People tend to have short attention spans and since the advent of the internet, it’s become even harder to keep their attention. Read this guide to discover the perfect length for your videos to ensure that they have maximum impact.

Why is the Length of Your Video Important?

If you upload a video that exceeds a social media platform’s length specifications, then it may be automatically trimmed. As a result, viewers may miss out on a key part of your message or your calls to action. It’s also important for engagement rates as viewers may stop watching if the video is too long. You can boost viewership and engagement rates by tailoring the length of your video for different platforms.

What Do the Stats Say about Video Length?

The length of your video can have a significant impact on viewer engagement. Research tells us that video engagement is steady up to two minutes, meaning that a 90-second video will keep the viewer’s attention as much as a 30 second video. So, if short videos are your thing, you don’t need to worry about a difference of a few seconds, as long as you keep it under two minutes as there is a sizeable fall-off in attention between two and three minutes.

For videos longer than twelve minutes, you are generally creating stories or tutorials, in which case most viewers will be okay with the video being longer. However, anything beyond twelve minutes and you will start to lose viewers, but the drop off is not nearly as significant as between two minutes and six minutes.

What is the Length of the Average Video?

Between 2017 and 2018, 56% of all published videos were under two minutes long. Studies show that audiences are more likely to complete these shorter videos. According to Hubspot, the average video retains only 37% of people right to the end. Videos with a duration of fewer than 90 seconds have a retention rate of 53% but any video longer than 30 minutes has only a 10% retention rate.

Maximum Video Length by Social Media Platform 

YouTube12 hours
Facebook4 hours
Instagram Feed1 minute
Instagram Stories15 seconds
Twitter2 minutes 20 seconds
LinkedIn10 minutes
TikTok15 seconds
Snapchat1 minute

What Analytics Can Tell Us About Video Length

When running a video marketing campaign, it’s important to use analytics tools to monitor the performance of your content. As businesses put greater importance on video content, it becomes increasingly important to analyse the performance of different types of videos. In 2016, 35% of businesses used intermediate or advanced video to analyse the performance of their video campaigns. However, an astonishing 23% of businesses used no analytics at all.

Basic Video Analytics: Includes items such as the number of videos or shares. These are pretty straight forward to capture; however, they don’t measure Return on Investment (ROI) very well or rates of engagement.

Intermediate Video Analytics: Includes some analysis of engagement, such as average viewing duration. Some insight into how people view videos begins to emerge.

Advanced Video Analytics: Using intermediate metrics as well as views by location, viewer drop-off rates, viewing heat maps or attribution to the sales pipeline. Only with these metrics do you truly get a feel for revenue impact and ROI of videos.

Deciding on A Video Length: Key Points to Remember

  1. Think carefully about how long your video needs to be. Some types of content (e.g. information videos or narrative pieces) are more suited to longer videos than others (e.g. viral videos, ads).
  1. There is no need to outline every feature of your product/company so focus on getting across one main point.
  1. A mistake people often make is trying to fit too much into one video, often causing them to end up with a diluted finished product.
  1. You also need to consider the needs of your audience. If the video is designed for busy people on-the-go, then a shorter length is advisable. However, if you are producing an informative video for a professional audience then longer may be better.
  1. Think about where how the audience will consume the video. If they are more likely to watch your content on a mobile, then shorter may be better. However, if your audience will be using a desktop computer then a longer length could work.


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