The short answer? As short as possible. The human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to just 8 seconds in the last 16 years. That’s one second less than the reported attention span of a goldfish.
The ideal video length really depends on your brand’s intended use for the video. An explainer video should be shorter than an interview with a thought-leader. A customer testimonial video might be about the same length as a video you’d play at a large company event -- but what about a product demonstration?
*It’s been about 12 seconds. This is where the human attention span starts to wain.*
There isn’t always a black and white answer, but this article will give you some boundaries to operate within as you continue to develop your branded video idea, and help you focus on keeping your video short, while still accomplishing your goals.
Choosing the best length for your video is a combination of figuring out the best way to prioritize information sharing, while still allowing for a story to be told. Even if that story is just how to cook an egg - there’s a clear beginning, middle, and end.
*It’s been about 30 seconds now. If this were a video, we may have lost up to 33% of viewers at this point.*
Research by Visible Measures, Graphic by JPL
According to recent studies, in just a 30 second video, you need to hook your viewers within the first 8 seconds, then, you need to pull them back in, two more times over the course of the video. Not to mention making sure to leave them with a clear call to action or memorable moment.
First, get their attention.
Have a captivating opening scene, like in this video:
Prioritize the information you’re sharing.
Staying with the idea that people lose interest in video as early as 8 seconds in, be sure to use the first 8 seconds to give the viewer a clear idea of what to expect for the rest of the video. Convey the key points you’ll be touching on and set expectations.
What are your priorities? Start by making a list of things you need to communicate.
Don’t overload your audience with information. It might be tempting to try to communicate as much information as possible, especially in a brand video, but you need to use your videos to strategically inspire viewers to take you up on your CTAs.
Keep it visually interesting.
Utilize on-screen text to quickly convey information and keep your viewers stimulated. With Facebook’s current auto-play without audio function (85% of video views happen without sound), making sure you have strong visuals and easy to read on-screen text is more important than ever.
How long is too long?
For explainer videos, you don’t want to go too fast, or else it makes it hard on your viewer to absorb what you’re trying to teach.
For online video, keeping it around 2 minutes is ideal for most, and unless you’re doing a longer interview video, or telling a captivating story, try to keep your videos under 10 minutes -- 6 minutes if you can.
How short is too short?
Instagram recently rolled out an increased time limit for videos - it used to be a mere 15 seconds, but now you have 60 seconds to work with. It may have been because more and more brands are using the platform, and 15 seconds just wasn’t cutting it for more complex videos.
30 seconds might be perfect for some of those little tidbits of information you’re trying to share - like quick tips and facts videos - but when making a video less than a minute long, ask yourself: Am I trying to convey too much information too quickly? If your video is over before you even know what hit you, then you risk confusing your viewers.
Short, or long, your video is unique.
As you go down the road of branded video content, expect your strategy to change. You can check viewer statistics on YouTube and Facebook to observe specific viewing habits (are they stopping half way, skipping around, rewatching parts?); your strategy should continue to evolve as your video library grows.
Working to make your video content creation system sustainable is an important part of setting yourself up for success. Showbox allows you to create video content with unique graphics, music, and audio - then, you can save your custom video format, and come back to it at any time to use in future videos. With these and other marketer-friendly capabilities, Showbox makes it easy to stay on-brand, while adjusting things like length for future videos.
Take a look today, and if you have [X:00 MINUTES], watch this video and find out more: