Did you know that almost two-thirds of businesses use video as part of their marketing strategy?
And rightly so because videos are more engaging and easier to consume than plain text.
For the best results, it’s important to get video production right.
And a big part of getting your video creation right is answering the question, “How long should a video be?” (AKA, the length of video for different channels)
How has optimal video length changed?
In recent years, the optimal video length for content has significantly shifted. Previously, shorter videos were considered ideal, with attention spans limited and users preferring quick and easily digestible content. However, with the rise of platforms like YouTube and Facebook, longer-form content has become more popular, with users willing to spend more time engaging with the content they find valuable or interesting. Changes have also influenced this shift in how we consume media, with the rise of mobile devices and on-demand viewing allowing us to watch longer videos at our leisure.
Video length & audience platforms
Today, content’s most effective video length varies depending on the platform and target audience. Shorter clips are still popular on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where users expect to consume content quickly and easily. However, on platforms like YouTube, longer-form content has become increasingly popular, with many creators producing videos that are 20 minutes or longer (like ‘how to’ videos’). This change has been driven by a desire to create more in-depth content that provides value to viewers and helps build a loyal audience over time. As a result, the most effective video length for content has become more fluid and dependent on the needs and preferences of the audience.
Whether you create short, TikTok-style social media videos or long videos for webinars or professional purposes, there is an audience for both (and respective video lengths).
This guide will walk you through all of these video content factors and recommend the optimal length for each video content and distribution platform type.
Table of contents
Video length: Why it matters
Why should you be concerned with video length?
While you can’t completely control all the possible factors, you can optimize the ones you can.
For example, early-stage prospects (like the ones browsing their social media feeds) are usually just curious and not seriously considering your product.
They aren’t open to watching a long video.
If you provide them with a long-form video early in the funnel, they will likely get intimidated and leave; you won’t capture your audience’s attention.
The right call at this stage will be to present them with shorter clips.
However, the further prospects go in the funnel; the longer your videos can be.
Interested prospects are eager to learn more and engage with extended tutorials or expert-led webinars.
By considering factors such as your target audience buyers’ journey, you can tweak your video content and implement video length best practices to engage your audience at the right time with the right message.
With that in mind, let’s discuss the ideal video lengths for common social media platforms, video types, and use cases.
Ideal video length for social media
Each social media platform has its unique audience and specifications that impact how long a social media video should be.
Some social media channels also restrict social media video length; we have noted those wherever applicable. Here’s a summary:
- TikTok video length: 10 to 15 seconds
- Pinterest video length: 15 to 30 seconds
- Twitter video length: 20 to 45 seconds
- YouTube video length: 5 to 15 minutes
- Facebook video length: 30 to 90 seconds
- Instagram video length: 30 to 45 seconds
- LinkedIn video length: 30 seconds to 5 minutes
Ideal TikTok video length: 10 to 15 seconds
Similar to Snapchat video length, TikTok users gravitate toward bite-sized videos.
While your TikTok video’s length can be up to 60 seconds, the optimal duration lies between 10 and 15 seconds.
However, you can exceed the 60-second cap with the same video file by uploading the social media video non-natively. Here’s an example of the right TikTok video length by Duolingo.
@duolingo pride is forever dont @ me #Duolingo #DulaPeep #pride #DuaLipa #trend #comedy #dogtalk ♬ original sound – Jacob Sutherland
Ideal Pinterest video length: 15 to 30 seconds
Pinterest is popular as a discovery platform and a place where people go for quick answers.
The recommended length for Pinterest videos is 15 to 30 seconds.
Nevertheless, your videos can be a little longer in case of explainers or product demos. The maximum video length allowed is 30 minutes.
Overall, try to keep your Pinterest videos short and sweet, like how they do it at Inspire Uplift.
Ideal Twitter video length: 20 to 45 seconds
Technically, your Twitter videos can be as long as 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
But the recommended video length for both video tweets and Twitter video ads is between 20 and 45 seconds.
Brands like Epik know that the platform is built for brevity, as reflected in their Twitter videos.
#HoldingTheLine at $8.49 .com renewal rates, with $6.99 inbound transfers, and $7.99 on new domain registrations. Our customers deserve better than multi-year arbitrary price increases, given the challenges so many face in current times. So do yours. #domains pic.twitter.com/1BoiRyiPpn— Epik.com (@EpikDotCom) August 31, 2021
Ideal YouTube video length: 5 to 15 minutes
YouTube is best for social media videos slightly longer than those on other social media platforms.
On your YouTube channel, you can share tutorials, case studies, interviews, YouTube video ads, and other video content lasting 5 to 15 minutes.
Here’s an excellent example of how long should a YouTube video be from Garage Gym Reviews.
Ideal Facebook video length: 30 to 90 seconds
Facebook lets you upload videos with up to four hours of runtime. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Less than two minutes is the best goal to aim for, considering Facebook users’ attention spans.
Meanwhile, thirty seconds to one minute is the sweet spot for Facebook videos and ads.
Also, make sure to put forth the most interesting bits in the first 10 seconds of your Facebook video, like what Nintendo did in the social media example below.
Ideal Instagram video length: 30 to 45 seconds
From 5-second stories and feed videos to one-hour streams, Instagram allows a variety of video lengths (Instagram feed videos, Instagram stories, and so on).
The best Instagram video content is still short, bite-sized clips under one minute.
Even when creating Instagram videos for ads or Instagram Stories, try to capture your core proposition in the first 20 seconds.
Look at this video from Harley-Davidson for inspiration.
Ideal LinkedIn video length: 30 seconds to 5 minutes
inkedIn users are professionals looking to learn and grow.
They are more likely to watch medium-length videos if the content interests them.
As a result, LinkedIn videos can be anywhere between 30 seconds and five minutes.
The following video from Boeing is a good example.
Ideal video length for different types of videos
There is no one-size-fits-all video length for different types of videos and video content. For example, Instagram Stories and Reels max out at 15 seconds, feed videos are at 60 seconds and IGTV videos are at 60 minutes.
As with social media platforms, it depends on what your prospects expect and the nature of your business. Here’s a summary:
- Ideal company culture video length: 2 to 4 minutes
- Ideal sales video length: 30 to 90 seconds
- Ideal homepage video length: 30 to 60 seconds
- Ideal landing page video length: 30 to 60 seconds
- Ideal explainer video length: 60 to 90 seconds
- Ideal email video length: 30 to 45 seconds
- Ideal testimonial video length: 2 to 4 minutes
Ideal company culture video length: 2 to 4 minutes
A video showcasing your company culture should be two to four minutes long.
You can use this video to cover a fun holiday or attract new talent by highlighting key benefits and office perks.
For a good example of optimal video length, look no further than HubSpot.
Ideal sales video length: 30 to 90 seconds
The length of your sales video depends on whether you’re sending it to early-stage or late-stage prospects.
Sales videos for cold prospects should be around 30 seconds as the maximum video length, but it can go up to 90 seconds for audiences further in the sales pipeline.
You can have longer videos if you respond to a pressing question or helping them solve a problem.
Here’s an example of optimal sales video length following video length best practices from Aiia Promo Gifts.
Ideal homepage video length: 30 to 60 seconds
Planning to add videos to your website? Like your homepage?
The right length for a homepage video is the same as that of a TV commercial: between 30 and 60 seconds, following video length best practices.
Homepage videos aren’t meant to provide complete answers like you would find in long form videos.
Instead, they act as a teaser of your offerings and demo videos, such as the video below by Jackson Galaxy.
Ideal landing page video length: 30 to 60 seconds
A landing page has a single, focused objective: grab attention and drive conversions fast.
As a result, the recommended landing page video maximum length is 60 seconds, but your key message should emerge in the first 30 seconds, following video length best practices. For example, watch this video from RetroFoam of Michigan’s landing page.
Ideal explainer video length: 60 to 90 seconds
Explainer videos are supposed to be educational. And since the viewer is interested in learning more about your product, you can quickly go beyond a minute to deliver your answer.
The most important message should always come early, ideally within the first 30 seconds, following video ideal length best practices.
Headspace has a good example.
Ideal email video length: 30 to 45 seconds
Embedding marketing videos in your outreach email and saying “video” in the subject line can lead to better click-through and open rates to assess users watching videos.
Also, ensure your email content has an attractive, clickable video post thumbnail.
The right video length for emails is less than a minute, so avoid longer videos when you create video content.
Monica Vinader does this well.
Ideal testimonial video length: 2 to 4 minutes
Testimonial viewers watching videos are usually mid or late-stage audience members willing to consume up to five minutes of native video content.
However, the sweet spot for video posts and testimonials is around three minutes.
The following example from Rethink Robotics illustrates this well.
Get the right video length the first time with Piktochart Video
If we were to boil down all the advice about how to create videos and ideal length to just one point, it would be this:
How to factor in audience type to video length
Determining the best video length for a particular audience requires deeply understanding of their preferences and behaviors. For example, younger audiences are often more comfortable with shorter content, while older audiences may be more interested in longer, more detailed content. To determine the most effective video length, it’s essential to gather data on your audience’s viewing habits, including what types of content they engage with and how long they typically watch videos.
One effective way to determine the ideal video length is to conduct surveys or focus groups with your target audience. This allows you to get direct feedback on what types of content they prefer and how long they are willing to watch. Additionally, you can use analytics tools to track engagement and viewership data for your videos, which can help you identify patterns and trends in your audience’s behavior. Combining these insights with your own creative vision and goals for your video content lets you determine the video length that resonates with your audience and helps you achieve your objectives.
In summary, make sure to understand their needs and respect their time at each stage of the marketing funnel before you create video marketing content.
When in doubt, err on the side of brevity. Whether you’re creating YouTube videos or Instagram reels, try to cover only the most essential information with the shortest possible video.
Instead of creating longer videos, it’s safer to create several bite-sized explainer videos in the form of multiple stories. And you can do that easily with a tool like Piktochart Video.
You can record and edit short videos and trim or split your long videos into multiple clips.
The short video tutorial below shows you how to make your first video clip in Piktochart.
Get the right video length the first time with Piktochart Video.
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