Online Marketing Tips for Dentists: Why Video Length Matters

Online Marketing Tips for Dentists: Why Video Length Matters

Don’t bore your patients with long videos.

When you decide to invest in professional video marketing for your dental practice you probably put some time into deciding what you’ll say and do in your video.  Will it be interview style?  Will you shoot it inside your practice or rent out a studio? Will you feature your staff and hygienists? You may even spend some time in deciding what you’ll wear and how you’ll look.  You’re concerned about creating an engaging video that beautifully represents your practice, and that’s a good thing! But, one question that will probably never cross your mind is, “How long should my marketing videos be?” Surprisingly, the length of your marketing videos can be just as important as the content in them.

How many times have you clicked on what appeared to be an interesting video, only to immediately click off the video because it was too long and tedious.  Your patients (and their attention spans) are no different.  When it comes to online marketing videos, dentists must say it quick…and say it well.

The gurus at the video hosting website Wistia.com completed an in-depth, analytical study about viewer engagement rates compared to the length of a video.  In non-marketing terms, they studied how long someone will watch a video before they get bored and move on to something else.  Here’s what they found:

  • 50% more people will complete a 1 minute video than a 2 minute video.
  • A 4-5 minute video has the same engagement as a 5-10 minute video.

Wait, what?  While those two statistics seem a bit contradictory, they actually reveal how robust the data in this study is.  Wistia breaks it down this way:

“…shorter videos are better for getting people (your patients) to watch the whole video…but after a certain point, the engagement average flattens out – so there is not a major difference between a 4 minute video and a 10 minute video.”

The great news is this study can inform your video marketing strategy in a very useful way.  In general, the shorter the video, the more likely it is your patient will watch the whole thing.  However, if you need more time to explain a complex topic (like a video tour of your new office or an intricate explanation of implant-supported dentures), you can produce a longer video to ensure you get all the content in without a significant drop in engagement.

Recommendations for Dental Practice Videos

So, what should a dentist do with this information?  Here are recommendations on when to use long or short videos for your practice website, YouTube and social media pages:

Short Videos – As we said earlier, Wistia found that if you want your patients to watch your videos from start to finish, shorter is better.  For videos where you need your patient to see the call-to-action, (ie – a video promoting a special you’re running or a Facebook “like” campaign video with instructions to your page), the video should really be 1 minute or less. TIP:  When you’re filming your marketing videos, make sure you ask your videographer to shoot multiple, short videos in one session.  It’s an easy way to get diverse content for your social media pages and website.

Longer Videos – Wistia’s data showed that viewers decide whether to commit to watching a video very soon after they click the play button; meaning, if a viewer decides to watch a long video right away, they usually stick it out and watch the whole thing, whether it’s 4 minutes or 10 minutes.  But, if you want to shoot a comprehensive Q & A video or explain complex dental implant technology, it’s important to understand a good portion of your viewers won’t make it to the end of your video.  So, for videos longer than 2 minutes, make sure you “front load” your video with your call to action (make an appointment, post a review/recommendation, visit your Facebook page, etc.)

Videos are a great tool that can take your online marketing to another level. For more tips, strategies and information about successful dental video marketing, contact our experienced video marketing team today.