In Videos for Small Business 1, we discussed the why, what, and how of creating marketing videos. This article continues the topic, covering how long, when and where, that is:
Short. We’re an instant gratification society, and people won’t sit through long, slow or boring videos. Generally, videos should be about 30 seconds to two minutes long.
Most important, you need to capture the viewers’ attention in the first 10 seconds—or they will move to the next “shiny object.”
But 30 seconds to two minutes is a wide range. How do you know how long to make YOUR marketing video? Go back to your strategy and the purpose of your video. Then tell a complete story in the minimal amount of time necessary.
Also, consider the type of video you are making. In general, customer testimonial videos are the shortest. The vast majority are one minute or less. By contrast, demonstration videos often last one to three minutes. Explainer video lengths tend to be longer than testimonials but shorter than demos.
However, these are guidelines. You may be able to tell your video marketing story in less time. If it’s going to take longer, make every second count.
If you’re just starting to consider video marketing for your company, it may surprise you to know how frequently other companies are posting videos. More than one-fourth of companies are creating video content DAILY according to Magisto, and the majority (54%) of companies are creating videos at least weekly. On average, businesses create 18 videos per month according to HubSpot.
Why so much video? Even among top global brands, most videos do not go viral. They receive fewer than 1000 views. But there is a strong correlation between more videos and greater viewership. In other words, the more videos you make, the greater your audience reach.
There are numerous social media channels on which to post your marketing videos—each channel has advantages and drawbacks. We’ll review YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.
YouTube is one behemoth of video hosting. Each day 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube. Of these viewers, 20% are in the United States and 62% are males. Furthermore, millennials prefer YouTube 2:1 over television. As an entrepreneur or small business, this should smell like OPPORTUNITY.
What’s more, Google owns YouTube. As the largest search engine, the vast majority of internet searches are conducted on Google. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that your videos are more likely to be found if you post them on YouTube. Indeed, research bears this out. Plus, YouTube is in itself the second largest search engine after Google.
If you’ve invested in video marketing and creating content, you’ll want to seriously consider posting your videos on YouTube.
Additionally, YouTube is great for brands that want to build a community of followers.
At the same time, however, it takes time to rank on YouTube. If your video is relevant to breaking news or a short-lived trend, you might find that this is not the channel for you.
Likewise, with 5+ billion videos on YouTube, the competition for attention is fierce. It’s easy for your viewer to be distracted by all that glitters. Did someone say, “Shiny object?”
For these reasons, you’ll want to optimize your YouTube descriptions and include links back to your website. Once there, you can engage your prospective customer in the buyer’s journey.
The second behemoth of video posting is Facebook. Facebook video consumption was a whopping 8 billion daily in 2015. Even with Facebook’s recent woes, it is clear that video on Facebook easily rivals (or trumps) YouTube.
While YouTube may not be ideal for breaking news and trends, Facebook is perfectly suited for this role. Additionally, Facebook is remarkable for videos that have the potential to go viral. Facebook also works well for awareness videos and engaging your audience.
One drawback to posting your marketing videos on Facebook is that you need to HAVE an audience first. If you’re just getting started, your Facebook video will not get found by Google as a YouTube video would. In fact, it’s virtually invisible outside of your followers and your followers’ followers. To this end, targeted Facebook ads can help increase your audience reach.
What’s more, Facebook videos have a short lifespan, so they’re not skilled at building fan engagement over time.
Facebook videos can last up to 120 minutes—bringing “L-O-O-O-N-G” into long form content. (Long form video content is any video that lasts longer than 10 minutes.) Keep in mind that just because you “can” doesn’t mean you “should” make content this long. In fact, we recommend that you keep your Facebook videos to one or two minutes. Since most Facebook videos are watched on mute, you’ll also want to consider adding subtitles or text.
Although not found in a search engine return, some research indicates that uploading your video directly to Facebook—rather than with a YouTube link—doubles the views and triple the shares.
Live video is all the rage. Cisco reports that live video will account for 13 percent of Internet video traffic by 2021.
Facebook Live allows businesses to reach their audiences in real time. You can answer questions, interact with your viewers and build relationships. Common uses of Facebook Live include:
Targeting millennials? Consider putting your videos on Instagram. Just about two-thirds of millennials are on Instagram, and parents are quickly following their offspring to this social channel that is owned by Facebook.
Shorter content—60 seconds or under—is the order of the day on Instagram. A brief interview. A behind-the-scenes tour. A brief Q&A. These belong on Insta. Longer content is better placed on YouTube or Facebook. Unlike YouTube, Instagram does not make it easy to direct your video audience to your website.
Many marketers are not fans of Snapchat. But this here-today-gone-tomorrow channel is where the teens and early 20-somethings can be found. Literally, your content will disappear within 24 hours. There is time for only the shortest of short form content—10-second snippets. There is no means of getting found easily—no use of hashtags. No tracking metrics.
If your marketing video is 30-seconds or shorter, you may want to consider Twitter. You’ll have the advantage of using hashtags to get found and thereby draw a broader audience. You can also use Periscope, a live streaming app purchased by Twitter, to share live video on Twitter. You must add #save to your Periscope video title or it will be deleted in 24 hours.
Videos should fit the channel for which they are intended—both in style and length. Various social channels are available with pros and cons to each. Frequent, short posts are more likely to garner the attention your company is seeking. Always consider your strategy—especially your target audience of viewers—and build your video marketing campaigns with an overall eye to your brand strategy. Finally, be sure your videos have a call-to-action that lead your persona down the buyer’s journey.
Clearly, video drives engagement, and engagement drives clients. Want to see how video can work to grow your business? Let’s talk.