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November 20, 2019
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How long should my video be?

How long should my video be? It’s the most common question that I get.

I’ll be honest, there is no straight answer to how long your video should be.

Read time approximately 5 minutes.

There is no doubt though that video is king so it’s no surprise that more and more brands are using video to reach out to their prospective customers. If you aren’t already using video then you face a long hard battle to catch up as the search engines favour video over all other forms of content.

So how do you know what length of video to create?

There are a couple of important factors to consider.

Where will your video be shown? It’s important to know your target audience and to know where they hang out on social media.

This means identifying your ideal customer.

Who are they? (age, location, job title, relationship status, income level, behaviours, interests and  life stage)

You need to create a profile of your ideal customer as if they are a real person, so you can craft targeted marketing messages to them. You will need to create more than one buyer persona as different groups of people will buy your product or service for different reasons.

To help you remember each persona, I recommend giving their profile a nickname. 

Eg Corporate Carl, Marketing Mary, etc.

With these personas in place, you should then be able to decipher what platforms your target audience use to consume their videos. 

Corporate Carl is more likely to use Linkedin while Marketing Mary, based on her brand, may prefer Instagram.

To go out on social media there are some differences between the platforms.

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Linkedin

According to Linkedin, successful video ads are less than 15 seconds long.

For brand awareness videos, LinkedIn recommends keeping the length under 30 seconds.

Videos that meet upper-funnel marketing goals should stick to a 30-90 second video length.

Instagram

Now, Instagram’s video length on the feed is 60secs max so this is a great amount.

If you want to go longer than that you will have to put it on Instagram TV which gives you a length of up to 10mins which is too long to keep people engaged.

I recommend making your Instagram videos around the 30 seconds mark as Insta videos that receive the most comments are around the 26 second mark.

Twitter

Twitter is similar to Instagram. People are consuming content whilst on the go. They want short snappy bit sized pieces that they can consume quickly before moving on to the next piece. So 30 seconds again is ideal.

An effective use of posting on Twitter is to answer people’s questions in a short and concise way.

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Facebook

Facebook says that audiences engage the most with 1-minute long videos. Users like watching snappy videos that they can quickly like or share before scrolling down to the next piece of content.

Top tip! Make sure you upload directly to Facebook as it tends to favour content that is uploaded natively. Don’t just post on Youtube and share the link around.

Keep your videos short and snappy and get the message across quickly. Facebook auto-plays videos on mute so make sure the content is clear and engaging. Most importantly, don’t forget the subtitles! More on that here.

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Youtube

The perfect platform for longer stories. People are invested to sit down and take their time on Youtube. Most users will be watching from a home computer or streaming through their smart TV. Terrestrial TV is dying as more and more people choose to watch their content as and when they feel like it.

Youtube is also is the second biggest search engine after google making it a great resource to hook your prospects in.

Reddit

Reddit is its own separate beast that will pretty much need its own blog (coming soon). Basically in a nutshell, though Reddit doesn’t like self-promotion. To post a video you need a 10 link and a 10 karma score on the site. To earn this you must be engaging, post relevant links and just be an all-round good person on the site. Only one in ten of your posts should be your own content. Any more and you will voted down. Unless you know your target audience is hanging around on Reddit I would stick to the other platforms.

If you do decide to post your video on Reddit then Youtube is the number one shared link domain.

Video is like writing, only have in there what really matters. No fluff!

Keep it concise and punchy to keep the viewer entertained and engaged.

Thanks for reading.

Gareth

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