One of the questions I get asked quite a lot about video is how long should I make my web video? There’s a handful of rules, and I say as a rule aim for the ninety second mark and don’t make it over two minutes.
The reason I say that is that when people go to play a video, before they play it, most video players will tell you how long it is. And people won’t commit, regardless of how good it is, it could be directed by Spielberg, it could be featuring Brad Pitt, it could be amazing and beautiful, but if people see that it’s more than two minutes and feel like they don’t wanna invest in that amount of time, then they just won’t watch it.
And so you can’t do anything about someone who hasn’t even clicked play. But then once people do click play you need to make the first eight seconds count, make sure that they feel like they are watching something that they want to be watching that’s honestly about what they think they’ve clicked on, and then in the first thirty seconds to have them in properly. Have them properly hooked in. From there you can kind of work from it.
One of the cool things that YouTube offers is a statistic where you can go in and see how long people are watching for and where they’re dropping off. After you’ve made your first web video, let it get a few hits, maybe kind of fifty or a hundred hits, and go in and have a look at where people are stopping watching.
It doesn’t matter if you get ten million hits but everyone stops watching in the first ten seconds, because your message isn’t getting across and you’re probably not hitting your target market.
So make sure that you create a video that’s the length that your market is interested in watching, which as a rule should be around the ninety second mark. The shorter the better, but you want to make sure you get your message across effectively.