What is the ideal length of a video testimonial? At Applause Lab, this is a question that we get asked all of the time.
In this article, we are going to explore why it is important to have video content that spans an optimal length of time. However, we will also explore whether shorter content is actually more effective than long-form for digital marketing. We are going to take a comprehensive look at each marketing channel to determine the most suitable video length.
First of all, you can present video testimonials across a wide variety of marketing channels. In terms of video length, the approach that you take will likely be different, depending on the marketing channel you are using. For instance, the length of your video testimonials on Facebook may be shorter than the video testimonials on your website.
You are going to need to approach every marketing channel differently. No medium is the same, and each platform comes with its own unique challenges. Broadly speaking, a well-rounded digital marketing campaign will usually consist of multiple strategies for each marketing channel. So, what are some examples of marketing channels that you could use to share your video testimonials?
- Facebook Ad Campaigns are the perfect medium to showcase your video testimonials. This type of content is a form of social proof, making it ideal for top-of-funnel awareness and setting a positive tone for an individual's first touchpoint with your brand. Video also performs exceptionally well on Facebook and we will talk more about this later in the article.
- LinkedIn Ad Campaigns can be misinterpreted as being quite similar to Facebook campaigns, but this isn’t the case. The two social media platforms have their own unique languages and a strategy that may work on one could fail on the other. We will talk later about how you may need to adapt the length of your video testimonials for each platform.
- Website Landing Pages are a great place to display your video testimonials. Video content can prove to be an effective tool to engage your target audience and get them progressing through your sales funnel. We do, however, believe that there is an art to how long a video testimonial should be, depending on where the prospective customer is in your sales funnel.
The length of a video testimonial is going to be different, depending on the marketing channel it is displayed on. You will need to optimize the length of the video to suit the typical levels of engagement you are likely to expect on a specific channel. For instance, video testimonials on Facebook may need to be shorter than video testimonials on your website.
In this article, we are going to predominantly focus on the three aforementioned marketing channels for the presentation of video testimonials. We will be looking at data that has been collected in recent years on the performance of video content on each of these marketing channels to help us understand the optimal length of video testimonials.
Video Testimonials for Facebook Ad Campaigns
Facebook has continued to grow the amount of daily active users and time spent on the platform every year since it launched in 2004. It still stands as the most popular social media platform in the increasingly crowded marketplace as technology companies fight for eyeballs. The platform currently attracts 1.66 billion daily active users, according to their recent investor relations report.
Over the years, as the user base grows exponentially, various changes have been made to Facebook’s algorithm as a natural part of the platform’s evolution. These changes have had the potential to influence user behavioral trends and characteristics. To accommodate these changes, we need to look at data to determine what a successful content strategy may look like for our video testimonials.
When you’re watching a video on Facebook, if you’re not engaged by the subject matter straight away, you’re probably going to scroll away from it within just a few seconds. Marketers are all too aware of this. In fact, a 2015 study suggested that the average attention span is now down to just eight seconds. That’s pretty remarkable.
You can’t change consumer behaviors, but you can adapt to them. We need to take this data and use it to inform the length of our video testimonials. Not so long ago, Facebook actually published some data about the speed at which people stop watching video content after it begins to play.
With Facebook video ads, the number of people who stop watching after the first few seconds drops exponentially, before gradually easing in its fall to create a rounded curve. The drop is significant and it emphasizes the importance of your video content’s first few seconds. In other words, there’s really no time to mess around!
From the very beginning of your video testimonial, you need to make sure that your customer is clearly communicating the benefits of your products and services with a short, but effective, story of the problem they had and how you fixed it for them. You essentially need to condense a narrative of success into a very tight timeframe.
There’s definitely an art to crafting video testimonials. You can put as many customers in front of a camera as you wish, but the real magic lies in the questions that are asked and how the video is edited and condensed. For video advertisements that can be found in newsfeeds, Facebook recommends a length of 5-15 seconds.
Video testimonials at a length of 5-15 seconds are going to be incredibly short. With this in mind, you are going to need to get creative in the editing process when it comes to how you chop and trim the content. Less is certainly more, and you are going to need to cut the customer interview down to essential points only.
Once you’ve recorded the video testimonial and you’re in the editing process, you should try to ask yourself the following questions:
- What was the most surprising thing that the customer said about our products and services in this testimonial?
- How will the target audience relate to the initial problems faced by the customer?
- Are there particular buzzwords that could engage your target audience?
- What kind of captions and supporting text could help to further engage your target audience in the video content?
Being able to confidently answer these questions is vital to the success of your video testimonials in your next digital marketing campaign. The creative content supporting your Facebook ads needs to be planned with precision. Only then will your target audience be able to fully engage with the content and progress down your sales funnel.
It’s worth noting that videos can often start to play without any audio on Facebook. In 2016, 85% of Facebook video views happened with the sound turned off. As you scroll through your newsfeed, it would be a little overwhelming if you had dozens of videos that automatically started to blurt out audio through the speakers of your device.
Taking Facebook’s user interface into account, you need to create video content that engages your target audience and fundamentally suits the platform it’s on. You cannot take a one-size fits all approach to digital marketing. Every marketing channel has its own nuances that need to be considered when crafting the creative for your campaign.
With only a short time frame for your customer to communicate the benefits of your products and services, this is likely to be a rather quick introduction to your brand. According to Facebook, consumers are 23% more likely to remember which brand made a given video ad if the brand was featured in the first three seconds and 13% more likely if the brand was featured after four seconds.
If you recently recorded a video testimonial that stretches to as long as 10 minutes, there’s no reason why this content cannot be cut down into smaller chunks. If you really wanted to, you could use all 10 minutes in your Facebook ad campaign, with a brief 15-second introduction that features the ‘stand out moment’ to grab your target audience and encourage them to watch further.
Video Testimonials for LinkedIn Ad Campaigns
On the surface, the video content campaign strategy for LinkedIn seems relatively similar to Facebook, but there are some crucial differences. The two platforms may provide users with similar user experience. However, some changes are going to need to be made to your video content.
When you’re launching your latest LinkedIn marketing campaign, it’s important to consider the objectives of the campaign. Are you trying to build awareness? Are you trying to boost consideration? Are you trying to get prospective customers to make a buying decision? Each of these different objectives will radically reshape the direction and focus of your video testimonial content.
The vast majority of video testimonials are going to fall into the ‘brand consideration’ category. You want to showcase the successes of your customers, leaving your target audience wanting more. In a campaign that is focused around the concept of consideration, you are going to want to be aiming for three things on LinkedIn: website visit, engagement, and video views.
LinkedIn offers a variety of ways for you to study and analyze the metrics from your campaigns, helping you to understand the performance of individual content pieces. You can also leverage third-party tracking platforms like Moat to receive video performance metrics and track success.
You always refer to LinkedIn’s video ad specifications before launching a new campaign. This will ensure that your video testimonials are appropriately optimized for this platform, allowing them to perform to their maximum potential. The video specifications on Facebook are different from LinkedIn’s specifications.
In contrast to Facebook’s recommendations, LinkedIn is slightly more lenient on the length of video content. An internal LinkedIn study conducted in 2018 shows that videos under 30 seconds reported a 200% lift in view completion rates when compared to the content in a longer form.
LinkedIn particularly recommends a video length of under 30 seconds to marketers who are trying to build brand awareness and consideration. This, therefore, include video testimonials. When publishing video testimonials on LinkedIn, you should aim to condense the videos into 30-second clips for increased completion rates. Ultimately, this will allow you to tell more complete stories.
For Facebook and LinkedIn campaigns, we recommend these 5 tips for building engaging marketing campaigns with video testimonials to boost brand consideration:
- Engage your target audience in the first 10 seconds of the video testimonial with buzzwords and a quick story.
- Video engagement typically starts to drop after the 10 second mark across both Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Maintain your target audience’s attention with visual storytelling.
- Approach your campaign like a silent film director - consider that a large chunk of your audience will view the content without sound.
- Consider adding subtitles and captions to the video testimonial to keep your audience engaged.
Video Testimonials for Website Landings Pages
Using videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%. This is a staggering statistic that shines a light on the power of video as an exceptional marketing tool that is capable of producing remarkable results. Your landing page needs to be a converting machine, and it should be robust enough to inspire your target audience to take action and make a buying decision.
Video testimonials belong at the very core of your landing page. They should be the fabric that binds your strategy together, filling consumers with confidence in your products and services. Social proof can have a monumental impact on consumer behavior.
To answer the question that we’re focusing on today, video testimonials on landing pages can be much longer than video testimonials embedded within social media posts. This is potentially your final momentum to “wow” your target market. Your landing page doesn’t need to be a sneak preview, it should be a fireworks display!
If it takes 10-minutes for an existing customer to tell a compelling story through a video testimonial, then you shouldn’t alter its length. It is, however, good practice to trim the edges and cut any unnecessary rambling or tangential information that isn’t directly relevant to your target market.
The length of your video testimonials will vary across different marketing channels. Audience behavior can vary from one channel to another. This is why it is important to adapt your video content and to suit each platform.
After reading this article, we hope you now have a clear understanding of how you will need to alter the length of your video testimonials to suit each individual marketing channel. We always recommend that you record full-length video testimonials so you have plenty of material to work with during the editing process.
Do you have any questions about adapting video testimonials for specific platforms? Please send us your questions in the comments section below. We read and respond to all of them.