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May 17, 2022·8 min read

How Long a Video Should Be

The rule of thumb is to keep most videos under two minutes, but optimal video length varies depending on where you share or embed it. Tips for each channel.

Most marketing videos should be two minutes or less. First outreach sales videos, under 60 seconds if you can swing it. But the length of any particular video depends entirely on the use case, channel, industry, and where it fits in the marketing and sales funnel. The earlier the stage, the shorter. The later, the longer. Below are recommendations for nearly every conceivable scenario.

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  1. Contents
  2. 1. Quick Hit Video Length Recommendations
  3. 2. How Long Should Videos Be on Social Media?
  4. 2.1 Instagram Video Length
  5. 2.2 Facebook Video Length
  6. 2.3 LinkedIn Video Length
  7. 2.4 What is the Ideal YouTube Video Length
  8. 2.5 Twitter Video Length
  9. 2.6 Pinterest Video Length
  10. 2.7 Snapchat Video Length
  11. 2.8 TikTok Video Length
  12. 3. How Long Should Video Be on Digital Channels?
  13. 3.1 Website Video Length
  14. 3.2 Landing Pages Video Length
  15. 3.3 Marketing Email Video Length
  16. 3.4 Sales Video Length
  17. 4. How Long Should Different Types of Video Be?
  18. 4.1 How Long Can a Vidyard Video be?
  19. 4.2 Explainer Video Length
  20. 4.3 How-To or Tutorial Video Length
  21. 4.4 Demo Video Length
  22. 4.5 Case Study Video Length
  23. 4.6 Ideal Webinar Length
  24. 4.7 One-to-One Sales Video Length
  25. 4.8 Promo Video Length
  26. 4.9 Culture Video Length
  27. 4.10 Interview Video Length
  28. 4.11 Thought Leadership Video Length
  29. 4.12 FAQ Video Length
  30. 5. Video Length Best Practices
  31. 5.1 Shorter is (Almost) Always Better
  32. 5.1.1 Average Engagement for Different Lengths of Video
  33. 5.2 Different Objectives Call for Different Lengths
  34. 5.3 Track Your Efforts
  35. 5.4 Capture Attention Quickly

Quick Hit Video Length Recommendations

Bonus: Find out how long your video will be using Vidyard’s free script timer tool.

How Long Should Videos Be on Social Media?

No two social media sites are the same, so no two video lengths are the same. A YouTube viewer, for instance, may happily watch for four minutes, whereas an Instagram user probably won’t give it more than 15 seconds. On top of all that, social algorithms are always being updated, so what’s true today may change. Below are tips for each channel.

Instagram Video Length

Make your Instagram videos around 30 seconds long. Although the platform gives you up to 60 seconds, the midway point is the sweet spot for Instagram’s busy, multi-tasking, often traveling audience. When it comes to video ads and Instagram Stories ads, try to cover your key message in the first 15 seconds.

For IGTV (short for Instagram TV), videos can be 10 minutes long. Larger brands can petition to have their video limit increased to one hour.

For Instagram Live Videos, hit record and just keep filming. The longer you roll, the larger the audience you’ll have the opportunity to attract. The maximum length is 60 minutes, but you can start another live broadcast immediately after if desired. Shoot for at least 10 minutes, but longer is often better when it comes to this format.

Facebook Video Length

Successful in-feed Facebook videos tend to be 24 to 90 seconds long. Facebook videos are permitted to roll for an epic four hours, but just because you can upload Gone with the Wind doesn’t mean you should. It probably far exceeds the Facebook user’s attention span, and that’s a lot of video to produce.

On the other end of the spectrum are Facebook Stories—those user-generated videos that expire after 24 hours—which can’t exceed 20 seconds. For Facebook ads, put the juiciest information in the first five to 10 seconds, though these can also be four hours long.

Facebook Live is a great way to connect with customers in real-time. You can broadcast for up to four hours and, as with Instagram Live, the longer your live video runs, the greater your chances that people will discover it. Just make sure not to go below 10 minutes, which is about how much time it takes for people to be notified and tune in.

Pro Tip: To make your brand’s Facebook page more engaging, replace the cover photo (the large picture at the top of your profile) with a 20 to 90-second video, or swap your profile picture with a seven-second profile video or animated GIF.

LinkedIn Video Length

We recommend that LinkedIn videos run between 30 seconds and five minutes, with a maximum of 10 minutes. LinkedIn’s viewers aren’t your standard social media surfers: They’re professionals at work with more time to digest. Nearly three-quarters of business executives, almost all who are on LinkedIn, say they watch online videos every week.

If you’re running LinkedIn video ads, make them shorter: 15 seconds is ideal, with a maximum of 30 seconds.

What is the Ideal YouTube Video Length

Make B2B videos on YouTube two minutes or less. Though YouTube videos can run for up to 12 hours, demand for that type of content probably isn’t there for most branded content.

As for video ads, our advice is to stick to 15 to 20 seconds if you’re using pre-roll ads or six seconds for what are known as bumper ads, which are intended for brand awareness.

Twitter Video Length

Video tweets and Twitter video ads should both be 20 to 45 seconds long. Though they can be as long as two minutes and 20 seconds. It should come as no surprise that people don’t linger long on the platform built for brevity.

Pinterest Video Length

Pinterest videos should be 15 to 30 seconds, unless they’re an explainer or demo, in which case, longer is fine. The site bills itself as “the discovery platform” and people go there for how-to answers similar to how they use YouTube. While demos on Pinterest can be up to 30 minutes long, yours shouldn’t be. Offer a short and sweet answer with a beautiful, pinnable thumbnail.

Snapchat Video Length

True to its name, Snapchat videos are over in a snap: 10 seconds, that’s it. Don’t try to compress your entire message into that tiny blip. Rather, give your audience an intriguing taste of what you do and leave them with a link, hashtag, or URL to learn more.

TikTok Video Length

The length of TikTok videos has increased in recent years to accommodate longer-form storytelling and content sharing. A TikTok video can be up to ten minutes, which is useful considering more brands and creators making TikTok videos for B2B.

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How Long Should Video Be on Digital Channels?

Once again, there is no one video length best practice. It depends on the channel, how users behave there, what they expect, their vertical, use case, buying stage, the product, and the video format. A rule of thumb, though: If it’s cold outreach, keep it under one minute. Below are guidelines for each channel and format.

Website Video Length

The optimal length of a homepage video is similar to that of a TV commercial—30 to 60 seconds. You can go over, but only if the video is substantive. Website videos don’t necessarily need to offer complete answers, either. Homepage explainer videos that tease the value of your product but leave some questions unanswered are more likely to drive viewers to schedule a sales call.

Landing Pages Video Length

Make your landing page videos short: 30 to 60 seconds. Studies show that one-fifth of landing page viewers bounce after 10 seconds. One-third bounce within 30 seconds. Videos can help hold their attention and can do a lot to increase conversions; simply including them increases conversions by 80%.

Pro Tip: Place your video above the fold so it’s one of the first things viewers see.

Marketing Email Video Length

There’s no optimal length for video marketing emails, but in most cases, we recommend keeping it to 45 seconds or under (unless you have a highly engaged audience). Try adding the word “video” to your email subject line to see if it increases open rates.

Sales Video Length

The earlier stage the outreach, the shorter the video, generally. Cold outreach videos should be 30 seconds or under, but mid and late-stage outreach usually involves answering questions, and those videos can be several minutes long.

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How Long Should Different Types of Video Be?

Make your top-of-funnel videos short and snappy—think a matter of seconds, not minutes. Window shoppers and unaware prospects typically won’t invest much time. However, the further you go down the funnel, the longer your videos can afford to be—think minutes. The optimal video length is whatever viewers are willing to consume.

How Long Can a Vidyard Video be?

Before we jump into length recommendations for different types of video, we often hear a question: How long can a Vidyard video be? If you’re recording a video with Vidyard, you can record up to 30 minutes if you’re a free user and up to an hour on a Pro plan. For users on a Team’s plan or above, you can record for any limit you need! If you’re uploading a video, it’s based more on the maximum file size, which is 20GB.

What Vidyard Package is Right for You? Free, Pro, Teams, or Enterprise? Compare and find the right package. Compare Plans

Explainer Video Length

Make your explainer videos 60 to 90 seconds. These are generally top-of-funnel assets but, unlike ads, they imply some intent on the viewer’s part to learn about the product. If it takes over a minute to deliver on that answer, it’s not the end of the world.

How-To or Tutorial Video Length

Mid-funnel how-to videos should be between two and 10 minutes. By this point, you have your audience’s interest and engagement, and the goal is to teach more than it is to entertain. Or, perhaps they’re customers, and the goal is to teach them how the service or product works, in which case, they’re probably fairly forgiving. But the more you can condense your message, say things concisely, and let viewers get on with their day, the more the videos will be appreciated and perhaps even shared.

Demo Video Length

Make your demo videos two to five minutes long. It’s better to produce several smaller demos, each on one aspect or feature of the product, than one big one. It’s a lower barrier to entry for your viewers, and you can always string them together in a playlist for those who want the whole thing.

Case Study Video Length

Case study video length can vary widely, but viewers are likely mid or late-stage prospects who are apt to consume five to 10 minutes of video. You can always cut up longer video case studies into bite-sized 60 to 90-second testimonials, which are useful on your website, in email, and on social channels.

Ideal Webinar Length

Make webinars 15 to 60 minutes long. Webinars are for deep-diving into topics and often feature multiple speakers, segments, and a Q&A. You can experiment with shorter ones, though: In the B2B marketing world, competing for limited attention spans, you are more likely to retain your audience if you go for shorter ones. Bonus, if you can edit your on-demand webinar content to sit under 20 minutes in length—it could net you nearly 40% more viewer retention.

One-to-One Sales Video Length

Sales outreach, especially to cold prospects, should be short: 30 to 60 seconds. You’re liable to spoil their appetite for talking more any longer. Mid- and late-stage sales outreach to reconnect with prospects who have gone cold or who have paused their evaluation should be about the same. But if you’re answering a prospect’s question, the video can be longer. They requested it, after all.

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Promo Video Length

Make your promo videos the same as traditional TV advertisements: 30 to 60 seconds. It’s a tried and true format; if it’s good enough for the big advertisers, it’s good enough for most businesses.

Culture Video Length

Make your company culture videos two to four minutes long (think fun holiday video, or if you’re trying to attract candidates with a recruiting-style culture video, go shorter: One to two minutes.

Interview Video Length

Interview videos are a special case that can be on the lengthier side. If your CEO interviews a special guest for a fireside chat, it’s probably okay that it runs longer than most—say, six to 10 minutes. That gives them enough time to go back and forth a few times and for the conversation to explore multiple stories and perspectives.

Thought Leadership Video Length

Thought leadership video length depends heavily on the use case, format, and content. If you’ve got a well-rehearsed, revelatory message, 10 to 15 minutes is appropriate. (That’s about the length of a TED Talk.) If you’ve only got a short, informal update recorded on your smartphone at a conference and bound for Twitter or LinkedIn, 45 seconds to two minutes is probably all you need.

FAQ Video Length

The right length for FAQ videos is finding the sweet spot between answering all your top questions and retaining your viewer’s attention as much as possible. As a general rule of thumb, aim to answer four to six questions in your FAQ video and keep the total length under 10 minutes. Adding chapters for each question or breaking each question into its own shorter video will help with engagement and retention.

Video Length Best Practices

The best practice for video length is to test and find what works for your audience. If the video will be viewed by someone who doesn’t know you and hasn’t signed up to view it, assume it should be less than two minutes. If they’ve requested the video, it can probably be longer.

Shorter is (Almost) Always Better

Over 60% of viewers watch business-related videos all the way to the end if they’re less than 60 seconds, but only 26% will finish a video if it’s more than 20 minutes long. Use video analytics to find out where people drop off, then edit accordingly or, at the very least, apply the lessons to future content. Another way to retain and engage more of your view is to consider adding chapters to your long-form video content. Not only can you increase that retention, but your content is also easier to discover and consume.

Average Engagement for Different Lengths of Video

Different Objectives Call for Different Lengths

Video length is dependent on the video’s ultimate goal and the target viewer’s funnel stage, and therefore a viewer’s level of investment and commitment to you. Remember, too, that view counts don’t necessarily equal success. Judge video success by richer metrics like signups, conversions, pipeline, and revenue.

Track Your Efforts

Use video analytics so you know what’s working and what isn’t, what changes to make to increase conversions, and your return on investment (ROI). In 2021, 83% of businesses reported using some form of video analytics, and those using analytics tended to be more successful and satisfied with their video investments.

Capture Attention Quickly

If the majority of your viewers only make it halfway through your video, but the most important message is three-quarters of the way in, then they’re missing the point entirely. Get to your message quickly—ideally within the first quarter of the video.

This post was originally published on September 19, 2019. It was updated on May 17, 2022.

Chris Gillespie

Chris Gillespie

Chris Gillespie is the writer and founder behind Find A Way Media which helps great businesses create killer marketing content. Based in Brooklyn, Chris spent years selling SaaS technology solutions and now helps those companies craft their content marketing strategies.