Guess. What’s the Best Length for Online Video?

We get this question a lot: How long should my online video be? While it’s easy to be snarky and say, “As long as it takes, or enough time to get message across,” there are some actual numbers out there to share. A study found that the length of the top 10 shared video ads of all time is …

Drumroll, please … 4 minutes and 11 seconds. That’s even with removing the 29-minute long video about Kony, the guerrilla group leader in Uganda that got 41 million views in one day. Great video, bad dude.

So when we tell this to folks, many are surprised. (We were surprised originally too.) What’s important about the stat isn’t that all videos should be 4 minutes long, but that the videos that are most shared are the ones for which people have made a commitment of that much time.

They’ve made a commitment AND the most shared stories elicit a strong emotional response – inspiring someone, making them laugh, or cry. Middle of the road emotion doesn’t cut it. See more of the study about emotions and video.

You can create emotion in a 6-second Vine video, or a 30-second spot, but the Internet gives us more time than we may think to really connect with folks and get them to share the video love.