How Long Should My Business Video Be?


Business Video Production Tips

How to Plan Video Length for your Business Video Production

By Greg Ball, President of BMI

For business video, the length can make or break its success. Before shooting, your production company will need to have a plan for the video’s length. So how do you figure out how long your business video should be? That is a very good question, and one I’m commonly asked. When it comes to movies, some are three hour epics, and others tell their stories in a little under 90 minutes. Then again, look at how much info is packed into a thirty second commercial.

In the world of business video production, especially promotional and marketing videos, the key to determining how long the piece should be is as much about where and when it will be seen, as it is about the content.

A Captive Audience Vs. Web Video Audience for Your Business Video

A video on your website where someone may land, and if you are lucky, stick around for a couple of minutes, should be considerably shorter than when you have a “captive audience,” such as in a doctor’s waiting room. There’s nothing worse than sitting in a waiting room and watching the same video over and over again. Eventually you start mouthing the words to the video, and also realize how long you’ve been waiting for the doctor.

Business Videos on the Web

For web distribution such as on YouTube, on your business website or corporate website, it’s also a good idea to keep your video short. That’s because having a shorter video means the digital file size will be smaller. It will use less bandwidth and will load and play faster, which can make a huge difference to viewer retention. A shorter video also increases the likelihood that your viewer will watch until the end, where your final call to action is likely to be (Check out our web video production services page for details on our services).

Shorter Business Videos Can Often Be More Effective!

Regardless of where the business video will be seen, research has shown that generally speaking, shorter is better. Especially when it comes to promotional and marketing videos, under two minutes seems to be the ideal length. A recent study on the length of video found a 30-second video was viewed an average of 85% of the way through, while the average 2-minute video was viewed only about 50% of the way through. This should be considered a high priority fact when planning your business video production.

How Long Should Business Training and Educational Videos Be?

Of course detailed, “how to” or instructional videos by their very nature, need to be longer; but still the attention span of the viewer must be kept in mind. There’s always a drop off after the initial minute or two of any video, which is why shorter is better, and why a 30-second video is far more likely to be watched start to finish, than one that is five minutes long.

Putting Important Stuff First

In videos that need to be longer than a minute or so, I suggest that you “front-load” the video. That means that you will put all of your most important branding elements, including the first call-to-action, and anything you want your viewer to “take away” within the first minute or two of any video, no matter the ultimate length. This must be determined up front so your script can be written with front-loading in mind, and your business video production can be planned appropriately.

Consider Planning for Multiple Edited Versions in your Business Video Production

There are so many different options today as to where and how you can distribute your videos. One option is to work with a professional producer/director who’s skilled at creating multiple versions or “cut downs” of your video to match the required length for the various outlets, while keeping the content on point and on message. Not only will this give you an opportunity to leverage all of the media outlets available to you, but it can save you money by purchasing a “package,” where the producer creates a “main video” for you, say in the range of 3-5 minutes, and then offers you additional shorter versions of the piece, such as a two minute segment for web distribution, and a 30-second and 60-second spot for broadcast.

This keeps your look and branding consistent, and saves you money, because it saves the producer time to create and edit all of your “packages” at the same time.

Having multiple edits or versions of your video also allows you to “split test” them, and see exactly which length is resonating best with your audience.

It’s Not the length of the Business Video, it’s the Value of the Message!

Finally, though length will be a factor in how successful your video will be, it doesn’t matter how long it is, if it does not strike a chord with your target audience. Any video must show your audience that you understand their needs, and it must meet their needs in a creative and engaging way. After all, Jerry Seinfeld once said, “There is no such thing as an attention span, there is only the quality of what you are viewing. People have an infinite attention span if you are entertaining them.”

If you’re looking for a video production company that specializes in video for business purposes, you’ve found us! Give us a call. We can give you some great ideas and a no obligation quote.

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About Author

Greg Ball is the President and owner of Ball Media Innovations. Before starting this company in 2002, he ran the Burger King World Headquarters video operation for many years. Greg has produced videos for major corporations and small businesses on a local and global basis.