t feel as limited by video length but by an objective look at the quality of what you’re producing.
LinkedIn users are different from other social media in the sense that they are there in more of a professional format. For promotional content limited your videos to 30 or 60 seconds. For educational, informative or content that would be of interest to your industry and create healthy discussion use all of the 10 minutes available to you if necessary. If you are producing content of this format then ensure that most of you times goes into planning what to say and how to say it as your professioanl reputation is on the line…so to speak.
Content planning is a essential component to video creation for organisations that are looking for long term success and growth. The easy option is to look at what you want right now, but that is rarely the best option. An effective content plan looks at your business goals and objectives across platforms and looks to design content that solves users problems at every opportunity.