The Explainer Video Length That Will Get People To Watch

February 14, 2016


explainer video lengthWhat is the perfect explainer video length? Is it 5 seconds? Maybe more, something like 30 seconds? …1 minute? …2 minutes?

…What about 3 or 4? 

Well, whatever it is, the fact is that having the right length is one of the most important aspects of any explainer video.

Although nobody has been able to come up with an exact number for the perfect length, there is a lot of science surrounding it.

Considering how much speculation and myth there is about this topic, we at Spider Videos feel it is our duty to clear up this very mystical but entirely essential part of making a great explainer video.

Your explainer video length can DESTROY your results! 

When done right, having an explainer video playing straight from your homepage can increase your conversion rate from 115% all the way to 400%. However, if the video is too long and fails to catch the viewer’s attention you are guaranteed to not see any such results.

The truth is, the average viewer has a rather limited attention span.

On top of that, when you consider how busy they are and whatever other things they may want to do with their time other than watch your explainer video, any video that is too long will simply cause them to not watch it at all.

If your explainer video’s length is longer than they want it to be, you can be sure they will just not watch it and go do something else.

In other words: just stop for a second and imagine how many sales you’d be missing if your video was even a little bit too long! You surely don’t want that, right?

The professional video hosting website Wistia has recently published a study on the length of videos and its impact to help you understand just exactly how important is the length of an explainer video, and how many sales you could either win or lose based on simply how long your video is.

explainer video length

Here is the result of this study, and the chart that demonstrates the findings.

Each column represents a different explainer video length, while the percentages are there to show how many viewers watched the entire video based on each explainer video length.

Keep in mind that a high watch time (the time your viewers spend watching) is essential for your explainer video for many reasons.

A viewer that does not finish watching your video will simply miss out on your call to action for example, or not get to the part were you unveil a great feature for interested customers and so on.

explainer video lengthIn other words, viewers that do not finish watching your video are extremely likely to not pay for your product as well.

The mentality goes something like ‘if I can’t put an extra minute of my time into it, why would I put my money there?’

As you can see at 30 seconds 85% of your viewers are still watching.

What does this chart tell us? Can you see how videos which are 30 seconds or shorter keep an astounding 85% of viewers watching all the way to the end?

This magic number is ages old, and if you pay close attention next time you watch TV you will see that the great majority of ads shown there will last up to 30 seconds or less.

Another thing you will notice from the average TV commercial however is that there is usually little informative content there.

Most of the time all you see is an intro with a situation, an extremely short image of the product then followed by a tagline with a jingle and finally wrapping up the whole thing with a full on shot of the company’s logo.

While this may work well for staple products such as that old chocolate milk bottle, a lot of times short explainer videos fail to convey the full message and thus close a sale.

When making an explainer video, your product needs some room to shine, and more often than not 30 seconds of explainer video length is just not enough for that.

So what should you do to keep your viewers engaged and close as many sales as possible?

We have the answer to that.

What do we think about your explainer video’s length?  

The secret behind the success of any explainer video is not just to get a lot of viewers, but attract a lot of customers.

There are dozens of factors that contribute to an excellent conversion rate, but one thing is for sure: you need both viewers and enough time to squeeze your content in comfortably.

explainer video length

We recommend two lengths, one for each type of product.

In cases when a minute does not give your content enough time to shine, the best solution is to keep it just under two minutes.

This allows you to say everything you want to say while still keeping a large chunk of the audience engaged – in other words, these lengths close sales!

The general idea is to always make sure your explainer video length is long enough to deliver your message. Most times this shouldn’t take longer than 30 seconds or a minute, but when it does you need to be flexible and ready for that.

Getting your video to be just the right length is a science of course, and an extremely delicate balancing act. That being said, achieving the perfect balance is easy when you know what you are doing – which we definitely do.

So, to round up what we have explained in this post, here are the facts to keep in mind:

  • As a rule, remember that the less time your video takes to watch, the more people will watch it all the way until the end

  • Quality matters just as much as quantity, so never make a video that does not deliver your company’s message properly for the sake of keeping it short

  • Sales are made by good videos that people watch – good videos with no viewers don’t sell, and neither do bad videos with lots of viewers

Before you go, here is one last secret for a good video: keep your gold where the viewer can find it. What does this mean?

If you find viewers are only watching 65-70% of your video, make sure to include the main message in the initial part so that everyone who watches even a little bit of it gets your point.

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