Inbound Marketing | 3 min read

The Long and Short of Video Length: How Long? How Short?

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When you sit down in a movie theater, you're expecting a full-length spectacular to accompany your buttery popcorn and boxed candy. Very few people would complain if popular movies, like Guardians of the Galaxy 2 for example, were longer, but that same desire does not apply to your business and marketing videos. When it comes to videos online, the shorter, the better. Keep reading for more about video length best practices in online marketing.

There is an astronomical amount of content online, and attention spans of consumers seem to be shrinking. To leverage video marketing to the best of its ability adhere to this simple rule will help improve your efforts. 

Videos should only be as long as they must be to get your main point across. 

Why, you ask? Because people are busy, they just don't have time for a long video while they're scrolling on their mobile during their daily commute or while they're on the toilet. (Hey, everyone does it, stop judging.) When people press play and see how long your video is there's a good chance they will abandon it. Humans just don't have time to commit to super long videos in their already jam-packed day.

Here at ManoByte, we stick to 30 seconds to one minute for marketing videos which is under the max length people's engagement remains steady, according to research from our friends at Wisita. They wanted to see when people start to leave videos and their research says anything under two minutes is optimal. But, as far as the experts at ManoByte are concerned, the shorter, the better.

After two minutes video engagement begins to drop like a lead balloon. So, what does this mean for longer video content like webinars and product demos? Just because shorter is usually better doesn't mean that there isn't value in longer videos like webinars and product demos. As your prospects move through the buyer's journey videos like these, which are more targeted to the decision stage are very helpful in those targeted conversions.

Engagement on longer videos is expected to drop off as awareness and consideration level leads leave the content. Leads who are higher in the funnel aren't ready for that in-depth information yet. However, leads that are further down on the marketing funnel will likely stick around because they're getting closer to making a buying decision and are therefore more invested in the information you have to give. According to data from Wistia, keep these longer videos between 6-12 minutes, the other sweet spot for steady viewer engagement. 

The long and short of video? Still invest in targeted long-form video content like webinars, but when you're making a video for social or your website stick or under a minute or even less if you can. Marketing videos only need to be as long as it takes to convey your message. Any extra fluff is likely to drive your viewers away for something quicker to digest.