On the internet, a one minute video is never exactly one minute. While traditional broadcast or web pre-roll video placements might occasionally force your hand into creating for a 5, 10, 15 or 30-second window, the vast majority of internet distribution channels allow for complete freedom from the constrictions of time. The anecdotal argument that online audiences will only tolerate short videos has now been proven false. Mediapost recently reported an Invodo study that found “37% of consumers spent more than three minutes watching product videos that are educational or demonstrate how to use a product.”
Whenever a client asks for a “one minute video” that’s intended for web distribution, I work with them to create a video with the appropriate informational content and it generally ends up running between 40 seconds and 1:30 in length. The takeaway here is “appropriate informational content”. Building the right message for an audience is a lot easier when you’re not watching the clock and it’s more effective to deliver a great video than one that just fits into an arbitrary time limit.
For content producers and brand managers alike, it’s important to always remember a little wisdom from Film School 101; story is king. The differentiator for good content will never be length, distribution outlet or even (in many cases) video quality. It’s not unheard of for a homemade video to amass millions of views. The key to success with an audience is to tell an engaging story that keeps their interest while it delivers your information. The rest is just adspeak.