How Long Should my Video be?

Whether you are creating your first video or your 100th, the question of video length is a good one. There are numerous studies, articles, and infographics purporting to describe the “ideal” length of a good video, but the truth is that it really depends on what your video is designed to do.

For  videos designed to teach a skill or discuss a major problem that someone has related to your business, there are a handful of things to keep in mind.

General Rules on Video Length

A good video is as long as it needs to be to make its point.Click To Tweet “How long should my video be?” is a tricky question. For a marketing video, content tends to be rather short – less than two minutes in most cases. But for training and on-demand content, different rules apply. To make your point, you’ll need more time. At the same time, you don’t want to lose the attention of your viewers, so it’s a careful balancing act.

Here are some specific things to keep in mind in relation to length:

  • Drop Off – Numerous studies have shown that the longer a video is the higher the drop off rate. While drop off for a training or on-demand video isn’t as big of a deal because you aren’t selling something, it can lead to reduced value perception. It can also keep someone from continuing to the next video. Measure your drop-off rates and if a large number of people aren’t getting to the end of the videos, consider making changes to the length.
  • Use a Strong Hook – Every video should have a strong hook and clearly identify what will be learned throughout the video. If someone is waiting for a specific piece of information, they are more likely to keep watching until they learn that piece of information.
  • Work with Attention Span – If your content is lecture based, people are used to longer segments of content. General best practice is to keep the length of these videos at or below 20 minutes. There are a number of ways to measure attention span, but the most generous measures for selective sustained attention span give humans about 20 minutes before their minds start to wander.

The type of content you create will have a substantial impact on how long your video is. The more entertaining and looser your content is, the longer someone will watch because it will stretch their attention span. But for information retention, shorter is definitely better.

Establishing Length Boundaries to Get Started

It’s strongly recommended that you pay close attention to the response your videos get as you release them and adjust length if needed to keep engagement high. However, to get started, use the 20-minute mark as an average.

You want people to perceive real value in what they are watching and eagerly watch the next video in your library – keeping their subscription active or purchasing new access to video on demand or webinar recordings. Make liberal use of the Yondo analytics here to maximize the retention rate of your viewers and you’ll see better results.


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