“Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
Truer words have never been spoken, particularly when it comes to video content. TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts have taken advantage of short attention spans and shown that people crave bite-sized content that moves fast. The shorter the better!
You may be saying to yourself, “But Edwin, this is a really good video and lots of people will watch all 9 minutes!” I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your viewers that do finish it are going to feel like Rose in Titanic. The most desirable length is right around 30 seconds for a video. Is it hard to tell a story in that amount of time? Yes, but that’s the fun part! I embrace the challenge of trying to tell a compelling story with shorter and shorter amounts of time in which to tell it. You need to grab the viewer’s attention right off the bat, keep it interesting (or entertaining) and hopefully they’ll watch the whole thing.
Are all videos meant to be TikTok-y content? Of course not. We still put out videos that range from 90 seconds up to 3 minutes. If you need to go longer, a great rule of thumb is to aim for 2 minutes. I would not suggest going over 3 minutes. Just keep in mind that, ideally, the shorter you can go (without sacrificing the story), the better.
Also, don’t forget you can create multiple versions of a video. You can make a shorter version for certain social platforms that will ideally drive the viewer to watch the longer version on another platform or website.
My best advice to you is this—keep it short, sweet and to the point. You’ll get more views and more engagement.
Thank you for attending my Ed Talk. :-)