Short, Medium, or Long? The Explainer Video Length Guide

In the ever-evolving world of video content, the length of your explainer video plays a pivotal role in capturing and retaining viewer interest. Deciding between 30, 60, or 120-second durations often leaves creators in a dilemma. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of these popular lengths to guide you through this decision-making process.

The 30-Second Explainer Video

A quick and punchy video can create a lasting impression. In the realm of advertising, 30 seconds has become somewhat of a standard. Viewers are likely to stay with you until the end, resulting in higher completion rates. Plus, from a production standpoint, these shorter videos tend to be more cost-effective, especially when you factor in animation or other high-end production elements.

The constraint of 30 seconds means there’s only so much information you can convey. This can result in a superficial overview or, even worse, oversimplifying your message. For those offering complex products or services, this duration might not do justice to the intricacies involved.

The 60-Second Explainer Video

With double the duration of its 30-second counterpart, a 60-second video allows for a more comprehensive dive into your subject. It offers a balance, granting you the flexibility to merge storytelling with factual content, which often results in a more engaging narrative. For many, this duration hits the sweet spot, making it the ‘Goldilocks’ choice for a variety of topics.

As the video length creeps up, there’s a potential dip in the number of viewers who stick around until the end. Also, there’s a corresponding increase in production costs, especially if your content leans heavily on visuals or sophisticated animations.

The 120-Second (2-minute) Explainer Video

For those with a complex message, a 120-second video can be a boon. This duration grants creators the luxury of time, allowing for an in-depth exploration of the subject matter. It’s a canvas wide enough to weave in intricate storytelling, which can create a deeper connection with the audience. For industries where complexity is the norm, like finance, healthcare, or tech, this length can effectively deconstruct and present detailed content.

However, there’s a clear downside to opting for the longest format. The challenge of retaining attention grows, often resulting in lower completion rates. And, unsurprisingly, the production costs rise. There’s also a lurking danger: with more time, you might be tempted to add extraneous information, potentially muddying your core message.

Getting The Point Across: What’s the Ideal Length?
Identifying the perfect length for your explainer video boils down to a few key considerations. First, gauge the complexity of your subject. A straightforward product might be best served in a 30-second snippet, whereas a detailed software tutorial could require the full 120 seconds. Next, understand your audience. Are they looking for quick insights or a deeper dive? Lastly, consider where your video will be viewed. Platforms like Instagram might favor shorter content, while YouTube or a website might be more accommodating to longer formats.


The essence of an effective explainer video isn’t solely its length but the quality, clarity, and creativity of its content. It’s about ensuring every second is packed with value and communicates your message with precision. Whether 30, 60, or 120 seconds, the goal remains the same: make every moment count.