How Long Should an Explainer Video? Let’s Decode!

Ideal Length for Explainer videos

Last Updated on March 25, 2024

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

While you might be tempted to think there’s a one-size-fits-all answer, the ideal length for an explainer video actually depends on its specific goal. Before diving into the different lengths and their applications, let’s explore why video duration matters so much in the world of explainers.

The reason is simple: attention spans. In today’s fast-paced world, viewers have limited time and countless distractions competing for their attention. Your explainer video needs to be concise and engaging enough to capture their interest and deliver your message effectively within a reasonable timeframe. By optimizing the length for your specific goals, you can ensure your explainer video resonates with your target audience and achieves the desired outcome.

How Long Should An Explainer Video Be?

To determine how long should an explainer video be, you need to first answer where it will be used and the message you aim to convey. Here’s a breakdown of recommended lengths for different platforms:

Explainer Video Length for YouTube and other video-sharing platforms

When it comes to YouTube and similar platforms, conciseness is key. Aim for between 60-90 seconds to grab viewers’ attention quickly and deliver your message before they scroll on. Remember, many viewers stumble upon these videos organically, so a shorter length encourages them to watch the entire video and learn more. Consider using explainer video marketing strategies to optimize your video for YouTube search and reach a wider audience.

Explainer Video Length for Website Landing Pages

Landing pages offer a bit more flexibility. While conciseness is still important, you can comfortably extend your video to around 2 minutes. This allows for a more in-depth explanation, especially for complex products or services. Consider using the video as an extended explainer after visitors have already shown interest by clicking through to your landing page.

Explainer Video Length for Social Media

Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok have even stricter time constraints. Here, short and punchy explainer videos of 15-30 seconds are ideal. Focus on a strong hook, a clear and concise explanation, and a compelling call to action to capture attention and leave viewers wanting more.

Explainer Video Length for Marketing Campaigns

Marketing campaigns offer the most flexibility in terms of length. Depending on the complexity of your message and target audience, explainer videos can range from short social media teasers to in-depth tutorials exceeding 5 minutes. Consider using explainer videos in different stages of your marketing funnel, with shorter, attention-grabbing videos at the top and longer, demo-focused videos for those further down the funnel.

Ultimately, the ideal length for your explainer video depends on several factors, including platform, target audience, and video goals. By considering these factors and optimizing your video length for each specific context, you can ensure your explainer video effectively reaches your target audience and achieves the desired outcome.

Case Studies: Successful Explainer Videos and Their Durations

1. Overview of relevant studies and data

The ideal length for an explainer video is a much-debated topic, with no single answer fitting every situation. However, a growing body of research suggests that shorter videos generally capture and hold viewer attention more effectively. This aligns with the observed decrease in the average human attention span, as reported in various studies.

One key study by Wistia, a video hosting platform, analyzed data from thousands of videos and found a significant drop in engagement after the two-minute mark. Engagement metrics continued to decline steadily as video length increased, with a particularly sharp drop-off occurring after six minutes. These findings, along with similar observations from other sources like Wyzowl, highlight the importance of conciseness and focusing on delivering the most impactful information within a shorter timeframe.

2. Analysis of viewer engagement based on video length

The relationship between video length and viewer engagement varies based on the platform and target audience. However, certain trends emerge across various platforms.

On platforms like YouTube, which cater to a wider range of content lengths, videos under two minutes still tend to receive the highest average engagement, including likes, comments, and shares. This finding, supported by studies mentioned on Breadnbeyond and Wyzowl, suggests that even on YouTube, viewers appreciate concise and focused explanations.

However, platforms like Instagram and TikTok, known for their fast-paced feed and shorter attention spans, favor even shorter explainer video script examples. Studies and case studies shared highlight that videos ranging from 15 to 60 seconds tend to have higher completion rates and overall engagement on these platforms. This is likely because shorter videos capture attention more effectively in these environments, where viewers are constantly bombarded with new content.

3. Examination of viewer drop-off rates at different video lengths

Understanding viewer drop-off rates at different video lengths is crucial for optimizing engagement. Research from Vidyard, as mentioned on Breadnbeyond, revealed that viewer drop-off rates are highest within the first 30 seconds of a video. This emphasizes the critical importance of grabbing viewers’ attention early on and delivering key information quickly. A captivating hook and a clear value proposition within the first seconds are essential for keeping viewers engaged and preventing them from dropping off before the core message is delivered.

Further supporting this notion, an analysis of Facebook video behavior (as seen on Wyzowl) found that shorter videos, around 60-90 seconds in length, had lower drop-off rates compared to longer videos. This suggests that viewers are more likely to watch shorter videos in their entirety, highlighting the benefit of concise explanations on platforms like Facebook.

AI explainer video technology can be particularly helpful in crafting these attention-grabbing intros. AI can analyze vast amounts of data to identify the most effective elements, like visuals, music, and even specific wording, to capture attention within those crucial first seconds. This can be especially valuable for businesses that may not have extensive experience in video production.

4. Comparison of video length effectiveness across various platforms

The optimal explainer video length also depends on the platform you are using to reach your target audience.

On social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, where short, snackable content reigns supreme, videos ranging from 15 to 30 seconds tend to generate higher engagement and shareability. This aligns with the findings emphasizing the need for brevity and a strong focus on grabbing attention quickly on these platforms.

YouTube, on the other hand, allows for a wider range of video lengths due to its established content diversity. However, studies suggest that videos between three and five minutes tend to strike a balance between viewer attention and information delivery. This is supported by the insights from Breadnbeyond and Wyzowl, indicating that even on YouTube, exceeding a certain length can lead to decreased engagement.

By understanding these insights and optimizing your explainer video length for your specific platform, target audience, and message, you can ensure your video effectively engages viewers and achieves your desired marketing goals.

Factors to Consider in Determining Video Length 

Determining the ideal length for explainer videos is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Several factors must be taken into account to ensure the video resonates with the intended audience and achieves its objectives. The following factors play a crucial role in determining the optimal video length:

1. Target audience and demographics 

Understanding your target audience is essential for tailoring your video content effectively. Factors such as age, interests, education level, and cultural background can influence the preferred length of videos. Younger audiences might have shorter attention spans and favor shorter videos, while older demographics may be more receptive to longer and more in-depth content.

2. Complexity of the message or concept being explained 

The complexity of the message or concept being conveyed in the explainer video is a significant factor in determining its length. Simplifying a complex idea might require more time, while a straightforward concept could be effectively communicated in a shorter duration. Striking the right balance between simplicity and comprehensiveness is crucial.

3. Platform and context of video distribution 

Different platforms have different norms and user behaviors when it comes to video content. Social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok typically have shorter video formats, while platforms like YouTube or Vimeo allow for longer videos. Consider the platform and context in which your video will be distributed to align the length with the platform’s requirements and user expectations.

4. Viewer attention span and engagement

In today’s digital world, viewer attention spans are often limited. Grabbing and maintaining viewer attention throughout the video is vital. Videos that are too long may result in viewer disengagement and abandonment. It’s crucial to strike a balance between providing enough information and maintaining engagement throughout the video.

5. Competitor analysis and industry standards 

Analyzing your competitors’ video content and industry standards can provide insights into the prevailing video length practices within your niche. While it’s essential to differentiate your content, understanding the expectations of your target audience and industry can help you make informed decisions about the ideal length for your explainer videos.

Having explored the key factors to consider in determining the ideal length for explainer videos, let us now further move into the realm of statistical analysis. In the following section, we will examine the impact of video length on viewer engagement through an overview of relevant studies and data.

While explainer video length plays a crucial role in capturing attention and maximizing impact, the ideal duration can vary significantly depending on the industry you operate in. Understanding industry-specific norms and expectations is essential for crafting an explainer video that resonates with your target audience and achieves its intended purpose.

In this section, we’ll delve into recommended explainer video lengths by industry and analyze explainer video examples across various sectors, helping you gain valuable insights for your own video creation:

1. Analysis of video lengths commonly used in various industries

Different industries may have varying preferences when it comes to video length. Conducting an analysis of video lengths commonly used in specific industries provides insights into industry norms and practices. For example, industries such as technology or software often utilize medium to long explainer videos to effectively communicate complex concepts, while industries like fashion or food may prefer shorter videos for quick and visually captivating content.

2. Examples of successful explainer videos in different sectors

Technology Sector: 

Apple’s “Introducing iPhone 12” video effectively showcases the features and benefits of their new product in a concise and visually captivating manner, highlighting key innovations and appealing to their tech-savvy audience.

Healthcare Sector: 

Johns Hopkins “Understanding COVID-19 Vaccines” explainer video provides an informative and reassuring overview of COVID-19 vaccines, presenting the science and benefits in a concise and easily understandable manner.

Education Sector: 

Khan Academy’s “Introduction to Algebra” video series breaks down algebraic concepts into short, easy-to-understand lessons. Their explainer videos use a combination of visuals, narration, and interactive elements to make learning math more accessible for students.

Financial Services Sector: 

Atom Finance’s explainer video showcases the innovative investment platform in a visually engaging and informative way. By highlighting the platform’s user-friendly interface, powerful analytical tools, and personalized investment insights, the video demonstrates how Atom Finance empowers users to make smarter investment decisions. It emphasizes the ease of accessing real-time financial data, conducting in-depth research, and staying informed about market trends—all in one place.


By understanding industry-specific norms, platform expectations, and using the provided explainer video examples as inspiration, you can collaborate with an explainer video company to create a video that is the ideal length for your target audience and effectively conveys your message within the expected timeframe. Remember, conciseness, clarity, and engaging visuals are crucial for crafting a successful explainer video, regardless of industry or platform.

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Anil Kumar
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