In today’s society there is so much information available to viewers. Consumers now “channel surf” the Internet for content and chop and change what they are looking at fast!
In an article in the financial review on the 1st November 2017 – The head of retail for Facebook Australia Kate Box stated “The average time spent on an item of content by people scrolling on a mobile phone was 1.7 seconds, while on a desktop it was 2.5 seconds and an increasing number of them are preferring to discover new products through videos.”
In this article, we explore different techniques to maximise brand engagement and conversions and minimise a viewer’s premature video exit by getting the duration, timing and content just right.
So, What Is the Perfect Length for an Online Video?
Well, it really depends on 3 main considerations:
The type of website or “channel” that you intend to share it on:
- There are many places to select from like Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn to name just a few. Social media videos tend to engage better than text posts alone and are more likely on average to be viewed in full at around 15-60 seconds maximum duration. Video channels like YouTube and Vimeo can be a lot longer if the content is still informative, engaging and concise.
- If your video is to be used on a website it is important to consider your page hierarchy. For example: If the video is going to be used as a company profile overview on your home page then up to 2 minutes is OK. If it’s on a page where a viewer is deeper into their information research process then a longer video is ok.
- Is it to drive conversions like a landing page? Then we find that 1 to 2 minutes with a strong call to action tends works well.
The Content You Are Trying to Deliver
- If the video is for educational, training or instructional purposes then whilst keeping the information concise and to the point the total duration can be lot longer. A product explainer or how too video or Ted talk is an example of this. These can be hours long. Remember that you can create short format or “highlight reel” versions do draw the viewers in first.
- If the video is likely to be in a social media “feed” like on Facebook then 15- 60 seconds to get you message or across tends to be affective.
Consider Things like the Age of Your Target Audience
According to an article on the Australian Financial Review 1st November 2017 the head of retail for Facebook Australia Kate Box also said older people tended to scroll a little slower than the younger generation. “They’re just able to digest a lot more,” she said. But the older generation also shared the same characteristics of being enthusiastic about discovering new products via video on mobile phones. “This is broader than millennials,” she said.
The Type of Device Used to View
If the viewer is using a mobile device they could be travelling or easily distracted. “mobile phones are the medium of choice” and “showed that 60 percent of transactions had a digital touchpoint” (Kate Box)
So How Do You Keep Them Interested?
Videos need to stand out fast so that a user’s micro glance has the best chance of your video capturing their attention.
According to Wistia who looked at looked at 564,710 videos, and more than 1.3 billion plays for their research, anything over 2 minutes and you start to see significant viewer drop off.
Don’t panic over a few seconds here and there if you’re still going to come in around the 1-2 minute mark. Viewers are always busy so short and sweet is generally a safe approach.
The First 10 Seconds Are the Most Important
Create an engaging branded intro so that viewers know who you are immediately and become excited about the content to follow. Consider an animated logo introduction and an audio branded music sting if you have one.
Exciting Brand Familiarity
For your video intro, start with the consistent use of an animated logo at the beginning of your videos.
People like familiarity and will watch a “series” because they recognise the intro. Make it short, snappy, and identical on all your video intros. Continuity is a mark of professionalism, and a professional video logo animation is a simple way to add consistency to all your video features, and bolster your brand recognition.
Standing out from the Crowd – the 3 Second Rule
Most people decide if they want to watch a whole video in the first 3 seconds.
Social media advertising is powerful and very cost effective. The implementation of Facebook’s video auto play function allows you to grab more people’s attention than a static images or text. So even a five second logo animation can really stand out in the “feed”. This is even more noticeable on mobile devices. Don’t waste the opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
Engaging Calls to Action
For your video outro, now they have watched the entire video production, don’t drop the ball with the final “call to action”.
Your outro needs be just as exciting as the reset of the video. After all you want to compel the viewer to take action or walk away with a positive memory of your brand. Using a video logo animation alongside things like “visit us at…, call us on…, buy from us here…” etc. can give the viewer that little push to follow through, and be that next important sale or lead.
In such a competitive online space, you need to maximise all your branding opportunities. Video production is no different, so your brand, your logo and your message needs to shine on-screen, not get lost in the background. It’s all about including your branding in all that visual excitement!
Consider Micro Videos
These are 15-30 second video snippets that work very well on Facebook at other social media channels. They are essentially a cut down version of longer videos used to draw the viewer in to seek more information. They work particularly well for mobile viewers and the Facebook “feed” auto play function.
60 seconds is often long enough to get information across fast.
One minute of video or around 100 words is a great place to start.
Finally, Always Experiment, Test, Measure and Change
In summary, remember your audience is busy and will move through a lot of information fast. Whilst it is always important to get to the point it’s also about standing out from the crowd and finding the right balance between getting enough content across with prolonged viewer engagement.
Always test and measure. Use all the available analytics and statistical tools to determine when and why a viewer exits early and look at the video content at that point. Aim to get them up to the magical 100% view duration. Don’t be afraid to experiment and change things around to find out what works best. Remember video radically increases brand engagement and conversions. It will amplify all your other marketing efforts.
For some further reading on how to use video effectively, checkout these Marketing.com.au articles: