How long should a marketing video be?
Here’s the irony. People are watching way more videos now than 15-20 years ago, but on average, they’re spending less time on each video they watch. Of course, social media has everything to do with that, but there’s also been a decrease in attention spans according to Hubspot.
Most videos are not watched all the way through. About 73% of videos get abandoned at some point. That means, more than ever, marketing videos need to hit the sweet spot when it comes to total running time.
Of course, there are always exceptions. A highly engaging video will be watched regardless of length. A video that makes a true emotional connection with the audience won’t turn away viewers as quickly as a very sales-y ad. Quality makes a huge difference. But, in general, different types of videos should fall under a range that benefits the audience without asking for more time investment than needed.
Based on our experience helping brands with all kinds of different marketing videos, we have devised the following guideline to help you determine the length of your video.
Explainers: 90 Seconds Tops
90 seconds is not a long time to explain all the life-changing features of your product, but that’s the magic number. The audiences for the explainer vary. It can range from those who have some familiarity with your brand to those who have never heard of you before. So it needs to get to the point and hit hard fast.
In those 90 seconds, you need to introduce the problem, introduce your brand, discuss how your product provides a solution, and end with a call to action.
Fact is, even a 90 second video loses half its audience by the end. So these days, shorter is actually better, if you can swing it. At the very least, the first 30 seconds should present a message that your viewer will retain.
Here’s an example of a 90-second explainer that is perfectly executed:
Case Study/Customer Testimonial: 1-2 minutes
Again, shorter is always better, but testimonials tend to be longer. These are video reviews that present a customer success story. The testimonial can get away with 2 minutes because the viewer is usually someone who is already considering your product. Like checking out Yelp or Amazon reviews, we want to know how good something is before we buy it.
Of course, those 2 minutes must be engaging. Don’t take shortcuts and shoot and edit the video on your iPhone. Hire a professional video production company that will add some decent production value. The length or content won’t matter if it’s poor quality.
Here’s an example of a customer success video that works:
Product Demos and Tours: 2-5 minutes
Product demos and tours are more in-depth versions of the explainer. It not only presents a brand and product, but it dives deeper into how it works. A good strategy would be to pair an explainer with a demo video. The explainer is the cold call and the demo is the closer.
The audience is already somewhat hooked and wants to learn more by the time they click-start the demo video.
Again, quality is important. 5 minutes sounds long and it feels long when watching a video of product shots and screen flows. But if it’s done well, it will be much easier to watch. Screen flows should be animated with important features highlighted. There needs to be camera movement and decent non-intrusive background music and voiceover.
Here’s an example of a product demo that hits the mark.
Length is huge. There’s just too much competing content out there for them to sit through a long boring video. When creating your next marketing video, make sure you have the optimal length. And of course, quality and content matter so no shortcuts there.