The world of YouTube today is vast. There is so much content out there that it can be hard to attract viewers to your videos. A key tip for attracting, and then maintaining, your viewers and subscribers is to identify the perfect length to your videos. If you video is too long, the audience will switch to someone else’s video, too short and it might not answer their questions or provide enough exciting content to make them come back for more. We will explore how long you should make your video.
The short answer
Videos under 10 minutes tend to perform best because they keep viewers engaged and prevent them from losing interest. If you aim to monetise from your video, then you should aim for about 8 minutes in length, according to Dexxter Clark, a business and content advisor. Don’t make your video longer than the topic requires. YouTube videos that are over 10 minutes do espeicially well at increasing the channel’s ‘view time’ – which is the single most important statistic for the YouTube algorithm. However, you should ensure that you have enough substance to fill a lengthy video without it getting boring. This is key! To have high audience retention statistics, ideally you want viewers to watch all the way through your video and not just part of the video.
How do you keep your audience engaged?
- Keep your opening titles and credits short – if the introduction to the video is too long then your audience may lose interest. Make your opening 5 seconds short and punchy. Also, make the authors, presenters, and sponsors clear with logos rather than speaking them with long phrases.
- Begin each video with an interesting hook – these hooks will grab the viewers attention at the start of the video. Good examples of a hook are a key quote of the interview, showing the end product, or showing the most exciting part of the video.
- Develop videos as a series – if you are making a video on 1 topic, it may be sensible to divide it into smaller subtopics that can be easily made into a series. This helps keep the video length down, while also making the audience want to tune in to the next video. An audience member who binge watches a channel will also help to increase your ‘watch time’ statistics
Note: subscribers on different channels have different behaviours. On Dexxter Clark’s DJ channel, he found that a well-produced 15-minute video gets about 50% audience retention, whereas he is able to make a 30-minute gaming video and still have high audience retention. Therefore, as part of your decision on how long to make your video, you should consider the patience and behavioral patterns of your audience.
To conclude, create your videos with a length that keeps your audience viewing as much of the video as possible. This is easiest done with videos under 10 minutes. For monetized videos, then a video that is around 8 minutes in length is a recommended. Finding the right length may involve some trial and error but take note of the statistics produced to help you find the right length.
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