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How to decide the optimal length of your explainer video?

Nov 28, 2016 3:35:09 AM

At Broadcast2world we are often asked by our clients: How long should my explainer video be?

]There are two possible answers to this question:

1. As short and crisp as possible.

2. It depends!

We all know that the attention span of an average human being is 8 seconds which is less than a Goldfish with an attention span of 9 seconds. With the ever-shortening attention span, it’s hard to hook audiences for a longer period. So the length of the explainer video matters. Your video, shorter or longer than it should be can have a huge impact on the ROI.

Assuming that you have read the above text within 8 seconds let’s come straight to the point since we don’t want to lose you.

So how do you go about deciding the duration of your video?

It all comes down to 3 key questions. These are the first things you have to consider when it comes to deciding the duration of an explainer video. Take some time to answer these questions.

  • What is the purpose of your explainer video? Is it to increase awareness, gain visibility, increase sales revenue, or building trust?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is its use case? Where will it be placed? Whether it is for social media, landing page, homepage, blog or YouTube.

1. The Objective

The objective of the video is key to its success; it’s not the visuals or the amount of money that you spend on it.

The objective depends on the stage of the buyers journey the explainer video is intended for.

1. If it’s for the Awareness stage where the customer has just realized that he/she has a problem, but he has not yet realized that your product/service could be a potential solution to his problem. In this case, the objective of the video should be educating customers at the top level, answering their common queries and make people aware that this kind of product offers a solution to their problem. - It’s recommended that the explainer video at this stage should not be longer than 30 seconds.

2. If the video is for Consideration stage where the customer has defined the problem and is looking for a solution. In this case, the objective of the video should be to help the buyer research and commit to find a solution to their problem. Creating explainer videos that present different solutions to customers problems work at this stage. – The ideal length for this is 30-90 Seconds. Some clients also prefer creating educational webinars and presentations at this stage.

3. In the Decision stage, the buyer identified a solution and searching for different vendors who provide the similar solution. So the objective of the video should be to inform the audience about what makes your product unique and differentiates it from the competitors. The length of video at the stage can be comparatively longer than the first two In our experience About Us Videos, About Product Videos, Customer Testimonials, and Case Study Videos are suitable for this stage. The idle length for this type of video is 60-120 seconds.

4. Retention stage is where the customer has already used your product/service; he is looking for newer features, bargains, and deals. The customer is brought in and will be willing to invest more time to understand what you have to offer. Customer Self-help Videos, Tutorials, How To’s and Videos Related to Add-On Services and New Offers are suitable for this stage. These videos can be longer up to 3 minutes. We recommend breaking it into smaller parts if the video is longer than 3 minutes.

Find out the core objective and keep working on one idea, make it crisp for best results.

2. Demographics

It’s a natural instinct that you would want to target as many people as possible to maximize the impact of your video, but you cannot target everyone with just one video. You need to be specific. Your budgets will be much more effective if you speak directly to one type of customers. This allows you to create a highly focused campaign and meet the needs of a specific group.

Once you know the objective of the video, study the demographics of your target audience. You need to mould the treatment of the video by the interest of your target group.

Segment your customers based on any of the traits like age, gender, location, income level, race, religion, family size, education level, marital status, the language they speak and what they do as a day job, etc.

Remember, a homemaker might be willing to watch 30 sec video shared on WhatsApp all day long. A CEO might not be watching so many videos, but for a product, he is willing to invest into, he might be interested in a 2-minute video.

Demographics matter and that is vital to narrow down to a set precisely. Remember you cannot target everyone, a common mistake clients make when we ask this question.

3. The Use Case

It’s all about how and where the explainer is going to be put in.

If it is on the top of your homepage and above the fold, you will be devoting serious real estate to the video. Keep it shorter below 90 seconds. The homepage gives the big picture overview of your offerings, and your video should represent this.

If you are creating a video tutorial of your product/service, then you can create a longer video which can live on a more specific page on your website or your YouTube channel. YouTube is a good platform where you find users watching a longer video without the risk of losing them. After all, you have a presumably captive audience, and they’ve chosen to drill down deeper while navigating through your site.

Videos on social media are shareable, so they need to be short. We recommend making a 15-30 second long teaser of your explainer video to make them shareable on Social Media. They are going to be the organic gatekeepers for your website footfall.

If it’s a video that you’re putting on a landing page, keep it super short. The duration of this video should be below 60 seconds. You want someone to fill a form in this case and not get lost in the video. A longer video here may make them forget why they were there in the first place.

The Thankyou page is a great place to put in a longer video. It comes after someone has filled the inquiry form. At this stage, you know that the person is interested in knowing more about your product or service. Even if you have a humongous video there, it is safe to assume that they will watch all of it.

Few Final Recommendations:

  • Remember first 5-10 seconds of the video should be really interesting. It’s important to hook the audience in the beginning as they tend to leave if it gets mundane in the first 5 seconds.
  • The typical thumb rule of a professional explainer video production company is 150 words should translate to a 1-minute You may be able to read much faster than that, but you also need to take care of the breathing space in the video, for the key message to sink in.
  • If your video is getting longer than 3 minutes, then think of chopping it into smaller parts, which can be tied together in the form of a playlist to cover the whole topic. Remember the shorter, the better.
  • Don’t try to squeeze in too many things in one video. If you have a lot of messages to convey, try and break it down into several shorter videos that could be linked to each other.
  • Define the budget for the video. If you have big budgets for the video, you may consider getting a short but high-quality video with great visuals to attract your audience, rather than investing in a longer video.
  • Remember the video has to be simple and not interlaced with jargons.


The best explainer videos tell the story of your product/service to your audience in a compelling way. They are fine-tuned for audiences with a short attention span and that’s why they are a rage in online marketing and sales optimization.

If you are planning on making your own explainer video, I hope these tips will help you decide the right length of your video. Keeping the core objective, target audience and use case in mind can help you save time and money and more importantly generate real numbers which you are willing to achieve from the video.

Get in touch to have a one to one discussion with our video experts to decide the right length of your video for free.


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