There's no question, with the amount of video content that you can find online these days, the attention span of most viewers is limited, to say the least.
When we look at viewer engagement stats for our videos, less than 10% of people watch for 3-minutes and less than 20% watch for 2-minutes. In fact, after 30-seconds, there is a significant drop off in viewers for the videos on our site.
So, that makes us really wonder, what's the ideal length of a video? Clearly, brevity is king in the world of online video, but how do you produce a 60-second or a 90-second video and still pack punch? Here are some video production tips to help you keep your stories under a minute and a half.
1. Sharpen the scope of your video
Unless you have a really captive audience, you probably won't have a lot of success with a 5-7 minute video. Rather than take all that time to tell a broad story, break your video out into smaller, bite-sized sections that focus on a specific part of your business. Once you find yourself wandering into another aspect of your story, it's time to end the piece.
2. Limit Your Interviews
In many 90-second stories, you'll have time for between 5-9 sound bites depending on the scope of the project. Sure, you could talk to 5-9 people, but chances are, that will be way more work and time than is necessary. Limit your interviews to 2-3 people max and be sure their messages are on target!
3. Prep Your Interview Subjects
Let the people you're interviewing know what you're going to ask them. Not so they can memorize a canned answer, but so they can organize their thoughts into short sound bites. Learning how to economize words, is a fabulous key to keeping stories short.
4. Make tough editing decisions
Falling in love with sound bites is a dangerous game. Sometimes the perfect sound bite has a twin that is a little less "sexy," so avoid redundancies and make the edit. Frequently, video producers get caught up in having to "make people happy," by putting them in the video. Here's a tip, don't interview them if you don't think they're going to make it in the final piece.
5. Keep up the pace of the video
All stories have a cadence. If you're trying to tell a story in 60-90 seconds, keep your edits tight, your sound bites short and to the point. You'll be amazed at how much information you can pack into a short piece if you just keep it moving.
Learning the in's and out's of producing video content takes years to perfect. To produce impactful, short videos your messaging has to be clearly defined and a keen eye and ear are essential. Most of all, maintain discipline throughout the production process and stay true to the single purpose of your piece.
Editor's Note: This blog originally published in September 2015 and was updated in January 2022.