Shorter is always better. Leave them wanting more. That’s the prevailing wisdom in video production. I agree to a degree. Too long and your audience will click off before the end. And your Google “view stats” and your SEO juice will take a hit.
What do you mean by Short?
But when we say short, does that mean a thirty second or five minute video? You’ve been to that “short” 90 minute movie. You know the one. The one where you’re looking at your watch just 15 minutes in. After 30 minutes, you’re gulping caffeine just to stay awake. An hour later, you’re bolting from the theater to do something more entertaining, like cleaning out your junk drawer. At the same time, you also remember that “long” three hour move. The one that’s so good, so engaging, you’re sad to see it end. Time is all relative.
A Captive Audience
Unlike quick 30 second TV commercials, video tours of listings are typically not for a general audience. Someone not interested in buying a home will find most listing videos pretty darn boring. (And this is coming from a real estate video producer). Fortunately, for me and my clients, the viewers we’re targeting are not the general public. They are searching for the home that’s the perfect fit for them.
The person clicking on the tour has taken action, pushing that all important play button. Maybe they love the photos, the neighborhood, the home’s style, the price range, etc. There’s a reason why they’re watching. I’ve found home buyers will watch the same video over and over again, sometimes 12 – 15 times and even if the video is 4-5 minutes long, they’ll watch every second, again and again.
Video Length Studies
Here’s some of the latest research on video length. Studies show viewer retention for online video tends to drop off around the 90 second to 2 minute mark. At the same time, according to ReelSEO, the average length of the top 10 most shared videos, is 4 minutes 11 seconds. Skyworks Marketing found it depends on the focus of online content. Intro videos can be 30 seconds, while more detailed conent can go as high as 10 minutes in length. Generally, at HomeStar Video Tours we tend to target a 2 to 3 minute length for video tours, but again, that’s not set in stone, nor should it be.
So, how long should your listing’s video tour be? It depends on the videographer and the listing. Are you marketing a small 800 square foot apartment or an 8,000 square foot luxury estate? While you certainly don’t need to show (and shouldn’t!) every square foot of the larger estate, it will take a little longer to tell the story of the estate. And it depends on the videographer, because someone with sharp shooting and editing skills can make a 3 minute video more compelling than a 30 second video shot and edited by someone who is new to the craft.
The Question to Ask
What’s the most important factor in deciding length for your video tour? Ask yourself, how much time is needed to tell the story of the home. Once you’ve told its unique story, it’s time for the next (most important) step, share the video with the world.