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One of the most commonly asked questions from our client is how long should the video be?

In the mobile age with distractions luring potential customers left, right and centre, people have much shorter attention spans; less is definitely more with video.

Don’t just take our word for it! Statistics show, on average, 50% more people will watch a video to the end if it’s one minute, as opposed to two minutes. What’s more, you have around 0-30 seconds until 80% of your viewers switch off. These high rates continue to drop off as the video goes on. Interestingly, this levels out from four to 10 minutes, the engagement levels don’t really change; telling us that viewers prepared to watch four minutes of your contents will just as happily watch 10.

We’ve taken an in depth analysis of viewing times, drops-offs and the psychological factors that will engage viewers way before you lose them.

Do your viewers have the time?

For marketing purposes, we usually advise clients to keep a video to under one minute. Studies have shown that, on average, a 30 second video will have double the number of viewers as a 90 second video.

This shows that when viewers see that a film is only 30s, they feel they can spare the time, but are less inclined to hold on for another 60s. If you can make sure that your video is under one minute, you could actually be increasing the quality time that your video spends with its viewers.


As with any other marketing activity, it’s always a smart idea to set objectives. Don’t confuse viewers by cramming in all your key messages, with the thinking that some may stick; in reality, they’ll all get lost. It’s always better to have a few select clear messages aimed at a specific target audience. Make sure you’re clear on your audience, objectives and what specific, few messages will resonate with them.

Front-load your message

It’s important to put your key message at the beginning of the video to share what’s important to your brand and your target audience before you lose their interest.

Great content successfully engages emotionally, before handling the factual elements quickly and precisely before again returning to an emotional message, which is key to drive actions from viewers. Therefore, try to start your video with content that will appeal to their emotions, then back this up with a few key facts, before ending on an emotion.

Bite-size chunks

Another way to get more from your video content is to split it into digestible amounts of information. For instance, if you have a series of testimonials, you could split a two minute video into four 30 second videos. Your clients will click on the testimonial which appeals to them most and will be far more likely to watch right through to the end. We recommend having multiple length edits/ teasers of the full length video for different social channels such as Vine and Instagram, which only allow 15 seconds of air time.

Variety of edits

In the multi device era, your potential customers could be interacting with your brand on their PC at home, their iPad, smartphone or at work, and so you need to tell your story across channels. It’s all about context with video length and matching your content to the different stages in the sales cycle.

With brand awreness content, a short punchy video could really work well or a series of short 15s Instagram videos could reinforce brand personality, whilst a longer video can explain your product in more detail at the consideration stage.

If you do need to make a longer video, it’s still important to make a punchy opening as people seem to make a decision quite early on whether to watch or click away. Add a call to action fairly early on in order to increase your ROI.


To conclude, we advise that shorter is better, to keep your message on-track and focused.  Just as with written content, openings need to grab attention and if you do go longer, think about the context and key aim of the film. Keep an eye on your stats so that you can continuously improve, and feel confident that your viewers are enjoying your content.