As the internet becomes increasingly ubiquitous, businesses of all varieties are adding videos to their online content. Videos can be easily embedded on social media, blogs and websites, giving them potential to connect with prospective clients, build rapport and make a lasting impression. The bottom line is some people are more strongly impacted by video as opposed to the written word. However, certain types of videos are more effective than others. Of critical importance is the length of the video.
Less is More When It Comes to Video
The cardinal sin of online video is making the content even the slightest bit longer than necessary. Though there is no magical video length that allows for the optimal effect, videos posted to the web should generally only be a couple minutes or less. When in doubt, make the video as short as possible. Put yourself in the position of a prospective client. They see a blog post, social media post or text on your website, with video embedded between the text. They click the video’s “play” button just to see what sort of footage appears. If the video content does not immediately grab their attention, they might not continue watching beyond the 30-second mark. If they are mildly intrigued, they will likely watch the video for about a minute. If they are absolutely captivated by the video’s beginning, they will likely watch for at least a couple minutes, if not the whole thing.
Why People Favor Short Videos
Do not lose sight of the fact that people do not visit company websites, social media and blogs with the intent of a watching video, so they probably won’t tune in for a video that is any longer than five minutes at an absolute maximum. Even those who are genuinely interested in a business’s service and products might not be willing to watch a five-minute video in its entirety. Attention spans are rapidly shrinking in a society that seems to offer just about everything in an on-demand fashion. People are being flooded with information from commercials to pop-up advertisements, banner ads, listicles, videos, photos and beyond. If your video content doesn’t pull them in right away, they will eventually gravitate toward other stimuli.
Prospective Customers Notice Video Length Right Away
The typical person’s eyes veer toward two things when they find a video online. The first is the thumbnail. If the video’s thumbnail looks intriguing, there is a good chance the prospect will click it and give it a chance. The other element people notice before clicking the play button on a video is the length. If the video length has four digits, meaning it is 10 minutes or longer, plenty of people will ignore it. If it has three digits, meaning nine minutes or less, some will watch. If the video is only a couple minutes or less, viewership will be maximized. The shorter the video is, the greater the odds of a click and a complete watch-through.
Short Videos Engage the Audience
Take a moment to put yourself in the position of a prospective client. You are perusing a company’s website and find a video embedded in the content. You find the thumbnail interesting. Your eyes move toward the video length and you see it is one minute and 40 seconds. You click the play button as you don’t mind sacrificing a mere minute and 40 seconds of your day. After all, most videos have something interesting to offer. So, you click “play” and are immediately hooked by the video’s intro. You continue to watch the remainder of the video and feel a deeper connection to the company. This is the type of engagement your videos should produce.
Alternatively, consider the lack of engagement generated by a prospective client who finds a video on your website, blog or social media that lasts beyond five minutes. Though they might click the video’s play button and give it a chance for 30 seconds or so, the odds of them watching a substantial portion of such a long video are quite low. The moral of the story is lengthy videos often intimidate viewers and make them feel as though the content requires a long-time commitment.
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