Timing is everything. A friendly hug can easily become a friendly groping all in the span of a few seconds if you’re not careful. Much like watching “Game of Thrones” with your parents, a YouTube video runs the risk of being painfully long and wildly uncomfortable to watch.
There is a video length sweet spot that exists in most successful YouTube uploads. If you’ve got top-notch content that isn’t keeping viewers on your channel, it might be because of your video length.
Most YouTube creators I’ve spoken to suggest the “if it is good, people will stick around for any amount of time” method. However, it can be more difficult than that. Here are some things to consider while you iron out the details of your next upload.
1. Why Are You Here?
If you became a digital video creator simply to share you work with the world, then go ahead and publish that all-cat rendition of “Macbeth.” But, if you are like most modern creators, you probably were hoping to monetize your labor. It would be ideal if all videos could be as long as they needed to be. Unfortunately, the digital video audience has come to expect and respond to videos that stay confined to a certain length.
2. Look To Your Peers
If you follow creators like Ray William Johnson and Ryan Higa, you’ll see that they keep their videos around the same length. This isn’t to say that these dudes are raking in six figures just because their videos are between three and four minutes. These are creators who have mastered YouTube and know their audience like the backs of their hands. Mimicking the average length of popular YouTubers’ videos definitely won’t turn you into the next Phil DeFranco, but it is something to consider.
3. Consider Your Audience
A few weeks ago, we wrote about the average digital video viewer’s attention span lasting around 2.7 minutes. As a rookie creator, you don’t have the luxury that established partners have. This means that if your videos run a little long, people won’t give you the benefit of the doubt that they would normally give popular creators. If you are just starting out, it’s probably best to shoot for that shorter length and build a better understanding of your audience as you grow.
4. Don’t Stress Out About It Too Much
At the end of the day, your videos’ length won’t make or break your career as a digital creator. This is simply a practice to help grow and engage your fan base. If you spend too much time worrying about time constraints, it will show in your final product. Make videos that you are passionate about and to hell with everything else.