How Long Should a Video Be? Video Length Guide for TV, Websites, and Social Media

Wondering how long your video should be?

In todays world, it honestly depends on quite a few factors ranging from intent/purpose to the platform you use. On top of that, with so many different social media platforms with varying formats, this simple question can get complicated fast. But don’t worry, we will be breaking down everything you need to know to help you find the right length for your video.

Video Production

Factors to Consider in Video Length

Goals for Your Video Production

If your overall goal is simple brand awareness, short can do the job. However, if your goal is for viewers to really connect with your brand, longer more impactful content is likely better. The fact that we are viewing things much different than we did even 5 years ago, plays into these decisions on how to correctly market your brand or product.

Often times a good strategy is to view it as a funnel. Start with a short video to get the attention of your audience, then offer long form video content on your website, YouTube channel, or social media for those who want to learn more. If you are on a tighter budget, a creative way to do this is to create the longer video, then create an additional shorter video with the same footage. This can allow you to have a shorter version to distribute on various social platforms, and use it to drive traffic to the longer version on your website. This strategy can be appropriate for a wide variety of goals ranging from general brand awareness to purchase.

stringline editing high quality social media video

Reaching Your Audience

Once you know your goals for your video, the next step is finding the best way to reach your audience. Depending who your audience is, it could be most effective to reach them on a Facebook or Instagram ad. It could also mean the best way to get your target audience’s attention is to air your video on a commercial during the evening news.

Finding the best method of reaching your target audience is no easy task. Thankfully, there is a great deal of research out there detailing the audience demographics of each platform and channel.

Resonating With Your Audience

Although our attention spans seem to be shrinking with the onset of so many types of mobile apps, that is not necessarily the case. Shorter is not always better. The main questions we have asked for ages in video marketing or advertising still hold true. Who is your audience, what is your message, and what is the overall goal of the video?

BTS for how long a video should be

“Science tells us that our brains can process images in less than 150 milliseconds, but how long does it take for our hearts, how long does it take to tell a story that moves you?”

Many marketers and creators seem to have this idea that shorter is always better. While this strategy is best for getting the most impressions and possibly more complete views, it can be wasted funds if the length deteriorates the message. This does not mean that long videos are always the way to go. As mentioned before, it is often best to use a combination of both.

If you are using a social media platform, it is best to match the average content consumed on that channel. If it is on Tik Tok or Instagram Reels, you better be able to communicate your message in 30 to 60 seconds. If it’s an ad on YouTube, you have a bit more leniency, and can distribute your video for up to 6 minutes (viewers will have the ability to skip after 15 seconds). Regardless of the total length of your video, it is now more important than ever to ensure your content is engaging and captivating throughout the entire video. This is why it is often advantageous to reach out to professionals like Stringline to tell a powerful story that will resonate with your audience.

If you are making the video yourself, the best advice we can give is to find a way to relate to your audience. There is no coincidence that commercials with cute puppies can drive sales (and apparently Subarus too).

A mobile-Ready World

The number of devices walking around this planet today in purses, backpacks, briefcases or even just our pockets, is astronomical. We are connected. All. The. Time. In a recent study by Google, up to 80% of usage in a typical day is done on mobile and 57% of those surveyed use more than one type of device in a day. That means we have to rethink the way we advertise or reach our demographics based on how they use these devices they are constantly connected to. Since the majority of viewing today happens on mobile devices, you have more opportunity to tailor-make that experience based on your desired outcome. YouTube Advertisers’ case study of this question is a great watch.

With all of the new social platforms out there, people are no longer watching videos horizontally. This is why it is important to make sure your content is consistent with the media requirements of the platform you are advertising on. Here are the general media requirements for the major social media platforms:


  • Aspect ratio: 9:16
  • Resolution: 1080px x 1920px
  • Learn more

Facebook and Instagram:

  • Ratio: 1:1 (for desktop or mobile) or 4:5 (for mobile only)
  • Resolution: At least 1080 x 1080 pixels
  • Learn more


  • Aspect ratio: 16:9 or 4:3
  • Resolution: Minimum of 720p is required, the optional inclusion of 1080p is recommended
  • Learn more

A Message to Be Remembered

Having a video the right length with the right media requirements is important. It sets the stage for the message you want to share with your audience. While these are only two of the many factors that go into quality video production, it is a good start in the right direction. Now what you need is a quality video production team to help you turn your ideas into a reality. Reach out to us at Stringline Productions today, we would love to help you get started!