What is the ideal duration of an Explainer Video?
By Nancy Habeeb Bou Saleh
So you have already taken the decision to make an explainer video for your business? That’s great. But making an explainer video raises lots of questions, one of which is the ideal duration of your video project.
What is an explainer video?
Explainer videos are online marketing videos used by businesses to tell their brands' stories and to explain their companies’ products and services. These videos come in different lengths – from 30 seconds to 3 minutes on average, and may be even longer in some cases.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds which is less than a Goldfish with an attention span of 9 seconds.
With the ever-shortening attention span, it’s hard to hook audiences for a longer period. So the length of your explainer video matters. Shorter may be better in some cases but a 3 minute video or more definitely has its position in other cases.
So how long should your explainer video be?
Like almost every single thing in life, the answer is: IT DEPENDS. Many factors affect the length of an explainer video. The ideal duration depends on 3 main elements:
The marketing objective of your explainer video:
Knowing your objective is the key. What do you want your audience to do after watching your video or what do you want them to understand? Is your objective to increase awareness, to educate your customers, to increase sales, to increase conversion? Or is a product video? Is it for training or educational purposes? Is it a corporate video to be placed on your website? There are lots more questions to ask… All of these will help you determine the best length of your explainer.
Based on our experience as a video production company, we can give you some tips on video length.
A 30-60 seconds explainer video is ideal if you want to create awareness and attract customers’ interest, or when you need to tease your audience. An example of this is the video we produced for the United Nations in Lebanon which raises awareness about the sustainable development goals (SDGs.). This length also works for videos about products and services that people are familiar with or its features are easy to understand.
A 60-90 seconds explainer video is a great idea if you want to give an overview of your business, take for example our brand video, or if you are producing a product video like the video we produced for Jihan.
If you are producing a customer testimonial video, and in cases where your products or services are more complex and require more detailed explanation, the ideal length is 90 sec to 2 min.
2 min to 2 min 30 sec is an ideal duration for corporate videos similar to the video we produced for Medica, or if you want to provide an in-depth explanation of a complex subject.
2 min 30 sec to 3 minutes is good for online video tutorials, customer self-help videos or how to- videos.
Finally an internal training video for employees could exceed 3 minutes. Take for example the training video we produced for multinational construction company, Zerock.
Placement of your explainer video:
The second element that affects your explainer video duration is the placement; that is the channel you will use to promote, host or showcase your explainer video.
If you want to have it shared on social media, then it should be short. While the length differs if you are creating a video to be placed on your website homepage, landing page, blog, YouTube, or if you are sending it by Email. For example if you are planning a training video that will be sent by Email, it could run up to 3 minutes or more.
Your target audience:
You cannot create a single video for everyone! Because when it comes to explainer videos, there is no one size fits all approach! You need to be specific. That’s why, in order to discover the ideal duration for the video, you should know your target audience and study their demographics and other factors. Understanding your intended viewer is paramount to determining the ideal length for your video.
Your target audience could be teenagers, students, employees, customers or maybe time-crunched executives. For example if you’re targeting the top executives of a company, the shorter your video, the easier it would be to fit it in their busy schedules.
Profiling your audience will give you an idea of the context too, whether they already have any a knowledge of your product or everything needs to be explained from scratch.
The above audience characteristics could make your video shorter or longer.
- Don’t make your explainer video too long and also don’t try to squeeze in too many things. For example a video over 3 minutes covering several topics is not recommended because the longer your video is the less people will pay attention to it. Therefore in this case try to break down the video into several shorter videos that can be linked to each other.
- Also remember to grab the eye-balls of your viewers in the first 5 to 10 seconds of your video. Make these seconds count because once your video has hooked your audience, they are most likely to watch it till the end.
To sum, there is no best duration for explainer videos. Just keep your video’s marketing objective, placement and audience in mind and you will be able to produce a final professional video that is worth watching and that will give you the results you want to achieve.
After all, your number 1 goal of any explainer video should be clarity, regardless of its length. The main issue is that you need time to explain your product or service, but without boring your audience. So your explainer video should be as long as it needs to be to get the job done.
I hope that the above information was helpful and can guide you with your next explainer video project.
Now if you want to learn more about our explainer video production services and any other video topic, reach out to Business Motion for answers to all your questions.