Finding the perfect video length

31 May 2023
12 minutes
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When clients approach us for the first time, a common question always comes up: What’s the optimal video length? And truth be told, we can’t provide an instant answer without fully understanding the unique dynamics of their project.

In this article, we delve into the crucial factors to consider when determining the perfect duration for your explainer video.

The importance of video marketing length

We’ve all experienced it before. When you pick up a book, the first thing you notice is its thickness. Flipping to the final page, you discover it’s a daunting 1,280 pages long. Immediately, your mind starts calculating, “How long will it take to read this?”

A similar scenario unfolds with videos.

When you encounter a computer problem, you instinctively seek out the shortest tutorial. If it clears up your doubts in just a minute, you rejoice – that’s the right one.

Our minds are wired to believe that shorter content is easier to digest. A 7-minute commercial? That’s no longer a commercial; it’s a mini-documentary.

In the marketing world, we yearn for videos that present a direct and concise message. Content that, when viewers notice its length, entices them to say, “Alright, let’s see what you have to tell me. It’s only 59 seconds of my life – surprise me!”

video length. duración perfecta para su vídeo. longueur parfaite de sa vidéo

What is the attention span?

According to studies done by Microsoft Corp, the human brain’s average attention span for online videos is 8 seconds.

Our attention spans have become fleeting, just a mere 8 seconds on average, as studies by Microsoft Corp reveal. As we navigate the vast web, our focus becomes elusive, shifting restlessly from one spot to another.

This presents a significant challenge for communication videos – the crucial task of captivating our viewers right from the opening seconds and compelling them to stay until the very end.

Throughout the video journey, we must weave a tapestry of constant stimuli, igniting curiosity and holding attention captive. But the dynamic nature of social networks adds yet another layer of complexity. Each platform brings a unique attention span, demanding that our video marketing content adapts to each one.

How long should explainer videos be?

It’s important to consider various factors when determining the length. Marketing agencies and platforms like Google Adsense have conducted surveys and recommend keeping the video duration between 45 and 90 seconds. It is generally advised not to exceed two minutes.

After surpassing the two-minute mark, viewers tend to feel fatigued. They may be eager to listen to a particular song on YouTube, their video game installation is almost complete, or they have received a comment on their latest Instagram post. Our modern world is filled with numerous distractions.

Therefore, if you fail to convey your idea succinctly within two minutes, the video content may not achieve its intended goal.

This is evident in the success of platforms like TikTok, where videos are limited to just one minute.

What is the perfect length for explainer videos?

Before diving in, you need to understand that you should not choose a duration based on price or the average on the market. You need to select a duration based on the goal you are trying to accomplish, along with your key message.

30 seconds explainer video

A 30-second video provides a quick experience, allowing for approximately 75 words in the voice-over, which limits the amount of information you can share. However, if your aim is to TEASE your audience, this duration can be effective.

Teasing

Due to the limited time frame, you cannot inform, but you can provoke curiosity and captivate your audience with intriguing animations and a touch of mystery. Ensure to include a call to action at the end of the video, guiding viewers on their next steps.

Video Series

Another suitable application for 30-second videos is creating a video series.

If you have a product with multiple features, rather than presenting them all in a long video, you can opt for a series of 30-second videos, each highlighting a different feature.

What can I show in 30 seconds:

  • Event promotion
  • Product launch 
  • Teaser for a new service or product
  • Video Series 
  • Quick training/onboarding videos

30-second animated marketing videos exemplify the concept of “Saying more with less.”

60 seconds explainer video

A 60-second animated explainer video is the average duration seen in the market today. With this time frame, you can both TEASE and INFORM your audience. It provides an ideal duration for various video purposes. You’ll have around 150 words in the voice-over script, so it’s crucial to choose your words wisely.

Elevator pitch

Think of it as an elevator pitch, where you present your idea concisely and provide a few compelling arguments to persuade the audience. Strike a balance between providing enough information to generate interest without overwhelming viewers with excessive details and explanations.

90 seconds explainer video

A 90-second duration is perfect for any explainer video, allowing you to comfortably share more arguments to convince your viewers that you are the right choice for them. With approximately 220 words in the voice-over, you can explain complex subjects and break down details for your audience.

As the video becomes longer, it’s important to ensure you don’t tire your audience. Keep the content interesting and engaging by utilizing storytelling techniques, captivating animations, and frequent scene changes every 15 seconds to maintain viewer engagement.

Explainer video

An explainer video is typically considered as any audiovisual content starting from 90 seconds. This duration provides ample room to delve into a specific topic. As mentioned earlier, 30 and 60-second videos may limit your ability to expand on your ideas, but with 90 seconds or more, you can provide comprehensive explanations.

120 seconds explainer video

Some may discourage creating a 2-minute explainer video based on average view rates, but it’s important to remember that averages are just statistics. The duration of your video should be a reflection of your goals and key message, as well as the platform on which you plan to share it.

For instance, if you’re creating a training video for your customers on how to use your app, the duration becomes less relevant. 

💡 Pharos Digital Tip:

Every business, regardless of its scale, ought to develop an explainer video marketing strategy and establish a well-defined plan for achieving success.

If you're creating your initial professional video, you may want to consider a long-form corporate video, also known as a presentation video. This can be hosted on your website and shared across various platforms, such as social media and events. Additionally, it's worthwhile to create condensed adaptations of 20 to 30 seconds each.

These shorter versions are highly effective when shared on social media or sent as concise messages, as they effectively highlight specific concepts or product features and are easily digestible for viewers.

How important are the first seconds?

Two things remain irretrievable: time and a first impression.” – Cynthia Ozick.

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” – Will Rogers.

You’ve got it! The initial moments of your video are vital as they create the first impression on your audience. It’s crucial to captivate their attention and pique their curiosity, encouraging them to watch the entire video.

In an animated explainer video, the first few seconds serve as an introduction to the topic, setting the tone and establishing the scene for the rest of the video. Employing compelling storytelling techniques and delivering a clear and easily understandable message are essential to engage viewers right from the start. By incorporating impactful imagery and well-crafted dialogue, you can ensure that your audience remains interested throughout the video.

Failing to hook your audience within the first 5 to 10 seconds increases the risk of losing their attention, possibly causing them to leave and never return.

How to sustain viewer’s interest throughout your video?

  • Utilize storytelling that resonates with people and evokes relatability.
  • Make the animation visually captivating and impressive. Avoid prolonged scenes and strive to introduce changes every 10–15 seconds.
  • Ensure each scene provides new and specific information. Neglecting to address important facts can bore viewers and lead them to stop watching.
  • Experiment with subtitles, sound effects, and the tone of the voice-over to create anticipation and interest in what follows.
  • Adapt your video to each platform, considering factors such as timing and size, which are crucial for optimal viewing experience.

Takeaway

We hope this article has been enjoyable and informative, providing you with the answers you sought. 

Remember, selecting the video’s duration should not be left to chance or mere statistics; it should be based on your goals. Your key message, target audience, and chosen platform will dictate the appropriate duration. 

If you’re ready to embark on the journey of creating an animated explainer video, our team is here to assist you every step of the way.

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Pharos Digital is a communications agency specialized in video production, web-design and digital marketing. Our team creates and designs unique solutions to help your company develop its reputation on the Internet.

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