A few years ago, there was an article circulating the Internet focused on a study about attention span.
According to research done by Microsoft, a study had showed human attention spans were decreasing. In fact, they'd gotten so short that they were now only 8 seconds long, which is actually shorter than that of a goldfish.
Marketers – particularly those doing video marketing – must have cringed. After all, now they would need to make their content even shorter, and get all of the important info they needed to impart crammed into a video ad only lasting a few seconds!
Luckily, however, we're here to report that that Microsoft stat isn't true... at least for business professionals, according to a recent study by Prezi.
Prezi's recent research showed that the attention span of business professionals is actually increasing, and that 59% of all professionals said they can give a piece of content their undivided attention (without getting distracted) for much longer than they could a few years ago.
So, video marketers can breathe a sigh of relief – they don't need to make laughably, impossibly short videos to promote their businesses. However, just how long should video ads be?
With the new information that attention spans may be growing, it can help to revisit the effective length of a video ad, as well as how to tweak or tailor the length depending on its placement and usage.
Here are some helpful tips for guiding how you decide what the idea length of your video ad should be.
Consider the Social Platform
Videos don't just live on YouTube anymore. There are tons of social media platforms online that you can use to disseminate a video ad.
If you're considering creating an ad for a specific platform, marketing gurus HubSpot did the work to figure out just how long the video ad should be. Here's what they found:
Instagram video ads should be 30 seconds long. Their research showed that the videos with the most comments were about 26 seconds long.
Twitter videos can be longer. HubSpot found that 45 second videos work well on Twitter. Most of Twitter's Videos of the Day were averaged 43 seconds in length.
In their study, HubSpot found that their own Facebook followers interacted with their videos that were 1 minute in length the most. They suggest making your videos last about one minute for the optimum amount of engagement.
YouTube videos do well when they are about 2 minutes in length. This longer length works for a platform like YouTube, since people go there specifically knowing they're going to engage with video content.
Professionals can now advertise on LinkedIn using videos. The platform did a study that showed that video ads under 30 seconds saw a 200% lift in completion rates. The social network still recommends putting all of the important information the first 10 seconds, in case people still click away.
Optimize for Pre-Roll Placement
If you're creating a pre-roll video ad for another video, you can keep in mind different considerations that video ads for social platforms.
Pre-roll video ads play on platforms like YouTube, with surveys showing that the standard length is 15 seconds.
If your video is longer than 15 seconds, make sure you get all of your important information in in the first few seconds, so you can make sure you impart what matters before a person clicks away from a video.
Think About the Goal of the Video Ad
In determining the length of your ad, it can help to set general parameters by considering the ultimate goal of the ad.
If your ad is meant to be light and entertaining and get your brand associated with something fun and engaging, consider keeping your video ad short. If it is supposed to be informative or documentary style, with lots of facts to deliver, then consider a longer format.
You can use common sense when it comes to determining whether your ad should be short or long when you think of what the ultimate purpose for creating your video is.
Video ads are an effective medium for digital marketing. It's no surprise, too, since video is more popular than ever online, now that YouTube has more than a billion users and that 87% of marketers say they rely on video content for promotion.
However, the key to using video ads online in the right way is ensuring that you get the content right – and that you get the length right, as well.
By keeping some important considerations in mind when crafting your video ad, you can ensure you hit the sweet spot in terms of duration, so that you create an ad that is engaging, captivating, and keeps people watching and listening until the very end.