How long should my video be?

Look to the left. Now to the right. Are you alone? No one has to know the answer to this question. This is a moment of truth. How many times in a day do you check your smartphone? How many times while you’re reading this blog do you think you’ll have a quick glance at your email inbox.

News flash: attention spans are shrinking!

That much we know. But, before making any determination on length you have to consider your audience. Where do they live?

Your answer impacts which platform you should use to share the video. The answer really is don’t just create one video at a fixed length. In this multi-channel world, it is very ambitious and bold to ask a lone video (regardless of length) to do everything. To maximize performance, vary the length of the same concept. What you put on Instagram will not be the same content you share during a live event.

With all that said you’ve got to learn to crawl before you walk. In essence, in order to break the rules you have to learn them first.  So here are the basics when it comes to length.

Go Shorty…

Remember when we mentioned those short attention spans? Let’s get back to that. To cater to viewers’ fleeting attention advertisers now film snackable, six-second versions of their 15- or 30-second ads.

Six seconds?! Yes. This is a very viable length right now. But remember, the video does not have to do everything… it just needs to get the attention you desire and cause the viewer to want more.

The overwhelming majority of videos we create are less than two minutes in length. Our team embraces the shrinking attention spans and shifting audience expectations, and we are always advising our clients on how to adjust their content to match.

We find that when it comes to product videos, some demos, and explainer videos, the shorter and more succinct the better.

1. Explainer Videos

In essence, an explainer video is one which provides an overview of a problem and demonstrates how your product or service provides a solution.

As these are generally quite top-of-funnel, meaning you are likely engaging your audience for the first time to get their attention and get them wanting more,  it’s best to keep them concise.

Recommended Length: 60 seconds or less

We produced a high-level infographic to explain what Hu-manity.co stands for.       
A deep and sophisticated philosophy does not have to be difficult to demonstrate with video.

2. Product Videos/ Sizzle Videos

If you think of the explainer video as the “what.” Then your product/ sizzle video is the “why.” These videos let your viewers experience your product or solution.

And at this stage, it’s okay to go a little longer. At this point, you’ll have piqued their interest!

Recommended Length: One to two minutes 

A product video doesn’t have to be something tangible. It can be a concept or an event. We produced Visit Tampa Bay’s Sales/Sizzle video as a tool for them to attract more meetings and large scale conventions to the area.

3. Webinars

Webinars are great opportunities to delve deep into subjects of interest to your audience.

With webinars, you also have a lot of flexibility on video length. It all depends on what you’re presenting and how you want to present it.

Recommended Length: 15 minutes plus Q&A

                               Our crew assisting with Bayer’s CTEPH webinar. 

4. Social Videos

What better way to connect with your audience than through their favorite social channels?

The rising popularity of IGTV is the world’s way of recognizing people are watching less TV and consuming more digital content. Instagram TV allows creators to upload high quality, long-form videos. It allows users to create channels where they can upload videos between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long.

IGTV is in fact the exception and not the norm (for now). In general, short and sweet videos are perfect for engaging with your audience on social.

And while it’s important to keep tweaking your video approach as social needs are always changing, here’s what’s working well right now.

Instagram stories can be longer, but they go away. And remember money talks. If you put money behind your push on Instagram and Facebook the rules are different. Posts can be longer. So below are for those of you going it without the added push.

Recommended Lengths:

  • Instagram: 15-30 seconds
  • Twitter: 15-60 seconds
  • LinkedIn: 15 seconds-tw0 minutes
  • Facebook: 15 seconds-two minutes

Video Pitches

Are you pitching a reporter or maybe you’re producing a sales pitch?

If you think six seconds is short, consider that your email pitch may be competing against 799 other email pitches.

As professionals who have lived on the other side of the pitch, we recommend keeping pitches short and sweet.

You can check out more on video-pitching here.

Recommended Length: 30-45 seconds

Long-form Content isn’t Dead

Now with all that said, we are NOT swearing off long-form content. It comes down to your goal and many times the platform. Webinars, certain event videos (like our example below) and many product demos can be 3 minutes and more. The bigger questions are: How well do you know your audience and can you meet them there?

We created a longer-form video for Habitat for Humanity based on what we knew about the audience and the circumstances under which they would be watching. 

In a nutshell, even though short content performs well, consumers also seem to have an appetite for in-depth educational content.

Remember, time is money. But don’t sell your story short.  Hit reply and tell us if you think this article was helpful.

______________________________________________________________

About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

 

The Gift of Video. It’s the Gift That Keeps on Giving.

Some of the best stories and memories are created during the holidays. So it’s only fitting that our Team of Storytellers take a moment to reflect on all the ways in which life has been particularly kind to us. We love giving the gift of video.

It is 100% the gift that keeps on giving. Read on… and you might just agree!

Video Boosts Conversions and Sales

First things first. We love using videos to help businesses make some serious money. And who isn’t thankful for that? Research shows that nearly 75% of users who watched an explainer-video about a product ended up buying it. Not only that, but video shows great ROI,  video builds trust, it’s mobile friendly and it’s engaging. So what are you waiting for!  In the video below Mad Bear’s CEO, Glenn Zimmerman, tells us exactly how thankful video can make all of us.

Immersive Experiences

If you’ve experienced virtual reality and/or 360 video then you already know why we are thankful for them. Virtual reality and 360 technology have changed the meaning of experiential.  It’s not just about travel anymore. Virtual reality and 360 video can and have become the tickets to success for businesses and education. Let’s face it. It’s all about the experience and it doesn’t get much better than an immersive one. You can experience our recent VR project with Busch Gardens of Tampa Bay and Visit Tampa Bay. It was recently picked up by VeeR, a Global Virtual Reality platform, and the video earned the most views for the month of October on the entire platform.

Interactivity and Connection

We’re thankful for the emotional and interactive nature of video. It’s not just about consumption. Think about it more often than not, you’re conferencing, FaceTime-ing, or reacting in real-time to a live video feed. We are all so much more connected. Any time you’re able to make a connection that’s a great thing. These trends then amount to converting viewers from passive consumers, to active participants. Videos prompt people to take action.

Emotion

Video has the power to engage and delight viewers like no other medium. It can put a smile on your face, or a tear in your eye. We are thankful for the ability to touch emotions in our viewers. People remember what they feel. Our Team takes pride in that. We know that an emotional response to a video makes you memorable. And when you’re memorable you’re successful. See and just like that- now you are thankful too. We recently produced a longer-form video for Habitat for Humanity that strikes a range of emotions. Check it out below.

Anticipation

What is better than the thrill of the unknown? Video has progressed so far in such a short amount of time. It’s changing at every step of the production process. At Mad Bear Productions we’re thankful for the idea and promise of what might come next as it’s an opportunity to better tell YOUR story. From our Team to yours, have a very safe and happy Holiday season!

_________________________________________________________________________

About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.


The Ins and Outs of YouTube: Helpful Tips on Using the Internet’s Largest Video Platform.

Imagine you walk into a restaurant you’ve been dying to try. You’ve read the reviews. Your friends rave about it. You’re starving. Game on. You reach for the menu with palpable excitement, but it’s all over the place. Main courses mixed in with drinks. Appetizers thrown in on the dessert section… this should be simple! All of a sudden your hunger and excitement turn to anger and frustration. Next thing you know you’re walking out the door and on you’re on your way to a venue where you know what to expect.

Before you start wondering how any of this relates to video. Let me tell you, this has to do with more than video. It has to do with the way we need to think about serving up content and organization.

 

Think about it. When it comes to video, your audience is more likely to hit play, watch and take action when it’s served up in a way that’s simple and enjoyable to consume.  What sort of videos, whether it be product-based/ company or industry related depends on your specific goals. Mad Bear Productions CEO, Glenn Zimmerman says there IS a rule of thumb we can all follow when it comes to our YouTube video collection.

” How-to/demonstration videos are a great way to increase your brand awareness and develop that trust with your prospect. Entertaining videos of shareable moments or amusing experiences are also great for YouTube. While, it is important to also drive a stake in the ground with an About Us video to say this is who we are and what we stand for, a business should not expect those type of videos to get high numbers on YouTube. YouTube is all about how do I do something and entertainment. If you are using YouTube for About Us Videos then understand you are purely using YouTube as a hosting platform for your video and not as a marketing platform. There are certainly exceptions to this rule (e.g. if an About Us video is particular amusing or memorable) but for the most part this is the rule of thumb.”

Too Much of a “Tube” Thing

Too much of anything will tip the scales negatively at times. Mind you, this is NOT a knock on YouTube, but let’s face it, there is just so much content to consume. And one of the downsides is getting viewers to watch branded content has become more difficult. Think supply and demand. But there is a way to keep your videos in check. The proof is in the pudding. Your videos effectiveness lies in the metrics.

  • YouTube certainly does its part to provide useful analytics. Take note of the hard data from Google and YouTube Analytics. They will quantify which content of yours is working and lead the way for making more of it in the future.
  • Another great analytical tool from YouTube is Brand Lift. Google’s Brand Lift solution measures the moments that matter—from initial impression to final conversion—with the metrics that matter, like brand awareness, ad recall, and consideration. You’ll glean insights within a matter of a few days, so you can adjust your YouTube campaigns according to what’s working in near real time.

The Icing: Think VR

Don’t miss out on dessert. VR is the sweet spot. And if it’s any indication of how quickly Virtual Reality is sweeping the content world, YouTube is now investing in creating an awesome virtual reality (VR) platform.

VR offers an immersive way to reach your audience. Standing out with distinctive content can be difficult, but VR makes it possible. (See our blog: Virtual Reality Success for Business)

  • Health care, real estate, architecture, military and education are clear fits for VR content.
  • Industries such as entertainment, travel, automotive, beauty, fashion and consumer technology should all be thinking VR. Wherever the product or service is visual or experiential, or where the market skews younger; then VR makes sense.

VR is still relatively new  for marketers, and it presents both opportunities and pitfalls. To get the best out of VR content creation, Zimmerman says:

“Since 360 video/VR is gaining traction, it is good to also produce some “regular” video (i.e. 1080 or even 4K). So capture some memorable behind the scenes moments (heck, even use the camera on your phone) and then use that content to get people excited about the new technology. You have to educate people first before they can dive in to something different.”

Think of your Content Strategy as a restaurant would its menu. Consider your audience first and then serve up the freshest and most relevant videos. Today’s consumer is a tad spoiled, so feeding their appetite and keeping them interested requires a strategy that is always one step ahead. And THAT is a recipe for success.

________________________________________________________________

About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

IMG_9991