Which Came First: The Video Platform Or Viewer’s Attention Span?

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All you have to do is look at the top social media platforms today to see the trend in current online video: shorter is better. The average YouTube video length is four minutes. Instagram limits their videos to 60 seconds in the main feed, and 15 in Stories. Snapchat recently upped their maximum limit to 60 seconds from the original 10, and Vine, no longer an active platform, limited their videos to a blazing fast 7 seconds.

Regardless of whether video lengths influenced the viewer’s attention span, or vice versa, the evidence remains that if you don’t hook your viewer by the end of your opening lines, they start tuning out fast. Even with videos one minute or shorter, only 60 percent of viewers will reliably make it to the end, and twenty percent of them will have given it a pass in the first 30 seconds.

The name for the number of seconds viewers tune in for is called “watch time.” Knowing what yours is, and how you can work with it, can change your video strategy entirely.

How To Find Your Video Watch Time

Depending on where you upload the majority of your videos, you may have to look in different places for your watch time analytics. Platforms like Vimeo and YouTube have their own analytics built right in that you can access from your account. If you are uploading videos directly to your website, you will likely have to find a third-party platform like Google Analytics, SE Ranking, Woopra, or many others

Any of these will be able to give you a look at your views per video, the average watch time of each of them, the time of day most of your viewers are online, and other numbers to help you zero in on best practices.

Script Your Video With Watch Time In Mind

According to a survey done by production company Vidyard this year, the average company published 33 videos each month – an increase of 83 percent over the same period of time in 2017. Of those, 75 percent of the videos were under two minutes.

So how can your video make the most out of an inattentive audience? Try these tips from marketing company MiniMatters:

  • Shorter is better. If you can make the same points in less time, do it!

  • Start off energized and get the important stuff in at the beginning of your video before your audience starts to disappear.

  • Don’t hold your call to action for the end, especially for longer videos. Consider a clickable pop-up that appears in the first few seconds and throughout the video.

  • Think about breaking a longer video into a series of shorter, easily digestible, clips.

Make Sure Your Video Matches Your Platform

Just like there is no one way to view a video, it would also be foolish to assume the same video will work on all platforms. Here are the best lengths for each of today’s popular video platforms (via Hubspot):

  • Instagram - 30 seconds

    • Instagram videos that received the most comments averaged just 26 seconds. Our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, so users scroll faster on Instagram than any other app.

  • Twitter – 45 seconds

    • Twitter’s video of the day averages just 43 seconds. Users are accustomed to short tweets, so make sure the brevity also applies to videos.

  • Facebook – 1 minute

    • Facebook audiences like to engage most with videos that are just one minute long. Users like snappy videos that they can quickly like or share before moving on.

  • YouTube – 2 minutes

    • The videos that receive the most engagement on YouTube are about two minutes. Users like spending time on this platform because they can easily find specific videos and watch their favorite creator’s content. Creating longer, more in-depth, content is perfect for this platform.

The Takeaways

Keep your video short, sweet and front loaded with information! That way whether they stick around for the entire thing or not, you’re guaranteed to get the most information in front of your viewer as possible.

If you want some help putting together a video or video series for your business, contact Tabrizi Productions today! We can help you with scripting, shooting and editing to make sure your videos make the best impression possible.