How long should my video be?

We’re forever expecting to digest information quicker.  Google search makes the competition for attention all the more intense. In this article I’ll answer the question – how long should my video be?

Your prospective clients are on the go looking for the quickest, easiest to absorb, solution to a problem. If you don’t hit the spot, they’ll quickly move on to the next.   So if you’re thinking of making a video you need to value viewers time and make the video as short as possible. Say only what has to be said and remember that less is often more.  People will only remember one key message.  So a shorter video will likely result in a more engaged audience who will watch the video to the end.  (Click here for an article on writing concise explanations).

But how long is “Short”?  Some folk like to keep their web videos to 1 to 2 minutes. Tiktok will prefer 30 seconds.  But if its informative, relevant and well targeted, viewers will watch much more.  To quote Gruen Transfer it should be “As Long As It Is Good”.

Another rule of thumb is to use the first 3 seconds, to engage the viewer for the next 30 seconds, to engage for the next 3 minutes, so the prospect goes on to the next step in your sales funnel. In fact this is how some marketers view Tiktok, as the first lead in advert to the next longer peice on Youtube.

Digital media marketing studies show that people usually watch the first parts of a video but as the video progresses, they drop off.

What is ‘short’ for one person compared to another is quite arbitrary and will be affected by frame of mind, distractions, relevance and urgency etc.

Corporate videos are getting shorter as attention spans diminish.  These are by definition are about the company rather than the viewer.

Content marketing – on the other hand is generally about the target audiences interest and reflects “what’s-in-it-for-them”. Your audience will keep watching a longer clip, especially if it covers the technical details of a niche interest.

For example, “What vegetables to plant in sandy Melbourne bayside soil this week“, or “the best four wheel drive tracks open in the Victorian Alps this snow season“.  Map your target audience’s interests and give them specific technical detail. Tie it back loosely to your product or service as a by-product. Make sure the key phrase (the search term the audience will type into Google) matches the topic.   I’d usually still aim for no more than three minutes for one of these. It’s better to stick to one topic per video, and make multiple videos rather than try to include everything in one.

Here’s an example of a video we made a while back promoting dental tourism:

Clips That Sell makes videos for businesses in Melbourne.  Script writing, filming and editing to make promo’s,  “How to..” videos, client testimonials, events, training videos. Talk to us about how long your videos should be and how to write the script.

Article by Keith Rhodes