How Long Should I Make My Video?

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Videos come in many shapes and sizes, and there are many corporate videos to choose from, including testimonial videos, commercials, sales videos, product videos, and service videos. You may also need an educational, promotional, or internal training video, and each type has different run times.

To ensure you get your video length right Tetra Films has put together a simple guide with some pointers. Read on to get the inside scoop!

Disclaimer

First, a disclaimer. When creating any video, it’s always best to start by working backwards from your marketing and communications goals. This will help you decide what types of videos will be most effective for you and will help clarify the best length needed to tell your story.

For example, if you need to increase sales, you may want to do a customer testimonial video. On the other hand, if you’re going to educate your audience, you could do a series of frequently asked question videos. Every video can be a different length depending on your audience, product, or service.

Here are estimates based on our past experiences:

Commercials: 15 sec, 30 sec, and 1 minute

Profile videos: 2-5 minutes

Sales/promotional videos: 1-4 minutes

Event Videos: 1-60 minutes

Testimonials: 30 sec – 3 minutes

Educational course videos: 5-15 minutes per video

Internal communications: 2-5 minutes

Safety and training: 3-15 minutes

FAQs: 30 sec – 3 minutes

Let’s Get Specific

Why is each one of these videos slightly different lengths? It all has to do with the messaging, the audience, the purpose and where the video is distributed. Internal and safety videos can be longer as you generally have a more captive audience while commercials have specific broadcast or platform specific standards that they have to adhere to.

Commercials

Generally, 15, 30, or 60 seconds are the broadcast standards at the large TV networks that sell advertising in those slots. That said, the rise of digital advertising has allowed us to be a bit more flexible with video length, and commercials that run longer than traditional broadcasts may see 45 seconds or even 5-minute videos pop up in pre-roll YouTube ads. The format and style of pre-roll ads may be that of a conventional commercial, or they could be more long-form profile videos or customer stories. The sky is the limit online. 

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Sales/Promotional Videos

It is possible to have lengthy sales videos, and some, like the video sales page, can run in at 60 minutes or more. However, on average, if you’re promoting a new product, initiative, or selling e-courses online, you need enough information to cover the high points and spark some interest. The rest will get done by the sales agent or subsequent landing pages, and sales funnel. Also, keep in mind that, as we become more digitally orientated in our buying process, we could see more longer-form sales videos or multiple short-form ones to help educate the buyer from various angles. Here is an example of a landing page Sales Video that we worked on. 

Profile Videos

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Profile videos showcase an individual, company, or initiative and can be used internally or externally. They can be shorter but typically run 2 to 5 minutes as this is the amount of time it takes to disseminate the detailed information required within them. Check out this example of a Profile Video we did. Very simple but gets across the necessary information effectively. 

Event Videos

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On average, there are two main types of corporate events that most often get captured. They are one-off social events or longer form educational events. Commonly an event highlight reel is required for both, which on average, run from 1 to 3 minutes. Secondly, the events can get filled with multiple speakers who generally speak from 30 to 60 minutes and videos are sometimes required for replay or further distribution, and they fall in those ranges of lengths. Check out this Event Highlight Video that we did for Focal Point Coaching. 

We are also seeing a big uptick in the prerecord for online events and recording of online events since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. This gives organizations more opportunities to use the digital tools now available to communicate to more people remotely, widening their footprints. 

Testimonials

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Testimonials usually have a run time of 1 to 3 minutes, which is required to build trust and emotional connection with the audience and explain the features and benefits of the product or services. It is possible to have shorter testimonials, but depending on the application in most cases they are less impactful, but always better than not having them at all. Here is an example of a testimonial we did for Prolacta Bio Science. Notice how we designed it to connect with the viewers in an emotional way while at the same time delivering clear information that the potential buyers would need. The buyers were highly educated medical professionals so it proved effective to give them more information than less as they required clear in-depth answers to their questions about the product. 

FAQ’s

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FAQ videos are a great way to answer your customers’ questions while saving you time and leveraging your ability to provide valuable information. It also showcases you as an expert and helps your audience make essential decisions while getting educated. These videos tend to be anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes, but they can be even longer if the information they are covering is in-depth. On average, we would recommend that you spend as much time as needed to explain the answer clearly. You can also lightly educate on other points relevant to the customer’s needs and guide them to more videos at the end of the footage, as it is wise to encourage the viewer to take action and continue to engage with your brand. Here’s an example of an FAQ that we did for our customers. 

Educational course videos

Educational videos tend to be 5 to 15 minutes, but could be shorter or longer depending on the subject matter and application. If the topic is engaging, then you can make the video longer. That said, never make a video long without a purpose. When creating any video your goal is to implement as many engagement techniques, and this is no different for educational videos. The same techniques that you would see when watching network television can be applied but at a lower budget range. It is important to have a good producer help you clarify what you can and cannot do at your budget. Checking out a sample of a high budget and lower budget educational videos here:

High Budget 

Low Budget 

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Internal communications

Companies are doing more digitally, and this will only continue in the future. You can expect to see monthly, yearly, or project updates, culture initiatives, AGMs, and many other videos to be disseminated virtually through company portals on an ever-increasing basis in the future.

On average communications, departments tend to need videos that range from 3 to 5 minutes as it takes that long to go over any information relevant to the company staff. If recorded, AGMs tend to be 20 minutes to 1 hour, but we often see a summary video that outlines the top points covered in a 3 to 5-minute length.

Safety and training could fall in the internal category, but I will mention them in the next section as they are relatively specific in usage and length.

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Safety and Training

Safety and training videos are like educational course videos in many ways, so similar rules apply. You have a captivated audience who, in many cases, are required to watch the video, but you must still do your best within your budget to engage them as much as possible. We would suggest making a video shorter in most cases, sometimes as little as 2 to 3 minutes. A way to do this by communicating more information via titles, graphics, and by using an engaging speaker. It is always best for safety and training to spend lots of time scripting, so the key messages get identified and any additional audio or video elements can be planned well in advance. You never want to “fix it in post”. Taking these steps will help clarify what is most important for the audience to see and make a better overall product.

Wrap Up

Videos can come in many lengths depending on the content, usage, distribution channel and audience. The essential thing in any video is that you have a clear message, know your audience and have a clear communications strategy so your audience understands what you want to tell them. If the message gets woven into an engaging story, the audience will continue to watch and gain value. At that moment, length becomes less of a concern.

If you have any more questions about videos, get in touch with the experts at Tetra Films. As a top video production company in Vancouver, we endeavor to make your video ideas a reality.

Our services include educational/training videos, promotional/commercial videos, testimonials, event videos, non-profit videos, and animated video production.

We provide video production services to clients across Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, North Vancouver, New Westminster, Surrey, White Rock, Langley, Maple Ridge, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, West Vancouver, Abbotsford, Victoria, Mission, British Columbia, Toronto, Ontario, Calgary, Edmonton, Alberta.

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