The power of video content takes centre stage when it comes to corporate marketing. Videos have become a cornerstone in effective communication and brand representation, and are one of the most powerful marketing strategies brands employ today.
But when embracing this shift in marketing, one big question remains — what is the ideal length of a corporate video? Too long and no one will watch the video to completion. Too short and your video isn’t informative enough. This is why striking the right balance with your video length is key to a successful corporate video campaign.
For this reason, we’ve compiled this guide to the intricacies of corporate video length. Follow along as we explore why video length matters, debunk the myth of the golden rule, and help you decode the optimal duration of your corporate video.
Let’s dive in!
If you’re searching for a “golden rule” on video length you can forward to your production department, we’ll let you in on a secret — there isn’t one!
Despite the quest for a universal time frame for corporate videos, the reality is more complex. The idea that there is a “one-size-fits-all” timeframe is a persistent myth that can harm your video campaign.
That’s because the “ideal” duration for any corporate video requires a nuanced understanding of many factors, including the platform you use, the nature of the video, budget constraints, and who your target audience is. Taking these factors into consideration, it’s difficult to recommend a single ideal duration that works for videos of all types.
Although there’s no golden rule for corporate video length, this isn’t to say that your video’s duration doesn’t matter!
In a time of notoriously short attention spans and an audience ready to be distracted, understanding the dynamics of viewer engagements is crucial. And numerous studies have shown that as video length increases, viewer retention rates decrease. Therefore, a crucial aspect of video strategy is capturing and maintaining the viewer’s interest within a limited timeframe.
An interesting study into the ideal length for a corporate video was published by Wistia, a leading third-party video hosting platform with millions of users.
The study looked at the average time viewers watched a video in correlation with its length. It found that the length of the video significantly impacted viewers’ watch time. For videos that were under 30 seconds, a majority of viewers would consume around 80% of the content. For videos longer than one hour, the average percentage of video consumed dropped to around 25%.
While this suggests that shorter videos are always better, this isn’t necessarily the case. Wistia conducted a follow-up study, comparing both the percentage of video consumed and audience engagement with the length of the video.
One interesting finding of the second study was that with longer videos, audience engagement dropped off very sharply. However, following this initial steep drop in engagement, viewer engagement declined at a much slower rate.
This suggests that viewers decide relatively early on whether they will watch a video to completion, suggesting that you should highlight your key messages at the start of your video. Once your primary information has been relayed, you can then expand on your message for the remainder of the video for audiences that want more information.
Now that you understand that there’s no golden rule for corporate video length, here are the four key influencers that determine it.
The first consideration is: who’s watching your video? Who are you trying to reach? Will your audience be a potential customer browsing through your socials? A visitor at a conference? Or maybe internal staff?
For example, if you are trying to capture the attention of a new market, you want to keep your video short, powerful, and to the point. Get the viewer’s attention and show that you’re not wasting their time.
On the other hand, if you are reaching out to an audience that is already familiar with your brand, they may stick around for a longer watch.
You also want to consider where your video will be played. Are you showing it on social media where viewer attention spans are short or are you screening it at an event or talk where people are more likely to pay attention for longer?
Your video lengths will differ greatly depending on the platform you choose to publish it on.
Since there are different maximum video length limits you’ll have to abide by for each platform, you won’t have much choice in this regard.
If you’re making an Instagram reel, for instance, you’ll have a 60-second time limit to both get your message across and make an impression on your viewers.
Before you set about deciding your video length, ask yourself this question — what is the video’s objective? Are you trying to sell tickets to an event, build suspense with a prelaunch review, or create an explainer about your brand?
A video ad designed to entice a customer to buy a certain product will be short, snappy, and engaging, while an educational explainer video will be longer, focusing more on providing detailed information to the audience.
Since the main objectives of these video types are very different, you should adjust the length according to the type of content you’ll be producing.
Producing high-quality video content comes at a cost. So another factor that dictates the length and complexity of your video is your budget.
Make sure you strike a balance between the quality and quantity of your content, ensuring that your videos meet both your content goals and financial limitations. You can check out our post on the average cost of corporate video production to make a budget.
Here is a general rule of thumb for the ideal durations for different types of videos. This is what we’ve been following at Ivory Media, so we know it’s effective:
Still not convinced that video length matters? We have more evidence! Take a look at these two major studies comparing viewer attention and preferences with corporate video lengths.
Computer science researchers at the University of Rideal conducted a detailed study looking at the engagement rates for educational corporate videos. The study examined videos hosted on the edX educational platform, comparing average engagement to the video length.
One of the most interesting findings of the study was that engagement was optimised around the 6-minute timeframe. Most students would consume a 6-minute video in its entirety, after which engagement would sharply drop off. For videos longer than 12 minutes, students spent only three minutes on average watching them.
This gives good insight into how brands can go about making their corporate training videos, either for employees or an external audience. Sticking to the 6-minute time frame can be a good idea — it’s all about learning how to maximise the amount of information you deliver while still maintaining your viewer’s attention.
Another study conducted by the online animation video company Animoto revealed the following:
We’ll sign off this post with a word on testing and optimisation. One of the best ways to gauge how well your corporate videos are performing — and what you need to change for the future — is by using video analytics. You should analyse metrics like the click-through rate, watch time, and engagement rate, and adjust your video lengths according to the results you get.
Here is the most important data you should track to measure and optimise your performance:
Of course, it’s not easy to analyse this data if you’re not a professional. So it’s a good idea to request your corporate video production company to test and optimise the content they produce for you.
As you can see, the length of your video is crucial to how well it performs with your audience. The key to a successful corporate video is to make sure it’s optimal length, well-scripted, and engaging enough to keep your viewers hooked.
Importantly, there’s no golden rule when it comes to corporate video length. But there are general length recommendations for different video types as we’ve discussed above.