Generally, you want to ensure that you don’t lose the viewer’s attention and cover all the necessary information effectively. Knowing how long your video needs to be can be tricky, but it is essential.
What is the attention span of your viewer?
I studied psychology some summers ago, and one of the modules was on memory. However, my memory is not that excellent, so off I went to do my research. To my surprise, new studies were conducted to show that attention span had further shrunk.
Here is an extract from a recent study:
Researchers in Canada surveyed 2,000 participants and studied the brain activity of 112 others using electroencephalograms (EEGs). Microsoft found that since the year 2000 (or about when the mobile revolution began) the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds.
8 seconds! Do you now think a 20-minute promo video is a good idea?
For a more in-depth video, why not follow famous TED talks criteria of a max of 18 minutes?
One key stipulation given to all speakers is that they have a maximum of 18 min to present their material. The rule dictating 18 min is based on the notion that 18 min is long enough to have a “serious” presentation but short enough to hold a person’s attention.
Of course, these guidelines are not written in stone however valuable to bear in mind for your project.
What do my clients say?
From their experience, my clients tell me that they have the best engagement with videos that are:
- 15 second reel style videos — short, sweet and dynamic, the perfect bite size introduction to retreat
- video testimonies of real people and their stories — these are said to be relatable, showing your retreat through the eyes of actual participants, and inspiring confidence in your retreat
- up to 3 minutes experience videos — long enough to show the highlights in enough detail to give future participants a chance to 'feel' what it might be like to attend your retreat.
- off-line lessons that are recorded for future use in online programs work best when they do not exceed 30 minutes
From my experience
Social media with its algorithms, prefers short, dynamic videos (as does the short attention span of the modern viewer).
All of this is good to know and keep in mind. But what is also important not to forget is the context. When I film your retreat, I live the emotions that were lived that day. I preserve them. And later, I show them through my edit.
And this is far more important than the 8, 21, or 47 seconds it will last. Because when it is done right, the viewer will stay till the end and want to know more about your valuable retreat.