It’s just hard to do effectively!

Short-form videos are generally under 10 minutes but the conventional wisdom is that marketing videos shouldn’t be longer than 2 minutes and ideally between 60 and 90 seconds. So, by default we marketers end up producing a lot of short, short-form video. While there are plenty of studies to show that after 2-minute mark there is a noticeable drop in engagement with marketing video, you can still have success with longer short-form video.

It you are solely focused on click-through and completion metrics you will likely focus on producing very short video. Almost universally, there is a significant drop off by 30-seconds into a web video and another at 2 minutes so it makes sense to keep it close to those marks if you want a high completion rate.

But, it is hard to do serious demand gen and customer education in 30 seconds. Short videos are great for hard-hitting, relatable content that can serve as an advertisement for your product or solution. But you need more time when you are trying to hook a prospect. Nota Bene – Don’t think that video length correlates directly with production value. It’s often the case that a short-form video is of much higher quality in all areas of production.

The paradox is that if you want to educate your prospects on the challenges your solution solves, you need a bit more time – but people won’t hang around to hear the full story.  So how do you make longer form video successful?

My personal recipe for success is PHAT – Pace, Humor, Assumed Drop Off, and Track. Check out my latest video below and then I’ll unpack each of the ingredients and show how I used them in this video.



First and foremost, keep the video moving! Rapid pacing creates intensity and excitement that discouraged drop off. Use short, quick cuts so viewers don’t get bored. Try and keep the talking to short sentences (I need to work on this) to keep combat short attention spans. Modern viewers are used to web-clicking, channel changing, station switching and stream skipping so don’t be afraid to pick up the pace – they will keep up.


Humor doesn’t mean you must have a video that will leave your viewers in stitches, nor does it require a writer’s room to do your scripts. While this video is high on humor, you can achieve the same effect with just a. few funny lines or visuals sprinkled throughout. This breaks up the tone and keeps viewers on their toes again, holding their attention longer.

Assumed Drop Off

Plan for the drop offs. Put your key points just around the 30 second mark and the key takeaway around 2 minutes. This way even when you get the typical drop off you have at least accomplished some of your objectives and the video is a partial if not complete success.


Publishing a video is not the end. Regularly reporting on key video metrics and compare it to other videos. Are you getting the impressions you expected – if not you have an advertising problem. The play rate will determine if it is well positioned on the page and/or has an engaging first frame. And the completion and drop off rates will let you know if your video is getting people to your key message points even when they don’t finish the video.

This video is performing well. It has is a normal play rate with an above average amount of traffic.

  • Play rate of 5.7%
  • Engagement rate of 54.6%
  • Completion rate of 40%

People make it more than halfway through the video but the completion rate is a little low.  Lesson learned – the end its a little too long, but it is not the end of the world as the key takeaway is mostly before the drop off.

Don’t be afraid to do longer video – shorter should be the guide but not the rule. IMHO – the length of video should be driven by the goal and content. Just make sure you have a plan to drive people through it and get your message across even when they bail.