During most of our video planning sessions with our clients, this question will pop up at least a few times: How long should the video be? And while there is no right or wrong video length, there are many important factors to consider when timing your video. Things to consider include:
To better determine the length of your video, let's break down some of the factors that will guide your decision.
What’s the Content of Your Video?
If you're watching another cat video, a 6-second video on Instagram is perfectly fine. If you’re discussing a complicated issue – like steps to getting a mortgage – it should be MUCH longer. Your video should be as long as your content will support – to tell your story and achieve your goals. Not a second longer, but not a second shorter, either.
Who is Your Audience and Where Are They Watching?
If your audience is a busy mom, quick, high-level videos might perform the best. If you’re showcasing a story about a veteran buying their first home where you already have the audience’s full attention and open heart, you can dig in deeper.
Every audience is different, so what works for one video might not work for another. Make sure to consider the viewing habits of your target audience and the context of where they might be watching your video to help you create something that will resonate.
What are Your Goals?
Every video you produce needs to have a goal that’s set during your planning meeting. Without a clear goal, it's easy to get lost in the creative process and lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish.
We help our clients plan their videos every month so that we have a clear goal for their videos.
What Platform Are You Using?
Ultimately, platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are working hard to try to get users to stay on their platform longer. They don't care if you are watching sixteen 6-second videos or three 4-minute videos as long as you are sucked in.
Every platform will have different results and those results might change in 3 months when there's a new algorithm update that favors different videos.
It's important to work with a team of video producers and social media managers who know what is working. Never assume that just because something worked, it will keep working forever. Data and analytics are your best friend, use them to make informed decisions about what to create next.