Creating a video that speaks to your audience, drives home your message, and gets them to take the action you want is no easy task. There are many variables that go into it, from the type of video (e.g., interview vs. Vlog) to the length and production value. That’s why coming up with a video strategy that works and aligns with your brand can be tricky. One thing you might not have considered though is the length of your video — specifically, how long should it be? If your first thought was “as short as possible” then keep reading. We’ll discuss why brevity is key when making videos but also offer some best practices on how long they should be based on different scenarios and goals.
Why Short Videos Are Essential
Before we dive into the different video lengths, let’s talk about why you should shoot for a shorter video in the first place. The general rule of thumb is that people have an average attention span of about 10 seconds. So no matter what you’re creating, if it’s longer than that, you’re going to lose people. That’s because we’re living in the age of distraction. There are endless ways to occupy our time, and the average person checks their phone every 12 seconds. In fact, one study found that the average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds in 2018. Not only are shorter videos less intimidating to watch, but they also require less effort. Your viewer doesn’t have to devote as much time and energy to the video and can instead focus on the content. They’re also more likely to finish watching it, which is good for you since you’re most likely trying to get them to take a specific action.
Which Length Is Best For Your Video?
Now that you know why short videos are important, we can dive into which length is best for your video. If you are publishing videos on social platforms, let’s start with the length of your intro and outro (aka the video description). The description is important for helping your video appear in search results or to catch the attention of users scrolling on feeds, which is crucial for getting more views. You want to make sure the description is long enough to cover the basics of what your video is about but short enough to fit in the search bar. This can vary depending on the platform you’re using, but it’s best to err on the shorter side. While video lengths can vary based on type, research has shown that people prefer shorter videos and are less likely to watch a video if it’s too long.
How Long Should Interview Videos Be?
Interviews are a great format for getting your audience members’ stories out there. They’re also a great way to build trust with your viewers, especially if you’re interviewing experts in your industry or customers who have had success with your product. With this in mind, interviews are generally between 5 and 10 minutes long. Since you’re asking someone else to be on your show, you want to keep it short and sweet. You want to get their story out there and cover the basics but still leave them with enough time to plug their work or whatever else they want.
How Long Should Vlogs Be?
Vlogs are a great way to tell a story and show your personality while also driving home your message. They’re also a great way to introduce your brand or product if you’re looking to build a following and increase sales. What’s important to keep in mind when creating vlogs is that they’re not just about you. They’re about your audience and the problems they face. Your vlogs should be about solving people’s problems and offering your expertise to help. Vlogs can be as long as 30 minutes — although the sweet spot seems to be between 10 and 15 minutes.
How Long Should Demo and How-to Videos Be?
Demo and how-to videos are an excellent way to show someone how to do something or use a product — especially if there aren’t many written instructions available. Depending on the product you’re demoing or the how-to you’re doing, your video length will vary. Let’s say you’re creating a how-to video for your new product. In this case, you’ll want to keep it short. You don’t want to overwhelm your viewers with too much information. The average attention span is only about 10 seconds, after all. In this case, you may want to keep it under 5 minutes and include clear instructions on how to use your product.
How Long Should Personalized Videos Be?
Personalized videos sent throughout the customer journey are a great way to develop long-lasting relationships with your customers. They are a great customer experience and retention tactic and will help you boost customer lifetime value and make your brand memorable. They are also a great way to introduce your company, team, and products to your audience and connect at a more personal level. Whether they’re personal video messages to welcome new customers, to send post-purchase thank you's, recover abandoned carts or to reactivate lapsed customers, they are an excellent way to put yourself out there and get your brand noticed. How long should your personalized video be? 30 seconds to 1 minute is the sweet spot. A thank you video can even be less than 30 seconds. Maybe you want to include a discount in your message. Don't go over 1 minute though. There are tools like Maverick which provide best practices for this type of video. You only record once and Maverick will use AI to personalize your video at scale so you greet each customer by name. Maverick will provide guidelines and best practices for how to record your video message so it has the best outcome possible.
When it comes to video, shorter is always better. Not only are people more likely to watch and finish your video if it’s shorter, but they’re also more likely to share it with their friends and family. That’s because in this age of distraction, people are used to scanning their feeds for the information they want to consume. If your video is too long, it just gets skipped over. With all this in mind, you can create videos that are engaging and effective. You just have to make sure the videos are short enough for people to consume and share. Whether you’re creating an interview, vlog, demo, or brand showcase video, make sure to keep it short and sweet.