How long should an explainer video be?

Before I answer this, it's important to mention that there's been a deficit in people's attention span towards online content. You'd be surprised to know that research was conducted recently, and it showed that about 80% of online surfers don't read blocks of text (articles) completely.

Explainer videos are short in length; because, by definition, explainer videos are small-sized SHORT videos that enlighten people about your brand in an exciting way. The longer an explainer video is, the shorter your audience remembers (Assuming they watch the whole thing). Any video beyond 3 minutes isn't qualified to be called an explainer video.

Heck, let's be realistic for a second. When was the last time watched a 30minute content video online? I can bet you can't remember, and I'm sure you're a sucker for Tiktok videos (Even promotional ones). Why? Because of the short length.

Today, we humans like it short, fast, and straight to the point. It would be best if you didn't make us jump through hoops before getting what we want. If you do that, a lot of people will bolt. I'm sure that some people might have bolted right now after reading the first few lines of this article and didn't find the answer to the question. So, to reward you for reading this far, the optimal answer is about 90 seconds. Unfortunately, this value is not ideal for all forms of explainer videos.

For example, animated videos are the most-watched videos on the internet today, and most times, they are shorter than 60 seconds. Before you decide the length of your explainer video, you need to ask yourself some tough questions. Which include:

  • What purpose will my explainer video serve? Are you trying to create awareness about your brand, or are you trying to make a sale? If the former is the reason, you're creating a video, then 30 seconds is enough. If the latter is the reason, then 90 to 120 seconds will be substantial.
  • Which part of your website will bear your explainer video? Is it your homepage, your blog, or your landing page? For most homepage videos, you need to show your audience the big picture behind your brand. Ninety seconds or less should be enough for this.
  • What is my call to action? What you want your audience to do after watching the video
  • Who is my target audience? Now, this is important because you should not assume that everyone is your target audience. That's a rookie mistake. Study the demographic and mannerisms of the people that require your product or service; so, you'd know how to speak to them. If the type whose attention span is lower than 8 seconds, make those first few seconds' counts. You can check out ad videos by Billy Gene to see what I mean.

If you're familiar with copywriting techniques, you'll know that of all the questions listed, the third is of highly significant to you, especially if your explainer video is placed on your landing page where you need to make a sale. You might think that merely explaining a product/service will get you a massive number of sales. That's wrong. A call to action, no matter how subtle, is necessary for increased conversions. Otherwise, why make an explainer video for a landing page?

Now I know what you're thinking, "Can I summarize everything about my brand within 1-3 minutes?" This is where you'll need to use those creative juices that are flowing through your veins. Your audience is the answer to this dilemma. Start with the most pressing problem your audience is trying to solve. When you have this in your video plus a compelling call to action, all the other chaff can be left in the bin.

That's it for now.

Keep in mind that the delivery of your explainer video will matter a lot. If the video is a voice-over, the speed of your tone will matter a lot. If you're talking too fast, you might lose your audience, and if you're too slow, people will get bored. Nobody wants to watch a boring video, even if it is 10 seconds long. 

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