We’re all gone very visual now.
Your target market is looking for visual content. They react best to visual. And their preferred format is video.
At one point, the top social media marketing gurus were predicting that Facebook, for example, may well become a video posts only platform. That hasn’t quite transpired, but we can still see where things are headed.
Different social media platforms allow for different lengths of video to be posted – Twitter has a 140 sec max, Instagram has reels of 15, 30 and 60 seconds, while longer videos can also be uploaded (previously known as IG:TV), Facebook apparently 20 minutes (but that would be way too long).
Whichever platform you’re posting to, remember that you’re in a highly competitive marketplace and people’s attention spans are shrinking all the time. You’d be doing very well to hold a person for anything like 2 or 3 minutes, let alone longer.
So how long should marketing videos be?
Well, there are a number of factors.
First, how quickly and succinctly can you get your message across? Remember that your marketing video needs to have just one focus. It should not try to be all things to all viewers. Give it one core message and one ‘hook’ only. And get it across in the shortest time possible.
Next, you’ll probably want to brand it up, maybe with your business logo at the beginning and end, or constantly on-screen in the top corner. Don’t forget to brand it at the start, because most people won’t watch through to the end.
Also, can you get on screen yourself?
Finally, you’ve got to include a ‘call to action’ – what you want viewers to do. Do you want them to pick up the phone, book a ticket, visit your website, come into your store, submit their email address?
As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to complete your marketing video in 60 to 90 seconds or less.
Now, there are of course exceptions. If you’re putting up a ‘how to’ video on your YouTube channel to help your target market or existing clients, for example, then the focused viewer will happily watch it for 5, 10, 15 minutes or longer, if they perceive value and they are going to learn something.
By the way, be aware that ‘native video’, i.e. clips uploaded directly, work much better on Facebook than links to the same video on your YouTube channel. So when you’ve created your masterpiece, upload it straight on to Facebook and separately onto your channel (if you wish).
And then there’s the wonderful Johnnie Lawson, Visual Artist, whose videos are mostly 1 to 8 hours long! Check out some of his meditation and relaxation creations on his YouTube Channel. Oh, and by the way, he has over 168 million views and 400,000 subscribers, so he’s definitely doing something right.
Just goes to show you shouldn’t take what others tell you as gospel …
How long should marketing videos be – Resources
For greater detail on the technical specs of your marketing videos for social media, check out this article from Hootsuite.
Updated Oct 2021