Does length really matter? Online video length, that is. Find out in this week’s episode of “Let’s Talk Video!”
Today’s viewer question comes from Brian in Virginia Beach, VA. He writes:
Dear Jaime (and Steve),
Thanks to your advice I’m now getting started with writing, filming and editing my own online videos. I am wondering how long I should make them so people will want to watch. Are there any rules you can suggest so I can maximize my video views?
Great question, Brian. Thanks so much for sending it in!
Watch the full episode below to see our answer:
First things first, how long your online videos should be depends on several factors including: what kind of video you’re producing, who the audience is, where you’re going to be uploading it, and how you’re going to use it. Every video you produce should be done with a clear purpose in mind. Knowing the answers to those key questions will help you accomplish your specific goal for each video. The question to start with is: what are you trying to accomplish with your video? That answer will determine what to include and approximately how long each video should be.
As a general rule, your online videos should be long enough to get your point across, but short enough to keep your viewer’s attention. A great way to think about this is to put yourself in your viewer’s shoes. When YOU’RE online looking at other people’s websites or social media pages, how much time are YOU willing to invest to watch someone else’s video?
Remember: your content is the most important factor to consider when producing your online videos. If your content is not engaging or interesting, then you’ll have a hard time getting viewers to watch your video for ANY length of time. That being said, video length depends on the kind of video you’re planning to produce.
Below are a few of the most popular types of videos that we recommend entrepreneurs do as part of their overall online video strategy, and our suggested video length for each one.
Recommended Video #1: Welcome Video (Home Page)
We recommend that every entrepreneur have a Welcome Video on the Home page of their website. The purpose of this video is to briefly introduce yourself to your audience and tell them a little bit about who you are, what you do, and most importantly, what you can do for them! If it’s appropriate, we also recommend that your Welcome Video include an invitation for the viewer to opt-in to your mailing list. Regarding timing, a good estimate for video length on this type of video is less than 3 minutes long. Shorter is even better!
Recommended Video #2: Brand Story Video (“About” Page)
Next, we recommend that you have a video on the “About” page of your website. The specific type of video we most highly recommend for this purpose is a Brand Story Video. Keep in mind that the “About” page is the perfect place for people to learn more about who you are, what you do and why you do it, which helps tremendously to differentiate YOU from all the other people out there who offer something similar. It also happens to be one of the most frequently visited pages of your website. Regarding video length for your Brand Story Video, we recommend that you keep it under 5 minutes long. This is a key opportunity for you to allow your viewers to get to know you personally and connect emotionally with your brand story.
Recommended Video #3: Training Videos (for Opt-In Gift)
Third, we recommend that you have a series of teaching or training videos that you offer as your free opt-in gift when people subscribe to your mailing list. Your job with this video series is to deliver great takeaway value to your viewers. This way they feel confident that YOU are the person who they should hire. This type of video can be a little bit longer as your viewers have already agreed that they want to learn about the topic. We recommend that these videos are between 5 and 10 minutes long. This is the perfect amount of time to get into depth with your subject matter, but not SO long that people are unwilling to invest their time to watch.
Next, we recommend that you get started on some form of regular video content that helps to establish your authority in your area of expertise.
Recommended Video #4: Regular Series of “Tips” Videos
One idea is to do a series of short “Tips” videos that you use on social media, to drive traffic back to your website. Since most people have a very short attention span on social media, we recommend that these videos are no longer than 2 minutes long each. Aim for 60-90 seconds if you can. Again, long enough to provide great content, but short enough to keep their attention!
Recommended Video #5: Weekly Blog Show Episodes
Another great idea for providing regular video content is to do your own weekly blog show. Offer free tips and advice in your area of expertise. As you can see, our blog show episodes for “Let’s Talk Video!” average about 5-6 minutes long. We want to provide you with plenty of great advice, but still keep it short enough so you feel you can take the time to watch weekly.
The bottom line is you need to get clear about the purpose of your videos to determine the appropriate video length. But always remember to give great value to your viewers. It doesn’t matter how short your video is if no one gets any value from it. It also doesn’t matter how much great content you offer if your video is so long that no one will watch it!
Thanks so much for your question, Brian – we really hope that advice helped. And thanks for being such a loyal viewer!
If you got great value from the information in this video, please leave us a comment below. Tell us: do YOU think online video length matters?
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If you have a question that you’d like answered on an upcoming show, please email it to us at: LetsTalkVideo@GeffnerProductions.com