You’ve undoubtedly come across the profound impact of explainer videos in sparking engagement. But here’s a puzzler: How long should your video be to both captivate the viewer and effectively convey the core message? Striking this balance isn’t child’s play. Today, we’ll unravel some precious insights to guide the duration of your animated marketing endeavors for the perfect blend of entertainment and efficacy. Dive in!
How Does Video Length Square Up With Engagement?
Have you ever been told that our attention spans now trail even those of goldfish? It might tickle your funny bone and raise eyebrows, but it’s stark reality! The human attention span has shrunk to a mere 8.25 seconds. This calls for a blend of innovation and strategy when crafting video content that not only grabs immediate attention but also sustains it. Sound daunting? Fear not!
Given this sub-8-second window to pique curiosity, the duration of your promotional video takes center stage. Thus, the link between video length and engagement becomes incredibly pivotal.
A neat 2-minute explainer video can weave magic in terms of engagement. If you can tailor your content within this 120-second bracket, you’re on track to mesmerize your viewers.
However, the engagement graph dips slightly between the 2nd and 3rd minutes.
The span between the 6th and 12th minutes offers another window to rekindle viewer interest.
Is There Such a Thing as “The Perfect Length”?
We’ve shed light on some intriguing findings from Wistia’s research. However, caution: It’s unwise to don blinkers and insist on a 2-minute cap for every marketing video you create! Trimming your 8-minute video by a mere minute won’t reinvent its appeal. Similarly, chopping down a 10-minute narrative to fit into a 2-minute mold just to tick the “ideal duration” box could be misguided.
Much like a TED talk typically runs for about 15 minutes, a pitch video takes up 2 minutes, and a video advertisement wraps up within 60 seconds, every video finds its natural length governed by factors such as its content, target audience, and the broader context. Let’s delve deeper into each:
Content scope: Video marketing is its own unique beast, presenting a plethora of avenues to articulate your vision: from educational to explainer videos, from testimonials to behind-the-scenes glimpses, from DIY guides to podcasts. The nature of your content is the guiding light in deciding whether your video should be brief or expansive.
Audience specifics: No communication strategy, video marketing included, is complete without a clear understanding of its audience. This insight not only informs a more personalized and impactful message but also guides the desired audience action. After all, entertaining an audience differs starkly from educating or merely updating them.
Situational context: Reflect on the devices and platforms your audience predominantly leans on to view your content. Understand their anticipations. Such nuances influence your video’s optimal length. For instance, Hubspot’s findings suggest videos under 5 minutes resonate well on mobile devices. Pertaining to anticipations, elements like your content’s title, thumbnail, and promotion platforms can set the viewer’s time expectation for the video.
What’s the Ideal Video Duration?
A good rule of thumb? Aim to keep most videos below two minutes. Nevertheless, the perfect length for any given video is a dynamic metric, swayed by its target viewers, distribution medium, and the chosen stylistic approach.
Here’s a snapshot of intriguing insights from The Next Web on video formats and their ideal lengths:
Tutorials: Ideally span 45 to 90 seconds.
Artistic adverts: Best kept between 15 to 59 seconds.
Crowdfunding showcases: An average sweet spot of 2.5 minutes.
Testimonials: Optimal duration ranges from 60 to 119 seconds.
What’s the Sweet Spot for Explainer Videos?
Taking everything into account, explainer videos hit their stride at about the 90-second mark. Let’s not forget, the primary purpose of an explainer is to articulate a business concept or message swiftly – doing so with charm, persuasion, and flair.
Logically, such videos must be concise and to-the-point to maintain their impact. Your main objective is to address the viewer’s query or challenge, and it’s paramount to do so before their attention drifts. Every second is precious.
While the duration of each explainer can differ based on several variables – like the kind of animation chosen, your business’s sector, or the intended stage of the sales journey – our hands-on experience tells us there’s a sweet duration range for these animated marketing pieces: 60 to 90 seconds. Within this window, you can convey your core message while keeping your audience hooked.
So, What Makes Shorter Videos Stand Out?
Primarily, they boast better viewer retention, enhancing their performance in both SEO and user engagement. The more concise a video, the higher the likelihood viewers will see it to completion – translating to fewer drop-offs mid-watch.
Modern search engine mechanisms lean towards favoring content that holds viewer engagement. By extension, the more eyeballs you attract to your video, the higher the chance your core message resonates, and viewers might feel inclined to circulate it.
That said, length isn’t the only metric of a video’s efficacy. A super brief video might fall short if it doesn’t articulate its message appropriately. Yet, a general rule of thumb suggests: the briefer a video (within logic), the more effectively it’s likely to resonate.
Guidelines to Nail Video Duration
To get the most out of your video, consider these practices:
Pre-emptively understand your audience: Gauge the content they gravitate towards and craft yours accordingly.
Dive right in: While suspense is cinema’s best friend, the digital realm values directness.
Zone in on a primary message or theme: Utilize the remaining time to delve deeper.
Minimize idle moments: Ensure your video’s pacing is brisk and cohesive, maintaining viewer interest.
Avoid overstuffing: If your subject is vast, consider segmenting it across a video series.
Ensure your marketing video strikes the right duration balance. To give you a benchmark, 160 scripted words in English equate to approximately one minute of video content. Thus, for a 90-second video, you’d be looking at 240 words. For a deeper dive into scriptwriting, consider downloading our complimentary eBook titled “How to write a script for an explainer video.”