Duration vs content

There is a bit of a myth that video must be under three minutes to be effective. Whilst it is vital in this day and age that social media content is short and punchy, the overall duration of a video isn’t governed by the fact that it is “a video” but more about what the message and outcomes of the content need to be, what the delivery method of the content is and how viewers will be receiving it.

As a general rule, if the content is going to be pushed onto an audience through social media channels and email campaigns and potentially the viewer wasn’t expecting to see that message pop up in their feeds then absolutely, short is sweet. Think about how we view the social media feeds we subscribe to, it’s generally with a finger ready to delete or skip to the next bit of content rather than carefully digesting everything that pops up in our feeds. So that also means that you have to hit the ground running with your message and get straight to the point so don’t start with a lovely ten second animation to reveal your company logo as the viewers will have moved on. Give a short clear message and a call to action.

For content that is pulled in by viewers such as content they find on your website or specific landing pages they may have clicked on, prompted by social media content, the duration can be longer but do be mindful that the viewer may well be looking at other competitors websites so you want to give them a compelling, engaging story in as short a time as possible and then move to a call to action such as a form completion, email enquiry, a click to buy or a or a phone call.

Finally, for instructional content, these can be as long as they need to be. If you have promised someone that by clicking on the video link they will know how to assemble a shower or install some computer software, then that is what you must deliver. If you miss vital content out to keep the duration shorter you will be misleading the viewer and that will just lead to disappointment.

So in summary, know what you are wanting to achieve with your content beforehand, know how it will reach your audience and then create the content accordingly.

Get more useful hints and advice from Bigtank in our Vlog archive.