How Long Should Your Video Be? 3 Things To Consider

B2B buyers’ attention spans continue to shrink, and videos are growing in popularity as effective content pieces in nurture strategies. According to Demand Gen Report’s 2014 B2B Content Preferences Survey, sharing of video content among B2B buyers is up 15% year-on-year, which heartily amplifies the 58% of B2B buyers who said they viewed video content in the past year.

When we develop video content for clients, often the first question they ask is how long should the video be. The obvious answer is “short,” but we have produced 10-minute videos, 5-minute videos and 90-second videos for clients. Length depends on story, audience and intent.

Let’s look at each of these:

  1. Story: Some stories need more time to tell. A case-study video would be lengthier than an ungated, high-level, brand video. Tip: Telling stories about people takes longer because, generally, they are more complex stories.
  2. Audience: Expectations for videos can vary by audience. An IT systems engineer will have different expectations than a Head of Chain Operations, for instance. The engineer has a more focused, contained workflow and will devote time if he/she will learn something new; the Head of Chain Operations has a more chaotic day, travels more, and has less time to devote to videos. This buyer wants an overview. Tip: Use persona insight when planning videos. Ask, “Under what circumstances will the persona be watching the video?” and then plan accordingly.
  3. Intent: What message does the video convey, and where does it fall in the buying cycle? Early-stage videos meant to advance buyers to the next touch are going to be shorter and punchier than late-stage videos that are answering specific buyer questions. Tip: If you want the video to “plant” questions in the buyer’s mind so they’ll seek answers with the next piece of content, make the video shorter. If you want the video to fully answer questions a buyer will have at a given stage, it’s usually going to be longer.

Video is a great content format right now. It’s easy to consume and can help you reach today’s savvy, multi-tasking B2B buyer. Start by thinking about length, one of many decisions you’ll make as you plan your video. In general shorter is always better with content, but don’t determine a length arbitrarily.

Use these three considerations to identify a length, and then move on to develop the storyline. You’ll be on your way to producing an effective, successful content piece!


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