How Long to Make Your Online Business Video?
|January 7, 2014||Posted by Marianna under Explainer Videos|
Whether the purpose of your online video is to advertise, explain or inform, its duration can have an impact on keeping viewers engaged.
Video has become an increasingly popular medium online, with eMarketer statistics showing that 93% of marketers used video for online promotion in 2013.
Keeping Viewers Engaged
It appears that the growing number of videos on the net may have impacted on our engagement levels.
The average attention span of a viewer, according to The Associated Press, 2012, has decreased by four seconds in two years – from 12 seconds to just eight seconds.
People trawling the web are very choosy about what they will spend their precious time watching, and research suggests that the first seconds of a video is where many people make a snap decision.
Visible Measures published results that support the importance of those first seconds, but suggest that once engagement is obtained, many viewers will in fact stay considerably longer.
The findings were that 20% of viewers will stop watching a video within 10 seconds; 45% of viewers will leave after a minute of watching; and 60% will click away before two minutes is over.
Keep it Short
The suggestion, therefore, is to keep your video brief.
Videos of 15 seconds in length, or less, are shared 37% more often than those that last between 30 seconds and one minute in duration, according to Jun Group.
The Vine app. is a popular tool for producing videos of up to six seconds in length, and viewer retention for such videos is high.
Wistia released comprehensive date in 2012 that also indicates that shorter video is better if you want to retain viewers (Figure 1).
Some explainer videos will require longer than advertisements to get the intended message across, but keep in mind that this extra time may lose you viewers.
According to Wistia figures, keeping your video below a minute in duration, as opposed to nearing two minutes, could increase the percentage of your audience watching your video to the end by more than 10%.
So, to be efficient, make your video advert last between six and 30 seconds, and try not to extend past 90 seconds for an explainer video.
Remember, there is a lot that can be communicated in this short time.
The combination of images, sound, speech and music all contribute to your video.
To compress everything into a short timeframe you will need to include less words, but this can be replaced by visuals.
One minute of video is the equivalent to 1.8 million words, consistent with findings from Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research.
Adverts and Explainers
An advert could be quick and punchy and easily stay within the parameters of 15 seconds. The trick is not to be tempted to give everything away at once.
You only need to make an impact. Potential customers can then find out more on your website.
Meanwhile, an explainer video can rarely be made to last just a few seconds.
However, even if your goal is to detail your service or product, try to hold back from information overload.
This can overwhelm your audience and cause them to stop watching.
If you feel you need to put across a lot of information, consider breaking this down in to a few short videos.
Instead of making a video that is three minutes long, break this down in to two videos of 90 seconds each.
This can increase the likelihood of viewers watching the first video to the end. Wistia data (Figure 1) indicates that the longer the video, the higher the drop off in the first few seconds.
Some people may not even bother to start watching if they deem the video too long.
90 seconds is a more acceptable duration of time for people to give away than three minutes.
If they then want to learn more, they can move on to the next video in the sequence.
Lingering will only waste precious time, so once you’ve expressed what’s needed, move straight to your call-to-action.
Wistia data (Figure 1) suggests that another common drop off point for viewers is at the end of a video, where the call-to-action lies.
Of course, you don’t want viewers to click away just before you’ve gotten to this point.
Be clear and direct with what exactly you’d like the viewer to do next, whether that is to watch another video, navigate to a page on your website, or sign up for a free trial.
Quality Content and Script
A short video won’t guarantee that you will achieve the results you expected.
Brevity will increase the odds of viewers watching to the end; however, high-quality script writing and content are of utmost importance to keeping them engaged.
Applying content that appeals to your target demographic is vital to your video’s success.
This might entail anything from live action comedy to motion graphics animation. Just keep your audience and your video length in mind when you make your decision.
The length of your video, the medium you choose, and the amount of work that needs to be outsourced to professionals to reach the desired standard will all play an impact on costs.
Costs and the medium you choose become even more important in the decision of how long to make your video if you plan to A/B test your video.
If you plan to carry out A/B testing, consider keeping your videos short so as to reduce costs. Adapting variables in the video for your tests can accumulate costs, and the longer the video the higher these can become.
Outlook for Web Video
The prognosis is good for web video, with it being pegged by eMarketer as the fasted growing advertising medium in 2012, having increased by almost 55%.
ComScore figures in 2013 suggest that the average user is exposed to an average of 32.3 videos per month.
By keeping your video short, you can increase your chances of being one of those videos.
There is also an additional advantage if the video is on your website: according to ComScore findings, visitors who view video on your site are likely to stay two minutes longer than those who don’t.
In this way, they will find out more by browsing other content on your site, despite your short video.
Resulting visitor retention can increase the chances of a conversion, and is also an increasingly important metric in SEO.
To find out about our low-cost explainer videos, click here.
What do you consider to be the optimal video length? And what’s your average attention span for online videos?
We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.