How long should your B2B video be?

The shorter the better? Not always…

We’ve all been in those meetings. Video is the way forward, but it needs to be short, snappy and digestible. Nothing over one minute because no one will bother watching it.

But the figures tell a different story.

While reviewing research on video length for a client, we gave some data from AOL, published a few months ago, a second look.

Shorter videos are indeed on the rise, gaining more views than longer formats. This isn’t surprising in the world of social media and fast information – but that doesn’t mean all video content must now be less than a minute long.

Daily video stats

In fact, reviewing the data has shed light on a more balanced approach. The headline statistic was the 59% of consumers who watch videos of less than a minute in length every day. AOL cites short attention spans and slow buffering issues as the main factors behind the appeal of shorter videos.

But 45% of people still watch videos that are between one and five minutes long on a daily basis. This figure only drops to 42% for videos as long as nine minutes. Clearly, there is still a case to be made for longer videos in B2B content marketing.

AOL’s survey also suggests that people aren’t put off watching on small screens, even if the content might not seem suited to it. Sport, for instance, is heavily watched on small screens.

Longer-form video

The number of people watching long videos demonstrates that, once their interest is caught by a video, they will watch for longer. Businesses can make the most of this by maximising their content exposure in a few minutes of video but should focus on the first few seconds in order to capture attention. Take these two B2B videos, both over three minutes but impeccably filmed and with a clear narrative throughout.

And sometimes an unbroken video, left to breathe just makes more sense. Looking to traditional advertising, AOL’s survey noted that consumers tend to much prefer one, long advert over many shorter ones.

Good news for content marketers. The longer form gives room for smart, clear storytelling. Don’t think marketing video – think mini-documentary, remember?

Make the most out of the mobile platform. Mobiles are by far the most popular means of watching videos, not tablets (partly because tablets are not usually linked to cellular data). The small screen size isn’t a restriction to the content being consumed, but it needs to be considered in how the content is filmed. Perhaps that panoramic, wide-screen shot should be left on the cutting room floor. Find a different angle. Literally.

Whether thirty seconds or thirty minutes long, video content will go nowhere if it isn’t engaging. The quality of film content should always be the priority – does it hook the viewer early on, does it keep them interested?

Quality over quantity is the mantra for all good content marketing – and you can take your time with videos. Emphasise good content over rapid speed.

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