TBV Insights

How long should your video be?

Is there an ideal length for a video? The work of crafting a B2B marketing video is always done in hopes that prospects and customers will appreciate the effort enough to watch the whole thing. Some will. But according to 2018 video benchmarks from Vidyard [download page], only two out of three viewers stay tuned, even if the video is really really short. The longer the video, the higher the dropout rate. At any length, leaving the best stuff to the very end is not a good idea.

Video viewing datat
The longer a B2B video is, the less of it people watch. It is notable the more viewers watch 2-4 minute videos to the end than 1-2 minute videos. In any case, it’s important to keep in mind that, no matter the length, a lot of people don’t watch your video from beginning to end. Source: Vidyard

Here are six takeaways from the Vidyard report.

  • The average length of a business-related video in 2018 (on Vidyard’s platform) was found to be just over 4 minutes (down from a little over 6 minutes in 2017 and 13 minutes in 2016)
  • 49% are under 1-minute in length
  • 73% are under 2 minutes
  • Completion rates across all video types averaged 52%.
  • Videos under 60 seconds long had a completion rate of 68%.
  • Long videos (> 20min) 25% completion rate of the longest videos (more than 20 minutes).

None of these points to an ideal length for a video, though there does appear to be a bit of a sweet spot at two minutes. More viewers complete 2-4 minute videos than 1-2 minute videos. This may be because longer videos are taking their time to explain things; many shorter ones are more promotional than informational.

Engagement means business

Of course, watching is not the same as engagement. I’ve long argued that, for technology business videos, engagement means the viewer is inspired to seek out more information. The more they want to know, the better for business. If people take action to get more information, it doesn’t much matter how long they watch.

Here a three ways to shorten a long video’s viewing experience while increasing engagement

  • Add clickable chapterization buttons to give the viewer control.
  • Add a transcript to give the viewer the option of skimming. (good for SEO, too)
  • Edit to create short excerpts (the demo portion of a webinar, for example)

You can also increase engagement in the beginning and the middle and the end by amping up the narration  “And-But-Therefore” loops, as described in  this post.


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