Video length must be considered with producing online marketing videos. In fact, when creating them it’s essential to ask yourself  ‘How long should my video be?’

These days, everyone can produce online marketing videos. Smart phones and iPads put this potential in our hands (literally), and, if you’re not using their video capturing functions, you’re in the minority. We know that content is king and context is queen; but, video length is a consideration that any decent video producer will have.

A Microsoft study supports the theory that video length matters. Their 2000 person strong research involved surveys and the use of brain electroencephalograms (EEG’s) to determine the impact that pocket-sized devices, and the increased availability of digital media content, have on our daily lives.

The results were fascinating….and a little disturbing.

The study officially concluded that goldfish have longer attention spans than humans. Apparently, our water-loving friends can maintain an attention span of 9 seconds, whilst our attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds in 2015. Crazy, right? However, the news was not all bad as Microsoft also found our ability to multi-task has drastically improved. Yay!

What does this mean for video length?

The hard truth is you have only seconds to capture your viewer’s attention. In our experience, a viewer often decides whether to continue watching an online video within 15-30 seconds. This isn’t long – put your strongest content at the beginning so they can make an informed decision.

But, what about total video length? If your online marketing video is designed to promote your business or raise awareness of your product or service (this includes arty creations like books, etc.), your best bet is to keep it short – approx. 30 seconds to 2 minutes in length. The ‘short & sweet’ approach is the tried and tested method that television commercials (which are either 15, 30 or 45 seconds in length) have used for years.

A well crafted, engaging online marketing video will exploit every frame of footage, and this needs to be your approach if you want your production to be effective. There are, of course, instances when increasing the run time to 5+ minutes is necessary, or even preferable; but, most of the time aiming for a short & sweet production is best.


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