MYTHS vs. FACTS: lengths for explanation videos

This post was automatically translated for convenience purposes.

For explanation videos, there are guidelines as to how long these should be. The principle is: “The spice lies in the brevity”. Why is that so?

With content consumed daily, people have an attention span of about eight seconds. Named: Goldfish syndrome. We decide very quickly whether we want to continue watching a video or not.

There are rules of thumb for which channel which time span is best suited. These guidelines have not been broken for a long time and everyone has tried to stick to them.

Videos for internal use:

For videos that are used internally – for employees – three minutes should not be exceeded. Since this target group likes to see the information as an escape from everyday working life and already has a general interest in the topics, they are welcome to be a little longer. But even these contents, which are not communicated externally, should not become boring short documentaries.

Videos for websites:

Explanatory films that explain or advertise products or services on websites best comply with the two-minute rule. The first step has been taken – the viewer has landed on your website, so he is interested. Now it’s time not to scare him away! So: Get your information to the point – short, crisp and clear.

Videos for Social Media:

Even if opinions differ here – the basic rule is: less than 30 seconds. But you place the most important message in the first five seconds. What follows then varies depending on the channel:

twitter: Nothing should follow here. A simple animated info graphic or GIFs – that’s all it takes. Sometimes a meaningful picture with a matching short claim is enough.

Instagram: From 20 seconds up to one minute you can let off steam here. To be honest, Instagram is more like “It’s all about the looks” anyway. The main thing is that it looks appealing and is no longer than 60 seconds – Instagram’s time limit.

Facebook: Until now, the rule was that videos should be about 30 seconds long. The challenge that awaits us on Facebook is the scroll mentality. Videos have to generate attention very quickly so that the viewer pauses and looks at the video as a whole.

These rules have been meticulously followed until now, also because viewers are very strict about what they watch and what they don’t watch. Recently you can observe a counter-trend. According to marketing experts, really gripping videos are watched – quite independently of these rules of thumb. So if a two-minute video is really gripping and visually perfectly tailored to the target group, it might also be watched to the end on Facebook.

The conclusion? Stick to the rules of thumb. But if you are really convinced that no word of your video can be deleted, no second less can be shown from the picture and no movement of your animation can be deleted, risk it! You’ll quickly notice if your target group is so enthusiastic about your result – and maybe they’ll really finish it, even though it’s 5 seconds too long according to the rules of thumb.

To find out how to create a targeted video, read the blog article “Our secret for a perfect explanatory video”.

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