Search Icon
Close Icon

How long should a video be? If you have ever asked yourself this question, this blog article may shed some light on your dilemma. Lots of marketers and other business-savvy people will tell you to always keep your videos as short as possible, with the most common reason being that viewers lose their focus after a short time. In reality, it all depends on the situation and the type of video you want to produce.

In this blog post we will explain the benefits and challenges of short videos vs. long videos, so keep reading to solve this dilemma once and for all.

Short Videos

According to statistics released by Hubspot in 2017, videos under 90 seconds see an average retention rate of 53%, but videos over 30 minutes retain only 10%.

So, what does this mean?

It means that short videos are ideal for most social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, where people scroll through their timelines very quickly. The only true way to capture the attention of social media users is by feeding them short, fast-paced content. Once you capture someone’s attention on social media, the chance of them sharing your content is fairly high. According to statistics released by Single Grain, 92% of mobile users share videos.

In other words, posting short videos on social media will get you more engagement, which will ultimately create more brand awareness.

Explainer Videos

Short explainer videos help build engagement on social media in an efficient manner, but are only effective if your product or service is easy to explain and also easy to grasp for your viewers. Consider the inevitable connection between complexity and the average social media user’s short attention span.

There is also a high chance of viewers retaining the presented information, since 65% of the population consists of visual learners.

10+ Free Production Templates

Download our collection of templates for producers including Release Forms, Shot Lists, Storyboard Templates and more

How-To Videos

Short duration is an ideal characteristic of how-to videos. How-to videos are meant to teach the viewer how to accomplish a certain goal, usually within the shortest amount of time possible.

If you saw “How to water plants in 1 minute” and “How to water plants in 20 minutes” appear In your search results, which one would you be more inclined to watch?

Most likely the former, right?

Product Videos

Product videos are more effective when they’re short. The reason for this is simple: people value time, sometimes even too much. Like we mentioned before, viewers like to save time and learn something new in the shortest amount of time possible.

You’d be surprised at how much information you can convey about your product or service within just sixty seconds.

Long Videos

Now that we understand the use of short videos, let’s take a closer look at its counterpart: long videos. First of all, let’s distinguish ‘long’ from ‘short’. Let’s consider ‘short’ videos to be under two to three minutes, and ‘long’ anything longer than three minutes.

As you may have noticed, short videos come with lots of useful benefits. So many benefits, in fact, that you might be wondering why one should create long videos at all.

Sometimes we can’t translate ideas into short videos, simply because there is too much information or storytelling to implement in a short video. Long videos are meant for explaining complicated ideas and providing a lot of information.

Inspirational Videos

Inspirational videos are all about storytelling, which means that you should take your time developing the storyline throughout the video.

Another observation that’s worth noting is that longer videos tend to be presented to an audience in multiple ways, and not just through social media. For example, long videos can be more effective when displayed at events, where people are seated and attentive.

Often inspirational videos relate to our mutual human emotions; something we can all relate to. By making viewers relate to your story they will become more focused and interested.

Data-Rich Videos

Videos with lots of details should be of longer length, since one should offer in-depth explanations for viewers uneducated about your topic. Detailed videos are often full of claims supported by facts.

The art of data-rich videos is to get your complicated message across in a manner that is easy to understand by a general audience.

In short, always keep in mind what type of video you are planning on shooting, since video length can sometimes make or break your video marketing strategy.


Try our project management platform for video production

Sign Up Free