How Long Should My Video Really Be?

So, are we all just goldfish now?

Sorta! Our attention spans for screens in particular have grown shorter over the years – in 2004 we could focus on a screen for 2.5 minutes, and as of 2023 it’s about 47 seconds.1

What does this mean for video length?

Here are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind:

If your audience doesn’t know you – keep it quick!

The earlier the stage of outreach, the shorter your video should be. If your audience doesn’t know who you are – they simply won’t be as invested in what you have to say (yet!) Shoot for 30 seconds or under. Focus on introducing the benefit and value of your message or product upfront to grab their interest.

Be memorable! Entertain! Think outside the box! Blast ‘em in the face with what makes you awesome.

“Mid-stage will stay.. just a little bit longer.” 🎵

Videos that speak to an audience who already kinda gives a shit about you, and who are probably more mid-stage in your funnel, can be longer! It’s kind of like running into a friend on the street, versus a stranger. You might make time for a quick catch-up!

  • Explainer videos should aim to communicate a process or product at a high level, and be between 60 – 90 seconds.3
  • How-To videos are ideally anywhere between 2 and 5 minutes long.3 Sometimes even longer! Videos with this length should prioritize instruction.

Ask the right questions before creating. (The right questions are listed below.)

Depending on a video’s final destination you can fine tune the optimal length even further. For instance:

WHERE will this video play?

  • TikTok likes 10-17 seconds.4 (…as of 4:50pm on Nov 13, 2023 – this one changes hard and fast)
  • LinkedIn videos that are 30 seconds or under boast a 200% lift in completion rates.2 This means users watched the whole darn thing instead of clicking away!
  • The optimal length of a homepage video is similar to that of a TV commercial – 30 to 60 seconds.3 Hot tip: Homepage videos that tease the value of your product but still leave some questions unanswered are more likely to drive viewers to schedule a sales call.
  • Video marketing and sales emails tend to perform well at 45 seconds or less.3

Still have A LOT to say? Consider a strategic series of videos instead of a super long vid.

WHO is your audience?

Is this the first time they’ll be interacting with your brand? If so, remember to keep it short. If they know you and are already invested, you’ve earned the right to spend some more time with them. And it may go without saying but, make choices based on what your audience sincerely cares about. Dig as deep as you can!

WHAT type of message are you communicating?

Identify the type of video you need and choose a total run time that suits that particular video. For instance:

  • Brand Film (short)
  • Explainer (shorter)
  • Promo (shortest)

I believe you can always break the rules because you know, there’s still a human on the other side of that screen.

There really is no one size fits all solution. However, these tips are a great foundation to work from if we do say so ourselves!

We’ll leave you with this lil’ PXPK philosophy – capture your audience’s attention instead of interrupting it.

PS – Research shows that goldfish can actually remember things for months!! How’s that for a fun fact?

PPS – We love to frequently check in on Hootsuite + Sprout Social for the most up to date video trends, spec recommendations, etc.



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