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Best Length for YouTube Videos to Boost Engagement (2024)

Are you making videos too long and killing your engagement rate? Are your videos too short? Discover the best length for YouTube videos for engagement and making money.
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Best length for YouTube videos
Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

Videos can be up to 12 hours long

Most videos perform best at 5 – 15 minutes long

Shorts drive views and subs, but earnings are pitiful

YouTube allows non-verified accounts to upload videos that are up to 15 minutes long. Verifying your account will allow you to upload videos with the following restrictions:

  • 256 GB in size (huge)
  • 12 hours in length

You may even find older videos that are longer than 12 hours on the platform, but this is no longer allowed. With every creator wanting to increase their reach and exposure, there is one question on everyone’s mind: what’s the best length for YouTube videos?

What’s the Best Length for YouTube Videos for Engagement?

Best Length for YouTube Videos

Every niche and audience is different. You’ll find reports that videos between 3 and 8 minutes perform best, but there are also recommendations of 5 to 15 minutes.

So, what about your audience?

Can you make longer videos?

Absolutely. You can make videos that are three hours long, and if people are watching, you’ll earn a ton of money from them.

A few examples of videos of different lengths that do well are:

Martijn posts videos that are routinely 25 minutes long or longer, and he has exceptional engagement and high views. Why? His niche and style of video allow it.

You want to create videos that are the right length for your audience and can keep them engaged.

Never drag out a production to reach an imaginary time threshold because it’s better to focus on being engaging and really hooking your audience into the video.

In short, focus on great content, add in hooks and cuts, and meet the expectations of your audience

What’s the Best Length for YouTube Videos for Earnings?

If you’ve found that your videos are shorter than 10 minutes, you may be wondering: where are my earnings? You can monetize a 2-minute video, but it will earn 50% of what a video that is 6 – 8 minutes long video would.

Longer videos that are 8 minutes long can feature a mid-roll.

And a mid-roll makes good money.

It’s also known that YouTube likes longer videos that have high engagement. Every creator needs to be mindful of YouTube’s algorithm, which is why so many videos are just 10 minutes long or a little over.

A General Rule of Thumb:

  • Longer videos = more opportunities for ads
  • Longer videos will lead to lower engagement rates (to an extent)

If you create content that keeps the viewer glued to their screen, you’ll earn more revenue. Audiences with short attention spans prefer shorter videos.

Do what your audience craves, and you’ll profit from it in the end.

What Types of Videos Work Well When They’re Short?

If you’re creating short content and it works for you, keep doing what works. However, if you’re used to producing longer videos and want to break the cycle, try the following options:

  • Product Reviews – which rarely exceed the 10-minute mark
  • Branding Videos – perfect for businesses
  • Explainer Videos – ideal for products and/or services
  • Fast Tips – good for anything
  • Teaser Videos – perfect when trying to tease about an upcoming video
  • Educational Content – when you can answer the question fast
  • Highlights – where you can rapidly show highlights to your audience

YouTube has also released Shorts, which are very short videos that are under 60 seconds in length.

What About YouTube Shorts?

You’ve probably heard that quick, short videos tend to get the most engagement. That’s why YouTube Shorts are so popular. But here’s the thing. Shorts are great for views and attracting subscribers. They’re not so great for generating income, according to creators on Reddit.

The length may be ideal, but you need a way to bring these viewers over to your long-form content. Otherwise, they’ll just scroll through your Shorts and move on to the next creator.

Even YouTube recommends using Shorts as a way to build brand awareness and engagement.

Best Practices for YouTube Shorts

If you do want to incorporate Shorts into your channel, here are some best practices to follow:

  • Be Consistent: Post every day if you can, but don’t neglect your long-form content.
  • Be Relevant: Create content that your audience wants to see. How-tos, quick reviews, fun facts, tips and experiments are all great types of content to share.
  • Make the Seconds Count: The first few seconds of your Short should be captivating and engaging to hook the viewer.
  • Use Captions: And be creative with them to keep viewers engaged.
  • Use Trending Hashtags and Songs: The right tags and music will make it easier to find your content.
  • Be Authentic: People want to see the real you, so make sure that you’re being genuine and authentic in your Shorts.

While you shouldn’t necessarily rely on Shorts, you can use them as a way to get people interested in your other videos. And you can choose a length for your long-form content that suits your particular audience.

Understanding Your Audience’s Ideal Video Length

Finding the best length for your YouTube videos can be complex. Sure, you can find data on the best lengths on average, but what about your channel individually?

If you want to understand the ideal video length for your audience, start by looking at your analytics. If you’re a new creator, this is something that won’t work for you right now. You’ll need to build up your channel a little to gather some data first.

But if you already have an existing channel, take a look at your data. You likely have videos of different lengths. Consider the following:

  • Which lengths got the most engagement?
  • Which videos had the longest view time?

Use the data you have on hand to find an average length that seems to be ideal for your audience.

Finding the best length for your YouTube videos is often a matter of trial and error. But if you’re just getting started with your channel, you can use the recommended lengths as a starting point. As you create and publish more content, you can use your data to find the perfect length based on your individual audience.

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