As someone who takes a very keen interest in branded content, I’m calling 2014 as the year that marketers seemed to finally ‘get’ what form of video content people like to watch. What a year it was with memorable campaigns like #worldstoughestjob, First Kiss and #likeagirl racking up views to rival even the most popular cat videos.
And for those who’ve not yet worked it out, it is time to start worrying. According to Deloitte’s Media Consumer Survey we are now at the tipping point where using the Internet for entertainment is about to eclipse watching TV as the preferred source of entertainment. According to Cisco, by 2017 video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, and video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost trebled.
There’s been a lot debate about the optimal length of branded content online, with opinion ranging from ‘keep it short as that’s how people consume content’, to ‘if it is engaging people will watch it no matter what the length’.
According to YouTube, the average length of the top 10 YouTube ads that Aussies watched in 2014 was three and half minutes. But that in itself is deceptive.
There are two important measures for us all to be aware of – video view counts and video completion rates. When evaluating how compelling and effective a brand’s message is, completion rates matter. Video views simply measure the content people think seems interesting, whereas video completion denotes the content people actually enjoyed watching. That’s the one to watch, especially when you consider that a lot of branded content does not even reveal the brand till the end of the video. And analytics show that very few watch even the most engaging video to the end.
Attention spans are growing shorter and shorter, and if you are talking to Gen Z you’ve got 8 seconds!
So next time you’re reviewing a content idea think about the fact that 80% of organic online video is actually less than a minute. As a generalisation, I think shorter is better. What do you think?
Jo Stone is BCM’s Director of Strategy