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Three Ways to Tell a Story

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Using video is very effective when attracting and engaging new talent. 55% of people watch videos online every day, and over 50% of marketers say video is the type of content with the best ROI.

Good recruitment marketing video content shows candidates what it’s really like to work at a  company. This can result in better culture fits from applicants. And when a candidate can really picture themselves working at a company, they’re closer to closing.  

For some talent acquisition professionals and recruitment marketers, video is a new frontier. Don’t be intimidated. Here at Stories Inc., we have created more than 100 recruitment marketing videos that are performing well for our clients. In this 5 part series, we will help get you started! In this post, we are sharing three ways to tell a story. 

Three ways to tell a story

We get a lot of questions about the ideal length of videos, so we’ll start there.

According to a study done by Wistia, a video hosting and analytics company, the shorter a video, the more likely your viewers will watch it entirely. It’s very easy to make a video too long, so usually the sweet spot is around 1-2 minutes. Shorter content, around 30 seconds, can sometimes be even more effective since the longer a video, the fewer people will actually finish watching it (see chart below).

In some cases, 30 seconds just isn’t enough time to get through all of the material you need to cover. One way to work around this engagement loss for a longer video is to place the most meaningful information towards the beginning of the video, then follow up with supporting information.

According to another Wistia study, engagement loss in longer videos begins to level out around 6 to 12 minutes. This study suggests longer videos (around 6 mins) may be very effective by allowing time for more in-depth material while also retaining more than 50% of your audience. Having a captive or specific audience, such as showing a video about the intern experience to college students during a recruiting visit at a university, is a good strategy for this video length.

In some cases, cutting two versions of the same video at different lengths may be beneficial. Having a shorter 30-second version of a longer video can be helpful for use on social media sites such as Instagram, where viewer attention spans are much shorter. For example, take a look at the two versions of this video we created for CVS Health

                       Full Version                                          30-Second Version


A lot of the videos we produce at Stories Inc. are closer to the 75-second mark. This is primarily because we include several different perspectives in each of our videos. For example, a 30-second long video is not enough time to cover a topic such as intern flexibility. We recently created a minute long video covering Dell’s flexibility with their interns, which featured three different storytellers as they discussed their experience interning at Dell (watch the video by clicking on the thumbnail below).

Anecdotally, our clients have seen results with videos of all lengths. We created three videos 4-5 minutes in length for Visionist, a small government service provider. They boosted the videos with Facebook ads and received over 4,500 views per video! During the interview process, one candidate-turned-employee told their CEO they wouldn’t have considered government contracting if it weren’t for the videos they saw about Visionist’s culture.

So, we like data and we use it. But we always let the story and content drive the length, not the other way around.

Stay tuned for my next post about story content.

Any questions about ways to tell a story or using video for recruitment marketing in general? I’m happy to help: reach out to me at [email protected]