How Long Should Social Media Video Content Be?

by | May 18, 2020 | Digital Marketing

Video is the top-performing digital content on social media, driving more engagement than any other social posting option. In fact, tweets with video can see up to 10x more engagement. But incorporating video content into your social media marketing strategy isn’t as simple as uploading a video. There are a lot of decisions to make. What story are you going to tell and in what style? What platforms will the video get posted on? Who’s your target audience? What’s your overall goal?

All of these questions are important, but we’re still missing an important one: How long should videos on social media be? You need to consider the length of the videos you share, as it will maximize viewer rates. If you want to get your brand’s message out there and keep the attention of your audience, then you need to understand how long social videos need to be.

How Long Should Social Videos Be?

Currently, the ideal length of a video is two minutes. This is according to multiple marketing studies, surveys, and tests—though another study conducted by HubSpot found that audience engagement actually decreased after about one minute. So, for the moment, around 1-2 minutes is a good range.

Unfortunately, video length recommendations change all the time. For years, it was the shorter, the better. Then, suddenly, it was all about long-form video. Then, it swung back to shorter video again. It’s hard to provide a definitive answer because video marketing best practices often depend on the audience, the platform, and the content being shared.

What Video Length Is Best for Each Platform?

Even though we can set guidelines for video length, those guidelines aren’t a one-size-fits all solution for every social media platform. Just as you have different social media strategies for each platform, your video strategy will need to vary, too. Here’s a quick look at each platform’s best video lengths…

Facebook: 1 Minute

Over the past few years, Facebook has been gaining some traction with users watching more long-form videos, but shorter video is still dominating both organic and paid posts. Typically, the posts with the most engagement are about one minute in length. The reason for this is that Facebook users like to scroll. To ensure you get your message across, make sure you start your video out with a good hook to get more eyes on your post quickly.

Instagram: 30 Seconds

Unlike its aforementioned parent company, Instagram has always catered toward a shorter attention span. This is primarily because when the app first released the ability to share video, you could only record for up to one minute. Even now with the ability to go live for longer periods of time, Instagram’s ideal video length is still just about 30 seconds—or more specifically, 26 second videos. Users tend to scroll quickly on Instagram since it’s primarily a visual platform, so it’s best to keep videos short.

Twitter: 45 Seconds

If you’re trying to add long videos to Twitter, you’re out of luck, as the platform is more restrictive in its video rules. Videos can be no more than two minutes and 20 seconds long. As for ideal lengths, videos on Twitter that are between 20-45 seconds see the most engagement. Users are accustomed to short, snappy, and easy-to-digest content on Twitter, so long videos don’t particularly make sense.

Pinterest: 3 Minutes

Pinterest operates a little differently than other social platforms, so video length best practices are skewed based on the type of content you’re sharing. For promoted videos, Pinterest has shown that videos between 6-15 seconds work best. For how-to or demo videos, which can hold the audience’s attention longer, between 1-3 minutes is the sweet spot. The key to creating engaging Pinterest video is to ensure that users can take some sort of action by the end.

YouTube: Under 3 Minutes OR Over 10 Minutes

Finally, YouTube. The video-sharing platform is a bit of a mystery when it comes to the “perfect” video length. Unlike other social media platforms, YouTube was designed for nothing but video. There’s no written content to break up what you’re viewing, so video lengths can differ wildly depending on the topic. For some videos, two minutes is going to be your best bet. But for others, if what you’re making is worth your audience’s time, watch times of upwards of 30 minutes can be a valuable choice. This is a platform where you’ll definitely need to test and adjust video lengths as you create more content.

Can You Post the Same Video Everywhere?

Even as each social media platform has its own video best practices, one thing does remain true: quick videos work everywhere. That means in the event that you don’t have the budget to produce five different videos for every platform, creating one short video that can be shared widely is okay. But remember that each platform does have different output guidelines, so you’ll need to work with your team to create something that will look good across various platforms.

At the end of the day, regardless of how long each video is and what platform you choose to post it on, the only thing that matters is catching the eye of your customers and getting them to engage with your content. If you can accomplish that, then your social strategy will see the boost you’re hoping for!

Need help creating social video? Hurrdat can create and deploy a full social media strategy that’s designed to capture your audience’s attention. Learn more about our social media marketing!

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