Gone are the days when social media was a smattering of messages between family members and low-resolution photos. Today, video is king, especially for brands and companies. But knowing the different video lengths and specs for social media is crucial in creating a high-performing video marketing strategy.
Social Media Video: The Basics
Whether you’re new to social media video or you’re a regular in social media production, capturing the fleeting attention of followers and customers is the foundation for every post. No matter how long the end video is, the content should be relevant and informational for your audience. And while it seems like a good idea, cross-posting the same type of video to your different social media channels is a no-no. Each video should be produced for a specific channel.
Video Lengths For Social Media: The Details
Remember that most social media platforms are accessed from mobile devices, so your videos must be in portrait or vertical orientation. For the best video lengths for social media, check out your profile’s specific analytics. Most major social media platforms share the average view time on videos.
Did you know that five hundred hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every minute? The sheer volume is staggering. And with content that spans a wide range of how-to’s, interviews, Q&As, and more, YouTube is also the second largest search engine in the world, behind parent company Google.
It’s a great platform to share videos that are longer than social media attention spans allow, as the sweet spot is between five and 15 minutes in length. And millions of people turn to YouTube to learn a new skill or how to fix something; keep your content relevant and tailored to your company culture, products and services, and industry.
Posting to YouTube is popular Thursday through Sunday between 12-4 p.m. on weekdays and 9-11 a.m. on weekends. But always dig into your channel-specific analytics to learn when your subscribers are watching the most.
If your company chooses to add YouTube Shorts to its video marketing, keep these digestible short-form videos under 60 seconds. Shorts are a good way to break up a long-form video, such as a tutorial or interview, while accounting for shorter attention spans.
Grainy filtered photos of your brunch on Instagram are so 2012. Now, brands and companies use videos, Stories, and Reels daily to show their customers and followers what sets them apart.
Instagram Reels have the highest view rate of any video format on the platform, with an average view rate of 2.54%, partly due to the ideal 15 to 60-second length. The most successful Reels grab the viewer’s attention with the core message within the first three seconds.
Instagram Video replaced its predecessor, IGTV, but still offers many of the same features, such as one-minute grid views with up to 15 minutes with a click-through. Verified accounts can use the desktop app to upload 60-minute videos, but it’s strongly recommended to keep your videos around one minute in length.
Instagram Stories blend slides and videos together, but they aren’t your usual presentation slides. Each one can be a 15-second or less video which is great for breaking down a tutorial or teasing an interview with highlights. It’s recommended to stay between 3 and 7 slides for your Stories and use stickers, polls, and other add-on features to engage your followers.
Influencer videos hold a lot of power in terms of engagement and views on Facebook, making up 60% of all video views.
For best results, upload videos between 15 seconds and three minutes — though the maximum video length Facebook supports is 240 minutes. If your video marketing strategy includes a series, each episode should be at least three minutes long. This is also the recommended minimum for going Live on Facebook.
And if you’re looking for the best time to share a video on Facebook, it should be based on your user data. But if this isn’t clear enough to make a good decision, posting during the afternoon — 1 to 4 p.m. — usually has the best results during the week. Keep in mind the time zone(s) of your followers and target audience when posting.
A case could be made for TikTok ushering in and cementing the effectiveness of short-form marketing videos. On average, users spend 19.6 hours each month on the app. That’s a lot of time to take advantage of brand awareness.
The key to producing effective TikToks is making a lot of information easily digestible in 7 to 15 seconds. A tall task, right? Not when you strategize your goals and plan and review the videos before posting them to your account. The algorithm prioritizes videos using trending hashtags and other trend-related elements — use this to your company’s advantage instead of flying solo.
Each TikTok should be shot in a 9:16 video format to fit smartphone screens and give your followers the easiest viewing environment. Use humor and a bit of playfulness to humanize your company and its products or services, and always be ready to pivot for the next viral TikTok trend.
Since its introduction in 2009, Pinterest has rolled out features for its users that keep the social network humming along in the background. Now, Pinterest Stories and Video Pins are two new ways your company can stay in front of customers and followers.
Pinterest Stories have a maximum length of 60 seconds, while Video Pins range from 4 seconds to 15 minutes. But, data has shown the sweet spot for Pins is 6 to 15 seconds. But if you’re still wondering why this visually-driven platform is recommended for video marketing, let’s break down why.
At its core, Pinterest is a search engine with powerful categorization options for brands and companies to use in their favor. With 86.35 million users in the U.S., it’s an enticing social media network for a range of brands and businesses to add to their marketing deck. If you optimize your profile and regularly pin new, optimized videos, the odds are strong that you’ll gain significant traction.
LinkedIn was cited as the most important social media network by 35% of B2B marketers. Whether you’re using native videos — videos uploaded directly through LinkedIn — or embedding from another video host, your videos should hook the viewer within one to two seconds. Share key information within the first 10 seconds, as most people stop viewing after this point.
Keep your videos to two minutes or less on LinkedIn, but 30 seconds or less should be the targeted length for the best completion rates. Conversely, complex but well-presented long-form videos also have great rates on LinkedIn. Make sure every video uses a clear and visually striking thumbnail.
Also, walk the line between being professional and authentic. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, and an off-the-cuff video from your brand or business might not land as intended with your audience.
Though it’s fallen from favor for newer short-form video apps, Snapchat is a great social media video marketing platform for companies who eat, sleep, and breathe brevity. The short clips are known as micro-videos, spurred to prevalence by the OG Vine (RIP). The U.S. has the second most Snapchat users in the world, with 107 million.
Snaps, and other micro-videos, use emotional impacts for the maximum effect in literally seconds. Most high-performing videos here are around 7 seconds long, with the overall message shared in the opening seconds. If you think your company has a snappy and strong video message, Snapchat is a great network to put it to the test.
Before You Film: Video Creation Tips
Hook Viewers In 3-5 Seconds
Because you have short video lengths for social media to work with, make sure the key point or message of the video is shared within the first five seconds.
Use Captions and Text Overlay
Not only do captions and text overlays make your videos more accessible to viewers with hearing impairments, but they’re also good for reinforcing the message.
Use Movement and Transitions
These elements help move your story along while keeping viewers engaged.
Use Branded Visuals When Possible
Branded visuals create coherency in every video and tie them with your entire digital presence.
Always Use Text Real Estate For Keywords and Hashtags
As stated, several social media platforms are also search engines. Position your company in searches with relevant keywords and hashtags whenever possible.
Deploy Your Content With Appropriate Video Lengths For Social Media
No matter how you approach social media production for your brand, how you implement video content is the first step toward elevating brand perception and gaining more traction on your favorite platform.