“What’s the best length for a corporate video?”
It’s one of the first questions businesses ask us. The simple answer is… it’s complicated!
The best corporate video length is determined by many different factors including:
- The type of product or service you provide – the higher the price point, the more willing people are to do their research and watch a longer video
- Where it will be played – for example, viewers have a shorter attention span on social media, compared to if they’re watching a video at an event
- The objective of the video – do you want to improve brand awareness with a two minute explainer, build suspense with a 10 second launch preview, sell tickets to an event?
- Audience – will your audience be internal staff? A potential client browsing social media? A visitor at a conference?
- The video’s message – a complicated subject matter will probably need more air time than a simple one.
Attention Spans Are Getting Shorter
Video attention span statistics are nothing short of disappointing. A 2016 study by Visible Measures found 20% of viewers click away from a video in the first 10 seconds, while 45% will have stopped watching after one minute and 60% after two minutes.
Disappointing? Yes. Avoidable? Absolutely. If you don’t want your video to be one of these, make sure you grab their attention in the first few seconds, and use content, editing and music to hold onto it.
Channels Dictate Length
If you are keen to follow video length best practices for social media, you need to consider the main channel you will use to distribute it. News Whip conducted a study of the 10 most shared videos in September 2015 on different social media channels to find the ideal length.
For Facebook it was 57 seconds, Twitter was similar between 30 and 60 seconds, Instagram was much shorter at 15 seconds or less while YouTube’s most engaging videos average a much longer 15 minutes.
It’s All in the Content
There is no set rule for the length of your corporate video. The length of a video can have no bearing on its effectiveness. A higher number of viewers will watch a full 10-minute video with exciting content and high production values than a poorly produced two-minute video.
We produced an eight-minute video for Kerrigan Valley Beef which introduces the family members and employees that work the farm, and the process they go through to raise happy, well-fed cows.
Another client, the Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative, had a similar story to tell the process of catching Western Australian lobster. The teams involved were introduced in a 12-minute video.
Gerladton Fishermen Cooperative case study.
Less Training, More Retaining
The length of a training video needs a little more consideration than a corporate video.
Research by MIT looked at 6.9 million video session to find the optimal length. They found that shorter videos were more engaging, and videos over six minutes suffered significant viewer attrition.
So, if your training video is any more than six minutes, you’re at risk of your viewer not retaining the content.
The South32 training video on working safely at height is four minutes long. Using footage and motion graphics, it visually explains how objects become heavier as they fall from increasing heights.
SOUTH32 Working at Height case study.
As you can see, the length of a video should be determined by the intended use. Social media and many promotional videos should be short and memorable – no more than 30 to 60 seconds.
The key to a successful corporate video is to make sure it’s to the point, well-scripted and engaging enough to keep people interested. When using videos for training, break each topic into easy to understand chunks of no more than six minutes each.