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How Long Should a Marketing Video Be?

Written by Jacob Stear

13 | 05 | 19

Video Marketing  |  
4 minute read

If you’ve decided to add inbound videos to your marketing strategy, then firstly, congratulations that’s a great decision. Now, you’re faced with actually making these videos. One of the key problems some content creators have comes when deciding on how long to make their videos.

Don’t follow the same mistakes, here’s how long marketing videos should be.

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What’s the Perfect Length of a Marketing Video?

Two minutes and 37 seconds is the perfect length.

Not really.

If only it was that simple.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic number when it comes to marketing video lengths. The video’s content, target audience and the platform it’s being shown on are all important factors that influence how long your video should be.

There are a few useful tips we can offer that will give your videos the best chance of being successful...

Less is Always More

It’s basically impossible to hold someone’s attention for more than a few minutes. You’re competing with notifications from email, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat - you get the idea.

When creating your videos, you should aim to keep them concise and punchy. Hit the viewer with the main takeaways of the video quickly. Don’t waste time. There’s no point hiding important points at the end of the video if the viewer has already got bored and moved onto a video of a panda falling out of a tree.

Fifty-six percent of all videos published in the last year are less than two minutes long. Our attention span is so fleeting that brands and marketers are actively shortening their content because they know we’ll be distracted by the next shiny thing or vibration on our phone.

You might have created a masterpiece - your very own Citizen Kane - but if it doesn’t get the job done, then no matter how innovative and creative it is, it’s been a failure. Be ruthless when editing the video and have as many eyes as possible look over it.

What you think is funny, everyone else thinks is awkward. You think it’s quirky, but they think it’s just terrible. Get feedback from someone who's a good stand-in for your target customer - maybe someone from another department - and let them have a look.

Did they enjoy the video? Did they understand your message? Would they have stopped scrolling their social media feed and actually watched it? These answers will give you a good idea of how close you are to a finished product.

Know Your Audience

It’s faster and easier to create a marketing video to publish across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc. A video can be published on multiple platforms and have a far greater reach than if it was just posted on one.

BUT.

Having the exact same video across multiple social channels will not be effective and you’ll probably find that you have poor engagement levels.

You need to create videos of different lengths depending on where you plan on using them. Here’s a quick rundown.

Instagram is where our attention span is the absolute worst. Because your feed is so text-light, we can scroll through it at lightning speeds. Put a video that’s more than 30 seconds on here and you’re unlikely to have much luck. Keep it short, exciting and straight to the point.

Twitter is a little bit better than Instagram. The increased limit to 280 characters per tweet means we’re more accustomed to engaging with a post before moving on. You still shouldn’t stray too far beyond the one-minute mark though.

Facebook’s users are happier than their Twitter counterparts to sit through a video and watch until the end. The app’s autoplay feature means they can sometimes get lost watching one after another. So, make sure the version of your video is attention-grabbing but feel free to break that one-minute mark.

YouTube is the king of video content. That doesn’t mean you should upload your unabridged, extended, director’s cut version that’s 15 minutes long though. 300 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every single minute so there’s plenty of competition.

You’re battling it out with all kinds of interesting-looking recommended videos that are placed temptingly next to yours. Videos on YouTube can be any length but we’d still recommend putting the most important points as early into the video as possible.

Just because someone’s watching on your own website or landing page, it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to get bored and just leave. You have a little more freedom when it comes to video length but remember that less is always more.

Play around with different video lengths and see what suits you. After a little bit of trial and error, you’ll find a formula that works.

So there you have it, what did we learn? Keep your videos short and sweet, have them looked at by as many people as possible and cut different versions for different social media platforms. Plus, there was that great gif of that panda.

Let us know how you get on!

Ready to Get Started With Inbound Video?

Before you excitedly grab your camera equipment, make sure to download our guide to inbound video. It has everything you could ever need to know.

Grab your free copy now using the link below.

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