How Long Are TikTok Videos—Ideal Video Length for Brands

Dec 12, 2023

How Long Are TikTok Videos, and Why Should Brands Care?

Video content is being consumed now more than ever, and a major reason is the quick rise of TikTok over recent years. Currently, TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform with over a billion active users and the highest engagement rates among all other platforms. This presents an excellent opportunity for brands to spread their marketing efforts to TikTok and for content creators to go viral and get famous, following in the footsteps of influencers like Addison Rae Easterling and Charli D’Amelio.TikTok’s success can be hugely attributed to its short video format and a diverse range of creative editing tools that enable users to pack their message into short clips. How long are TikTok videos? What’s the best TikTok video size for businesses that want to conquer TikTok? Should video length be different for ads and organic content? This article gets into all these questions and more.

How Long Can a TikTok Be?

Source: Aaron WeissTikTok videos started as 15 seconds clips. Later, the app introduced the 60-second option, and at the moment, TikTok allows video uploads of up to three minutes. For most regular users, the recent increase in video length to three minutes may not mean much, but it brings interesting opportunities for brands and content creators:

  • Content like tutorials, Q&As, or educational videos doesn’t need to be condensed to bite-sized clips and can provide more value to the viewer
  • More video length choices give TikTok the upper hand compared to competitors (Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts) that are still limited to 60 seconds, attracting more app users
  • It is easier to establish a more meaningful connection with the audience in longer videos

TikTok Marketing: What Is the Ideal Video Length for Brands?

As a video-based platform, TikTok allows you to drive conversations and trigger reactions better than images and text. This is the reason why more and more businesses turn to TikTok to grow their brands.

Source: Jan KopřivaIn general, TikTok videos should be kept short (around 15 seconds) as the audience on this platform already expects brief content, but there are some factors that may push you to consider longer formats:

  • The topic of your post—Content pieces such as workout tutorials, political commentaries, and explainer videos require more time (over 30 seconds) to create enough value for the viewer
  • Your company’s niche—Some brands may require longer content due to the industry/niche they’re in. A software company, for example, may need to create longer videos showing their audience how their tools and programs work. If their audience is already used to longer videos, choosing a longer TikTok format may work for this brand

You can also break long videos into a series of posts and use a strong CTA (for example, “Follow for Part 2”). This approach can considerably boost engagement and, as a result, expand your reach and increase your following.The ideal length of a TikTok video also depends on whether you’re creating organic posts or paid ads.

Choosing the Right Video Length for Organic Content

Organic content refers to everyday videos that all TikTok users, including brands and influencers, share on their feeds. The length of organic content is based on the themes and topics you’re tackling in your videos. Short videos (under 60 seconds) are perfect for:

  • Reaction videos using collaborative tools like Stitch or Duet
  • Memes
  • Announcements, teasers, or reveal videos

Brands can utilize long videos (over 60 seconds) for these types of content:

  • Interviews
  • Q&A sessions
  • Tutorials and how-to videos
  • Behind-the-scenes footage
  • Video highlights for brand events

Paid Ads: The Perfect Length for Optimal Ad Performance

Source: Josh RoseWhen using paid ads, you can either boost your or another user’s organic videos or create standard ads with the goal to directly promote your products or services. The following table highlights the recommended video length and specs for optimal performance of different paid ads:Type of AdRecommended Length Ad SpecificationsIn-feed ads9 to 15 seconds (5–60 seconds allowed)Aspect ratio: 9:16Max file size: 500 MBDescription: 12–100 charactersBrand takeover ads3–5 seconds Aspect ratio: 9:16Max file size: 500 MBDescription: 12–100 charactersTop-view ads15 seconds(5–60 seconds allowed)Aspect ratio: 9:16Max file size: 500 MBDescription: 12–100 charactersSpark adsAd length is based on the length of the promoted videoSpecs are determined by the original video

Tips for Making Better TikTok Ads

Besides taking video length into consideration when setting up your paid ad campaign, there are other factors you should keep in mind. You should ensure that your videos are of high quality and similar to other TikTok videos—your in-feed ad shouldn’t look out of place on the For You page as users may just scroll on to avoid paid content. Accomplishing this requires an in-depth strategy and several tried-and-true approaches.

Work With Influencers and Content Creators

Influencers and content creators are always willing to work with brands—besides the possibility of getting paid via the Creator Fund, paid collaborations are how TikTokers make money on this platform.Collaborating with influencers and content creators on TikTok campaigns keeps your content fresh, trendy, and creative. Audiences are also more likely to watch and engage with your post when they see a popular face they already follow.

Use Vertical Videos

Like Instagram Stories and Snapchat, TikTok content is vertically oriented. You can use horizontal videos, but it’s best to avoid them because they look awkward and small on the vertically locked TikTok screen. Use vertical videos andkeep your subject at the center of the frame so you can easily crop it to TikTok’s 9:16 vertical aspect ratio.

Include Audio and Subtitles

TikTok has been putting an emphasis on using music and sounds in videos from its beginning, and well-placed audio effects remain as important as ever for the success of content on this platform.You should research and add trending music and audio clips to your videos as sound grabs attention and helps your ad fit seamlessly into the For You page.Ads and regular posts can also benefit from subtitles or closed captions. Your target audience may be watching your ad without sound or in a noisy environment, so it’s best to always include captions. Captions also make your video more accessible, allowing more people to watch it.Keep in mind that brand takeover ads don’t support sound.

Create a Captivating CTA

Always include a compelling call to action at the end to guide users on what to do after watching your ad. You can urge your audience to:

  • Purchase a product
  • Visit your website
  • Send you a message

Grab Attention Right at the Beginning

If you want your audience to watch your ad to the end, it has to be captivating from the first few seconds, or you risk losing viewers’ interest. Start the video off with a bang or build anticipation to keep the viewers engaged, or they’ll scroll past your ad without giving it a second thought.

Let the Experts Handle Your TikTok Campaigns

Social media marketing is tough mainly because marketing approaches vary from one platform to another, and the copy/paste strategies just won’t cut it. While most marketers are familiar with marketing strategies for older apps like Facebook and Instagram, a newer app like TikTok presents a new challenge for three reasons:

  1. The target audience is young—Most TikTok users are Gen Zers or millennials
  2. TikTok is fast-paced—You have to keep up with ever-changing trends and consistently publish hot and relevant content
  3. Content on this platform is specific—TikTokers edit videos a certain way and will notice brands that pretend to know what they’re doing

It may also be difficult for small in-house social media teams to focus on TikTok as they have to prepare content calendars, interact with followers, and create content for other socials, too.To build and implement a successful TikTok strategy for your business, you should consider hiring a team of experts who are specialized in TikTok and have proven experience with the specifics of this app.

Kubbco Can Help You With All Your TikTok Needs

Kubbco is an official TikTok partner and a social media agency that focuses on planning and executing social media marketing strategies and campaigns for brands from different industries.We know what it takes for you to succeed on TikTok because we’ve done it before for numerous clients. Kubbco has a team of professionals, including photographers, video editors, social media strategists, analysts, and many others, dedicated to growing your TikTok account and creating more engaging content.When you partner with us, all you need to do is tell us what your goal for the campaign is, and we’ll handle the rest. Take a look at the steps we follow to design winning TikTok campaigns:

  1. Brainstorm and build a carefully thought-out strategy
  2. Test out different types of content to see what performs best
  3. Develop a content calendar
  4. Produce and publish high-quality videos
  5. Research, select, and reach out to influencers that can enrich your content and paid campaigns
  6. Monitor the success of the whole campaign and adjust our efforts based on relevant metrics and insights

If you want to learn more about our TikTok campaign strategies and get the latest social media marketing tips and updates, sign up for our newsletter.

Our Clients’ Stories Are the Proof of Our Success

Source: essence cosmeticsWhether you want to generate leads, expand reach, or increase sales, Kubbco can set up an effective marketing plan that accurately represents your brand’s message.One of our proudest stories is our collaboration with essence cosmeticswe generated millions of views and interactions for this famous makeup brand with a carefully tailored plan. Over a span of two years, we helped essence cosmetics achieve the following:

  • 12 viral videos
  • 73 million views
  • 7.1 million interactions

We’ve also helped brands like Matas, OLAPLEX, and NATURLI’ Foods grow their TikTok numbers significantly:PartnerPartnership DurationFollowers GainedNumber of VideosViral VideosTotal ViewsMatas8 weeks13,5002585.6 millionOLAPLEX5 weeks22,0002825.1 millionNATURLI’ Foods23 weeks5,200112206.2 millionIf you want a well-thought-out, tailor-made TikTok strategy for your business, reach out to us, and we’ll help you take your TikTok presence to the next level.

Hawra Hashem
Marketing Manager

I create and execute effective communication strategies and content based on data-driven insights and creativity.

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