Sandy Pell

Video Length: How Long Should My Video Be?

By: Sandy Pell | September 10, 2018 | 
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video lengthThink about how many times you check your smartphone a day.

Or how many times you unconsciously tab over from what you’re working on to have a quick glance at your email inbox.

We all know attention spans are shrinking.

Advertisers now film snackable, six-second versions of their 15- or 30-second ads in an attempt to capture viewers’ fleeting attention.

Six seconds.

Geez, you might be thinking, if advertising professionals are struggling to get viewers to stay tuned in for 15 seconds, what hope do B2B communicators have of holding their audience’s attention with videos typically much longer?

Let’s look at the data.

Earlier this year, Vidyard undertook a study of our B2B video customers looking at approximately 600 businesses and more than 250,000 videos in a 12-month period.

We then published the results in our 2018 Video in Business Benchmark Report.

We were looking to understand how real businesses were using video on a day-to-day basis and if there were any overarching trends.

Today, I’ll be sharing our findings on video length. And spoiler alert, things aren’t quite as dire as you might think.

Most Videos Are Short

But not six-seconds short.

The overwhelming majority of videos created by B2B video producers—75 percent—are less than two minutes in length.

That’s a huge increase from last year’s 56 percent.

This suggests B2B video creators are taking note of shrinking attention spans and shifting audience expectations, and adjusting their content to match.

Some of the most common types of videos produced are product videos, demos, and explainer videos.

It’s likely companies are finding that shorter, more succinct versions of these kinds of videos perform better than long ones.

Long-form Content isn’t Dead

B2B video creators have caught on to the effectiveness of shorter videos capturing and holding their audience’s attention, but they haven’t given up on long-form content.

The average length of a B2B video is approximately nine minutes (or 538 seconds, to be exact).

That’s longer than many expect, but it’s likely due to the average being pulled up by long-form video content.

This includes content such as webinars and product demos, which are becoming more common, particularly in B2B markets.

Even though short content is performing well, consumers also seem to have an appetite for in-depth educational content.

There’s Not Much in the Middle

B2B video is becoming more and more polarized, and our data shows a shortage of videos anywhere from four to 20 minutes in length.

It seems producers are either keeping their content short or dumping large amounts of information into long-form content like webinars.

In most cases, creators are likely producing a mix of both.

What is the Right Video Length?

The answer is, it depends.

It depends on the kind of video, the funnel stage you’re trying to target, and the audience you want to reach.

It’s a bit of an art and a science. You might need to experiment a little to find out what works best for you.

However, I do have a few recommendations based on specific video types.

Explainer Videos

In essence, an explainer video is one which provides an overview of a problem and demonstrates how your product provides a solution.

As these are generally quite top-of-funnel, it’s best to keep them short, concise, and engaging.

Recommended Length: 60 seconds or less

Product Videos

Product walkthrough videos let you take viewers on a tour of your product or solution.

And at this stage, it’s okay if you talk more about your company and the solution you provide. By this time, you’ll have piqued their interest!

Recommended Length: One to three minutes

Webinars

Webinars are great opportunities to delve deep into subjects of interest to your audience.

With webinars, you also have a lot of flexibility on video length.

You can go as short as Jay Baer’s famous nine-minute “webinines” or as long as an hour.

It all depends on what you’re presenting and how you want to present it.

Recommended Length: 15-60 minutes

Social Videos

What better way to connect with your audience than through their favorite social channels?

Short and sweet videos are perfect for engaging with your audience on social.

And while it’s important to keep tweaking your video approach as social algorithms are always changing, here’s what’s working well right now.

Recommended Lengths:

  • Instagram: 15-30 seconds
  • Twitter: 15-60 seconds
  • LinkedIn: 15 seconds-tw0 minutes
  • Facebook: 15 seconds-two minutes

Video Pitches

Are you pitching a reporter?

If you think six seconds is short, consider that your email pitch may be competing against 799 other email pitches from other comms professionals.

When I pitch reporters with video (using Vidyard GoVideo), I aim to keep recordings short and sweet.

You can check out more on video-pitching here.

Recommended Length: 30-45 seconds

Which Video Length Works Best for You?

I hope this article has been helpful and has inspired you to examine your video lengths more closely.

Which video length has been successful for your business? Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash

About Sandy Pell


Sandy Pell has led corporate communications and public relations for Canada’s high-growth, technology startups. Today, she’s at Vidyard, the new generation video platform for business, which boasts global leaders like Honeywell, Lenovo, LinkedIn, Sharp and others. She also led the public relations at Hootsuite, the social media management platform, during its transformation from garage startup to global enterprise leader. In 2014, Sandy was named one of Canada’s PR Top 30 Under 30 by PR in Canada, and one of the Top 20 TechWomen in Canada by the C100. In her spare time, she’s an avid cyclist, has co-founded YVRPR, a Vancouver-based public relations community with more than 150+ senior communications pros, and paints custom, large-scale, commercial murals.

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