When we are talking to brands about how they can leverage video, we are frequently asked:

“How long does the video need to be?”

And it makes sense that this would be one of the first questions that come up. There is no shortage of online blogs, articles, and courses that talk about video marketing pushing broad blanket statements about how the video “has to be short” or “no longer than 1 minute”.

Why video length isn’t the place to start

While I’m not arguing that videos shouldn’t be short, the video length is usually not the correct place to start when planning a video or campaign.

There are a number of factors that are much more important to determine before thinking about how long the video should be.

Some of these factors are:

  1. What is the target outcome of the video or campaign?
  2. Who is the target audience? What matters most to them?
  3. Where is your audience in the customer journey?
  4. What is the key message?
  5. What platform will the video live on?

 

Now that we’ve decided on a strategy, how long should the video be?

Despite what you might read from the “video marketing gurus” there are no hard rules or magic formula’s here.

However, our rule when it comes to creating videos is this:

 

As long as it needs to be to achieve the target outcome, but absolutely no longer.

 

This means that yes it is important to be looking at how you can cut the video down. But this must be done without sacrificing valuableĀ information or story development that will help maintain audience engagement and drive action.

Of course, each platform will have its limitations. For example, you might be running a 6-second YouTube pre-roll ad or 30-second television spot. But beyond that, we recommend focusing more on telling a great story. Then you will have more room to maintain audienceĀ attention.

The quality of the video and storytelling is more important than the length

This is why we can’t stand watching even a 15-second advertisement that’s aggressively pushing a product but we will pay to watch a 2-hour movie.

Again, the quality of the story is what matters most.

I hope you found this helpful. Feel free to share with a friend and let us know what you thought in the comments!