The Ideal Explainer Video Length

Size matters, especially when we talk about the length of an explainer video

Working in video production, most people know that business videos are usually up to two minutes long. Some claim 90 seconds is the ideal explainer video length, others try not to exceed 60 seconds.

Of course, every video and the context in which it’s viewed is unique. And every marketer should understand that the length of an effective video should be directly related to its point in the sales funnel.

So we are writing this blog post to give you a basic understanding of boundaries rather than a hard and fast rule on how long any particular video should be.

Nowadays, we tend to think that short video content is king. The shorter, the better.

There’s some truth to that, but it is not a crisis if your video is 30 seconds long, 60 seconds, or even 90.

The latest Wistia research reveals that engagement is steady up to 2 minutes. It means that a 90-second video will hold a viewer’s attention as much as a 30-second video. So if you are making short videos, don’t stress about the difference of a few seconds. Just keep it under 2 minutes.

After two minutes, however, drop off occurs rather steeply. By three minutes another 6% of viewers have tuned out. By four, engagement is down to 60%.

Every second counts, so if your video is 2 minutes and 45 seconds, it’s worth cutting that 45 seconds so that the maximum number of people reach your call-to-action.

Actually, Wistia identified three distinct engagement drop-off points—2 minutes, 6 minutes, or 12 minutes. If you’re on the cusp of one of these, shorten your video as much as you can and get on the other side of that drop-off.

The perfect video length is all about finding the sweet spot just before your target audience leaves.

Overall, shorter videos are more engaging than longer videos. You should try to make your content as concise as possible to achieve the highest engagement. If your message is more complex, feel free to give it the time it deserves, but understand that most of the audience won’t watch the video to the end, so consider placing the most important information at the beginning.  It’s worth saying one final word about ad duration when it comes to social media. For example, Facebook adds should last no longer than 30 seconds and Youtube pre-roll ad, no more than 20. However, you don’t need to put all the information in these brief videos. It would be pointless to put a 15 sec video on your website. We recommend creating additional shorter versions of your full-size explainer. We can easily grab the key messages from a 90 seconds explainer and turn it into a 15 seconds promo for Facebook.

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