What is the Ideal Length of Videos on YouTube? Here are New Data-Based Answers

Short and sweet or long and comprehensive: What kind of videos tend to get you better rankings on YouTube and more views? We wanted to know and analyzed thousands of public YouTube data. We may not have found the golden formula but based on our research can share some clear hints which video length can help you maximize views on YouTube.

What is the typical length of a corporate YouTube video?

We looked at video data of DAX 40 companies: The graph shows the average amount of videos per channel in each category. As you can see, most of the videos are between 2-12 minutes long.

A graph showing the average number of published videos vs. Video duration

This data includes some of the top companies in the world like Adidas, Puma, Bayer, Volkswagen and more with lots of subscribers on YouTube. Since this data is showing that most video lengths are between 2-12 minutes, we decided to take a closer look at the data from a viewer’s perspective. 

What’s the best video length for viewer engagement?

Viewer engagement is steady up to 2 minutes. From 2 to 6 minutes the drop off rate is visible and sharply declining. If people make it past the 6 minutes mark, there are hardly any drop outs up to 12 minutes. Every minute beyond 12 minutes, you lose viewers. 

Videos beyond 12 minutes are likely either narrative-driven stories or extensive tutorials.

A graph image showing Average Engagement vs. Video Length

Source: wistia

The most important thing is that as long as the content is good, people keep watching the videos. According to a survey by Inc.com, 70% said they wanted to explore a brand via content, not ads. This data point demonstrates that people crave an experience, not promotions driven by ads.

And it is worth remembering that video content marketing is an investment for your brand that will ensure its long-term success. However, video ads give you a short-term boost and allow you to benefit quickly from the money you invest. 

As long as you produce a video with great content, the time and money you spend on your video production will likely lead to a long-term branding advantage instead of a short-term boost in sales.

How to boost your YouTube Performance with Long-Form Video Content?

According to a study from Microsoft, the average attention span of humans has declined to as little as 8 seconds. This may or may not be true (yes, it’s a controversial study), but if you look at your own life, you notice that we live in an age of constant distraction and multitasking. So it has become more and more difficult to keep viewers’ attention for long-form videos. However, there are tools that can help. 

The probably most effective tool: Use pattern interrupts to keep viewers engaged throughout your video. Pattern interrupts are visual changes that engage and refocus a viewer’s attention.

Instead of trying to fight for every second of attention, pattern interruptions leverage the natural human tendency to be alert when unexpected changes occur. And there are lots of ways to implement pattern interrupts.

Take these Examples

  • Switching Camera Angles
  • Showing a Graphic on Screen
  • Sound Effects 
  • Text on Screen (Quotes, Numbers, Points etc.)
  • Humour - Host making a joke
  • B-Roll Footage (stock videos, videos complementing what the person is saying) 

Conclusion

The data shows that in the end the most important thing is: Your video needs to be as long as it takes to tell its story. If you are trying to make your 10 minute video to a 12 minute video just to lengthen it, then your viewer’s attention may decline because of repetitiveness and other aspects. 

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