No, Your Business Does Not Need to Create Short Videos Every Time
It seems like everywhere you turn these days there is a stat online that talks about the importance of creating “short” videos.
And why short?
Because, apparently, the human brain no longer has the ability to watch (or read, or listen to) longer forms of content.
Can we just stop already?
Here at The Sales Lion, when clients ask us how long their videos should be, our answer is simple:
“As long as is necessary to answer the question as thoroughly and as concisely as possible.”
Because this is what the viewer actually wants.
They want a good answer to their question.
But also, they don’t want to feel as if they’ve wasted their time.
And if viewers are happy, YouTube is happy as well (which is good for SEO, which is why longer videos often outrank their shorter counterparts).
Buying Cycles and Video Length
If we look at this subject further, one can see that length of video is actually more aligned with where someone is in the buying cycle than anything else.
For example, let’s say that you just started thinking about installing an inground swimming pool in your backyard.
In this early stage, if you’re watching videos, it’s a good chance that you wouldn’t want them to be very long, mainly because you’re still in “look and browse” mode.
But on the other end of the spectrum, let’s say that you’re getting ready to sign a $50,000 contract on a swimming pool tomorrow. Do you think you’d be willing to watch a video that was 30 minutes long (assuming it was good/helpful) so as to ease any worries or questions before you write that large check?
Of course you would, which is something I have witnessed time and time again over the course of 17 years with my other company, River Pools and Spas.
Literally, I can count hundreds of customers that have watched 10, 20 and even 30-minute videos during their buying process.
This isn’t specific to swimming pool though. Rather, it’s simply psychology.
In fact, here is the essential point to remember when considering just how much “content” a buyer is willing to consume before they make a purchase:
How much do they fear making a mistake?
You see, most people don’t like to gamble with their money.
And they certainly don’t want to make poor buying decisions.
Thus, depending on how much they care about preventing this (b2b or b2c, it’s the same), that will dictate the amount of time they’re willing to spend with content, be it long or short form.
Vanity Metrics and Video
One final note about all these video stats you see:
Most businesses aren’t producing videos so they’ll “go viral” and receive a million views.
Rather, the majority would rather receive one hundred views from extremely qualified buyers than one million views from folks that have no idea as to what you sell.
In other words, yes, shorter videos are more likely to get shared or liked or get comments.
But is that what you’re really looking for?
Ultimately, it comes down to knowing your buyer.
What do they want to see?
What do they want to understand?
What are they afraid of?
And of course, how can you concisely and thoroughly address each?
If you do this, regardless of how long the video is, you’ll earn their trust.
And ultimately, that’s the only metric that truly matters in business.