Promotional Video Length: How Long Should Your Video Be?

By October 15, 2015Marketing, Video Production

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We thought for today’s post that we’d discuss video length. Just how long should your video be? Now, obviously, this is a varied questions that creates many different answers, and in order to answer it properly we should ask some more questions.

Firstly, what kind of video are we talking about here? Naturally, a promotional video for your company isn’t going to need to be as long as a standard Hollywood film. At the same time, a short film about a conference your company recently had is likely going to be a lot longer than a brief introductory montage on the front page of your website.

So, let’s talk promotional videos. As we’ve discussed before, promotional videos can come in all shapes and sizes.

The Promotional Video That Can

With that distinction out of the way, the question still remains: how long should your promotional video be?

Well, and I know this is going to sound like a cop-out…but: It depends. No, I’m not going to give you the old line about ‘how long is a piece of string.’

Now there are a number of well worn theories out there about how long your promotional video should be.

Some claim that videos should be longer and viewers want to be informed and entertained

Others say videos should be shorter and viewers want to get straight to the point.

So, it’s no surprise finding many businesses contemplating or trying to solve this dilemma of just what is the perfect length for a perfect corporate video.

However, there is no rule of thumb here and much of it depends on a number of key factors:

  • what the purpose of your video is,
  • who you are targeting and why,
  • how much you want to spend on your video,
  • how you will distribute the video to your audience, and
  • the content of your video.

Consequently, determining what your needs and goals are is the first step in deciding how long your video should be.

Don’t take the advice of well meaning friends and associates. Let’s look at this in more detail.

Types of Videos and their Average Lengths

Now, the next thing you should know is that there is no ‘perfect length’ for your video. Now it might sound kinda contradictory, but for explanations sake, I’ll give you some rough ideas of lengths for some of the most common types of promotional video:

  • Vlogs (1 to 10 minutes).
  • Event Videos (2 – 60 minutes).
  • Product Reviews (1 – 3 minutes).
  • Training Videos (2 – 30 minutes).
  • Video Case Studies – (2 – 4 minutes).
  • Viral Videos (60 – 90 seconds).
  • Very Short Form Video (6, 15 or 16 seconds).
  • Content marketing (1 – 5 minutes or longer).
  • Recruiting Videos (1 – 3 minutes).
  • Customer testimonials (1 – 2 minutes).
  • Broadcast Promotional Ads (30 – 60 seconds).
  • Online Promotional Ads (15 – 30 seconds).
  • Corporate Overview Videos (1 – 2 minutes).
  • Crowd-Funding Videos (90 seconds – 2 minutes).
  • Product or Service Demos (90 seconds – minutes).
  • Product or Service Promotions – (60 – 90 seconds).

However, if your video doesn’t fit in any of the above categories, if it’s a well-made video, people will watch it regardless of its length.

And therein lies the rub.

So, if you feel you (or someone else) has created a great corporate video that will provide value to viewers, don’t be afraid to take the risk and create a video of any length you find appropriate.

Video Length Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

  • Always measure your results and the success of your videos. For instance, if you see people abandoning your video after 45 seconds, it may be time for a little editing.
  • Break up content into smaller chunks and avoid posting videos with useless information. For long informational videos, adding index references on the page is a good idea. This way, users will be able to jump to the part they actually want to see.
  • Avoid using ineffectual branding content at the beginning of your videos and don’t go all ‘call-to-action’ on your customers again and again. That’s way too salesy and doesn’t work well with video. Instead, focus on creating a personal touch and describing useful points in a direct manner.
  • When making a video, be sure to front-load your content (similar to writing a PR). This way, your audience will view all the good stuff at the beginning, compelling them to watch the video till the end, hence increasing your brand awareness and credibility.
  • Don’t copy others. Keep in mind, there is no one size fits all mantra when it comes to online videos. You have to decide on the length of the video. Just because a particular duration worked for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you too.
  • Don’t give people a reason to click away by making them wait too long and focus on getting the point across quickly and briefly.

And we’d be crazy at the end here if we didn’t mention this: if you’re still unsure about how long your video should be, it would be a good idea to seek help from a professional video production company.

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