how long should explainer videos be

Explainer Video: How Long Should Your Explainer Be?

Read Time: 5 minutes

So by now you probably know that animated explainer videos are all the rage in online marketing and sales optimization. And with data pouring in from all over the web we are starting to see a clearer picture of what works.

To figure out how long your explainer video should be you need to consider:

  • What is the explainer video for?
  • Will your explainer video be placed on the homepage, blog, youtube or landing-page?
  • What is the desired action you wish your viewer to take after they watch your explainer video?

The third question is actually the most important one to consider. Give just enough information to lead to the action and ONLY that information.

No doubt, constantly reducing the attention span of an internet-savvy audience has made the short-length videos gained momentum over the longer ones. Shorter videos are able to attract the attention of one and all with ease. But how short, is the ultimate question. One, two, three, or for more minutes, is the question that your mind must be curiously looking to have an answer of.

First understand that what has worked for others may not necessarily work for you, for you and your business might not be on the same footing as that of others. So it’s advisable to not decide the length of your video looking at others, otherwise, you might end up getting a shorter (or even a longer) duration video than is actually required by your business. This might also result in giving you a poor return on your invested money. In other words, even a good video of a non-suitable or inappropriate duration might not fetch you a full value on your invested money. So how to decide the duration of your business video and choose the one which is a full value-for-money proposition.

You can, of course, look at others video to know what you can get in one, two or three minutes, but as a general rule there are so many other things to be considered like:

  • What do you want to emphasize in your video, is it your product, your business or both?
  • What is the set-up of your business, small, medium or large scale?
  • What is the nature of your business, is it complex, simple or deals into offering an innovative product? An innovative product might necessarily require a demonstration along with an explanation on the gap that it would look to fill up.
  • Does it involve a lot of explaining or answering of questions? In other words, what is the nature of your message and how do you want to present it? Do you want to back it with examples, quotations and endorsements, etc.?
  • And of course, your budget?

Let’s see some clean and effective pointers to resolve this business dilemma:

Being informative in nature, business videos should be cut to length.

They should neither be too short nor too long. An unnecessarily short, squeezed-up video would fail to impress if its only object is to bombard the minds of the audience with heavy doses of information. Conversely, a too long commercial video, without an engaging factor, would make people leave it without watching it to completion.

Your video should be made to serve a specific purpose.

Decide beforehand the information you want to convey to your audience because it will help you to decide the length of your video. If you have a lot of talking to do, never squeeze all your information in one video because a complex video doesn’t go down well with viewers. Instead, keep your video simple, tackling one idea at a time. A lengthier message can be broken into several shorter videos that could be linked with each other.

The content of your video should be concise.

It’s always advisable to summarize your message and make use of shorter sentences to retain the attention of your audience. Remember, a proper, engaging and targeted script is a key to a video’s success.

Make the first few seconds of a video count.

Grab the eye-balls of your viewers in the first few seconds of the video itself. It is seen that just the first few seconds of a video are enough to make viewers decide whether they want to watch it to its completion or not.

Video Length MattersSource : Wistia Video Analytics

This graph from Wistia video analytics convincingly shows that the lengthier the video the more the steep drop-off occurs at the beginning of it. The second drop-off occurs when the video is wrapping up. So don’t elongate the video on call-to-do action appearing at its end. Instead, keep it short, direct and specific. You have to be quick when you are asking your audience to take an action in furtherance of making a sale, or taking any other step, for that matter.

Further, don’t wait to introduce your product towards the end of the video as not always everyone ends up watching the complete video. So it’s important to let your message pierce your audience mind as early as possible.

A minute-wise length bifurcation for the videos:

Yesmail YouTube Campaign Video LengthSource: Yesmail Interactive

Who can look for a video of one-minute duration: In a one-minute duration video everything, from explaining the pain points to telling what you do and how you do, happens quickly. This category suits the businesses dealing in simple, hassle-free products that require lesser explanation. The industries engaged into providing products or services of simple nature such as those into transportation and educational sectors are best suited for this category. Businesses wanting to go for a video with no or minimal use of voice over can also exploit this category. In simple words, this category suits those who can get their ideas or message across easily and quickly.

Who can look for videos for up to two minutes: A two-minute duration video is also made on the same pattern as that of a video made up of one-minute duration, but here everything happens with much detail, for instance the pain points are given a briefing and generally a character is shown dealing with those pains, and is ultimately seen to benefit from the offered product and getting relief from his pains.

This category suits businesses offering simple yet interactive products. Such products could require a little more explanation than a common, simple product, for example the products related to funding or agri-business applications etc. might require an explanation on not only the product but also on their processes.

What extra can be achieved in three or more minutes: This category suits more to businesses dealing in complex, lengthy or innovative products such as those involved in banking or insurance sector. A three-minute video is helpful to those businesses who not only want a better detailing on every aspect of their video but also want to back it up with facts, figures, live quotations and customers feedback. This category is also recommended to those who want to use their videos on an offline platform or want it for an internal use in their organization.

Remember, irrespective of what you want to convey in your video, the effectiveness of your communication supersedes all your video requirements.

The following two tabs change content below.
Powtoon's Social Media/Online Marketing Manager extraordinaire who loves to provide the Powtoon Community with amazing, fun, engaging, and informative content!

Latest posts by Jordana Pepper (see all)

[fbcomments url="" count="off" num="5"]

Thank you for your interest in Powtoon Enterprise!

A solution expert will be in touch with you soon via phone or email.

Request a demo

By submitting, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Please enter business email
Paste your AdWords Remarketing code here