• Video marketing tips

How long should my film be?

By - Richard - 25th March 2014

This is a question we get asked a lot. Often businesses or clients will make initial enquiries with us about creating a new film for their business. They understand the importance of online film content and they want to embrace the marketing potential which this provides. Aside from the obvious enquiry about cost, the next question is usually about duration. How long will the finished film be?

The obvious answer is of course that it depends on what you’re looking to achieve. But that’s not what you want to hear is it? Certain film content lends itself to being longer in duration because more information needs to be conveyed. And what better way to convey information than by using the power of online film? According to Business to Business Marketing, video is 6 times more effective than print and online. Furthermore, an average visitor to a website will stay two minutes longer on a site when they watch a video.

All well and good, but the film content needs to engage your audience. You can have a beautifully produced 10 minute film outlining your services and your business but if nobody watches it – or worse they switch off after a short amount of time – what’s the point?

90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. So film needs to harness these statistics and go for the jugular. Be brief, but be impactful.

Remember that you’re not at the cinema here. No-one wants to see lengthy credits over a black screen at the start of your film. If you must have a logo at the start of your film, don’t linger on it, or better still, save it until the end.

Films designed to grab people’s attention should ideally last between 30 and 90 seconds. If they like what they see, they will probably want to seek out more information. So we suggest that films aimed at those close to making a purchase decision should be 90 seconds to three minutes in duration.


Longer is not better. Similarly, including more video content on your website is not a good idea unless the quality of that video content is up to scratch. If you have a budget for a video, or series of videos, think carefully about creating one exceptional film rather than spreading the budget across a series of films which fail to have the same impact. As in frugalism, less is more.

About the Author

Richard Nicholls - Managing Director

Before launching Swift Films, Richard worked as a broadcast TV director and editor, working on programmes for the BBC, ITV and Sky.

A multi-skilled and technically-minded filmmaker, Richard is equally at home coming up with creative concepts as he is on location filming or pulling footage together in the edit suite.

Richard is a member of Independent Producers Scotland and has a love of cats, football, chocolate and Film Noir (in that order).