What Is The Ideal Explainer Video Length?

17 May, 2017  

So, here’s the situation: you are about to develop your brand new explainer video. You want to make it engaging and compelling enough so as to quickly grab your audience’s attention (you know you have strong competition out there). But you also need enough time to pass out your key messages. With this in mind, what’s the ideal length your explainer video should have? We have some valuable tips to share with you. Join us!
ideal explainer video lenght
infographic: why explainer videos are the best marketing tools

Video Length And Engagement for All Kinds of Videos:

Grabbing people’s attention in today’s world is a huge challenge. Just for you to know, the average attention span has decreased to 8.25 on average. This means you have to create highly catchy and attractive content that hooks your audience right from the start, and also keeps their attention all the way through (or, at least, makes them remember something about your content).

From a general point of view, if people’s attention span is shorter than a goldfish’s, you have to be very careful about the duration of your marketing video. Statistics seem to support this. Check out the relationship between video length and engagement, from a study carried out by Wistia. Here are some highlights:

  • Videos up to 2 minutes get great engagement. Keeping your video under 2 minutes will keep your audience hooked and entertained.
  • There is a significant drop of engagement between 2 and 3 minutes.
  • From 6 to 12 minutes, you have another sweet spot to take advantage of.
  • From 12 minutes on, every minute loses the attention of people. So stay alert…

wistia study

Is There A “Perfect” Length for Your Marketing Video?

Now that you have gone over Wistia’s key findings, please don’t think that every marketing video should last 2 minutes to meet “the perfect standards”. It not about cutting down your 8-minute video to 7 minutes, because it won’t make a huge difference in engagement. In the same line, it’s not about trimming your 10-minute video to make it fit with the 2-minute scenario either.

Just like a TED talk video, for instance, will never last less than 15 minutes, a pitching video shouldn’t be longer than 2 minutes. Everything depends on different factors, such as the content, the target audience you’re aiming at, and the overall context. Let’s analyze this in detail:

  1. The type of content

    In video marketing you have lots of possibilities: behind the scenes videos, how-to videos, educational videos, animated marketing videos, testimonials, documentaries, and SO much more. Of course, depending on the content you develop, the length of your video will vary (just because some content warrants longer videos).

  2. The target audience you’re aiming for

    It’s important that you have a clear idea on who you’re trying to reach, and the specific action you want them to take. This will certainly have an impact on the length of your video. It’s not the same to educate viewers and wanting them to take a specific action as simply entertaining them. Be clear on this.

  3. The context

    The devices, the platforms and the overall expectations of your target audience will also play a key role in the length of your video. For instance, according to some stats revealed by Hubspot, videos under five minutes in length seem to be widely chosen on smartphones. Regarding social media, the ideal video length on YouTube seems to be 3 minutes. The expectations of your audience also play a key role: the title (what it is about, how it is written, etc.) , the thumbnail you use, the platform in which you promote it, etc. are all key factors that will lead your audience to think that the video will be short, or long. Meeting their expectations is a must!

Some Standard Video Lengths

The Next Web, for instance, compiled some of the most common video formats and suggests specific lengths for each one. Take a look, so you can see the big picture:

  • For tutorials, the ideal length could be between 45 and 90 seconds. More than 2 minutes will make the viewer feel that the content needs more concentration and time.
  • Creative commercials should be between 15 and 59 seconds. We all know that commercial ads tend to be very short.
  • Crowdfunding videos could have an average of 2.5 minutes. In this type of video, the viewer is willing to learn about a specific “project” and that´s why they require more time.
  • Customer testimonial videos can go between 60 and 119 seconds. Again, the viewer is interested in what the speaker has to say; they have a previous interest about a specific brand/product and is well predisposed to “invest” a little more time.

Watch this cool example of a commercial:

ebook: Explainer Videos, the Ultimate marketing tool

What About Explainer Videos?

As you may know, an explainer video is a short animated video that aims at explaining a business idea in a simple, engaging and compelling way by using attractive visuals and cool animations. Basically, it explains what the company offers, how it can help the customers with their problem and why that product/service is the best option in the market.

Due to its idiosyncrasy, this type of video shouldn’t be long. Keep in mind that the idea is to give a compelling solution to your audience’s pain points. You have to be straightforward but persuasive enough so as to make them take action.

Of course, depending on the type of animated video you choose, the field of your company and the stage of the buyer’s journey for which it´s made, the length could vary. But, based on our experience, we can say that the ideal length for explainer videos is between 60 and 90 seconds. It’s like the perfect length to pass out your key messages, keep your audience entertained, and encourage them to take action, without losing views. Check Picniic’s:

How Can You Avoid Dropped Views In Your Explainer Video?

We have some tips and tricks to share with you so that you can get the most out of these 60/90 seconds!

First, keep in mind these useful resources:

  1. YouTube Cards

    They are a great option to encourage your viewers to take action in the direction you want. As they add interactivity to your videos, they’re perfect to keep your audience’s attention, while you also encourage them to “take the next step”.

  2. Call to Actions

    If used the right way, they are an amazing resource to keep your audience’s attention (you have plenty of alternatives if you get creative). Check out some valuable tips on how to add Call to Actions to your explainer videos.

So, these two are great to avoid dropped views caused by the length of your video.

Youtube Animated Explainer Videos

But, of course, dropped views may have other reasons behind them: a poor script and a bad quality video. Try to follow these guidelines to assure the quality of the script and the entire video:

  • Start your video by delivering, in an appealing, clear and straightforward way, the main problem you intend to solve. This will help you quickly grab your audience’s attention, as they’re looking for the right solution for their needs.
  • Make sure your animated video is 100% custom. This way the viewers will identify with the characters, landscapes and backgrounds and will feel that the video was specially made for them. Believe me: this helps a lot to boost engagement and trust towards your brand.
  • Give your video the best quality, in every aspect of the video production process: this will make it unique, captivating and -ultimately- effective.
  • Give your explainer video the right length. Keep in mind that 160 scripted words in English is equal to around one minute on video. So, for a 90-second video you will need 240 words. You can download our free eBook on “How to write a script for an explainer video” to get some valuable information about this and other aspects of the scriptwriting process.

Finally, one gold tip you can’t miss: hiring a professional video production company that can help you in each of these stages. This is the only way you will get to a high-end marketing video that gives you the ROI you expect.

At Yum Yum we have wide experience in explainer video production and, what’s more, we take care of every single detail to assure the best results for your marketing video. We always develop 100% custom videos to meet your specific needs: we want to develop a video that helps you increase conversions and sales through brand engagement and trust.

This is one of our top explainer videos, so that you can get a better idea:

We also have one of the best quality standards in the market and have worked for companies from different sizes and industries. So, no matter what your case is, drop us a line and we will be glad to help you produce your next explainer video!

Remember: the length of your video will depend on several factors. Regarding animated marketing videos, don’t forget to follow some basic guidelines to assure great engagement and get the most out the timing you have.

Finally we invite you to check our video marketing resources, where you’ll find lots of information on explainer video production, the scriptwriting process, inbound marketing techniques, and more!

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