Time for another data deep dive. This week we’re taking a look at how video duration impacts high level engagements. For this study we analysed videos posted on Facebook or YouTube in the last 30 days with more than 10k engagements – 24,000 videos in total. With that kind of data, we show you how to capture the best engagement through optimal video length, and what platform will work best for your content type.

Optimal Video Length: YouTube vs. Facebook

This data was just a WOW moment for us. We expected YouTubers to be making longer content, but according to the data from the past 30 days, videos on YouTube are nearly 10X longer than Facebook.

Using data from Tubular, we can confirm that creators on YouTube are making not just longer content, but WAY longer content. Some of this is certainly a function of YouTube rewarding longer retention, but it really points to the type of content each platform currently values most. Facebook tends to value short, flash in the pan type content to keep you moving and tied in to the feed, while YouTube is more focused on serving you longer, higher quality content to keep you on the site longer.

Although we keep looking at YouTube and Facebook as competitors, they may actually be on opposite ends on the video spectrum not just in duration, but in what metrics indicate a video’s success as well.

Platform Average of Duration (seconds)
Facebook 81.22
YouTube 870.89

Facebook Vs. YouTube & Views Vs. Engagement

Our previous deep dive which was specific to Buzzfeed, showed that video posted natively to Facebook tends to generate more engagement. But in this study, we see that YouTube has a lower views to engagement ratio than Facebook, which means it takes less views to generate the same engagement on YouTube.

Our gut reaction is this as an indicator for view quality. YouTube fans continue to tout the value of a YouTube view compared to Facebook and this data would tend to support that claim. It may also suggest that the type of engagements occurring on Facebook the most, namely likes, are more freely given and less indicative of meaningful engagement.

Platform Average of Views:Engagements
Facebook 31.12
YouTube 22.42

But not so fast. Analyzed another way this data would suggest that an engagement on Facebook can generate more views for a given video. It all depends on how you view video and what comes first, the view or the engagement.

For YouTube, a combination of views and engagements can help it rise in search, so there is a distinct partnership in these numbers. On Facebook, however, views are somewhat less indicative of the performance of a video – the almighty engagement actually causes it to propagate across multiple feeds, granting the video more views.

What this bit of data may really suggest is that Facebook videos may be better judged on the number of engagements they get, while YouTube seems to have focused more on the quality of their view counter.

Let’s revisit the first chart real quick, but add in the average view count as well. While Facebook is beating YouTube in views more than 2:1 on these videos, YouTube is only losing 3:4 in the engagement department. To me, this suggests that Facebook has a lot of what I’ll call “empty” views. But that also suggests that Facebook is clearly getting the traffic and may even be beating YouTube in raw traffic.

Platform Average of Views:Engagements Average of Views
Facebook 31.12 1,405,078.82
YouTube 22.42 632,056.19

Looking at this data broken down by duration categories, YouTube has clearly trained viewers to not only stay around, but interact a bit before they leave. On the other hand, Facebook seems to trend towards getting the video in front of somebody, getting a like/share and moving on.

As for optimal video length, as duration increases, the likelihood of high level engagement goes down on Facebook, where YouTube is just the opposite. YouTube engagement seems to perform the best early in the video, like Facebook, but remarkably they get more high engagement videos the longer they go. There is a definite plateau around the 3 minute mark for YouTube, which has often been used as a marker for the general attention span of a YouTube viewer. As viewers watch past the 5 minute park on YouTube, it seems that the interaction drops quite a bit. This could point to a larger issue of actual viewer retention. How mentally engaged is a viewer after a certain point?

Platform Average of Views:Engagements Count of Video_Title
Facebook 31.12 15750
<=30s 30.69 6825
<=1m 34.10 3144
<=2m 31.69 2778
<=3m 30.53 1339
<=5m 27.89 1066
5m-10m 27.28 463
10m-15m 23.95 57
15m+ 10.91 78
YouTube 22.42 6833
<=30s 34.38 52
<=1m 38.95 116
<=2m 29.63 309
<=3m 29.46 446
<=5m 24.95 1366
5m-10m 18.55 1974
10m-15m 22.46 1190
15m+ 19.69 1380
Grand Total 28.49 22583

Looking at this chart would seem to suggest the best place for a call to action is right around the 30 second mark for a video, or wait until it is just about over. Personally I’d advocate doing both if it makes sense for your content.

If you want high engagement, the sky is the limit on YouTube. The videos analyzed averaged nearly 15 minutes in length for YouTube while Facebook was just shy of a minute and a half. But if you are looking for short form content, the fleeting nature of the Facebook feed may provide you with a better place to get massive exposure. Either way, we may have been measuring Facebook video all wrong this whole time. The secret sauce may lie in their engagements and not in their views. The engagements ultimately lead to the exposure that those in video desire.

Optimal Video Length Takeaways:

  • Videos posted natively to Facebook generate more engagement – but it takes less views for YouTube videos to generate the same engagement rate
  • Engagement rate for Facebook video is a more reliable metric than view count
  • The most engaged videos on YouTube are nearly 10x longer than the most engaged videos uploaded to Facebook.
  • Short-form video content tends to do better in terms of engagement on Facebook.
  • The longer the video on YouTube, the more viewers will engage with it.
  • Best place for a CTA on a YouTube video is around the 30 second mark.

Source: What’s the Optimal Video Length for a YouTube or Facebook Video?

As you’ll see, this month’s biggest stories are heavily influenced by Google (even more so than usual), due to a number of newly released products and announcements by the search engine giant. As usual, we’ve also got a pick of the biggest stories happening right here in Distilled, as well as a few other pieces of breaking news about the likes of Moz and Facebook.

Get the Handy PDF of this month’s roundup

The Month’s biggest stories

Google releases new Quality Rater’s guide

Google’s Quality Raters – the third-party hires used to rate search results – have been existent for over a decade, but it’s only since 2013 that Google has released the rating guidelines publicly. Google has just released a new version, with plenty of emphasis still on expertise, authority and trustworthiness, but further importance is also given to mobile.

Read the full story (The SEM Post)

TensorFlow is now open source

Google’s machine learning algorithm, which it uses to recognise photo content, translate languages and recognise spoken words, has now been released for others to use completely free. Industry experts say this technology could be used for improved ad targeting and even computer security.

Read the full story (Wired)

Advertising support for AMP released

Having recently announced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which is intended to create super-fast loading pages for mobile, Google has also declared it intends to serve ads as part of AMP.

Read the full story (Marketing Land)

App Streaming to create web of apps

In a busy month for Google, it has also put an important new feature into testing – App Streaming. The feature essentially allows users to search through app content and browse within it, without the need for downloading.

Read the full story (Marketing Land)

Google+ to focus on communities and collections

The ailing social network has been redesigned with a focus on two of its most popular aspects: collections and communities. The new layout is intended to make it for people to share their interests.

Read the full story (Marketing Land)

How will Marshmallow shape the future of mobile search?

Android Marshmallow landed in October, and it’s full of new features. In a three-part series, Marketing Land explores how these could shape the future of search on mobile.

Read the full story (Marketing Land)

More industry stories

Moz releases new content tool (Moz)

Facebook passes 1 billion daily active users (Marketing Land)

Google Analytics adds calculated metrics (Marketing Land)

Washington Post beats NYT for web visitors (Digiday)

Distilled News

We announced Distilled’s new Optimization Delivery Network last month.

As ever, the Distilled offices have been very busy. We’ve announced our new Optimization Delivery Network (ODN), which you can sign up to get involved with here. On the blog, Analyst Stephan Solomonidis has an excellent tutorial on .htaccess, while Senior Consultant Ben Estes has been writing about SEO’s role in enterprise success on the Moz Blog.

Source: What We Learned in November – The Digital Marketing Month in a Minute

5 of the Best Tools to Track and Measure Your Domain’s Social Impact written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Feature photo11.5.15

Photo Credit: Unsplash, via Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

No matter what type of business you own, it is definitely in your best interests to not only have a website but to also take the time to track your domain’s social impact. After all, a website alone no longer provides a strong enough Internet presence to push your site toward the top of Google’s search engine ranking. Additionally, without a positive and big social impact, you will end up missing out on a large percentage of your potential customers.

The best place to start is by selecting a domain name that is going to be easy to remember and spell, which is also highly descriptive of your business. In other words, if you have a law firm in Chicago, you might want to consider having ChicagoLaw as at least one of your domain names. Next, it is important to put certain key tools in place to help you ensure that you are getting the most out of your potential social impact.

1. Analytics


 Image by Yoel Ben-Avraham, via Flickr

 Google Analytics are well-known and loved by website owners of all types because they can sync up with Google AdWords, they provide a lot of information for free and they can be linked into many enterprise software platforms that offer more robust tools. Analytics will give you a good snapshot of how many of your site’s visitors started on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus, and this is a big piece of the social impact puzzle. Keep in mind that Google determines your site’s influential rating and search engine ranking in part by the links between your social media pages and website.

2. Tracking Your Social Media Popularity


Image permission by Nadja Shiller, Searchmetrics

Analytics will show you how many people visit your site after seeing a link on social media, but this is only one piece of the puzzle. Enterprise software such as the Searchmetrics Suite is able to truly capture the impact that your efforts are having on your company’s social media presence. Searchmetrics analyzes the performance of each social media site and provides useful tweaks for improving visibility, monitoring brand perception and optimizing your overall cross-network performance.

3. Increasing Your Overall Influence


Image by See-ming Lee, via Flickr

As previously mentioned, Google ties your social media popularity into your domain’s overall influence score. So how can you boost this score without spending a lot of time and money? The answer is simple: utilize Klout to see real-time updates on your level of influence. Additionally, Klout suggests sharable content that is well-written and should be of great interest to the people within your social network. This is a good way to get your followers to share your content, which in turn will boost the total number of people who see your company’s name.

4. Discover Who is Talking About Your Company


Social Mention screenshot via Google search

Being able to track social mentions gives you a huge advantage. Placing an emphasis on this will give the ability to see how many people are engaged by your product or service, and you will have the opportunity to respond in a timelier manner to positive and negative comments. Instead of having someone spend a significant amount of time Googling your business name to find the latest posts, you can use Social Mention to see everything in one place. This tool will also tell you the overall strength, sentiment, passion and reach of all of the social posts that mention your company.

5. Determine How Impactful Your Twitter Accounts Are


It is common for businesses to run multiple Twitter accounts, but this makes it difficult to truly track their impact on your domain. TwitterCounter is a tool that takes care of this problem, and it also makes it easy to determine if your tweets are having the desired impact. An extra feature of this tool is that you can connect more easily with followers who have a high level of social media influence in order to more easily spread the word about your brand.

As you can see, there are many ways to track your domain’s overall social media influence. Fortunately, the five options listed above offer a nice combination of features, and they can even give you necessary information that will help you increase the power of your social media reach.


Holly's Picture 3Holly Chavez is a content creator and owner of a small online business. She turns to tools that track her domain’s social impact for meaningful statistics for her social media marketing. She also uses them as a part of the fundamental resources needed in order to push her website’s presence to the top of Google’s search engine rankings.


Source: 5 of the Best Tools to Track and Measure Your Domain’s Social Impact