One of the most frequently asked of all FAQ in video production is: how long should my video be?
Good question. Unfortunately, there is no magic answer.
Shorter is almost always better, but honestly, your video should be as long as it takes to adequately get your point across. No longer and no shorter.
I know answers like that frustrate people but it is the only honest answer I can give. Read on for details to help you make a good decision about how long your video production should be.
Some videos are best if kept at 30 seconds or under. Some videos contain enough meat to be an hour.
It totally depends on your subject matter and how much you have to say.
Now, having said that, I’ll also tell you that SHORTER IS ALMOST ALWAYS BETTER.
Video time and “real time” are entirely two different things. Ten minutes on video is an eternity, no matter the subject. Ten minutes in real life usually flashes by like a nano-second.
A good video is CONCISE, no doubt about it. You might THINK you have thirty minutes worth of information but chances are you really only have five minutes worth. In my experience, virtually everyone assumes their information is so compelling that the audience wants to hear every little detail. Highly unlikely.
About 99% of all the clients I worked with as a freelance video producer started out requesting a thirty minute video. That time frame is common for TV shows so they assumed that was a good length. We’d usually end up with something six or seven minutes long and that was plenty. Thirty minutes would have been a total snoozer.
Video viewers have incredibly short attention spans. That means you should only put TRULY COMPELLING information in your video. Stay laser focused. Do not wander off on tangents.
If anything, leave the audience wanting more.
Fancy video production techniques can help your video avoid being labeled as boring. Music, great videography, fast-paced editing, all of these things can help your video production keep the audience’s attention.
If I had to give a STANDARD LENGTH for your AVERAGE VIDEO PRODUCTION, I would say two or three minutes. That’s all. That might seem short, but go to You Tube and check out lengths. Do you enjoy watching a ten minute video about knitting? Probably not, unless you are an avid knitter. But I’d bet you would enjoy a one-minute video on knitting, especially if it had awesome music and interesting shots editing together in a whiz-bang fashion.
So keep it short, that’s the best generalized advice.
Thanks for reading Video Production Tips!