What is the optimal length of a video ad asks ClickZ in a new study. According to the analysis, there’s no perfect numerical answer, but throughout the industry, the answer is along the lines of “short.”
Laura Henderson of Mondelez noted, at a ClickZ Live event, “The current average attention span of Web and mobile users is less than eight seconds… attention is the new currency for advertisers… a shrinking attention span is making it that much harder to engage customers in… (a) fragmented media market… “
The growing difference between the days when a campaign could be planned for months and then launched and analyzed is a much more real-time proposition, pointed out Henderson. However, depending on the platform, shorter videos aren’t necessarily the way to go, says Mike O’Brian of MediaVideo.
The average Facebook video was just under a minute and a half at 81.22 seconds, and on YouTube, the average video was more than 14 minutes according to an analysis by Tubular Labs of 24,000 YouTube and Facebook videos, with more than 10,000 engagements apiece.
But, looking at the current top trending YouTube videos of the year, the average length was 4.76 minutes. While the average was significantly affected by a 13-minute spot, only one video was close to a minute. Most of the rest were around three minutes, says the report.
According to a July Business Insider report, the average person spends more than 20 minutes a day on Facebook. Since the average person also checks their phone 150 times a day according to Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, the inference is that all 20 of those minutes spent on Facebook aren’t consecutive.
With so many more distractions and updates to read, the engagement metric used by Facebook is three seconds, though their 30 second video limit is the same as Instagram videos. Jim Squires, director of market operations at Instagram, agrees that “… some brands… tell their story in a six-second slow-motion video showcasing product… others will engage their audience with a 30-second movie trailer… ”
So, is shorter always better for social media platforms, asks the report. It looks like 30 seconds is the current consensus.
BUT, says the report, no matter the platform, there is no optimal length. How long a video should be depends on a million different factors, but there is one universal truth: the content should be good. The different pieces are for different people who have different intents, and the new marketing challenge is to look for it. Ultimately, the length of your video takes a backseat to its content, which should be tailored to different platforms.
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