Here at Stone’s Throw Media we frequently get asked a question which, in some other circumstances, has puzzled mankind since the dawn of time: “Does length matter?”
Fortunately for everyone involved, when directed at us this poser concerns video length and nothing else (we think), and so is a question we’re very happy to answer.
Put bluntly, we believe that when it comes to videos, the shorter the better. Humour us as we explain a little more!
You may have noticed that, in recent years, boffins at universities have begun to study the phenomenon of attention spans, and whether or not they’re getting shorter in this digital age.
Whilst it’s tempting to believe that we’re all getting more easily distracted and less focused on a task in hand, research carried out is a little more unsure.
As this BBC article from March 2017 explains, the “digital short attention span” (and the long-held belief that goldfish have no long-term memories, funnily enough) may be just one big myth.
Here at Stone’s Throw we’ll admit we don’t know who’s right on the great “attention span debate”, but what we do know is this – how people are consuming video online is changing.
Shorter videos are now in vogue, a trend accelerated by the rise of videos on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
On these platforms, 30/60/90 second edited versions of longer videos are really making their mark with viewers, with their brevity echoing the style of TV adverts.
This demand for shorter videos is the case on video channels such as YouTube and Vimeo, too.
The analytics company Wistia, who clearly have far too much time on their hands, looked at 564,710 videos and more than 1.3 billion plays to produce some research with interesting results.
To (briefly) summarise their findings – videos up to 2 minutes long get tons of engagement, but after the 2 minute mark that engagement suffers a significant drop-off.
So, if shorter = better, what video length should you be looking for?
We believe the key aspect when answering that question lies in the pacing of the video.
It’s absolutely fine to want your video to be trimmed down as much as possible, but it also needs time to “breathe” – to go at a pace which isn’t too breakneck, particularly if you’re trying to inform a viewer about your company, product, or service in the process.
Getting the pacing of your video right will ensure it’s as effective as possible – and once you’ve got that right, edited versions perfect for social media could very well follow!
We’ll leave you with some good examples of short videos perfect for social media that we’ve been involved in. Enjoy!