How Long Should Your Beauty Vlog Be? — Optimizing Duration

By Sabel Harris

Head of Marketing | 03.31.2017

< 3.24.2017 The Perfect Formula - How to be the Best Beauty Vlogger
4.1.2017 No Fools Here — Growing Your Comedy Channel >

A show on TV runs from 30 minutes to an hour, but realistically, it’s more like 20-40 minutes long when you include all of the commercials. We’ve all gotten use to the timing of this content and have grown to expect it when we turn on the television.

Although, we’re used to the timing of the shows on TV, online video content is a little different and with that comes different consumption patterns. Tactically speaking on YouTube, if your account isn’t verified, you are restricted to a 15 minute time limit. You can increase this by verifying your account and if you have access to live streaming, then long videos are enabled by default. As we’ve grown use to the lengths of TV shows, whether we are consciously aware, we’ve also become familiar with the shorter form of content on these online video platforms.

With this it means that as a creator, you have a finite amount of time to capture your audience’s attention and the duration of your video has implications on your watch time, retention, views, comments, and likes. This is something that you should optimize to your advantage. On the topic of duration for varying forms of content, we wanted to dive into this a little more, specifically with beauty vloggers.

You may spend over an hour putting your makeup on for the day, but does your audience want to watch that? Or it may take you longer than 5 minutes to actually perfect that smoky eye — does your audience want to watch the whole thing? Maybe they do, but we’ve found some interesting data points on this. In our Beauty Vlogger Data Report, we took a closer look at video duration. After analyzing 78,459 videos, we found the lengths you should go after with your video content to impact your key performance metrics.

The Effect of Watch Time

In 2012,YouTube made a huge change in how they surface content that shows up in search results and recommendations. Before the change, YouTube was prioritizing views and wasn’t counting the amount of time spent on each video.

The change started factoring in “watch time” and de-prioritized views. Watch time is calculated by views multiplied by the average view duration of that video. Views are self-explanatory, but the average view duration is a key metric that you should pay attention to because it’s how long on average people are watching your videos.

YouTube wants to feature videos that keep people watching longer, so paying attention to your watch time is extremely important. Creating the right pieces of content is critical to your success, but optimizing the right duration of your content can determine if you are positively affecting your overall watch time contributing to people finding your videos.

Maximizing the Views

As we mentioned above, watch time is a very important metric to focus on because it can give you insight into how your content is resonating with your audience.

In order to fill in one side of the watch time formula, you need to still make sure you are securing the right views for your content. Views can sometimes be misleading if looked at by itself, but it is a good metric to still keep track of and to set goals around.

The duration of your beauty video is directly contributing to the amount of views you’ll receive. On average, we found that videos at four minutes (250 seconds) received more views and as soon as the duration increased, the videos began losing views.

graphic showing the sweet spot for video duration

Getting More Engagement

Views are important to your video strategy, but you need to make sure you are looking at many other factors to ensure that your content is resonating with your audience. There are some clear indicators — likes, dislikes, and comments — that can show you if your audience finds your content engaging

After analyzing views versus duration, we discovered some interesting points about views versus likes and we found a different result with the length of the video.

A video that was 700 seconds (11 minutes) long, received more likes than one shorter in duration.

graphic showing the impact of video duration on Likes

Long-form content also had a positive effect on comment volumes. Graphically below, videos 850 seconds long (14 minutes), received more comments than a shorter one.

graphic showing the impact of video duration on Comments

Editing Your Content for An Optimized Length

Video duration isn’t the easiest thing to quickly optimize. However, try going through what content you plan on creating and map out how long that video will take. Are you looking for more views to help impact your watch time? Then, stick to a shorter piece. What about engagement? Focus on a piece of content that may take you more time to explain.

It’s not a secret how much work you all put into creating your content, but it’s really only half of the job. Just as you choose the right makeup brushes for different application techniques, you need to do the same things for your video content. Optimizing certain parts of your video will help you cultivate and grow your following even more.

Want to see what other insights we found after analyzing over 41 billion data points? Download our full beauty data report here!

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