Your video | How long is too long?

Heatmap of viewing engagement throughout our showreel

Our social feeds are increasingly filled with engaging images and video, and our attention spans are growing increasingly shorter, so how do you make sure that your video content is seen by the largest amount of people and more than that, how do you hold their attention once they’ve clicked ‘play’ so that they make it all the way to the call to action at the end? Clients will often say they would like a video that is 3 minutes long? Our first question is “why?” The ideal length of a video is as long as it takes to get your messages across, but not too long that you lose the interest of your viewer. That could be 10 seconds or it could be 5 minutes. The most important thing to think is that duration does not equal value for money. Conversions and engagement equals value for money!

What’s your video for?

It’s important to always think upfront about what you want people to do once they’ve watched your video. Is it like a TV commercial, where it’s as much about raising awareness as it is about driving sales? Is it a teaser video to get people to visit your website from social media? Is it Is it a documentary about your company’s history and social mission or explainer animation about your software or platform for use at the consideration stage of the sales funnel? What the video is for and where the video is used in the sales funnel will as much dictate the length as the content will, along with your audience.

Who’s your audience?

On the web, most viewers will begin watching a video and usually start to lose interest around 60 seconds unless:

• They are interested in the content
• They are an educated audience that understand the content
• They are a captive audience (such as at an event)

You need to make sure that your content is the correct length for your audience, but also for your chosen channel and it may be that you need to create different edits of your content for different audiences and channels.

Platforms and channels

Where the video is used will also dictate how long the video should be:

For socials:

It is really important that you know who you are targeting. For example, if your video is for a millennial audience that use social media, it’s best to keep your video short & sweet. You also need to make sure you grab your audience in the first 3-5 seconds, to stop them scrolling, and then give them a reason to stay watching to the end. Think fast edits, engaging action or slick visuals and get your branding in as early as you can.

Here at DreamingFish, we offer social media edits and teasers that can be 10, 15 or 30 second edits of your full video. These are used to drive people to view your profile for more details or to drive them to where your main video is hosted, whether it’s on your website or another platform. Click here to see a social media video example.

Note: It’s also important that you include subtitles for people watching with the sound off!

For the web:

If your viewer is already on your website, chances are they are already interested in your services. Now you’ve got them this far, you need to keep them! Audiences usually drop off between 60-90 seconds when watching a web video, so it is best to keep your videos around this duration and ensure you have a strong call to action at the end to lead your client down the funnel. This could be a link to another video or another area of the website, or a telephone number or email address so that they can get in contact. Click here to see a website video example.

For YouTube:

Go crazy! YouTube used to be a generic repository for all videos, but as it emerges as a channel in its own right people are looking to watch longer duration videos. Think about telling an engaging story or providing a deep-dive into your product or solution. You can then embed these videos on your website, but watch out for YouTube pre-roll adverts and recommendations when the video is finished – you don’t want to lose your potential client to a competitor! It’s best to use a video hosting solution that Wistia to embed your videos on your website and keep YouTube as a channel on its own.

It’s also important to look at the content of your video as different forms of content, along with audience and channel considerations, will dictate duration.

In conclusion

So…how long is too long? When you take into account use, audience, platform/channel and content there is no single answer. It’s down to you and your content. Are you looking to start creating unique and engaging videos for your website? DreamingFish can help! Why not contact us today to see what we can do for you and your business?

Learn more about our video services

To learn more about our video services, call us on +44 (0)203 745 0825 or contact us using our enquiry form.

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