A really common question we are asked is how long should a video be?

Here’s the bad news. There is no such thing as the ideal length.

As a general rule however the shorter the better.

But now we are going to disagree with ourselves. You see if you look at news and politics videos on YouTube they tend to be longer than most other videos on the site. Not surprisingly they also tend to have half the view count of the most popular category which is music.

But when it comes to generating viewer comments they are way ahead of every other category. So longer videos can mean lower viewer numbers but higher viewer engagement.

There is no simple formula for deciding on the ideal length you do need to ask what do you want to achieve?

What you do need then is an objective. For lots of discussion and viewer interaction 5 -10 minute videos will work well but are less likely to experience high viewer numbers. By comparison if what you want is high viewer numbers then you need to get your message across in as short a time as you can manage.

Take a look at our short advert for a live webcast for Tourism Intelligence Scotland. It helped generate 150 bookings for the webcast but was never going to stimulate a deep and meaning ful discussion.

Its horses for courses at the end of the day.

Posted by Ian Forsyth at 6:05:32 pm on October 27 2011