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Length matters: Why your explainer video should be two minutes or less

Okay, fine. We have to admit it… we’re not magicians; even some of the explainer videos we produced for our simpleshow clients are longer than two minutes. However, we do have some video timing magic tricks up our sleeve! 

Undoubtedly, some products or services need just 90 seconds to be explained, while others might need twice as much time because of their complexity. Plus, it’s not only the length that’s important. You can have an explainer video lasting thirty seconds that is simply too boring, and another that’s 180 seconds yet is enchanting because of its story.

Think of it like this: we’re willing to watch a two-hour long movie. Why? Because of a thrilling story.

Why your explainer video length should not exceed than 2 minutes

So the ‘two-minute rule’ for explainer video length is not set in stone, but should remind you of how important it is to keep it as short as possible. Why? Here’s a few charming tricks:


1. Digital Competition

digital media battle for attention so keep your explainer video length to a minimum

Due to our digital lifestyle, there are just too many other communication mediums in competition with an explainer video: e-mails, calls, newsfeeds, and timelines. Don’t make your viewers feel that you’ll steal some of their precious time!


2. Personal Schedules

Keep your explainer video length to a minimum

Before clicking the play button to watch your explainer video, your viewers can see how long the video is. Timing isn’t illusive – if they see that it will take more time than they have available or are willing to spend on the topic, they are going to skip it. People always have one minute, but hardly ever have ten. Plus, ten minutes for an explainer video? We’d be hallucinating by then!


3. Minute Limits: Numbers Don’t Lie!

no one has ten minutes so the explainer video length matters

If someone already started watching your video then notices it is ten minutes long, they may press ‘stop’ within the first 30 seconds. However, if a person sees it will take them a maximum of two minutes to watch the video, their motivation to finish the video is much higher. But hey, that’s what we want! Towards the end of the video is when some of the magic happens: the solution becomes clear and the call to action takes place. Abracadabra!


4. Hocus, Pocus… Focus!

Focus on the core messages: explainer video length

Now that you understand the magic behind explainer video length, there’s another nice benefit of being forced to keep it short. You really learn to focus on the most important facts and leave out anything unnecessary. Why? Because you have to!


Before we send you off to perfect your video timing magic act, there’s a small “but” to keep in mind:

Not just the length of your explainer video decides whether it’s a good one and if it will lead to your goals; it’s also about the story you tell. Within the first eight seconds, the viewer decides whether what they see is important and relatable to them. Therefore, you have to catch their attention within an 8 second time frame.

So, keep your explainer video not just short, but enthralling too: make it a two-minute-blockbuster. Put on your white gloves and wave your wands, wizards… hat’s off to you!