When making video content, remember that the length of your video is very important. It can determine the amount of time people spend watching your video. People have short attention spans. Even with videos—the most engaging type of content—people can lose interest very quickly.
The general rule is to keep your video under two minutes. That’s the run-time that gets the most number of engagements. Two to four minutes is a good range for a lot of different video types.
Short videos are easy to digest, and they can contain a lot of information within a short period of time. That’s why people love them. Viewers can watch, get the information or entertainment they came for, and then keep scrolling. That’s how it works on social media.
And because there’s a sea of content being published every second, people don’t hesitate to click away from videos they find boring or uninteresting. So aside from making sure that your video is valuable you also need to make sure that it’s the right length.
Today we’re going to talk about ideal run-times for some popular video types, as well as for specific social media platforms.
How Long Should a Marketing Video Be?
When it comes to video marketing, shorter is almost always better. Only 24 percent of viewers will finish a business-related video if it’s longer than 20 minutes. Meanwhile, over 58 percent of them will watch a business-related video if it’s less than 60 seconds long.
General rule aside, different videos can have different ideal lengths. And another thing that’s worth noting is that if your video is highly engaging, time is not as big of a factor at the end of the day. You can disregard this whole guide—but that’s only if your video is exceptional. It needs to be entertaining, informative, and relevant to your audience’s interests.
That said, your best bet is to stick with the ideal runtimes for your video content, especially if you’re just starting out.
If you want to figure out what’s best for your own videos, you can use analytics to see where people usually drop off, and then adjust your future content accordingly.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the runtime depends on your goals for that particular video. If you want to attract new people to your business, a shorter video will capture their attention. But if you are targeting someone who is in the later stages of your sales funnel, you want to give them a long and detailed explanation about your products and services.
Regardless of video length, you need to capture your audience’s attention quickly. Make sure you include your best 8 seconds right at the beginning of your video. That’s how long the average attention span is these days, and you have to work around that. It can be any sort of hook that will instantly convince your audience to watch the rest of it.
You want your video to make a strong impression immediately. Your video’s title and topic may convince them to give it a shot, but if the video itself isn’t engaging, they will not stick around.
Eight seconds is plenty of time to establish your video’s message or get your audience hooked. This forces marketers to get creative with how they engage with their audience. But it’s also an opportunity to stand out from the crowd while also informing viewers of what they’re about to watch.
If you’re making a video to entertain your audience, you can start with a joke or a story. If it’s a vlog or an event video, you should take an amusing clip from the middle of the video, and put it in front. If you’re posting an educational video, open it with an interesting piece of information that your audience doesn’t know yet.
Don’t underestimate your viewers. They don’t need an in-depth introduction of what you’re about to cover. Get to the good parts immediately.
Video Length for Your Website
Including a few videos in your website is a good idea because it means people will spend more time on your page, which means your ranking in search results will improve.
If you’re adding a video to your homepage, the length should be around 30 to 60 seconds. Think of it like a commercial. You want to catch their attention first with one high impact video. If they are really interested in more in-depth content, you can direct them to your videos page, YouTube channel, or another site.
Don’t try to answer all their questions with one quick video. Leaving some questions unanswered will increase their interest in your products and services, especially if your teaser is effective.
Going over one minute is usually not a good idea, unless you’re posting something really substantive, so keep that in mind.
The same goes for your landing pages. Keep it around one minute because viewers tend to leave after the first 10 seconds. But simply having videos in your landing pages can increase your conversions by 80 percent.
Tutorials and How-To Guides
Educational videos in general are the ones that are most likely to be on the longer side. If you’re explaining complex topics, there’s no way to cover them in a short amount of time. That said, tutorials and how-to videos are best used for mid-funnel viewers. These should be between 2 and 10 minutes.
If you’re struggling to fit it all in, consider revising your script. See if you’re lingering around any particular point for too long. Make your video concise and to the point so that viewers will stick around.
People who watch your tutorial videos are likely already engaged and interested in what you have to offer. That’s why you can make these videos a little longer. But that said, you still want to give them the whole tutorial before they lose interest.
Explainer Videos and Demo Videos
Since explainer videos are often used as top-of-funnel content, they can be 60 to 90 seconds long. No need to keep your audience for longer than that, since your goal is simply to introduce them to a new product so they will want to learn more about it.
Demo videos are a bit more in-depth, which means they can afford to be two to five minutes long. If your product has multiple features, don’t just make one giant piece of video content that explains everything. That’s long and tedious.
Instead, create a video for each feature so you can highlight them individually. Not only will this be easier to digest for your audience, it will also increase your engagement. Then create a playlist containing all the demo videos for that product, for those who want to see the whole thing.
Webinars are unique because people expect them to be long. These are highly educational videos that allow you to deep dive into certain topics. Your webinars can be 15 to 60 minutes long.
Some marketers are experimenting with shorter webinars, and those are starting to pick up steam. But feel free to stick with the traditional video length for webinars, especially if there’s a lot to discuss.
The best thing about webinars is that you can cut them up and repurpose them for social media. Since people enjoy shorter clips, they will love getting bits of information from your webinar—and it may even convince them to watch the whole thing.
Video Email Marketing
Using videos for email marketing is becoming more and more popular. Since videos are so visually-appealing, the eyes are naturally drawn to them. Just having the word “video” in your subject line can increase the email’s open rate significantly. This is why an email that contains a video is more likely to get a response. That’s exactly why marketers are using them.
Unlike other types of videos, there is no optimal length for video emails. Just remember to keep it personalized so that it leaves a bigger impact on the recipient. Since you don’t want to waste anyone’s time, keep your video emails under 45 seconds. Anything longer than that is better uploaded on social media instead of in someone’s inbox.
Uploading Videos on Social Media
You may already know this, but there are ideal runtimes for every single social media platform. No two social media sites are exactly the same. Figure out who your target audience is and find out where they are hanging out online. After that, you can focus your video marketing campaign on the right social platforms. Don’t waste time promoting your videos on social media platforms that your audience isn’t using.
YouTube is the second most visited website after Google—so yes, you should definitely be putting your videos on this extremely popular video sharing platform.
If you’re making business-related videos for YouTube, keep it under two minutes. For video ads, keep it around 15 to 20 seconds. But since this platform supports all kinds of videos, your uploads may vary widely in terms of length.
It’s worth noting that YouTube videos can be up to 12 hours long, but there’s hardly any demand for that type of content.
People on Instagram expect to see lovely pictures—but videos are slowly becoming more prominent on this platform. That said, you want to keep your Instagram videos around 30 seconds long. The platform only gives you up to 60 seconds for videos, but users rarely watch past 30 seconds, so it’s better to hit that midway point.
As for Instagram TV, your videos can be longer here because people do expect them to be more detailed than regular videos in their IG feed. If you’re posting something on IGTV, you can make it 10 minutes long.
The most successful videos on Facebook are between 20 and 90 seconds long. Although Facebook videos can be up to four hours long, we don’t recommend uploading something like that.
Because of Facebook’s large and diverse demographics, you can often find your target audience hanging out here. But people spend a lot of time scrolling on Facebook, so if your video does not engage with them right away, they’re just going to keep scrolling. So keep it short and simple.
LinkedIn is the largest platform for professionals online. While these people are more willing to watch informative and educational videos, you should also assume that they are very busy. You need to make your videos worth their while.
LinkedIn videos should be 30 seconds to five minutes long. The maximum length is 10 minutes, but you don’t need to hit that mark. If you’re going to run an ad on LinkedIn, keep them short and direct to the point: 15 to 30 seconds is ideal.
Twitter isn’t the ideal platform for video marketing because it is built on short status updates. People on Twitter don’t linger for too long. But with that in mind, videos can still become popular here, especially if they are between 20 and 45 seconds long. The same goes for Twitter video ads.
These are the ideal video lengths for marketing videos on different platforms. Use this information as a guide on how to optimize your video content. You want to make the biggest impact with every single video, and runtime plays a huge role in that. Leave a lasting impression with your video content today!