How to Pick the Perfect Length for Your Brand Video

No matter their length, branded videos can quickly become overwhelmed with detail. There are often so many things you need to get across to your customers that your overall presentation becomes a muddy soup of nondescript and out-of-focus messages and your audience ends up more confused about your business than when they started!

Confusion is anti-marketing. Your job is to make your message clearer, not leave your audience wondering what you’re talking about. When you start making a concerted effort to get confusion out of your messaging, you’ll quickly find your video is naturally closer to its proper length.

But what exactly is the proper length? Well, that can depend…

The upper limit on most attention spans online is 90 seconds, but the lower limit is closer to eight seconds. If you’re lucky, you might find someone willing to invest as much as two minutes on your video, but beyond that, unless you’re broadcasting a television show, you’ve lost your audience.

This is where you have to be skilled in the art of peeling away all the fluff and focus on creating a video no longer than two minutes. There are some exceptions to this rule, which we’ll discuss below, but between one and two minutes is your sweet spot. That will guarantee maximum impact in the least amount of time and get your video in front of the largest possible audience. When those three factors are properly balanced, your video will shine.

But that’s the TL;DR. Let’s get into the nitty gritty and really break down what you need to know when it comes to your video’s length.

Video Length Basics

Knowing how long your video should be really comes down to what your video’s ultimate goal is. You can learn more about that here, but here’s a quick refresher.

When you’re trying to raise awareness of your brand and get your company’s name out there to new people, you’re in the attract stage of the marketing funnel. Here, people don’t necessarily know your brand, and you’re trying to introduce yourself to them.

At this stage, you want your video to be short and attention-grabbing. Videos here should be less than a minute long with bright, bold graphics and a very short pitch about your products or services. Don’t weigh your videos down with a ton of details or complicated information – your audience will tune out and likely scroll right past your video altogether.

Videos in the awareness stage should be less than a minute long.

If your audience is already familiar with your brand, they’re likely in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey, and you’re trying to engage them with interesting information and provide value. That means your videos here can be a bit longer – somewhere between one and three minutes. Keep the right balance in mind. You want to provide value, which can take a bit longer to do, but still be interesting, engaging, and unique.

Videos in the consideration stage should be between one and three minutes long.

If you’re trying to convert users into an actual purchase, you’re in the decision stage and your video content should be more directed. You’re telling your users exactly what you want them to do and why, which is why videos here should be less than two minutes along. In that time, you want to hammer home your final value proposition and how the viewer can complete their purchase action with a clear call to action (CTA).

Videos in the decision stage should be less than two minutes long.

Need more direction? We’ve made over 6,000 videos since our launch in 2014, and here are the trends we see followed most often when it comes to length.

Videos 15 Seconds and Less

Common videos include:

  • Social Content Videos
  • Bloopers/Outtakes
  • Tips and Tricks Videos
  • Promo Videos
  • And more…

These short videos are becoming more and more common thanks to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. They’re perfect in the attract stage and are great attention-grabbers. Because they’re short, stick to communicating only your most important information. These are typically made short to optimize high performance on social platforms, so be sure to use bright colors, titles and text graphics, and other techniques to stop users from scrolling.

Videos 16 to 60 Seconds

Common videos include:

  • Product Videos
  • How To Videos
  • Brand Videos
  • Commercials
  • And more…

This is the most common length for videos we produce. Still short enough to captivate an audience, but long enough to communicate the crux of what a company does, videos at this length share important information while keeping the brand at the forefront. These videos can work almost anywhere, including major hosting platforms like YouTube, social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, and shared via email campaigns and through paid advertising.

Videos 1 to 2 Minutes

Common videos include:

  • Brand Videos
  • Case Study Videos
  • Team Videos
  • Event Videos
  • And more…

Still an OK length, you want to make sure everything you say in these videos is absolutely necessary. At two minutes, you’re starting to push the limits of a user’s attention span, so you’ve got to keep them interested. Work on telling an enticing narrative, one that builds over time and hooks your viewer quickly. Or, provide useful information that the user can’t find anywhere else. If you’re using these videos in the consideration or decision stages of the buyer’s journey, make sure the content you share is not only intellectually engaging, but emotionally engaging, as well.

Videos 2+ Minutes

Common videos include:

  • Testimonials
  • Product Reviews
  • Tutorials
  • Product/Service Demonstrations
  • And more…

Most videos you use for marketing purposes shouldn’t be much longer than two minutes. Sometimes, complicated tutorials or product demonstrations can take a bit longer, but you really want to steer clear of creating long content that feels like it’s dragging (which can happen once anything reaches beyond that two-minute mark). Also, keep in mind where you’ll be distributing your video. If your goal is to attract users through paid ads, you definitely shouldn’t use a long, four-minute service tutorial.

Long-Form Video: 15+ Minutes

Common videos include:

  • Expert Q&A
  • Webinars
  • And more…

Though any video in the three- to 10-minute or so range can feel long, even longer content tends to engage users for more time. Before a 30-minute video begins, for instance, the user knows what they’re signing up for. They know most webinars are close to an hour, so they’ve committed to spending that long watching your video. The caveat is that there are few video types that require this length, so be sure your longer video is purposeful and provides a ton of value if you’re making it this long.

Wrapping Up

Obviously, this isn’t all inclusive – some videos will break these rules, and we didn’t include every single type of video out there. Take these as guidelines, if anything. Knowing how long certain videos typically are gives you a great standard to go by. But more important than considering length right off the bat is knowing your audience’s behavior.

What mindset are they in when they’re watching your video?
Are you offering enough value for them to stick around longer?
How much time and engagement does your CTA require?

This is what should ultimately dictate your video’s length.