Shorter videos more common, but longer content drive engagement

Videos are a tool that many marketers count among the most effective in their arsenal. But, there are certain rules that need to be followed to drive engagement.

One of those rules is that shorter, sharper bursts of video content tend to be more effective than longer ones.

But a new study by video marketing automation platform TwentyThree has unearthed some interesting findings about how people consume video content. Perhaps the main takeaway is that when it comes to video, shorter is not always best.

TwentyThree’s data comes from 300 marketing teams, 1.5 million videos, 1.7 billion impressions and 650 million video plays.

Main findings

While 80% of the videos produced for, and shared on, social media are under 5 minutes, they account for less than a third of video engagement.

It is in fact, longer pieces of video content that have a higher rate of engagement. Videos longer than 15 minutes accounted for 50% of all the engagement recorded, but are only 8% of all the video content produced.

You could put this down to longer videos giving people more time to engage, which would seem to show that tracking video success is about much more than the number of impressions. But, the data also indicates the platform the content is viewed on has an impact.

When it comes to owned media, 66% of people watch an average of 03:56 minutes of video. This compares to 23% of people watching videos with an average length of 00:58, and 14% watching videos of an average length of 00:20 on Facebook.

The success of owned media video content continues into email marketing. The study found that click-through rates increase by 62% when a video is placed in the thumbnail of the email campaign.

Another interesting finding that the data threw up is that it appears that the majority of live video conversions occur prior to the stream even beginning. 79% of conversions occur before the live stream begins, compare to 59% before in-player videos.

The lessons seem to be that marketers focus should be on creating meaningful engagements rather than trying to simply thrust content in front of the faces of as many people as possible. Also, the need for different approaches and expectations for different channels. Social media maybe a place to catch attention and pique interest, but owned media is the place to go into detail and really drive engagement. 

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