How Long Should Your Social Media Videos Be? Your Ultimate Guide

With video content booming across every social media marketing platform, what is the right length of video to use? Today, the experts on the Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency team break down the facts for you, so you can get your video marketing efforts perfect no matter which platforms you use.

General Video Content Tips

Of course, with the wealth of online marketing options open to you, there’s no one perfect length. Depending on the platform, you might want to keep it short and sweet, or allow the story to flourish in a longer format.

Whatever you’re doing on socials, however, make sure that video marketing is a key part of it. People, the internet, and video content are a match made in heaven. But make sure you’re focused on presenting a clear, cohesive story that boosts your brand identity- don’t push it longer just because of an advised guideline. Keep design elements clear, use captions for those watching without sound on, and aim for a punchy dose of just what your followers need.

Best Instagram Video Length

Branching into social videos was a logical next step for Instagram, where people turn for inspiration and beautiful imagery as well as social connection. Marketing on Instagram is something of its own beast, in fact, with a demanding set of needs that doesn’t carry to all platforms. With three different video-sharing opportunities, it’s important to keep the final destination in mind for Instagram, too.

  • Instagram Video: The maximum length here is 1 minute unless you have a verified account, but those 60 seconds are all you need to make a statement that sticks. You can push it to 2-5 minutes if the video really needs it, but aim for the sweet spot if you can.
  • Instagram Stories: 15 seconds is the charm. You want fast engagement, not length storytelling. If you’re using slides, aim for 3, and keep it under 7.
  • Instagram Reels: Is this the best of both Instagram worlds? When it comes to length, yes. Keep it between 15 seconds and a full minute for best results. Remember, this is basically TikTok for Instagram, and your best engagement happens in the first few seconds. 

Best Facebook Video Length

As with Instagram, under a minute is your best bet for most Facebook videos. It’s easier to share as viral content, allows for solid engagement, and gets the message across.

You can go longer if you’re known for episodic, socially-engaging content, however. Over the 3-minute mark is best left for this type of video content, however. And remember, native Facebook video is favoured over YouTube or Vimeo embedded content.

Best TikTok Length (and SnapChat, too)

Jokes about Gen Z attention spans aside, TikTok is best delivered in small doses. Think 7-15 seconds. The whole point of this social marketing platform is brevity. SnapChat works similarly, encouraging you to keep it short and sweet. We should probably give Pintrest video a shout-out here, too. Remember that it, too, originated around the idea of curated visual feeds, so you want short, snappy content that fits the theme and is easy to pin.

Best Twitter Video Length

Surprisingly, Twitter doesn’t go as short for videos as it does for captions. Here, a 44-second video is great to catch attention without overselling the point. You can use it as a ‘teaser trailer’ for meatier content hosted elsewhere if you have more to say. 

Best YouTube Video Length

As the video giant of the internet, it’s not going to surprise you to learn that longer is better for YouTube. Don’t worry- the best video length for YouTube is still pretty short, so you won’t need to pad your message to get the ROI you want. 2 minutes is just right for this host. However, because of the stranglehold YouTube has on video consumption, make sure this aligns with your end goals. Monetized channels require at least 10 minutes, and longer vlog content fits into that nicely, too.

Best LinkedIn Video Length

Last, and likely also least unless you have a more traditional business setup, there’s also LinkedIn video. While you can go up to 10 minutes on the platform if you need to, we suggest keeping LinkedIn video as a visual elevator pitch- bring it in under 30 seconds. Business people don’t like to waste time, so get your message across fast.

While these are the basic rules for social video length, remember that rules are there to be broken, sometimes. You will always need to keep your end goals and the purpose of the video in mind, too, not just conform to a set length. However, these tried-and-trusted lengths get the message over perfectly for each platform.

Not sure where to start with your social videos? Why not leverage the experience of the Zebra 360 Digital Marketing Agency team to help you get it picture-perfect every time? We’re always here to help.