loader loader

How long should my video be?

By Prianka Menon, traffic manager

November 2, 2015

Making video is fun – but don’t go on about it!

In my years working at Click2View ‘How long should my video be?” has been one of the most asked questions so here is a non-exhaustive simple guide to your everyday video needs.

How long? The quick answer is this: 90 seconds or less (More on that in a moment)

In the meantime here’s a rough guide to video type and length:

Keep your video short and to the point

If you can, make it even shorter. I can’t stress this point heavily enough. Wether you believe that the average human has a shorter attention span than a carp or not, the truth is that every day each one of us is exposed to a ludicrously massive avalanche of video content and 99% of it will have no more impact on us than a commercial about grey paint. Here are three words that I want you to remember when making video.

Get to the point and meet your objective quicklyEntertain with visuals, ‘wow’ moments and even humourDon’t try to say too much, get to the point and sign off!

Can all videos be this fast?

No, of course not, and if you’ve ever attempted an elevator pitch you’ll know that trying to sum up something complex in a few seconds is really difficult. But that is the power of video content. The real winners in this game are the ones who take the time to say their message quickly, concisely and engagingly. Everyone else is an also ran.

How do I know if my video is too long?

The short answer to that is ‘Don’t wait to find out’. Seriously folks, know your audience, know what they’re watching already. You understand who is going to watch this film and match your video to their tastes. Do your homework ladies and gentlemen and have this information in your pocket when you come to the table.

What length for what type of video?

Okay, okay, yes you can make films longer than that and the world won’t end. Some videos need to be longer of course (you could consider splitting them up into shorter sections to make a series…just sayin!), so here is a nice little table which will give you a rough guide to video length and type (if you don’t want it to be under 90 seconds that is…am I making myself clear about that?).

So, if you’ve got time, let’s break down the main video types in a little more detail:

More than 10 minutesVideos that are more than 10 minutes long should be something that your audience wants to watch till the end a.k.a a great video with great content. These kinds of videos could be Ted-talks, speeches, mini documentary, branded or sponsored entertainment. The key word here is entertainment. Your video should grab the watcher by their collar and keep them on it till it is over.
5 to 10 minutesMuch like the 10 minutes or more videos, great content is still the key. We recommend that speeches, video blogs and training videos are this time range.
3 to 5 minutesContent in this time range include product and service demonstrations, internal communications, management interviews, customer testimonials to name a few. Most video content fall within this time range as it could be called ‘The Golden Length’. There is time to give adequate information and keep the audience engaged.
1 to 3 minutesThe shorter the content gets, the more important it is to curate the message and call to action. You are looking to create an impression and to get the watcher to be a part of your message. These kinds of videos are corporate overviews, customer testimonials, product or service reviews and keynote messages
45 to 60 secondsContent that is 60 seconds or less are meant for the shrinking attention spans of the ever increasing mobile users. However, generally broadcast commercials, promotional content and viral videos tend to be in this time range.
15 to 30 secondsVery short form videos should be to the point, quick and interesting. These videos are usually the most shared and more easily consumed by viewers. With the rise in social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Tout and Mixbit it gives corporations an easy access to be a part of the larger conversation.

And finally…

Okay, here’s a fair question we get a lot; ‘What if I’m interviewing my boss and he doesn’t want to be cut short?’

Tricky situation right? Well, this is where your understanding of audience and video come into play. Sure, he can rabbit on for hours about wonderful things…but if you want to make him look like a rock star…obey the rules of video stated above. The very worst that can happen is that you leave the audience wanting more and when was that ever a bad thing?

Want to be the video expert in your office? Why not download our 37-page ebook ‘So you want to make a corporate video?’