When it comes to video strategy, the battle between short-form vs. long-form video content has been years in the making. With clear benefits on both sides, it’s near impossible to pick a favorite.
Whereas short-form videos demand attention, long-form videos earn attention. Both are winners and both provide content that boosts audience engagement.
Short-form and long-form each have their place in a successful digital marketing strategy. What’s important is knowing which one to use for your brand, and how to incorporate it.
Video is one of the most effective forms of marketing. On average a person spends 100 minutes per day watching online videos. Your goal is to make a sales video that is engaging, memorable, and effective. Both short-form and long-form videos are perfect marketing tools to utilize.
Let’s dive into the perks of both content options so you can determine the best strategy for your business.
First, let’s look at some definitions
To start using video effectively, we need to delve deeper into what differentiates short-form and long-form content.
Simply put, short-form videos are under 10 minutes in length. This can range from a four-minute music video to a five-minute contact center best practices tutorial video. The versatility of short-form makes it an effective tool for spreading creative marketing.
Short-form videos have found instant success on social media. Content that is short, attention-grabbing, and easy to consume is perfect for Instagram and TikTok. Short-form is the most common type of marketing video.
Social media content that is even shorter is referred to as snackable videos or snackable content. These videos are fun and humorous in their approach. From a production standpoint, they are simple to create and their audience reach is endless. Because of this, they tend to go viral more often.
Long-form video is any video over ten minutes. It often comes in the form of Youtube vlogs, TED Talks, branded documentary-style videos, and live Q&A sessions. From a production standpoint, they take more time, efficient production, and cost.
With your marketing strategy, long-form video can have the same effectiveness as topic clusters or keyword research. Even though long-form isn’t as attention-grabbing as short-form, it is more impactful and meaningful to the viewer.
Benefits of short-form video
Short-form content is designed for sharing. It’s quick, easy to digest, and reactive to current trends. Having all three leads to a greater chance of going viral.
Engage short attention spans
In a world where questions are answered immediately and instant gratification has become the norm. It’s no wonder why our attention spans have been shortening.
With endless content comes oversaturation. So your short-form video needs to be fun and engaging. Optimizing short-form on affiliate marketing platforms means you can engage viewers’ attention. Regular uploads also remind your audience of your online presence.
Rise of social media video apps
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok all have short-form videos on their platforms.
Social media users are therefore more receptive to your online advertising. And with 3.6 billion users worldwide, short-form and snackable videos are the way to go.
As Instagram reels and TikTok videos are short, audiences have become accustomed to their duration.
Users experience videos from the digital get-go, from video email to video calls. So the short-form video has a better chance of reaching users due to their similar traits. Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shop make social media platforms an ideal marketing space.
Your social media strategy can reach your audience 24/7, 365 days a year. Millennials who have grown up with social media, are now more financially sound, making them ideal consumers for your product.
Short-form video has the option to be repurposed in multiple ways. As the video duration is short, content can be widely shared via multiple media platforms. Whereas not all platforms can accommodate longer durations, short-form is easily accessible.
For quick and on-the-go mobile users, short-form videos are essential. Not everybody has time for an informational video, therefore short-form and snackable videos are better suited for busy lifestyles.
With short-form messages being easy to receive, content can be widely shared from social media platforms to websites. Meaning content clicks and engagement is as easy to track as call ASA and site analytics.
In this age of digital urgency, content needs to be accessible and easy to understand. Making short-form videos a perfect online marketing tool.
Benefits of long-form video
Whereas short-form videos are easy to digest, long-form videos have more substance. Short-form has limited opportunity to convey meaning, long-form can take its time to educate its audience.
Due to the storytelling aspect of long-form video, you should consider a more subtle approach. If your video is entirely sales orientated, viewers will switch off. Longer pieces need to be carefully developed. The greater the risk, the greater the reward.
Imagine documenting your online buyers shipping experience. Long-form video can capture every step of the journey. It is your goal to make the content entertaining and relevant. The longer the content, the more time there is to educate and engage.
If your goal is to connect with viewers, you will have more opportunities with a long-form video. It takes dedication to produce such content, and your dedication will be noticed by your audience. Youtube is a popular platform and perfect for long-form uploads.
Even though short-form videos are shared regularly, this fact diminishes their value. Sharing a long-form video carries a greater authority as it promotes commitment.
Builds brand awareness
When building your brand, you can intertwine your brand’s missions within your storytelling. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to convey your ethos to your audience.
Having more time allows you more opportunities to connect with viewers. Creating an emotional bond that will be hard to ignore. Utilizing long-term content means you have greater control over the message that you wish to share. Misinterpreting short-form missions is easy to do due to its limited time. Long-form video allows a greater gestation of your brand’s ideas.
The connection between consumers and your brand is essential to your growth. By establishing effective content from the start, you encourage further engagement moving forward. With the option to go live and to release content episodically, you can build your brand economically as well as your audience.
The digital world today, with its constant stream of content, becomes less personal with each upload. So making a personal video separates you from the crowd and encourages consumer/business connection.
What video to use and when?
With so many benefits, it’s hard to know what video content is best for you. Let’s take a look at several factors you should consider before moving forward.
Snackable content is key
Snackable videos are a must-have for any marketing strategy. The cost and ease of producing this content mean a concept can go from an idea to a finished product within minutes. With the ability to share content between platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, your audience is fully intertwined.
Imagine you are creating a video titled what is anchor text? Anchor text can be explained in under a minute so it makes sense to produce a snackable video rather than a ten-minute checklist.
Due to the viral nature of snackable videos, they are perfect for user clicks.
As their length is normally under 30 seconds, skipping the video isn’t as easy as with longer videos. Viewers are not given the option to dismiss, so the digital ad will play in its entirety.
Long-form videos drive engagement
Even though long-form videos demand more attention, that doesn’t mean they won’t receive it. It is not by accident that many social media platforms are beginning to resemble your television screen.
With Instagram Live and Snapchat investing in docuseries, long-form video is more relevant than ever. This is a huge marketing opportunity as social media algorithms are being tuned to display longer videos.
Long-form content has the time to develop engaging and passionate storylines. It can communicate your brand’s ideals succinctly and effectively. It’s the perfect vehicle for your message.
How to use them together
Gone are the days when companies would worry over sales call planning and reaching their target demographic. With short-form and long-term video at your disposal, you now have the best of both worlds.
Through its quick and easy to digest nature, short-form videos can create buzz and drive traffic to long-form content. By revealing fragments, you are essentially promoting your larger content, through the same strategy.
The key to any marketing strategy is to think about the mindset of your target audience. What will appeal to them, what will entice them to your product or service?
Even though short-form video can attract more eyes, it can become lost under the noise of constant competition. It is not enough to produce engaging content, it has to be memorable as well. That is where long-form video can leave a lasting impression on your audience.
If your goal is to receive clicks or a sale, then short-form video is the way to go. If you want to nurture brand awareness, it may be best to invest your time and creativity in long-form content. Both are necessary in today’s digital age.
Guest Writer Bio: Jenna Bunnell – Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Dialpad
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified system that provides valuable call details and conference room technology for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Check out her LinkedIn profile. She has also written content for Traffit and TurnToNetworks.