Here at Fresh Mint Films, whenever we get a discussion started with a client about filming their corporate video, I can guarantee that within the first few minutes they will ask: “How long do you think our video should be?”
So, What’s the right length for a corporate video?
Given budget constraints and a desire to cram in as much as possible, the question is perfectly understandable and worthy of a good, succinct answer. But to be honest, whilst there is no definitive answer to the question, typically the replies I offer include:
- Shorter than you are probably imagining
- Well, it depends
- Now let’s see
Of course, this fudging of the answer is my way of saying, there is no ‘right’ answer. You may well read all sorts of numbers attributed to the correct length, from 30 to 90 seconds and beyond, but for me, that’s all a bit formulaic.
Concentrating on keeping the film short does have the added advantage of ensuring the message is honed to be clearly and easily understood. Nothing focusses the mind like a ticking clock. Which leads me to the most important considerations to determine the length; content and context.
Before we even get to the film’s length, we have to go through a process of understanding the purpose of the film, the context in which it will used, what it must contain and the outcome we hope to achieve. The sort of questions we pose our clients include, but are not limited to:
- What is this video for?
- Overview or specific topic there can be no room for confusion; clarity is king.
- Who do we want to watch it?
- Identifying the audience helps with style, tone and even length, let alone content.
- Do viewers already know your organisation?
- Again the answer to this question will help us determine the approach we adopt.
- What do we want viewers to do after watching the video?
- The video should have an identified outcome that is clear and unambiguous; buy now, call us, using our products saves you time/money/effort etc.
- What information do we need to include? What is our message?
- This is critical and hopefully the driver for the client wanting to use video in the first place and not because XYZ Competitors Ltd have one.
- When and where will the video be used?
- Although all video should be treated the same, whether it’s a talking head testimonial to be shown on the big screen at an awards event, or a ‘how-to’ video on the website, the eventual use will also influence our approach to the film and it should for our client too.
Google’s inclusion of videos in search results and its dedicated video tab demonstrate the growing importance of video, particularly in helping people understand an organisations products and services.
There’s a rush to get moving pictures onto business websites, but too many are worrying about technical details like the length of their video, rather than concentrating on telling a compelling, relevant story in an engaging way.
Want to discuss your next video? I’ve got a minute or two to spare!