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Last year was a “hit and miss” year for me on content sharing. I had some moments of active sharing on Instagram and I increased my content volume on YouTube a bit. However, other than my newsletter, I wasn’t super consistent in any platforms. I plan to change that in 2023.

In preparation for my increased content marketing activity I did some research about the optimal content length for several platforms I plan to use and experiment with in 2023. Here are my findings, I hope they help you too.

My Criteria for All Tips

  1. The tips need to be from a “reputable” source. (Not just some dude who read some other dude’s post, who read some other dude’s sister’s post.)
  2. The tips need to be consistent with other “reputable” sources. (If the tip didn’t resonate with other advice I was finding, I did not include it in my list.)
  3. The tips need to be backed by examples and data when possible.
  4. The tips need to resonate with my marketing intuition. (If it seems “off” to me, I tend to not believe it…I’ve been heavy in marketing for a couple decades and trust my gut on most marketing stuff.)

Instagram Photo Captions

  • Use longer captions to get more engagement, especially comments (Source: Hootsuite).

Instagram Reels Length

  • Focus on the hook, first 3 seconds (Source: Vista Social).
  • Best length for “Views” is 3 to 15 seconds (Source: ShareThis, Hootsuite, Visat Social).
  • Best length for “Shares” is approx. 18 seconds (Source: Vista Social).
  • Best length for “Comments” is 7 to 18 seconds (Source: Vista Social).
  • Best length for “Conversations” is 30-90 seconds, but always strive to deliver in the shortest time possible (Source: Vista Social).
  • Try the 3-15-3 Reel Formula by Flip Konecny. 3 seconds for hook, 15 seconds for content, 3 seconds for call to action (Source: Flip Konecny Blog).
  • Make videos fast paced with text. Longer text in videos will cause the viewer to tap and pause the video so they can read it, or watch the video a second time to capture the information (Source: NapoleonCat).

YouTube Video Length

  • Best length is 5 to 15 minutes (Source: Piktochart). Tighter length range is 7 to 15 minutes (Source: Visme).
  • Always begin with a hook (Source: Visme and… “no duh” always good advice).
  • “The best thing to do as a creator – don’t overthink your videos, the run time should match the content” – Cristos Goodrow, Vice President of Engineering, YouTube (If it takes 2 minutes to deliver your message, don’t make a 20 minute video and vice versa.)
  • Ideal length for monetizing YouTube is approx. 8 minutes (Source: Influencer Marketing Hub).
  • Best length for viral attention is 2 minutes (Source: Hootsuite).

YouTube Short Length

  • Use same guidance from Instagram Reels and TikTok Videos

TikTok Video Length

  • Ideal length is 9 to 15 seconds (Source: Visme).
  • According to VidIQ the top TikTok videos are between 21 and 34 seconds (Source VidIQ).
  • Most of the tips in the “Instagram Reels” section of this article apply directly to TikTok as well.

LinkedIn Posts and Article Length

  • LinkedIn will truncate your post with “See more” after the 140 character mark. Focus on the first 100 to 140 characters (Source: Hootsuite)
  • Best LinkedIn article lengths are 1,900 to 2,100 words (Source: Hootsuite).
  • LinkedIn article lengths are similar to the “Blog Article” recommendations below.

Blog Article Length

  • Best blog article length for SEO is 2,100 to 2,400 words (Source: Hubspot).
  • Longform content performs exceptionally well in search, in spite of dwindling attention spans (Source: Search Engine Journal)
  • “All Encompassing Guides” or “Pillar Pages” should be around 4,000 words (Source: Hubspot)
  • Best length for “How To” articles is 1,700 to 2,100 words (Source: HubSpot)
  • Best length for “What Is” articles is 1,300 to 1,700 words (Source: HubSpot)
  • Minimum blog post length is at least 300 words (Source: Yoast)

Final Thoughts

  • EVERY person’s experience can be a little different. These are just “best practices” but you may find that things are different for your specific account and audience.
  • Check your analytics and act on what they are telling you. If your data says that 87 minute Instagram Reels are slaying on your channel…then do 87 minute Instagram Reels. (Extreme example…don’t actually make 87 minute Reels.)
  • Experimentation is key. When I was growing my Instagram channel, I experimented A TON…probably more than any other creator in the design community on IG. Some of my experiments flopped and some rocked. Everyone has to figure out what rocks for them and their audience.
  • Attention spans are decreasing for internet audiences. Always try to deliver the most value you can in the shortest timeframe possible. This is a challenge for me, but has made me a better teacher over the past couple years. I’m still working on it and have room for improvement.
Michael Janda

I am Michael Janda, an executive level creative leader with more than 25 years of experience in both in-house creative departments and agencies working with some of the greatest brands in the world including Disney, Google, Fox, ABC and NBC. I create books, courses, workshops, lectures and other training materials to help creative entrepreneurs run successful businesses.