Long and Short of Online Video

Here’s the Long and Short of Online Video Length

Marty Wolner+ by | Jan 1, 2014 |

When it comes to online video marketing for your business, does length matter?

There are many ways to post online videos to your company web site, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media sites. From short six-second Vines and 15-second Instagram videos, to long-form how-to’s and product demo videos, businesses often struggle with how long online videos actually need to be to increase engagement and encourage viewers to share the video with their friends.

Short, bite-sized micro-videos have been proven to capture lots of attention and engagement when marketing on social media sites Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more. The short-form means more views and hopefully more shares, as well. Research shows that the shorter the video, the more share-able it becomes.

Longer-form videos have scored well with online users, too. When used effectively, more product demo and how-to information can be shared in longer forms (usually one to seven minutes long). Whereas they may be as engaging as micro-videos, they are not as share-able.

So how do you decide how long to make online videos for your business? First, know who your audience is and test different video lengths and track viewing and engagement effectiveness. Then, decide the “story” about your business that you want to tell with your videos. Once you decide on your marketing or branding story, that will help you decide how long your videos may need to be. You may want to begin with shorter videos at first, as they are easier to produce and manage and cost less in time and money.

MORE: 5 Ways Your Business Can Use Online Videos


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