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Less is More (More or Less)

Posted in AppleBlog

When it comes to video productions for digital media, many companies struggle with how long their message should be. I always say that, when deciding this, it’s best to put yourself in the viewers seat. How much information, based on the subject matter, do they really need to know? Will they be bored halfway through? You might find the subject of your business or your product interesting, but you are not making the video for you, you are making it for other people — and that’s a tough thing for a lot of people to separate. You may WANT others to be as excited about the content as you are, but the best solution is to always get to the point of the message you want to deliver. If you can’t capture someone’s attention within the first 15 seconds of your video, then you will lose most of your viewers. Don’t drag it out and don’t give too much information away so that there is no need for them to “Learn More” or whatever your call to action (CTA) may be.

If your message is about an event, then get them excited about the event! Show shots of what previous or similar events look like, give the highlights of what they can expect, and then end with a CTA like “Register today” or “Don’t miss out!”.

If your message is about a product, show the product and talk about the things that make it great or different. Again, get your viewers excited for what the product can do for them, but don’t start droning on about the product — I’m sure more information is sitting somewhere on a website where they can read about it at their leisure.

If your video is about your company, the same rules apply. Don’t pack in as much information as you can. You want them to call to learn more or visit your website or attend and upcoming event where they can meet you and ask questions. Leave them wanting more and then give them a way to get that information.

So how long should your video be? Well, that all depends. Facebook says that your best bet is to have an informational video that’s at least 3 minutes long, which is a little odd because, most people won’t sit for 3 minutes to watch a whole video. Actually, most people bail out after 15-30 seconds, which is why 15-30 second Social Media ads are sometimes the most effective way to get the information out.

If your content is really interesting and to the point, they may watch a longer video, but unless it’s some sort of Podcast or something that is news breaking, 3-5 minutes is really pushing it. If it’s something you are selling or information you need to push out, try to keep your video between 1.5-2 minutes long. Of course, this will take some restraint on your part, because you really want to tell the world everything about your [fill in the blank]. But statistics don’t lie. Longer is not necessarily better [that’s what he said]. Know your audience, put yourself in their seat so you can find the sweet spot of the perfect length of your video.