A: IT DEPENDS
Yes, that's a little bit of a tongue-in-cheek reply but it's an honest answer. There's no set-in-stone rule when it comes to how long a video should be so there's no need to feel fenced in by a 'perfect number'. Still, it is definitely a very important question to ask and, fortunately, there's a way to find the answer for your own video project.
ALWAYS REMEMBER (2 GOLDEN RULES FOR YOUR COMPANY VIDEO)...
Regardless of the type of video you're making, where it will be used, who will be watching it, what the subject matter is, etc., there are two things you should always keep in mind.
1.) Content is King - This has been, and will always be, true. Marketing tactics may change over time and the way we communicate with customers may evolve, but this is the #1 thing you should keep in mind when trying to answer the question for yourself. If you only have a minute of relevant, valuable content then that's how long your video should be.
2.) You have 8 seconds to make an impression - You know that corporate video you spent time and money on? If you didn't make sure the first 8 seconds were engaging enough you might have lost a lot of viewers before you ever even had them. Start with a story, pain point, humor or something creative to get viewers on board and willing to spend the time watching your content. Good content that matters to your audience will always get their attention.
does the subject matter of your video....matter?
Absolutely! Many times, the subject matter determines the length of the video. A more in-depth concept will need more time to explain. If it takes 5 minutes to deliver the information, then take 5 minutes. Don't sacrifice the information viewers want or need just because you think a 1-minute video is the perfect length. Take all the time necessary to get your points across. If you need 5 minutes to explain something and try to reduce it to a minute, your video will be jumbled, ineffective and unwatchable.
On the other hand, you should never try to reach a certain video length if your message doesn't require it. Don't fill time just to make a video the "perfect length."
As always, refer back to the 2 golden rules for video production above.
WHo are you talking to and why?
Your audience and the reason they are watching your video matters a lot. For example, we had a client that was launching a new program and they needed to not only introduce that program, but explain the reason for its existence. It's not often that we create a video that is almost 3-and-a-half minutes long, but the client agreed with us that the need for full information for such an important subject and problem was more important than a pre-determined length.
Shorter videos: Sometime short-and-to-the-point is not only the right way to go, but it's the only way to go. 30-second commercials mean you only have a half-minute to deliver your message. That's really OK. Well done videos and commercials prove that it's possible to have a video be effective even at 30 seconds long. To craft a shorter, impactful video follow the example below: the pain point is established immediately (by a real customer no less), the solution is delivered, and visual examples of the pain and solution are very effective. Short and to the point with no need to fill a "perfect" time frame.
Let's face it - If you had all the money in the world to spend on video content marketing, this question about video length might not even matter that much. But the reality is that we're all slaves to our budgets. And like anything else, the more money you spend the more content you will probably get. But quantity doesn't always mean quality. So consider your budget just one more factor in determining video length.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There's no right or wrong answer to the question. Always remember that content and quality are the main things you should be thinking about when considering creating a video, and they will always trump a "perfect" video length.
We always use the example that 30-second television commercials can be so boring and so irrelevant to you, that you can't wait to switch the channel. However, 3-minute movie trailers can get your attention and get you interested in the movie that is previewing. It's the same with brand videos. Do content right, and the timing will fall into place.
Storyboard Media Group is a full service video production agency providing creative video production. From concept creation to script writing, and production to video marketing. Reach out today to put your own project in motion.