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It is an important question; what is the perfect length for a social media video? In this post, we here at Video Domain look to answer that question as well as others you might have related to making a social media video that effectively promotes your business to possible customers. Below we have outlined each video type, what you might be using it for, and the advised length for each format. So let’s dive in!

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels are short-form videos that allow you not only to promote your business but also to collaborate with other organisations and users. It also provides a range of music and sounds that can be used as a part of your Reel rather than having to use your own sound. Reels have been compared as being quite similar to TikTok. The main goal of Reels is to grow your reach and provide fun, organic content to users.

Best Length: 30 Seconds
Pros: There are a large number of tools integrated into the Instagram platform to edit your video to your desired end result.
Cons: Reels cannot be scheduled and have to be posted. The reels also have to be actively searched for rather than just appearing in the feed of a user.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are a mix of video and photos and can be both organic and paid advertising. Your Instagram story also disappears after 24 hours so it is a great way to provide organic, casual content to your followers. On the other hand, Paid Instagram stories will appear to users between their organic stories and should run for no more than 15 seconds. These are full screen, vertical format videos that allow you to target your ads via views, traffic, conversions, app installs, and brand awareness.

Best Length: 15 Seconds
Pros: A great way to present a more human side of your business and to get your name out there with the paid stories.
Cons: Organic stories only reach your existing audience and paid stories can be skipped quite easily.

IGTV

IGTV, aka Instagram TV, is designed to allow creators to upload long-form, quality vertical videos. These videos can range in length from 15 seconds to 10 minutes in length! You can also cross-post IGTV videos that are longer than a minute to your feed. This allows you to provide interesting longer-form video content to users where they are provided with a one-minute snippet before the video pauses and asks if they would like to “Keep Watching”.

Best Length: Over 30 Seconds
Pros: This allows you to provide longer form, vertical videos to possible customers and your existing followers.
Cons: You have to engage your audience within a minute to ensure they watch the whole video.

Facebook Stories

Facebook Stories, similar to Snapchat and the previously mentioned Instagram Stories, are short-form, vertical video content that disappears after 24 hours. Facebook stories from friends and followed pages appear at the top of the newsfeed and also at the top of the Facebook Messenger app. These stories tend to be organic, non-polished content that provides a more human side of your brand.

Best Length: 15 Seconds
Pros: You can bypass the algorithm by being at the top of the newsfeed at all times.
Cons: Facebook Stories do not attract the same level of attention as Instagram Stories.

Facebook Newsfeed Content

Facebook newsfeed videos tend to lead towards creativity and stories rather than promotional content. This includes heart-warming stories and DIY projects. This is a great place to show hands-on examples of work or success stories but not necessarily to directly promote your business.

Best Length: 30 to 90 seconds
Pros: Great place to put longer-form content, displaying the hands-on work of your business.
Cons: Simply appear in the newsfeed with no set guarantee you will be displayed to users.

YouTube Ads

YouTube Ads are short promotional videos that appear before or during a monetized video on the platform. YouTube is the second most used search engine making it a great marketing tool for businesses. Ads are able to do a 5-second preview before users are able to skip so there is a definite benefit of making your video work while hitting both the 5 and 15-second mark.

Best Length: 5-second previews but up to 15 seconds in length
Pros: There are 5 seconds of video that cannot be skipped by users, ensuring you are able to spread your message.
Cons: You have no control over where your videos appear and cannot control what kind of content they appear next to.

YouTube Videos

YouTube videos are amazing in their ability to be diverse in both content and length. YouTube videos cover everything from DIY tutorials to online classes to funny videos. Sharing YouTube videos is a relatively simple process making it easy to add to your channel, though it is definitely good to actively cross-post these videos to other platforms to encourage engagement.

Best Length: Over 30 seconds
Pros: There are no time limits or quality expectations from YouTube, leaving it up to you to decide your video length and production value.
Cons: YouTube’s algorithm does not necessarily promote your videos to your target audience and it is advisable to cross-post your videos when starting out.

Snapchat Stories

Snapchat is a great way to reach out to a younger target audience who may not be on other social media platforms. Snapchat is about being casual and fun and is a way to promote your brand to those who may not encounter it in other places. To promote your business on Snapchat you will need to create a Snapchat Business account within which you can control your ads and target audience.

Best Length: 6 seconds
Pros: A great way to promote your brand to younger users you may not find elsewhere.
Cons: These are very short videos and you need to include a large amount of information in a small period of time.

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