What is the Optimal Length for Video Marketing Content?

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When it comes to video marketing, and keeping your customers’ attention, bigger is NOT necessarily better. Actually, “less is more.”  With all of the buzz about how important video is these days, it might be easy to think that more is better. But remember, the average person’s attention span is a person’s age plus 2! So do the math. If your viewer is 16, their total attention span is 18 minutes. However, recent studies show the attention spans are getting shorter, so, the recommended length now is around 2 minutes. We are not just listening to anything. It has to be important to us. It has to make sense.

This means when you are trying to grab and keep the attention of viewers, who you hope will spread your video, fast. In the first 30 seconds of a video, the viewer is deciding whether or not they will stay with your message to the end. So, what do you do to grab their attention at the onset and keep it long enough to get to your call to action?

Some marketing experts have observed that there are two main deciding factors in whether or not your viewers stay on your video:

  1. the customized thumbnail
  2. the length of the video


YouTube allows you to create a customized look to your thumbnail so that people will see something enticing when they are searching for content. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this is one of those times. Viewers are searching for all types of content on YouTube. So, with a great thumbnail (the image they see first before playing your video), you can grab their attention at the onset and put yourself ahead of your competition who has a boring thumbnail.

Regarding the length of the video, viewers often look at the time limit of the video to decide on whether they have time to watch it. Even in cases when they have some interest in the topic you are addressing, they may look at other videos which are less than one or two minutes instead of yours, if your video is too long.

SO HOW LONG IS TOO LONG? (The 2-Minute Rule)

The average video message, whether an ad or otherwise, should be no more than 5 minutes at the far end. There are some instructional type videos and tutorials on certain subjects, which take longer to get the message across. But, 2 minutes should be the standard. This way, you are engaging more people and they just might stay around to hear your call to action.


Here are the average time limits you should strive to stay within, in order to keep the most people engaged in your message:

Short Tutorials/Explainers: 45-90 seconds

Creative Commercials/Ads: 15-59 seconds

Crowdfunding videos: 2.5 minutes

Testimonials/Talking head videos: 1-2 minutes

So, you see that on average, the time you should shoot for is 2 minutes for most topics. And, while there are some exceptions, if you have a topic which requires more specific information and takes longer to get across, you should stick to this rule if your goal is to get people to take action at the end.


Keep it short and simple. When planning your video marketing campaign, don’t try to cram too much into your videos. Instead, do the “5 question test.” If someone were to ask you the 5 most important points you want to get across as fast as possible, what would they be? What would you want to focus on? Remember the goal—to get people to join a membership, buy a product, or do something. You’re not Steven Spielberg running an entertainment channel. But, even if you are, you need to get to the point if you are using video to get your message heard. And, as you know, if you are a Spielberg movie fan, he gets your attention from the opening scene!

If you don’t know where to start, that’s where we come in. We are the experts in video marketing and animation. We know how to keep your message short and sweet, but to the point. Let us put our expertise to work for your brand.

If you would like help producing your video, our production team would love to help. Just reach out to us at: www.ripmediagroup.com. We love producing motion graphic animation, live action video, whiteboard animation/speed drawing animation, and helping people like you reach your goals.