How long should my video be?


Instead of asking “How long should my corporate video be?” we think you should be asking, “How short can my video be?”

The key metric for judging the success of your video is the level of engagement.

But engagement is more that just the number of people who clicked on your video, it’s about how many people watched it all the way through, and if they didn’t, how much of the video they actually watched.

How much of your business message was seen is what counts. Keeping the ‘Bounce’ rate down.

Lots of statistics now tell us that the video length (or runtime) plays a key part of how much of your message will be seen, and how high your bounce rate will be.

business video bounce rates
Reduce your video bounce rates by keeping the runtime tight!

The longer the video… the fewer people will watch it all the way through. The more people will bounce.

In fact, the longer the video’s runtime, the higher percentage of people who will bounce in the first 2% of your video.

‘The Nose’ in media speak.

You will lose about 2-3% of your viewers in the first 2% of a one minute video…. but you will lose 10% in the “Nose” of a 10 minute video. (According to statistics from Wistia.)

Long runtime videos need a higher level of commitment from the viewer, and as a consequence they are more likely to give up early.

So run time is a factor in bounce rates outside of content.

And here is another incentive to keep things short, Google has all the metrics from videos hosted in YouTube.

So if you have a high bounce rate on your YouTube videos, Google will know that, think your content is poor, and potentially this will have a negative impact on the SERP for not just your video but any websites associated with it.

So, minimising bounce rates is really important, and as such keeping runtime short is really important, because not only will people just not see your message, but you will get worse returns on Google as a consequence.

With video, less is more.

How much less will be determined by your message, but always keep in mind these…

4 tips to keep your video short…

1) Engage quickly.

Don’t bury the lead as we used to say, get to the point right away.

2) Do you need a bunch of titles?

Can you go straight to the content? Do you really need an intro? Can that information be included in the main content? Can you put the title info over a really cool shot to engage folks with it?

3) If you have multiple messages, or complex messages, break it down into multiple videos.

Don’t try to get everything across in one video, chapterise your content.

4) Always ask yourself, can I make it shorter?

Cut, Cut, Cut again! Make things as simple as possible, don’t use a 100 words when ten will do. Get rid of everything that doesn’t contribute to the core.

One final key point for helping to minimise bounce rates…

Make sure you deliver what you promised when folks found your video.

If you’ve optimised the metadata of your video for stuff, and then don’t deliver that stuff PDQ, folks will bounce.

Don’t be tempted to bring people to your video who are not directly interested in the content!

We give some more tips for choosing if you should actually put a video on YouTube in our blog about determining if YouTube is best for your video…