Lightswitch Video | How long should videos for my business be?
03.28.2024 Talking Tech

How long should videos for my business be?

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So, you want to start creating videos for your business - but how long should they be? (If you're still deciding on what type of video to create, check out our blog post on that here).

How long should my videos be?

The length of your videos is dependent on the platform that you are posting on. A video production company can shoot footage and break it down in different length videos (and size dimensions) for whatever you need it for – common breakdowns are 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and 1 minute, although videos can be shorter or longer based on the need they are fulfilling. Generally speaking if the intent of the video is to gain attention is should be very short and have something very attention grabbing in the first 5s. For a video to be used later in the sales process they can be longer, but we should still focus on brevity 90s-150s is a good guideline.

How long should a testimonial be?

The general consensus is that a testimonial video should be between 60 - 90 seconds. However, you can feature longer testimonials on your website, and can always film extra and break it up into multiple 60 - 90 second video segments as well. You want the video to be long enough to get your point across, and for the audience to get a good feel for what it’s like to work with you, and how satisfied your customers are with you and the service or product you provide.

How long should a YouTube video be?

One of the most commonly recommended lengths for YouTube videos is between 3 and 8 minutes. However, that number varies based on topic, industry, and target audience, so it’s not fair to say that a certain video length is ideal for a one size fits all scenario.

There are pros and cons to both short videos and long videos. Longer videos (at least 8 minutes) on YouTube have more opportunities for mid-roll ads, and can bring in more money from ad revenue if people continue watching. In a post-Vine and current TikTok world, attention spans are short, so you want to at least have a great hook if you want people to keep watching your video until the end.

How long should an informative video be?

Speaking in very broad terms, try to keep an informative video under 20 minutes, if it needs to be longer we can break it up into a series. We encourage you to ask yourself “If I was going to look this up myself on YouTube, how long would I expect the video to be?” The expected length will vary by the topic. A viewer expects a video about how to build a passenger plane from scratch to be hours long, but expects a video about how to make a PB&J to be less than a minute. The trick is to make your video match the viewer’s expectations. If I see a 30s video about how to build an airplane I’m going to assume it’s not thorough, if I see a 4 hour video about how to make a PB&J I’m going to assume it’s some strange art project.

You can also create various videos on the same topic, just with different lengths. If you can shorten an informative video down to 30 seconds, great. But you can also have a longer form of that same video for those who want to learn more information, and can use the shorter video to direct viewers to the longer one. We call this the breadcrumb approach. Regardless of length, you want your video to be engaging, interesting, and yes, informative.

How long should a social video be?

Social is an area that has more defined guidelines. Videos made for Instagram Stories should be 15 seconds or less. The maximum length for an Instagram Story is 15 seconds, so anything longer than that will have to be broken up into multiple stories. While it’s possible to still retain viewers' attention with multiple stories of the same video split up, it’s not recommended.

Videos made for Instagram Reels should typically be between 15 seconds and 1 minute, maximum. However, if you can get your message across in less than 15 seconds, that can be beneficial as well. The first few seconds of the Reel are what is going to really grab (or not grab) your viewer’s attention, so those seconds need to be spent convincing them to keep watching until the end.

TikTok videos should be around 15 seconds. Similar to Instagram Reels though, shorter can be better. TikTok has the ability to upload videos up to 10 minutes, but the majority of viewers do not want to sit for 10 minutes to watch a video from your business. TikTok also gives users the opportunity to skip ahead and to change the playback speed on certain videos, so that’s something to keep in mind as well.

How long should a video be for OTT?

The ideal length for an OTT video is 15 to 30 seconds. You want to hook viewers immediately and make the video interactive, while still being concise. Think of these like TV ads that can just be a little more targeted. OTT ads show on devices and streaming services that stream over the internet.

Ultimately, you want your video to be as long as it needs to be to get your message across most effectively, while still keep in mind the requirements and parameters each platform has. As mentioned above, some platforms have more flexibility than others (i.e., a social media platform vs. an OTT video or ad), so make sure you choose the best platform(s) for your business's video!

Want more of your video production questions answered? We've got you covered! Check out our guide to creating video for your business.

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