Oct 19, 2016

Good timing: what’s the best length for your video content?

written by Richard Lindsay

Video platforms differ greatly. The length of video content on each platform is sometimes dictated to by the platform itself: for example a six second limitation for Vine, or 60 seconds for Instagram. But what about YouYube and other video sites? What is the ideal length of a video to have the most impact for your brand? Yes it all depends on who you are aiming your content at. But here we look at some of the evidence when it comes to creating killer content.


It’s generally considered that shorter videos will have a bigger impact: crowd-pleasing instant-gratification for your audiences. But whatever the length of the video, remember you need to start off by considering its desired purpose and think about what your audiences will want. It’s always a good plan to inform and inspire people, along with educating and entertaining them, but how quickly should you try to do this? A platform such as TED for example is a very different beast to a 30 second Go Pro film.

But whatever the film and however you’re filming it, it’s always a good plan to try and grab the viewers’ attention right from the get-go, within the first 10 seconds. There’s no end of research reaffirming this; if your viewer gets bored within the first 30 seconds, you’ve lost them.


YouTube has generally been the platform of choice for longer videos since its launch 11 years ago. Videos on YouTube are on average ten times longer than on Facebook’s video platform. And as Facebook autoplays video content on users’ timelines, it’s best to make sure you attract audiences from the very start. This also makes measuring the social network’s success problematic, as number of views don’t necessarily translate into number of engagements. Audiences still expect video content to be longer on sites such as Vimeo and YouTube, so we see longer videos performing better here.
And another advantage of using YouTube for your content is that the videos will show up in Google Search.

So if it’s snappy, short content you’re creating, think Facebook. If you would like to delve a little deeper, then YouTube is for you. And as always, the creative behind your content should pave the way for everything else.