The perfect length of a corporate video…

I was reminded recently of this topic as I get asked this question often – how long should my video be?  The answer is simple.  Let me explain.

When it comes to the world of corporate videos, and I mean the ones that are promoting a company, a product, or are an interview of a company spokesperson, there is a tendency to concentrate on getting the content recorded and that all bases are covered.  Then, whatever the duration of the video turns out to be, will be.  Disaster.

Be respectful

Creating a great corporate video is about treating every word, and silence with respect.  You need to be painstakingly detailed at watching the final edit over and over again and refine.

Tighten every phrase.  Remove the gaps, add lots of support graphics and B-roll to keep things dynamic as your audience is a ticking time bomb with a hair trigger – one wrong move by you, the video producer and it’s all over.

The sweet spot

So, what is the sweet spot? Around two and a half minutes.

I don’t say this off the cuff, I say this after thousands of hours of corporate and demo video writing, producing, editing and presenting – it’s actually one of the key types of content that I produce for companies every day.  If you don’t want to take my word for it, there are some great tools in YouTube analytics and video platforms like wistia.com to tell you how long people actually watch your videos and which parts they like the best.

Two minutes thirty seconds

More importantly, I know because I watch people watching corporate videos!  They start to get bored at the around the 2 minute marker, and you will start to lose them, when in fact, you actually want to get them to do something else (a call to action or CTA), like follow up onto your website, or fill in a contact form.  Anything over 2:30 and you have lost a potential lead.

That’s it, no exceptions – well, unless your video contains:

  • Highly technical content – Videos are allowed to be longer, because there is detail for a reason.  Do not confuse these with product marketing videos that still need to be around the 2:30 minute mark.
  • An educational course
  • You (as the talent) – people always want their time in the lime light to be longer in length.  Tip: that’s when you need to be honest as the video producer and keep to 2:30 maximum
But it’s all good content, isn’t it?

There is a tendency to think that if your subject is someone important, then the video cannot be touched.  This is simply untrue and is frankly unfair to the viewer.  There is no excuse for not editing down the content to make the video flow better and the message clearer.

I actually love the challenge of bringing down a video’s duration, it’s amazing what is possible to still retain the original intent, whilst keeping it engaging.  Removing the stumbles and the questions that don’t serve a purpose is a great start to being on your way.

Content is gold – break it up and make it last

Video is not the cheapest thing to produce and blowing all your material in one hit is a waste.  Why not break the video down into chunks of content, and use it for separate opportunities in the months to come in order to gain market attention via YouTube, web and social.

Any corporate video over 2:30 and you are getting little business advantage.

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