People often ask us how long their video should be. The truth is that the answer depends on two things: 1) your goals in making the video; and 2) where you plan on publishing the video.
Location, Location, Location
Different goals will determine where you host your video, and where you host your video will determine the ideal length. A video such as a Product Explainer or Company Story (something that explains the identity of your brand and has more longevity to it) might be located on your website. A video that’s geared more toward highlighting a specific event or promotion might perform better on social media.
Once you’ve figured out the goal, (and therefore the ideal location), we can determine how long your video should be.
It’s important to note that on social media you lose half your viewers every 30 seconds. In other words, people aren’t interested in sticking around for the long haul. If you’re uploading hour-long company history videos to your Facebook page, chances are no one will be left watching at the halfway point, much less the end, so we recommend sticking with 30-60 seconds. People are scrolling through on Facebook and they have a lot of content to consume, so usually they’re ready to move on after having watched about 30 seconds of video.
On the other hand, if a viewer is coming to your website, they’re intentionally seeking you out and are therefore ready to invest a little more time in learning about you. Usually 2-3 minutes is the right length for a video on a landing page.
But as a general rule, we’ve found that less is more. With tons of content being thrown at us every day, viewers are less likely to stick around for long-form content. In order to maximize your viewership, you’re going to want to keep it short and sweet.
The Exception to the Rule
There is one opportunity we see where you can forgo the rules of viewership fall-off and that’s if you are communicating with a pre-existing client audience. For example, if you have a YouTube channel where you review products, go ahead and make it as long as it needs to be. The viewers who subscribe to your channel already know and like your style and return to you for that reason. In fact, providing longer, more in depth content can be a great way to reward loyal subscribers.
No matter where you’re sharing your videos, it’s important to keep the audience in mind and what they’re looking for. Are they interested in hearing every detail of your story, or are they just looking for the bullet points? Do they want to know every step you took to reach your conclusions, or do they just want to get straight to the actionable tips they can use to make their lives better? The answer will depend on your audience, their expectations and where they are in the buying process.