Short or long videos: which is best?

Jun 22, 2022

Man watching video on phone

We all know the power of video in the automotive industry – in fact, the statistics speak for themselves: with people four times more likely to watch a clip than read text, and how adding a video to your email is likely to increase click-through rates by up to 300 per cent. 

There’s no denying the impact of video in today’s fast-evolving digital age. The question now is, how long should those videos be? Picture this: you’ve opened the SnapCell app, you’re ready to record your clip, but you suddenly find yourself asking, ‘how do I deliver my message while keeping the audience’s attention?’ Sound familiar? The good news is that the team at SnapCell is here to help. We’ve created this handy guide as to how short or long your next video should be.

More than just duration

The fact is, it’s not quite as simple as how short or long your video should be. In other words, there’s not just one standard answer. But with statistics showing that 75 percent of potential leads chose not to purchase a product because they got annoyed with a video, getting it right is pretty important.

The length of your video depends on a number of factors, including where it will be used, the target audience and where it fits into your marketing and sales funnel. Question: what is a marketing and sales funnel? In short, it’s the journey a prospective customer will take during the buying process, starting with initial engagement right through to nurturing the relationship with that consumer, who hopefully is now loyal to your dealership. With that in mind, your video duration will be shorter during the early stages of the funnel (initial engagement) and then longer during the later stages (nurturing loyal shoppers). Likewise, a YouTube clip or live video can be longer, but posts on your Facebook timeline should be shorter.

Ultimately, there are platforms where shorter videos should definitely be used, however, there are still plenty of opportunities that lend themselves to longer clips, for example, tutorials. 

Social Media

Unfortunately, best video practices for social media channels are changing all of the time. Here, we dig a little deeper into how long videos should be for each channel:


When it comes to posting videos on Facebook, there are a number of formats you can choose from – and the duration will differ depending on which you go for:

  • Organic video posts: 90 seconds, for optimized viewing
  • Story content: 20 seconds, maximum
  • Video ads: 15 seconds (surprised? Believe us, the shorter a video ad, the better)
  • Live video content: At least 10 minutes. When it comes to live video, the longer your video, the better the chances are that people will discover it. Try not to go below 10 minutes, as this is how long it generally takes for viewers to be notified before tuning in

When it comes to Facebook, you need to remember that it’s a platform perfect for scrolling. So, for best results, ensure you kick off your longer organic posts, stories and video ads with an attention-grabbing introduction. 


Instagram has always lent itself to shorter videos, so we would recommend sticking to around 30 second clips. After all, Instagram is made for scrolling, designed for visual content, so keep your posts short. 


Although LinkedIn has a maximum video length of 10 minutes, with video adverts up to 30 minutes. However, don’t be tempted to always max out your shooting time, instead, consider the purpose of each video:

  • For brand awareness, videos should be 30 seconds or under
  • For videos aimed at engaging with new customers, stick to between 30 and 90 seconds
  • If you’re using SnapCell to showcase a specific vehicle, or to create a walkaround clip of your dealership for LinkedIn, then feel free to film upto five minutes

Note, those who generally use LinkedIn are professionals who have time to browse during their work hours or lunch break, so bear this in mind when you’re creating video content. 


TikTok is the latest platform made available for dealerships using video as a marketing tool – and with nearly 70 million monthly active users in America, if you’re not already using it, then it’s about time you started. TikTok provides your dealership with a great marketing opportunity, and thanks to SnapCell, creating engaging content for the platform couldn’t be easier.

If created inside the app, you’ll be limited to 60 seconds – however, if you film outside of TikTok, your videos can be a little longer. Not many dealerships are actually using TikTok at the moment, so this is the perfect time to get your business in the fast lane. If you’re new to using the app, then here are a few content ideas to get you started:

  • Mini ‘how-to’ clips are perfect for TikTok – think tips and hints of the trade, like changing a flat tyre, or what to look for when buying a car
  • Tease viewers by giving then a taste of a test drive
  • Take users behind the scenes of your dealership with a brief walkaround
  • Show off specific features that come with certain vehicles

And of course, while it might be tempting to attempt those viral videos of your team taking part in the latest TikTok dance craze, remember, using this platform also gives you the opportunity to really engage with new and loyal audiences. Just because the clips are short, this is your chance to present yourselves as industry experts and really make your mark as a dealership in the TikTok universe. 


YouTube is made for longer video content. In fact, you can actually post videos that run up to 12 hours – but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. 

The ideal YouTube video length is between 10 and 15 minutes, however, the duration really does depend on the content. There’s absolutely no point in creating longer clips, if nobody is going to stick around to watch it. If you are thinking about posting on YouTube – which by the way, you should, with more than 80 percent of Americans using the channel to watch videos – then here are some content ideas for your dealership. Remember, you can seamlessly create all of these using the SnapCell app:

  • A walk-round video of your dealership
  • Customer testimonials
  • Vehicle comparisons, for example, which is the best car for families in 2022
  • Seasonal tips for vehicle owners
  • Meet the team
  • A video tour of a specific vehicle

Video footage for communication and other platforms

It’s not just social media channels that provide you with the perfect spots for video content – remember, your website, emails and messenger, also present themselves with an opportunity to share footage from your dealership.


Whether it’s your homepage or landing page, you should stick to 30 to 60 seconds when including video across your website. And these videos don’t need to give all the answers either, they should just entice, engage and tease the audience, encouraging them to spend more time browsing across your website. 

SnapCell Messenger or email marketing

Unless you’re already engaged in conversation with the shopper, we would recommend videos using SnapCell Messenger or those included in emails to be 45 seconds or under. 

If you are including a video within an email, then a top tip from us is to include the word ‘video’ in the subject line, to boost engagement rates.

What’s the purpose of each video?

We’ve mentioned that the purpose of a video should also have a direct impact on the duration of each clip. Here’s some generic advice for dealerships depending on the content of their videos. 

Sharable content

If you’re wanting users to share content, then stick to shorter content. This means brand awareness clips, quickfire explainer videos and clips that generally aim to get your dealership’s name out there – perhaps for new shoppers – should be condensed. In other words, these should be raw content posted to the timeline of your social media channels, or video adverts. 

As a general rule, aim for between 60 and 90 seconds, with a specific focus on making those initial few seconds ultra-engaging. This way, there’ll be more guarantee that the video will be watched the whole way through and then shared.

How-to’s, demos and vehicle showcases

These types of videos tend to be aimed at customers who are already aware of your dealership, so there’s no harm in making them slightly longer. Depending on the content and how much information you have to give, stick to between two and 10 minutes. Of course, our advice would be to create multiple shorter videos, rather than one lengthy one.

Customer testimonials or meet the teams

Because these videos will lend themselves to a more interview-like format, then feel free to film between three and 10 minutes – especially if the clips contain content from your dealership’s CEO or director.

Remember, it’s the how-to’s, demos, vehicle showcases, virtual test drives, customer testimonials and meet the teams, which will best suit your blog or YouTube channel.

Seamlessly create videos using SnapCell

With so many ‘rules’ surrounding video creation, it’s easy to get lost amongst all of the different timings. Fortunately, there’s SnapCell. SnapCell is an award-winning video creation tool that allows your dealership to seamlessly create professional-quality, engaging content for all platforms and purposes. What’s more, thanks to the app’s reporting capabilities, you can track all of your KPIs, giving you a real insight into how effective your videos are – allowing you to learn and adapt your video marketing strategy to suit your dealership and customers. Better still, SnapCell integrates with all of your dealership’s social media channels, which means you can upload content at the simple push of a button.

Book your free demo of SnapCell today.

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