If you do a google search about video lengths, you are bound to find a great deal of articles and studies about the optimum length for online videos.
With so many online distractions right now and the short attention span of many people, a common suggestion is to keep your videos short. Somewhere in the length of 1-2 minutes.
While this is a good suggestion, it shouldn’t be a hard and fast rule that we need to follow all the time.
The truth is, people will watch longer videos so long as they are engaged, and they will stop watching when it’s boring or unrelatable, no matter how short the video is.
So the key is to tell an engaging story.
Typically my answer to the question how long should an explainer video be is to keep it as long a needed to clearly deliver your message while also keeping it as short as possible so the audience don’t get bored with it.
Now to help you better on this, note that there are three important factors that you need to consider when deciding on the length of your video.
- Your goal
- Your audience
- The delivery method
If you goal is to market your business then you should keep the video between 1-2 mins as people are bombarded daily with marketing messages.
But if your goal is to educate and train, you can go up to 5 minutes or even longer.
If your audience do not know you, a short video maybe needed, but if you are making a video for customers or your employees, you can probably pull off a longer one.
In terms of delivery method, if you videos are meant for the web or to be distributed on-demand, then consider having shorter videos or even breaking a long one into shorter clips.
But if you are showing the video to a captured audience like a sales call, conference or workshop then a long video can work.
Ultimately though, it’s down to testing what works and of course your story. Most won’t really mind a long video so long as you are engaging them with a great story.