Best practice: online video â is there an optimal length for video content? | DMA

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Best practice: online video â is there an optimal length for video content?

With sites like YouTube holding such sway in the digital world, and social media giant Facebook now also entering into the online video market – not to mention new trends for short clips, like on Vine or Instagram – it’s no surprise that marketers are seeking to make their mark in the online video sector.

There are a lot of articles available with best-practice tips for online video (we should know, we’ve read a fair few of them!), but the truth of the matter is there is no one answer to the question ‘How long should my online video be?'; there are so many factors to consider.

As an article on the AdAge website recently noted, marketers should be less concerned about the length of a video and more concerned with the goals of the video. Here are three elements of online video that marketers need to consider before they start thinking about the length:

Where is the video being viewed?

So many different platforms are now available for video viewing, but they all have unique settings and preferences when it comes to video viewership. On social, for example, it’s best to keep the video short and punchy – something that can be shared easily. Other sites such as YouTube and Vimeo are more suitable for longer videos; those with more of a message and more stylisation.

What is the content of the video?

The best business video libraries have a variety of content types, but it is true that certain content types are better suited to specific video lengths. If the content is meant to be fun and engaging, then shorter videos work best – something that is easily digestible and doesn’t get old too quickly. For more poignant content, with a clear message and CTA, then a longer video is often preferred. If the topic is really long, however, then marketers may wish to consider breaking videos up in several episodes.

What do you want to final outcome to be?

Finally, marketers need to consider what the point of the video is – what is its end-goal? Is the video simply there to entertain the viewer, raising their awareness of the brand but not necessarily leading to an action? Or is the video there to encourage viewers to engage with the brand further, say by making a purchase? The user experience and final action should be a top consideration.

What else do you think determines the length of online video?

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