AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerHow Long Should Your Next Online Video Be?

Subscribe to AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

How Long Should Your Next Online Video Be?

There is much debate about the optimized length of videos for various media. Television has had set lengths for years, but the debate still rages–is :15 better than :30 or :60?  Female Video and Sound Editor Works With Her Male Colleague on a Project on Her Personal Computer with Two Displays. They Work in a Creative Loft Office.

Wistia looked at more than 500,000 videos and more than 1 billion plays to conduct research on video length and engagement. They found that 2 minutes is the sweet spot. Videos up to 2 minutes get “tons of engagement.” What is surprising is that a 90-second and 30-second video will have the same engagement levels so there is no need to worry about length until you reach 2 minutes.

According to the research, after 2 minutes “every second counts.” The drop-off from 2 to 3 minutes is significant, so if you are going to make a 150-second video, it would behoove you to cut 30 seconds from the video to increase engagement. At 6 minutes, the research shows a leveling off at 50% engagement and there is little decrease all the way to 12 minutes. So you should still produce longer content if it is warranted, but know the drop-off is large from 2 to 6 minutes.

If you are going to produce video, remember the 2-minute rule. So what’s the best TV commercial length? According to the Wistia research, it would be up to 2 minutes. So buy the entire 2-minute commercial break.


Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.