Every video marketing meeting has one question in common: how long should videos be?
There’s no easy answer to this question.
First things first, no two marketing platforms are the same. So, it follows that no two video lengths should be the same. While a YouTube viewer, for example, maybe be more than okay to watch a 20-minute video, the same viewer may not feel the same way about the same video if it were on Instagram.
What works, however, is not set in stone. Especially as social algorithms are constantly being updated.
In this article, I’ll show you some tips that can help you determine how long your videos should be for your various marketing channels.
Instagram allows videos with a length that falls anywhere between 3 - 60 seconds. For a platform like Instagram that has an audience that is mostly multi-tasking and often traveling, the shorter the better.
Aim for 30 seconds, but try to cover your main message in the first 15 seconds of the video. This is especially important for Instagram video ads.
Surprisingly, Facebook videos are allowed to be up to 240 minutes. But for brands looking to attract prospective users on the platform, in-feed videos that are anywhere between 20 and 90 seconds long tend to perform the best. if it’s an ad, ensure the most important information is in the first 5 - 10 seconds.
More and more brands are starting to see the marketing potential of LinkedIn. The users on this platform aren’t your typical social media surfers. They are mostly professionals with time to digest content that are of interest. Allowing a maximum video length of ten minutes, videos that run between 30 and 120 seconds tend to perform best. Make it 15 - 30 seconds if it’s an ad.
As a mostly text-optimized social platform, Twitter is designed for brevity. Nevertheless, there’s room for videos and the limit is two minutes and 20 seconds. But don’t exhaust it, users don’t linger long on the platform. Anywhere between 20 and 45 seconds is fine for both video tweets and Twitter video ads.
YouTube can take videos as long as 12 hours. Unless you’re aiming for the eighth season of Game of Thrones, there’s no need to produce that long a video. In fact, make your brand videos (B2B OR B2C) as short as two minutes or less. It’s advisable to stick to 15 to 20 seconds if it’s a pre-roll ad or six seconds if it’s a bumper ads.
Most businesses are finding this out almost too late, but Pinterest is a marketing goldmine. It’s called “the discovery platform” for a reason. It’s the platform prospective customers go to for how-to answers. You can position your brand to answer pressing industry-based questions. A normal Pinterest video should not exceed 30 seconds. Unless it’s a demo or an explainer, in which case it can be longer.
Now, this is a critical resource for marketers. Email marketing is a golden egg-laying goose in digital marketing. While there’s no optimal video length for email marketing, the shorter the better usually. Try to keep it under 45 seconds.
Here’s a hack: include the word “video” in your subject line for increased engagement.
Treat the video on your website’s homepage as a television commercial. It should be between 30 to 60 seconds. If it has to be more, make sure the content is compelling enough.
If you take anything away from here, let it be that there’s no one way to make a video for any platform. The trick is to know what your audience responds to and work accordingly. Treat this article as a suggestion, not the video bible.