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Ideal Video Lengths For Social Media

how-long-should-video-be-2021

If you’re starting a video marketing campaign, one of your first questions is likely to be how long should a video be? The answer is: it varies. Marketing video length depends on the type of marketing you’re doing — it can encompass everything from the traditional commercial video to a more in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the company itself. However, there is one thing that is universal: a marketing video should always be as short as it can be to display the content that is necessary. We’ll provide you with video length best practices along with the ideal video length for social media by platform.

Instagram Video Length

First, it is important to note the placement of the video on Instagram. You can post a video to your feed, to your story, to IGTV,

Second, you’ll want to consider whether this is being used as a post or a video advertisement. Here is a quick overview of the lengths for each placement:

  • Instagram Feed Videos: 3 – 60 seconds, shows up in your followers’ feeds and stay in your history (until you remove them)
  • Videos on Instagram Stories: Up to 15 seconds and they disappear 24 hours after sharing
  • IGTV: Up to 10 minutes for non-verified accounts, up to 60 minutes for verified accounts
  • IG Live: Up to 4 hours, and stays in your feed for 24 hours (but you can download it and use it later)
  • Instagram Reel: Up to 30 seconds
  • Video Ads: Up to 60 seconds and you pay to have them show up in target audience’s feeds

Instagram Post Video Length

Instagram limits video length to 60 seconds, although social media companies are changing their rules all the time. Check Facebook for Business, which owns both Facebook and Instagram, as well as Whatsapp and Messenger.

Facebook for Business guide to video on Instagram.

Facebook for Business guide to video on Facebook.

Instagram Video Ads Length

According to the Facebook for Business guide to advertising, Instagram will play 15-video ads, but ads that are longer than 10 seconds might get split into separate “stories cards.”

Twitter Video Length

Twitter limits video size to 1 GB and length to 140 seconds (2 minutes and 20 seconds). Check Twitter’s Media Studio FAQs for the latest limitations on video sizes. Twitter will allow longer video advertisements, but you must speak to your Twitter account rep to set that up.

Twitter Ads Help Center

YouTube Video Length

YouTube allows you to upload videos that are 15 minutes or shorter, but verified accounts can post longer videos.

How Google Verifies YouTube Accounts

YouTube’s video ads — the ones that pop up while users watch organic (nonpaid) videos — are in two formts, skippable and nonskippable. YouTube allows users to skip skippable ads after 5 seconds, while nonskippable ones are usually 15 to 20 seconds.

YouTube’s Video Ad Formats

 

Your Content Controls the Length of Your Video

First, different types of content will have different lengths. An explainer video is going to be short and sweet. A behind-the-scenes video might be a similar length. But a training video or a tutorial is going to be longer.

What really matters, ultimately, is content density. If your video is trying to explain three things, it should do so quickly. If your video is trying to explain thirty things, it may need longer to do so — but you should also question whether you really need to explain thirty things.

Commercials tend to be a little under or a little over a minute in length. But a “Meet Our Employees” video might be longer, as might a “Case Study” video. If you’re trying to explain more complex topics to your audience, you need to let the moments land. Don’t rush the videos necessarily; silence and pauses can be critical, too.

Explainer Video Length

2 minutes

Customer Testimonial Video Length

1 minute

Product Launch Video Length

3 minutes

Web and TV Commercial Video Length

30 second – 2 minutes

Optimal Video Length Tips

To get the most out of your videos here are some best practices we use at D-Mak Productions:

  1. Consider shorter videos even when placements allow for a longer time. Consider the type of content you are producing when making this decision. An instructional video would tend to be longer than a case study video for example.
  2. Add your call to action or message at the beginning of the video. No matter where your prospective customer is on their buying journey you’ll want to ensure your call to action and message is at the beginning of the video.
  3. Tag your videos and use tools such as Google Analytics and Microsoft Clarity to tell the full story. Data is the king of decision making so regardless of video length recommendations you come across be sure you are measuring the analytics for the full story.

Ultimately, most marketing videos are going to fall in a range between 1 minute and 4 minutes. Regardless of the type of marketing video it is, it usually needs to have the most important information within the first 15 to 30 seconds. This information should also be repeated towards the end. Still, among brands, the appropriate amount of time for marketing tends to vary. It’s most important to be concise and keep the audience engaged and interested, rather than to make absolutely sure the marketing falls within a certain amount of time.

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Article by Joe Forte, owner and producer at D-Mak Productions, a Scottsdale video production company specializing in producing corporate, commercial, digital and branded media content.

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