One important step in the decision-making process of producing video is figuring out how long your video should be. To find the right answer, first answer this: how long are the videos you watch? Did you answer 2 minutes? 1 minute? 30 seconds? If you did, then you probably shouldn’t expect a consumer to spend more time than you would on a video. Simply put, keep it concise.
Video now makes up about 80% of all internet traffic. Producing video is a good investment, but it also means it’s imperative that you capture your audience’s attention within the first few seconds, otherwise they’ll scroll right on by.
Video by The numbers
- Nearly two-thirds of consumers prefer video under 60 seconds.
- 60% of consumers surveyed say a video being too long would strongly deter them from watching it in the first place.
- 95% of consumers believe that a video should be less than 2 minutes long.
- The average attention span for an adult is just 8 seconds (BTW, the attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds).
Consider your viewer
Like the beginning of this article says - keep it concise when possible. Put yourself in your consumer’s shoes and try to be mindful of the amount of time they’re willing to spend watching your video. In that short time, do your best to be attention-grabbing, informative, and to the point.
Now, some of you may be thinking “I don’t think my video can be condensed to just 1 or 2 minutes.” And that’s okay. If that is the case, here are 2 tips to make sure your target consumer still watches and retains your message.
- Place the most important information at the beginning of the video.
- This is likely the easiest and most effective way to make sure your message is seen. As they say in journalism: don’t bury the lede.
- Consider breaking up your long video into “chapters.”
- You can do so with simple graphics that indicate the transition into a new topic.
Types of video
The length of your video is often determined by the type of video you’re producing. If it’s an internal training video for new employees, then the length isn’t necessarily a big obstacle to consider. If it’s a commercial for broadcast, then you have to conform to the 30 or 60-second parameters. Or if it’s a “how-to” video, the length depends on the number of steps and detail required to complete a specific task.
It’s important to think about cost, as well, when producing video. The longer the video, the more expensive it will be. If you’re operating on a tight budget, you’ll need to keep this in mind. You can read more about how much a video costs and the factors that dictate that price tag by clicking here.
Videos for social media
When producing video, it’s also important to think about where it will live. Is it going on your website, in an email, or on social media? Thinking about its distribution can help determine the video’s length. When it comes to social media, consider the various platforms.
- On a traditional post, the cut-off for a video is 1 minute.
- “Stories” are technically only 15 seconds long. However, a user can extend their content for as long as they want, the clips will just be uploaded in 15 second segments (and disappear after 24 hours)
- IG TV allows long-form content up to 1 hour
- Facebook allows videos up to 4 hours long.
- Facebook, which owns Instagram, also has a “stories” function, where clips up to 20-seconds long can be uploaded. And just like Instagram, those stories disappear after 24 hours.
- For beginners, YouTube has a 15-minute time limit. Users who go through a verification process can upload videos that are up to 12 hours long.
- Users can upload videos up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds long.
- “Native” videos can be up to 10 minutes long.
- LinkedIn video ads can be up to 30 minutes long.
Regardless of the length, produce video. Four years ago, Facebook CEO & founder Mark Zuckerberg said that 100 million hours of video are watched on the platform per day. And that was four years ago. People will watch. Keep it short when possible. Post it. Then repeat.
Learn more about video by clicking the image below to download the free eBook: The Beginner's Guide to Video Production.