How Long Should My Video Be?
This article might get a little uncomfortable. I’m about to share a secret with you that you may not want to hear. Ready?
No matter how much someone is interested in your product or company, no matter how much they love it, or love you, you still only have a very very short amount of their time. In today's society, it's best to make a quick impression, they will respect you more for that. So, how long is that impression? Ten minutes? Five minutes? Three minutes? Try two minutes.
Yes, two minutes is the magic number. For now at least, until there starts to be even more demands on people’s time, and then it’ll drop again. Here’s a few questions or comments I’ve received when relaying this information.
We play our video at an event where everyone is there for us. Surely, our video can be longer then, right?
Maybe. No matter where you are, you’ll start to lose viewer’s attention exponentially after 2 minutes. Remember, just because a person is with you at an event, doesn’t mean they’re fully there. They still have a smartphone that is full of their e-mails, social media accounts, news articles and videos, all vying for their time. They obviously care enough to be there in the room, but that doesn’t mean you have their undivided attention.
But we have so much information to share. We can’t share it all in two minutes.
This is true for nearly every organization, program or event. Two minutes is rarely enough time for everything. Consider making one, 10,000 foot view video, that gives an overview and maybe touches on a few key messages. Then create multiple, bite sized videos that share specific information about specific things. That way a viewer can pick and choose the information that’s most interesting or important to them. If you force viewers to sit through information they don’t care about, you will lose them.
Is there ever a time when videos can be longer and still be effective?
Training videos are the exception to the rule. However, breaking up training modules into smaller, bite sized nuggets of information will still be more effective and help with overall information retention.
I hope this blog has been helpful for you. If you’d like more information about this, we’d recommend you check out this article by wistia.