How Long Should My Video Be?

 

How long should my video be?

This is a very important question to ask yourself! While there is no right or wrong answer, the length of a video can directly effect it’s ability to convey the message you are trying to tell. But don't worry! We've compiled the five most important factors to consider when making this crucial decision.

 

1. Content

The length of your video should be as long as your content can support. The content of your video should do two things: tell your story and achieve your goals. If your content is interesting, people are going to watch it. This is where story-telling comes into play. Even some of the shortest videos can deliver depth and leave an impression on the audience. Here is a great example of a micro-short film that is still able to evoke emotions and a reaction from the viewer.

 
 

2. Audience

Consider who is watching your video and how they are watching it. If someone is watching your video while scrolling through their Instagram feed, you only have a few seconds to capture their attention! However, if your video is meant to be used where you already have the audience's attention, such as a conference or fundraising gala, then going into depth and taking your time to tell your story is the best option.

Keep in mind that every audience is different. What are the viewing habits of your target audience? What is the context of where they may be watching your video? Making sure you have accurate answers to these questions is an integral part of film making and ensuring you keep your audience engaged.

 

3. Goals

This one may be the most important. Determining what your goals are and getting them down on paper during pre-production will help you keep focused on what you’re trying to accomplish. 

Here are some goals for you to consider that may effect the length of your video:

  • Organization awareness
  • Entertainment 
  • Product showcase
  • Website visits
  • Drive donations 
  • Brand awareness
  • Employee training
  • Leads to client conversions
  • Customer education

 

4. Engagement Rates

According to Wistia, a video hosting site, the average person watches 82% of videos that are at a maximum of 30 seconds. That number drops to just over 60% for a 3-4 minute video. 

This doesn’t mean your video should be short. In fact, you should look at your own data to help determine the length of your video. Take a look at your engagement rates on Facebook, YouTube, etc. This will help you understand the trends for your own industry, audience, and context.

 

5. Adapting to the Times

Social media platforms are constantly working to keep their users on their sites longer. The length of the video doesn’t matter as long as people are watching it. It’s important to understand that just because a 30 second video worked once, that doesn't mean it will work three months from now. Data and analysis of current trends in engagement will help you to make a decision on the most effective length for your video. 

 

 

After reading this you can see that there is no clear answer to this question, but understanding your content, audience, goals, engagement rates, and being able to keep up with technology will give you a good sense of what will consistently perform well for your company.

Philip Lee