Create the perfect showreel: 5 top tips

A showreel is a compilation of highlights consisting of your best moments/work or from a corporate standpoint, a showcase of your range of products, services and even landmark achievements. Here at The Video News Factory, we believe emphasis must be placed on the word, ‘highlights’ as your showreel has to be concise and that’s where the difficulty lies. As experts in producing showreels, we give you 5 top tips to create the perfect showreel.

  1. Be ruthless to be concise.

It is natural to feel attached to the work you have produced, consequently, this sense of attachment may bring a bias and a reluctance to leave out of the final cut of your showreel. Remember, your showreel is meant to be grab and keep the attention of the viewer. Depending on the material, your showreel shouldn’t exceed 2 minutes. Afterall, humans and even more so millennials are notorious for their short spans due to the need of instant gratification and our evolution to. In 2016, Wisita analysed the average engagement in relation to the length of the video, from their findings, it became obvious that 2 minutes represented the peak rate of engagement of 70%. Whereas, videos running 3 minutes and longer are more probable to result in a 5% to 22% drop off in engagement. We expect that in 2019 that these drop-offs in engagement are likely even worse after minutes,

  1. Optimise the length of video according to selected platform.

Although, we have just stated that 2 minutes is a sweet spot for engagement, that doesn’t mean that your showreel can’t end sooner. This is especially true if you’re looking to share your showreel on social platform. Research from Hubspot suggests that the optimal length of video varies for different platforms. For example, a 30 second video on Instagram is conducive to higher rates of engagement, a 45 second video for Twitter is best, 1 minute and 2 minute video represents the best duration for Facebook and YouTube respectively. Therefore, be mindful of your audience and optimise according to the destination platform.

  1. The opening few seconds are key

Whether your showreel is on Instagram, Facebook or even on your own webspace, there will be plenty of competition for the attention of your target audience. Given the fact that a team of researchers at Princeton University and the University of California-Berkley found that humans concentrate in 250 millisecond blocks (the outline). Perhaps, the first highlight should be the work, service or product you are most proud of. Try to accompany this with some background music that immediately sparks the attention of the viewer and sets the tone for the remainder of the video.

  1. Make it clear

It’s best to keep it simple and ensure that the message you want to communicate can be easily understood. If your company is looking to promote certain products and services, the auxiliary information should stay in the lower thirds of the video in legible text. It Is imperative to not overload your showreel with textual information as you don’t want to distract from the visuals.

  1. Have a theme or narrative style

Sequencing is very important in showreels as you want your work to be very memorable. Hawkins, George & Niemaks stating that sequence memory forms the core learning method for humans, critical to information retention and recall. Thus, meaning that your company’s services, products or solutions can have a share of your customer’s mind, a crucial concept in marketing, increasing brand awareness in the process. Also, careful selection of material in accordance to a particular theme or narrative style, gives you to chance to show off your knack for continuity. Prove to your prospective viewer that your showreel isn’t simply a basic montage but rather a methodical compilation of your best work.


If you follow these tips, you’ll be putting yourself in good stead to create the perfect showreel. However, if you require more coaching or even our assistance in the creation of your showreel, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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