higher education video: how long should your recruitment video be?

March 30, 2012 by

The length of a video has a big impact on whether it gets watched all the way through, or even watched at all.

Check out this video to learn how to make your recruitment video exactly the right length.

[a transcript appears below the video if you'd rather read this information]

In this video I want to talk about how long your recruitment video should be.

Now there’s really no set answer to that question, but here are a couple of rough guidelines that can come in handy.

For instance, you might have heard that no online video should be longer than 2-3 minutes.  That’s usually a great guideline, and 1 minute is even better if you can get through everything without rushing too much!

But sometimes 2-3 minutes just won’t be enough, especially if you’ve got a compelling story to tell.  So let’s dig a little deeper.

The first thing to always keep top of mind is that the online environment is all about impatience.  People want things, and they want them right now.  If it looks like you’re going to take too long to get to the point, they’ll click away without a 2nd thought.

On the other hand, on average, people are starting to spend more time watching longer videos, which seems to contradict what I’m telling you here.

The answer to this conundrum is actually pretty simple - we’re all watching more and more videos and tv programs online.  Which is actually a pretty good clue for you about how to structure your video projects.

So you need to start by getting clear about your purpose - is your video meant to primarily educate or to entertain?  They’re not mutually exclusive, but in most cases you’ll be able to answer that question pretty readily.

Now, if information is at the top of your agenda, that’s when you really want to take care of business quickly.  So in that case it’s good to have 1 core message for each video, like I do in this video, and to deliver that message as succintly as possible.

On the other hand, if you’re telling a story, a whole different frame of reference comes into play.

Stories have their own internal logic, and a well-told story just shouldn’t be rushed.  If you’ve tapped into people’s emotions, they want to savor the experience, so let them stick around for a while.

But, if you linger too long, or you leave in things you really like but that really don’t fit, people will lose interest, and you’ll lose them.

So to keep that from happening, edit ruthlessly!  Get tough on yourself and chop out any material that isn’t absolutely essential for the integrity of your story.

Another helpful trick is to show your video to other people and watch their eyes as the video progresses.  Are there any flickers of distraction or boredom?  It’s a great way to find out what really needs to be there, and what’s just taking up time.

That’s all I’ve got for this short video.  Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

If you found this information useful, please subscribe to my blog.

Photo credits: d.loopAlex E. Proimosmikepetruccih.koppdelaneyFurryscalyhelgabj

Leave a Comment