The Ideal Length of Video -- and 3 Other Ways to Improve Your Online Videos

Last Updated Feb 20, 2011 11:46 PM EST

Video is the new franca lingua of the Internet: As you probably figured out long ago, if you want to communicate with customers, you will often get better results if you do it with video. Not all video is created equal, though. Long videos perform relatively worse than shorter video, for example, and video hosting company Wistia recently blogged about a handful of ways to optimize the video you create for the Web.

Here's what you need to know:

Keep it short -- under 2 minutes, to be precise. People love video, but your customer's attention span is dreadfully short. Wistia found that the completion rate for 30 second video is close to 90 percent, but it drops to barely more than 50 percent if the video is 2 minutes. Of course, completion rate might not be critical, as long as customers get the important bits of your message and are happy with your video. But if the call to action is in the last 10 seconds and no one ever watches that far, you have a problem...

Put the message at the beginning. ...Which is why it's a really good idea to front-load the video with the call to action and other critical message elements. Whatever you want the customer to walk away knowing, you should put at the start of the video.


Be clear, direct, and relevant. Make sure that your video contains new, unique, and interesting information. If you're publishing customer testimonials, for example, trim out anything that's vague, generalized, or non-specific. Know what you want to say and say it, or viewers will click away.

Be human and personal. Be sure to make a personal connection early in the video. Who is speaking? What's their story? How does it relate to your product or service? People are human and social creatures, and are more inclined to stick with a video if they can relate to the on-screen presenter. [via Digital Inspiration]

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