Video Length: How Long Should Your Training Videos be?

Written by
Simi

The question of how long a training video should be is quite common and has always puzzled the content creators. The length of training videos depends on the platform used, the target audience, and the content. It is important to find an ideal spot to ensure that the video is of an appropriate length.

It also makes sense to grab and maintain the recipients’ attention and, at the same time, ensure that the videos are not too long or too short.

The success of a video does not depend on its length

There is always a belief that shorter videos are better than long ones. Whereas this can be justified, it is not always the case. The video viewer trends and habits reveal that some people prefer videos that are up to six minutes.

Others prefer videos in the range of 10-19 minutes, indicating that people are still interested in longer videos as long as they have the right content. People are likely to watch longer videos if they consider them “great.” Thus, the length of the video does not necessarily determine its success.

The view count can determine the success of a training video. The views show the reach of the content of the video. If you want many people to access your video, track the online views. However, take note that counting the views across the web is done differently- For instance, the views are counted after a video has been watched for thirty seconds on YouTube.

Finding a suitable run time

Online videos differ greatly from e-learning videos. As such, it is difficult to compare the ideal video length for social media with those used for classrooms and office training. Training videos should always be comprehensive to serve the desired purpose.

When creating a training video, take note that the information quality and the length matter a lot. Therefore, a learning video should not go beyond six minutes because such are said to be more engaging. If you want to introduce a new product or concept in a video, address every aspect concerning that within six minutes.

Your main goal should be to ensure that the audiences get maximum benefits from the content therein. You need to be careful because it could be challenging to deliver important information within six minutes.

An ideal video length is all about considering how you keep the viewers’ attention for a long time and deliver the important information. The attention span may shrink over time but it does not mean that grabbing and maintaining viewers’’ attention is impossible.

The length of the video is not the main determinant of whether people will stop watching the videos or not. The majority of people will watch a video for a long time if it has information they are looking for. Keeping the audience engaged requires that you know the following things:

  • Your target audience
  • The problem you intend to solve
  • The audience’s learning goals
  • What your audience may require from you to meet their learning goals.
  • The skill level of your target audience

Having addressed the above questions, you can figure out your videos’ goals and address the issues efficiently and effectively. If you need to go beyond the six minutes, find a balance between maintaining a steadily engaged and actively engaged audience.

Grabbing attention on social media

One of the best ways of sharing training videos is through social media. Potential learners on social media tend to scroll down and skim through the newsfeed and this is a great chance to strike them with content.

Maybe those who attempt to watch your videos may not do it for long because that is not what they came for. Therefore, ensure that the videos are very brief’ not more than three minutes. To make the course engaging and snappier, you could repurpose the content. Focus on driving the content succinctly and quickly and avoid dragging it on if it is not necessary.

The length of the video also depends on the social media platform you are using for training. You can restrict your Instagram videos to 30 seconds or, in some cases, go up to 60 seconds. The midway spot of 30 seconds is regarded as the sweet spot and is suitable for mobile audiences or people who like multitasking.

The video length for Facebook can be between 24 and 90 seconds. Facebook videos can run for up to four hours but shorter ones are better because the attention span for Facebook audiences is short. If you want to train users about the usage of products, ensure they can access the juiciest information within the first few seconds of the video.

Recaps and trailers

Recaps and trailers videos can range between two and five minutes as this is enough to ensure you don’t give so much away. Such videos are short of ensuring that the audiences don’t have a reason to skip them.

Since the information that can fit in such a short video is limited, focus on delivering specific information such as a course preview and module introduction. Getting to the details of the courses requires you to create something longer.

Tutorials, overviews, and guides

Research reveals that an optimal video should last six minutes. This case may be compelling but your content’s bulk is better in the range of six and ten minutes. The learners can absorb valuable content within six minutes and since this is not a long period, they can be encouraged to watch it even during short breaks.

Six minutes is an ideal length for tutorials, overviews, and guides. After watching one video, the learners may be interested in looking for more and they may feel like they have awarded themselves with something valuable and interesting.

Deep content

Complex topics that cannot be covered within a short time require longer videos lasting up to twenty minutes. A lot of content falls under this category and includes harassment and compliance training and job–related topics like software and hardware training. When creating longer training videos, you need to keep in mind that some learners are unlikely to watch them to the end.

The videos should be of high quality and engaging throughout if you wish to maintain the audience’s interests. Long videos are not suitable for mobile learners because they are awkward to absorb in public.

The demand for longer training videos is ever increasing. Deep content training videos can be good for improving the skills of employees at the workplace. You can use presentation videos and make them available for the audience who may not have had a chance to attend the physical event. This may mean recording the presentation audio or PowerPoint slides recording.

Avoid doing too much

After you have a complete understanding of your audiences’ interests and how to address their training needs, plan the video based on that information. Be careful because you may tend to talk more about something exciting. Remember, your focus is on creating a video to address a specific topic or problem, so ensure you don’t go beyond this goal.

Other information is still important, but you need to share it with other videos. Make many short videos, each addressing a specific concept, problem, points, or topic as per the need. As you create the video, choose an appropriate format, considering your timeline, resources, and audience’s expectations.

Grabbing the audiences’ attention

Having understood that the length of the video is not the ultimate reason for people to stop watching the videos, the next thing to do is to offer them their expectations. People fail to complete watching a video due to a lack of the information they were looking for. No matter the length of your videos, if the viewers fail to get the desired information, they will switch immediately.

The title of your video should accurately describe the key information the viewers will get after watching it. If the viewers drift away immediately they start watching, chances are that they may never want to look for more.

One of the most effective ways of grabbing the attention of your audience is by being interesting. Use engaging tone or storytelling techniques to “kill” their boredom. You can feature a real person to add personality to the video. Use real-life and practical illustrations that the viewers can apply and include good visuals such as icons and images for demonstration.

Try to be funny to keep your viewers entertained and engaged. Be careful not to drift away from the main topic, lest you make the content meaningless. If you are addressing audiences from diverse backgrounds, be careful because what may seem humorous in one culture may turn out to be bland in another. Using plain language in the video script can also ensure content understandability.

Conclusion

Perfect video length does not exist and so it is not necessary to spend so much time wondering whether a training video is of optimal length or not. Whereas the length of a video matters when you want to create good instructional videos, the main thing that matters is how best to cover the content and drive value to the viewers. Having considered that, you can plan the video that can achieve the specific learning goals.

 

Originally published on May 21st, 2021
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Video Length: How Long Should Your Training Videos be?

by Simi time to read: 6 min
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