What is the ideal length of an explainer video?

October 4, 2021
Marketing

Explainer videos are one of the most engaging powers. However, how long should an explainer video last to capture the viewer's attention?


This article will give you a specific number of an explainer video’s length.


As mentioned in a previous post, people’s attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish. It sounds funny and incredible, but it's a fact!


The people’s attention span has fallen to 8.25 seconds. This means you need to be highly creative and strategic to develop sufficiently engaging video content (to impress the audience instantly) to keep the audience watching it entirely.


Pretend that you only have less than 8 seconds to grow an interest in your audience’s mind, so; you have to pay particular attention to the duration of a marketing video. 


In this regard, the relationship between video duration and engagement is quite strong. 


Stats seem to be the best demonstration. As a reference, Wistia compiled several interesting data on various types of marketing videos in one of their studies.


2-minutes videos can generate a lot of engagement. You can keep your viewers captivated when you keep your video under 120 seconds.


There is a clear drop in engagement from minute 2 to minute 3.


You still have a chance to connect with your audience between 6 and 12 minutes.


Stay alert from minute 12, as every minute going by will lose your viewers' engagement.


Should all videos follow the same perfect length?


There is some interesting data from a study from Wistia. But don't take a strict view that any single marketing video you develop must last a maximum of two minutes. 


Reducing your 8-minute video to last 7 minutes would be a mistake. And turning your piece of a 10-minute video into the "perfect standard" of a 2-minute video might make a big disaster.


As a TED talk video usually lasts for approximately 15 minutes, a video pitch for 2 minutes, and a video advert for less than 60 seconds, each video has a specific duration, depending upon various factors it covers, the audience it targets, and the overall context. 


Content: video marketing offers plenty of opportunities to convey your ideas: educational videos, explaining videos, testimonial videos, behind-the-scenes videos, how-to videos, podcasts, and so on. Keep in mind that the content determines your video length.


The target audience: Determining your target audience is a “must” for every communication campaign (including a video marketing campaign). 


Only in this way can you reach your audience with a customized and compelling message. Identifying what kind of actions you expect them to take is also important. Entertaining or simply informing someone is not the same thing as training them.


The context: ask what kind of devices, the platform your audience uses to access your video. Stick to their expectations as well. 


All these factors affect your video's length. For instance, Hubspot has found that smartphones are frequently used for watching videos in less than 5 minutes. 


In terms of the expectations, your audience will expect a short or long video based on the way you present your content (title, image, etc.), and the platforms you promote it.


What is the best length for a video?


The best starting point is to try and keep your videos last under two minutes. However, for each piece, the optimum video length varies according to several factors, such as the intended audience, the channel you choose to distribute it, and the "format" or style you want in your videos.


The Next Web has compiled some interesting information on formats and length:


Tutorials: from 45 to 90 seconds long.

Creative commercial videos: from 15 to 59 seconds long.

Crowdfunding videos: an ideal average time of 2.5 minutes.

Testimonial videos: from 60 to 119 seconds.


Here's an example of an ideal testimonial video. All the information you need fits conveniently in under 2 minutes. Let’s take a look!


What is the perfect length of an explainer video?


In all respects, the optimal length for an explainer video is approximately 90 seconds. Remember, the explainer videos have one key objective: if you’re conveying a business idea or message, do it in some second, make it sweet, convincing, and compelling.


It’s also a reason why these types of videos should be directly addressed or risk losing efficiency. You need to do so before you lose your audience's interest in what you're talking about because you're offering a helpful solution to a viewer's pain. You cannot waste any time.


Of course, individual explainer videos may differ in their particular length according to various factors; the type of animated video you are taking, your company's niche, the sales funnel stage for which the video is made, etc. 


However, according to our experience, there is a sweet spot, length-wise between 60 and 90 seconds for animated marketing videos. 


You can deliver your message effectively in that amount of time, without losing your engagement.


How long does social media video should last? 


Have you heard people say "context is everything?" Well, that's never been truer than talking about the ideal video lengths for social media.


Each platform is a separate world. The viewers' preferences not only vary widely from one network to another, but they also have different durations. Depending on the video type, they even differ on the same platform.


So, how long is a social media video supposed to take?


This question doesn’t have the same answer. However, it’s safe to say that some lengths lead to more engagement than others on some platforms. Let's look at it more attentively:


Videos on Instagram


This platform is designed for visual content, the fastest content to consume. Perhaps that’s why short videos are more effective than long videos on this network. Depending on the characteristic, there is different duration:


The optimal post-video length on Instagram is less than 30 seconds. In fact, 26-second video posts trigger the highest engagement, according to Hubspot.


The video length on the Instagram story is up to 15 seconds per card. You can spend as many cards as you want, but using less than 3 is better. This means that your video should last 45 maximum.


Videos on YouTube


YouTube’s algorithm prioritizes long videos because they want viewers to spend more time on the platform. This is why the average video length on YouTube today is about 10 minutes.


But that doesn't mean you're supposed to make a long video! It isn't nice to fill your 2-minute video with stuff to last it longer. Viewers may give it up and dislike it, and on YouTube’s SERP, it wouldn’t rank high as well.


So, the best length for YouTube videos is difficult to determine. Depending on the audience and video type, the ideal duration is different. 


Videos on Facebook


Facebook provides various types of video features; each has a distinct ideal video length. Let's check them out:


When Facebook organic video posts last about 90 seconds, they generate the highest engagement.

A Facebook story video can last up to 20 seconds.

A Facebook video ad length should last less than 15 secs, whether it appears in a news feed or before another video. The less a video ad is, the greater rate of completion it reaches.


Why are shorter videos more effective?


Short videos tend to have higher retention rates, leading to better SEO and higher engagement performance. The shorter a video is, the more chances viewers will stay around your video until the end. This is the same if we say that fewer people are leaving in the middle of your video.


Moreover, most search engine algorithms prioritize content with high engagement rates. The more people watching your video, the higher your message is reaching them, and they also decide to share your video.


These are not all the factors in terms of video performance and length – if your message is not transmitted effectively, an extremely short video will help you very little! However, it does suggest that the shorter video you can make, the better it will perform.


How to shorten a video?


Here are some general methods to help you shorten the runtime of a video:


Find out the type of content your audience enjoys, and use it as a guide to make videos.

Online prefer content that goes straight to the point.

Concentrate on a single idea or key concept: Focus only on a single idea to develop video content.

The editing of your videos should be snap and smooth to keep the viewer involved.

If your subject is extensive, you should divide it into episodes. Don’t try to fill everything in one video. It may cause overload to your audience.


How to maintain your audience’s attention?


There are some tips and tricks to prevent viewers from dropping in your explainer video. Below are some aspects you will want to consider:


Call to actions: CTAs are a helpful tool for keeping your audience informed and driving them through the sales funnel.


Captions and subtitles: Most people view soundless videos, especially on their cell phones. Adding captions or subtitles to your video can make it understandable and attractive, even if it’s muted.


These valuable resources can help to maintain the audience’s attention and interest. But, there are still several other reasons behind this if your marketing video doesn’t work as you expect: a dull script, or maybe a poor quality video in general.


Always try to follow these guidelines to make your marketing video the most effective.


Pay attention to the audience’s painful points at the very start of your video. Make it enjoyable, clear, and straightforward.


Work on a personalized video! Engagement and memorability will make a big difference. 


You can build a strong emotional relation to your viewers by customizing your video's characters, landscapes, and backgrounds (your audience will feel that the story is specially made for them).


Make sure your video has high quality. In every stage of the video production process, treat your video with dedication, focus, and detail.


Give the correct length to your marketing video. 

A 160-word script is about a one-minute video in English. The 90-second video then requires 240 words.


How to choose a good explainer video company to serve your needs?


Leaving your video in a talented team's hands to take care of your video marketing campaign is one of the best choices. They can commit to the ideal length, and make a huge difference in quality and performance.


Having a professional video company support you, you will have more time to take a break. However, before choosing any partner, you have to consider some factors.


Below are some essential aspects you should consider:


Expertise and quality: Don’t select a video company before you check out their portfolio. 


Check if your business suits their style and their works’ quality.


Communication: You are the one making important decisions. The video company you work with should understand what you want and how you will convey the message through the video. 


Go for a company that can guarantee smooth communication over the entire process.


Customization: Work with a company that can create you and your audience an original video. Consider if they suggest using template pieces since they may not convey an authentic feeling to your brand.


Feedback: Opinions from former clients can reveal how a company works. This is why checking out reviews, testimonial videos, and general feedback about a video company before making a choice is always helpful.


Production cost: This factor is very much dependent on your budget. However, be aware that cheap video production services often use templates, so the price you have to pay can partly reflect the video’s quality and customization.



In general, no matter what video company you choose to work with, they should guarantee your satisfaction with the final results and the production process.


Length is one of the critical factors to grab the viewer's attention, but it's not everything you need to care about. What is essential to capture our viewers’ attention is the video content. 


Even if you adhere to the ideal length, but your content is boring, not entertaining, or doesn't provide helpful information, viewers won’t want to stay with your video.


Therefore, you need to research and create a quality video content script first, then cut and edit to match the ideal length.


Be successful with both these things, sooner or later, you will definitely attract a large number of viewers.


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