How long should my video be?

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Don’t lose your audience with a tedious video that could have been a lot more succinct.

The duration of the video depends on what you are trying to achieve. It comes down to two things:
1. Who is the audience?
2. Where are they watching the video?

30 years ago we made videos that ran over 15 minutes and people would gather in a board room to watch them, on VHS tape. Okay, now I’m feeling old.

If your audience are prospective customers then you need to engage with them quickly and energetically, after all you are selling to them.

If it pops up and interrupts someone’s Facebook feed then you need to get to the point quickly. Your audience needs to understand that this video might be relevant and useful to them and you need to deliver on that.

If your video is on YouTube or your website then it can be a couple of minutes long. If people are watching on those platforms then they are typically looking for your content and are prepared to watch it.

If your audience is potential donors then you need a minute or two to connect emotionally with them with a story. It needs to resonate with them and this will take more than a few seconds to achieve.

We produce a lot of virtual tour videos for schools and these tend to be a few minutes in duration. The audience are families that are considering which school to send their child and are prepared to do some research. If this means watching a 3 minute production that provides an interesting overview of the school, then 3 minutes is not too much time to spend on such an important decision.

I’m currently working on a couple of videos that are over 15 minutes in duration for a pharmaceutical company. However these are training videos on specific technical topics. The audience will be engaged with the information and appreciate the content.

Personally I know I’m happy to watch a 30 minute review video about some new technology I’ve just bought or I’m thinking of buying.

The overarching rule however, is make your videos as short as possible. Keep seeing what else you can remove or reduce. This will help keep it engaging and pacey.

If you can say and show what is required in 30 second instead of 1 minute then do it. If you can cut a 2 minute video down to 1 minute then do it.

Less is more in the world of video.

If you are looking for some creative solutions to get your clients to take the critical next step, give us a call on

About Geoff Anderson

About Geoff Anderson

Geoff Anderson is the owner of Sonic Sight and has been producing videos for 30 years. He is an author, presenter as well as a video producer.

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