Part of a series on what is going to happen with online video in 2019. Sign-up now to make sure you don’t miss out.
The golden rule
As I established in my blog on video length I have a very simple golden rule for working out the optimal length of a video.
“A video should be as short as it can be without compromising on style or key content”.
People have short attention spans and studies show that they are getting shorter and although this might impact how we structure content within a video. It shouldn’t change our approach to the video itself.
Any video you produce should focus clearly on the key content for your audience and be in a style that connects with your viewers on an emotional level.
Whatever technology or trends happen content will always be king.
Changes to Facebook video length
Although the golden rule applies across the board it is important to keep in mind what channel you are using. Different platforms and channels have different audiences and varied durations can better suit alternative viewers.
At the beginning of 2018 the average length of a Facebook video was between 30-60 seconds. According to a Wochit study videos that were about 90 seconds actually had a much higher engagement rate than videos of other durations. They also had more shares (52.1%) and more views (48.2%).
As the year has gone by more and more Facebook video has been produced to be about 90 seconds.
The odds are that more video will be produced at 90 seconds in 2019.
It is worth baring in mind that towards the end of the videos that shake things up and vary the duration might also be more eye catching as an audience tires of ‘the same old thing’.
Live streaming effect
The technology behind streaming is getting better, more accessible and reliable and so it likely that streaming will continue to grow in popularity in 2019.
The reason this matter to video length is that live video has both higher engagement and tends to be longer in duration
Although this is specific to live streams it does show that attention and engagement changes based on how people emotionally connect to content.
Over time, exposure to live streaming will hopefully increase attention spans to video, allowing for longer form content to be more successful. Although I am not expecting this to happen in 2019.
Video ad effect – videos are getting shorter
It is always fascinating how customer behaviour affects the choices made by advertisers.
Think about the last time you were watching YouTube or Facebook. Before you start or halfway through an advert plays. It offers you the option to skip after 6 seconds. What do you do? You skip!
When an advert doesn’t offer you the chance to skip people tend to get annoyed and refresh the page or click away.
Advertisers are waking up to this and now creating adverts that only last 6 seconds. This example may be silly but shows what can be achieved in 6 seconds.
Context is golden
Besides the golden rule what is important to bear in mind is your marketing and sales funnel. Knowing where your video lies in the customer journey can often be a guide to how long your video should be.
The basic rule is that the further on the funnel you are the longer the content can be to add value.
Never forget that the keyword here is ‘can’. The video ‘can’ be longer but that doesn’t mean it should. The golden rule always applies. The further down your funnel you get often the more detail a customer is looking for.
It is a case of not putting the cart before the horse. It is the customer’s needs that should help you decide the video length not how far down a funnel they are.
That is not to say the funnel is useless but that it should be taken only as a guide.
For more information about Smarter Video take a look here.
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