How Long Should a Social Media Video Be?

How long should a marketing video on social media video be?

It’s the question on everyone’s lips – whether you’re new to social media, video production marketing, and digital content or a supremely experienced old-hand.

But why? Why is the length of a marketing video such a highly contested issue in video production circles?

The first reason is that the ideal length or duration depends on context – that is, the who, what, when, why and how of your digital content strategy; the audience, context and purpose of the content you want to publish.

And yes – how long videos should be also depends on the platform on which they’re published.

So, here’s our ultimate guide to the ideal length of a marketing, social media and digital content video – you’re welcome!

Let’s begin with some key stats. Did you know that:

  • Around 60% of marketing videos are less than two minutes long
  • Just 3% of business, social media, marketing and corporate videos are between 10 and 20 minutes long
  • Nearly 60% of people say that a video being “too long” will strongly deter them from watching it, and
  • Instagram videos that are an average of 26 seconds receive the greatest number of comments

So – all signs point to keeping it short and sweet, right?

Here’s what we suggest:

1. The ideal length of a video depends on the content platform on which it’s published

Of course, every social media site is different – and therefore, “ideal video length” depends on the platform on which you intend to publish it.

To paraphrase, every social media platform has its unique strengths, weaknesses, ideal clientele, and more, so content must be shaped to suit the platform – and, therefore, in order to get the most ROI.

While someone hunting down a TEDx clip on YouTube might not mind watching 5-15 minutes of video, someone on Instagram probably won’t stand for that much content – that is, unless they’re specifically seeking it out (e.g. a reel or IGTV clip from their favourite musician).

What’s more, the algorithms of social media platforms are constantly being updated, so the “ideal length” of a video changes – often!

As general advice, here’s what we suggest regarding how long a video production should be (to be most effective) if published on each of the major platforms:

TikTok (super-short):

  • 7-15 seconds

Instagram (short, sweet)

  • Feed: up to 30 seconds
  • IGTV: up to 10 minutes

Facebook (short, sweet with flexibility)

  • Feed: up to 90 seconds
  • Stories: up to 10 seconds
  • Facebook ads: 5-10 seconds

LinkedIn (professional clientele with more time to digest!)

  • Between 30 seconds and 5 minutes, with an absolute maximum of 10 minutes

YouTube (variety of clientele)

  • B2B videos: up to 2 minutes (although, YouTube gives you the capability to run these for up to 12 hours!)
  • B2C videos and video advertisements: up to 20 seconds for general advertising, or 6 seconds for ‘bumper’ ads aka those intended for brand awareness and recall only

Want to know how long a video should be for another platform that you don’t see listed here? We can help! Easy – just drop us a line.

What’s more…

2. The ideal length of a video should maintain audience engagement as the top priority

The latest research says it to us consistently: we have but a mere 4 seconds to capture our audience’s attention when they land on the website.

So – how are we going to nail a super-engaging video, then?

The first step is to make sure that your video production aligns with the needs and interests of your audience. You could, for example, ask yourself the following questions as you start dreaming it up:

  • What is the main message? Can you deliver this in the first few seconds of the video?
  • How are your business values and goals represented in the video?
  • How can you cast talent/profile characters in order to best represent the experiences of your prospective customer demographics?
  • What does my ideal audience need to hear to help them buy?
  • What does my ideal client need to read to help them engage?
  • What overall message do I want the view to be ‘sent home’ with?
  • What CTAs will I include on the video, and how?

Why are these questions so important?

Because there’s no use considering the ideal length of a social media, marketing and corporate video if it’s not first imbued with awesome video production strategy.

Which brings us to ROI…

3. The ideal length of a video depends on how you’re tracking with ROI

Of course, the best way to know how long a video should be depends on how you track, monitor and implement feedback on the impact of the videos you make.

One great way of doing so is to make use of various Video Analytics tools so you know what seems to be working really well, and what doesn’t. And not only that, but so you know what changes you can make to skyrocket ROI and conversions.

According to Vidyard, nearly 73% of businesses reported using some form of video analytics in 2020. Further, those using analytics apps reported being largely more satisfied with the investments they made in their production of video and social media content.

So – ready to take the leap and start creating content that is the perfect fit for the audience, context and purpose for which it’ll be published?

We can help you navigate it all. Get in touch today!