How long should my video be?

The age old question that we hear time and time again. How long should my video be?

Our lives would be a whole lot easier if there was one answer, but there isn’t. There are a few answers, and it mainly comes down to the purpose of your video.

Let’s start off with some surprising stats to set the tone:
    1. If you don’t engage your viewer within the first 10 seconds, your video will fail
    2. 50% of people drop off half way through every video

Knowing these two stats, will help you on your way to making a good video, firstly, you will make the start of it interesting, secondly, you will expect the drop off.

We haven’t really answered the question at all. We know. But the above helps with all videos regardless of the intended purpose so make sure that you get it right!

Another blanket rule – let’s keep the videos to under 2.5 minutes, and even shorter if we can! For some reason, when people are on the internet, their attention span is even shorter than in real life, so keep it short and sweet when possible. There are of course exceptions to this rule, just like every rule, but for now lets just go for as short as possible.

There are a lot of different types of animated web videos, even in a very targeted product offering like that. What is the purpose of your video? Where will it be shown? How will it be shown? Who will it be shown to? All of these factors change the optimum length of time for your video.

Have you been seeing many instagram videos lately? Well they are only 15 seconds. What about snapchat? That’s only 10 seconds. Vine? Yeah, that’s 6 seconds.

So now we have a few boundaries. Longer than 6 seconds, shorter than 2.5 minutes. But obviously, this is still a very wide gap. Let’s break it down some more:

Product/company explainer: This one is based purely on the information given, once again, you want to keep your video interesting and engaging, but if you can get the the punchline quicker, thats going to help. We would say that the ideal length for this is approximately 60-90 seconds.

TV ad: 30 seconds. That one is easy.

Web ad: Make it short and punchy! What exactly are you trying to get through? Just want to make an impact, just make a damn good video, it’ll work regardless of how long it is.

Now – ignore all the rules! Make the video that best describes what you want to say. Maybe it’s 8 minutes, but if its the best 8 minutes of my life, i’ll keep watching! Just make it as long as it needs to be!



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