Question: Since videos can be published online of any length (even if broken into a series of segments), what would be the best length for a self-created video?
Answer: It depends on the purpose of the video and who it’s for. The following are guidelines and you could find exceptions for each.
1) “Introductory Videos” are short: 30 seconds to 2 minutes, and no more than 4 minutes. If you want to expose a brief message to as many potential viewers as possible, who do not otherwise know you, the shorter the better. Anytime someone clicks on a video they are making a small time commitment and a shorter video just makes it easier for someone to make that decision. If they like what they see, then they may be more inclined to watch a longer video from the same creator.
2) “Content Videos” or marketing videos should be less than 10 min. These are videos that have good info and can even be condensed highlights from longer videos. They have the potential for being passed along to others should the content be valuable, interesting and/or entertaining.
3) “Training Videos” can be any length. Training, or educational videos could include how to use a specific software, or how to perform maintenance on an engine, or how to use a specific camera, or anything you can imagine. These could even be complete seminars. However, the longer a video is, the less likely it would gain traction as a property that gets passed along broadly (although anything can happen on the Internet). In other words, if a 3 hour presentation could be edited down to less than 30 min, it would generate more views. However, given a valuable enough seminar, there would still be a smaller amount of viewers who would watch the entire 3 hours.
Of course, regardless of how long or short the video is, you might as well increase its chance of gaining viewers by incorporating the 6 Ways to Optimize Your Videos for Maximum Search Impact.