If you are considering creating videos for YouTube as part of your content marketing plan, then "video length" is going to become an important decision for you.
Eighteen months ago, I asked ActiveRain members (in THIS POST) to chime in about what they felt was the perfect video length, and there was plenty of responses and some very strong opinions. In fact, the post was featured and a lot of great discourse ensued.
I was very curious about what my fellow 'rainers thought about the length of YouTube videos (for the purpose of growing your brand and generating business). The input was well received and allowed me to set up some tests. I posted videos that were as short as 56 seconds, to many that ranged from 4 to 16 minutes, and two were even more than an hour long. The results were surprising!
Today, I share a few of my most successful videos and what I have learned about "video length" in the past 18 months.
Important Video Metrics
There are so many ways to evaluate the success or failure of a video and ultimately, every marketer is going to decide on their own list of critical factors. Some of the more important metrics to me that I look for on my videos include:
- Subscribers Gained - The number of people who subscribed to my YouTube Channel while watching a specific video.
- Hours Watched - How many total hours has each video been watched (that's face time with potential customers)
- Average View Duration - How long is the average visitor spending watching the video. This tells me if I'm holding on to people well or just attracting people well, it's good feedback that ultimately tells you video length value.
There are tons of other metrics that YouTube provides that help you tweak your video creation plan, but for the purpose of video length, those are my "big 3."
Surprising Successful Videos
When you consider that it costs several thousand dollars each month to run a 30-second television commercial during one or two spots a few days each week, the hours of view time (hours watched) is an interesting metric. On YouTube, you might be reaching fewer viewers (unless your video goes viral), but you are engaging with them longer. I think that matters.
Here are a few of my videos where the average view time is much higher than the three-minute video length ActiveRain members felt was proper 18 months ago:
- Why Organizations Must Go Digital And How To Do So (Avg. View Time 21:35)
- 10 Home Inspection Issues And Tips (Avg. View Time 18:31)
- Real Estate Negotiations Under Each Market Condition (Avg. View Time 10:23)
Most Hours Viewed
While the last set of videos looked at average view time, here are a few of my top performers based upon total view time (shown in hours viewed).
- HOW DIGITAL HAS CHANGED HOW WE SELL A HOME (Total View Time 6,672)
- Aggressive Real Estate Marketing Plan (Total View Time 4,377)
- Homeownership Rate is About to Crash in the U.S. (Total View Time 3,332)
Conclusion On The Revisited Question
How long is too long? There is no correct answer if you are looking for a specific number of minutes (or hours or seconds). The best answer to this is that the correct length for your videos is determined by you studying the performance of the videos that you post and looking for profitable results.
If you'd like to see more of what I'm doing on Joe Manausa Real Estate YouTube Channel, stop by any time (and don't forget to subscribe 😁).
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