How Long Should Video Testimonials Be?

BY Holly Yoos
December 13, 2022

Video testimonials are one of the best ways to demonstrate to prospective SaaS customers that you’ve solved complex problems for customers just like them—problems that they share.

So it’s no surprise that most enterprise SaaS companies are already creating customer video testimonials at scale. (Keep an eye out for our upcoming research report that confirms this finding.)

But there’s one area of video testimonials that’s subject to a lot of debate: How long should video testimonials be?

Some say 45-60 seconds because attention spans are short. Others say you need at least two to three minutes to tell a rousing story. So what’s the answer?

Unfortunately, the only right answer is, “it depends.” Because the “right” video testimonial length depends on three key factors.

Three factors you need to consider when deciding on the right length for video testimonials:

  1. Target audience
  2. Channel
  3. Goal

1.   Target audience

Who are you trying to reach with your video testimonial? High-level decision-makers? The people who will implement your solution? Someone else?

Your target audience impacts the ideal length of your testimonial video—because every group wants different things.

A high-level decision maker, for example, might just want a quick confirmation that other companies like them have implemented your solution successfully and resolved their pain points.

In contrast, someone in charge of implementing your solution might want specific details about the challenges your customer faced, the solution you put in place, how you worked together and resolved bumps along the road, and the results your customer achieved and the benefits they’ve enjoyed since.

It’s the same with written case study assets. Usually, high-level decision-makers just want a quick summary of another customer’s success, such as a short, snapshot case study or a one-sheet summary.

Others want more details—particularly about the implementation and working relationship—which is where a narrative case study comes in.

2.   Channel

How will you share your video testimonial? Which platforms and channels do you want to use?

Every marketing and social channel has its own best practices (and limitations) for video length.

YouTube channels

By default, you can upload videos that are 15 minutes in length. Verified accounts can upload videos that are 12 hours long, in theory. But that doesn’t mean you should!

Most likely, you’re best to stick with the “standard” video testimonial length of 2-3 minutes, as ServiceNow has done (for the most part).

However, if you have a reason to think that longer would be better, then by all means test that theory.

YouTube advertising

YouTube offers a variety of options for advertising with video, and each ad format has different requirements.

For example, skippable ads can be as long as you want in theory, but Google notes that videos that are under three minutes tend to perform better.

Non-skippable video ads are a maximum of 15 seconds. Bumper ads are even shorter: only six seconds!

Could you squeeze an entire video testimonial into six seconds? Perhaps not. But you could, perhaps, create a series of bumper ad videos that combine to tell a complete customer success story.

Email marketing

Another way to share your video testimonial is via email, as ClickUp has done, below:

Video testimonial email marketing example

How long should videos shared by email marketing be? In this case, it’s 2:20. But again, you’ll want to test to see what works best.

Social network sharing

Every social media network has its own recommended video lengths. According to Hootsuite, for example, the best video length for Twitter is 44 seconds and LinkedIn is 30 seconds.

These recommended lengths can vary depending on what you’re trying to do. Facebook, for example, recommends that videos stay under one minute in length for some purposes but over three minutes for other purposes.

Social network advertising

If you want to deploy your customer testimonial video in some of your social media advertising, you’ll need to adhere to advertising limits on those platforms.

Instagram carousel video ads, for example, are a maximum of 60 seconds.  Instagram Stories video ads are a maximum of 120 seconds.

Can you tell a compelling customer success story in just 60 seconds? Yes! Salesforce does it here, for example:

This customer testimonial clocks in at a brisk 55 seconds!

Your website’s “customer success” or “case study” page

Hopefully, you’re also putting your testimonial videos on a customer success or case study page on your website.

Here, there are no hard and fast rules about video length. Use Google Analytics to track and assess engagement. Setting up and reporting on video views and watch time is a bit complex, but well worth the effort.

3.   Goal

The third factor you need to consider when deciding on the length of your video testimonials is their purpose.

Is your goal to raise awareness of your brand or service? In that case, shorter might be better.

Is the goal to convert a lead from the evaluation stage to the intent stage of the conversion funnel? Then a longer video testimonial may be better.

Or maybe you want to shine a light on the good works of one of your customers—and possibly benefit from rubbing shoulders with their brand. In that case, you might want to go longer—perhaps much longer.

For example, here is a video testimonial from Billing.com that’s much longer than the average:

This video clocks in at 5:22 minutes. Bill.com isn’t even mentioned until minute 3:17!

And yet, the story of Q Foundation and Bill.com is super compelling, which could work really well for certain applications.

The solution: Generate multiple cuts for every customer video testimonial interview

All this analysis leads to one conclusion: you should create video testimonials in multiple lengths—at least two—to meet the needs of different audiences, channels, and goals.

That’s why we provide our customers with two lengths: a highlight cut that’s 15-30 seconds and a full-length cut that’s 90 seconds to two minutes.

Want to create video testimonials at scale?

At Case Study Buddy, we create remote and on-site video testimonials as part of our complete package of multiple marketing assets that we create from a single customer interview.

Contact us to learn more—and get started.

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