Video length plays a massive role in audience retention and your channel’s Watch Time.
Your videos should be long enough to provide value but short enough to keep the viewer’s attention.
The biggest mistake people make is that they think this translates into creating short videos, which is another rookie mistake.
Wait, I don’t want to create videos that are short?
That’s right — most videos are too short to get the result you want.
The trick is understanding why.
Think about it this way: If your videos are only 3–5 minutes long, then even if somebody watches the entire video, your Watch Time doesn’t have much potential.
But here’s the reality: Chances are viewers will only stay around for between 30% to 40% of your video.
That’s right — the video you slaved over to get just right won’t get watched until the end.
If your videos are only 3–5 minutes, people are only going to watch the first two minutes of them.
Don’t expect YouTube to suggest and rank your videos that have that short of a Watch Time.
It just won’t happen.
OK, so we want the videos to be longer… but how long
Oftentimes, we will tell clients to make longer videos, and they make the mistake of going from three to 30 minutes, thinking logically that if they want 10 minutes of eyes on time, then 30 minutes will do the trick.
But people don’t watch videos logically.
Instead, they choose them strategically.
Super-long videos will scare away viewers rather than bring them in to watch.
In today’s fast-paced world, humans have short attention spans.
Many people don’t have the time or the desire to sit and watch a 30-minute video, so they won’t even start.
After all, that’s longer than an episode of “The Office” or “Friends.”
Another reason why super long videos are just not the best option is because creating them is hard to sustain.
Longer videos are harder to make one time, let alone consistently.
And YouTube is as much about consistency as it is anything else we’ve mentioned so far.
Channels that post videos on a more consistent basis will get better results because they’ll get more channel Watch Time.
You want to offer a steady stream of content, not sporadic dumps of information.
This doesn’t mean you have to post daily…
But it does mean you have to post consistently.
I recommend one to two videos a week when getting started, but at the end of the day, you want to choose a strategy that’s sustainable.
The best business worth getting is repeat business, and so you want to create a culture where people return to your site time and again to get new information, ideas, and solutions.