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The Secret to Video Length and Beating the Algorithm


Jack Martinez

Created By: Jack Martinez

The Secret to Video Length and Beating the Algorithm
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As a creator, you are constantly looking for ways to grow your brand and personality on one or likely many different platforms. Depending on your platform, you hear rumors about what the algorithm likes: From when to post, what to post, and how long that content should be. Between 5 and 15 seconds. "30-second shorts for YouTube perform well." Videos that range from 2 to 5 minutes do great... The algorithm likes 7-10 minute videos because you can have more than one ad spot. Longer videos in the 30-45 minute range are best because they keep people watching for longer.

The suggestions are endless and the maddening part? They are all partially correct. What EVERYONE gets wrong, though, is playing to the algorithm. These are all decisions you should be making around your audience. Anytime you hear the word algorithm, try and switch the word in your mind to “audience”. It will do wonders.

My Audience

The first question you should be asking yourself right now is, who is my audience? Answering that will help you maximize the impact and find the sweet spot for your content, helping you leverage a variety of content lengths to gain additional views and clicks from your content.


Let's rephrase the initial question about video length. “What is the best length for video content for my audience?”. Depending on who you are catering your content to and what your content focus is will help you dial this in. It's also important to understand your approach depending if you are just starting your journey as a creator or if you already have an established brand and personality.

If you are just starting out, the answer is easy. Start making content that supports your interests and passions. As you continue down the road of being a creator, the path you are walking with your audience will become clearer without relying solely on the assumption that one content length is better than the other, because it’s not. Plain and simple.

The same is true if you are an already established creator with multiple videos. The difference between you and someone just starting out is you should have some idea of what your audience wants or what niche you belong in. The more content you have created, the clearer your data will be in what has performed better in terms of content length as you hit your stride.

The True Value of Video Length

So if the audience is the key to algorithm freedom, what is the value of video length? Video length is a multi-faceted tool that can be tailored to target and capture a larger audience through diversification. Knowing that all video length segments perform well depending on the audience, you should instead use length strategically to cater to different viewer types and where they are watching.


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Armed with the above knowledge you can draw some simple conclusions that can lead to big results. You can reuse and repurpose your content to impact each segment. A long form video can be sliced into smaller shorter formats to cater to shorter attention spans or even converted to vertical format to be consumed on different devices and platforms. Combining multiple short form videos into a “Best of” or compilation video can help you reach viewers that prefer longer content. Be flexible in how you leverage content length outside of your target audience and remember one thing -

Make great content focused on your audience, not the algorithm or arbitrary lengths of time. Like many things, quality steals the show.

Jack Martinez

Written By: Jack Martinez

Jack is a seasoned product leader, project manager, and creative who excels at fostering growth and innovation for businesses, digital publishers and creators. With a strong passion for project management, he has spearheaded multiple large-scale projects in the entertainment industry, prioritizing results-driven solutions and growth strategies to help businesses reach their next level of success.

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