January 2, 2023

Short-Form vs. Long-Form Video: Which is Better for Your Business?

As digital marketers, we are constantly bombarded with new data and ways to reach our audiences. It can be tough to keep up with the latest trends and best practices – let alone implement them into our marketing campaigns. 

One of the most common questions on a marketer's mind these days is: "What's the difference between short-form and long-form video, and which is better for my business?" 

To help answer this question, we will explore the benefits of short-form and long-form video content in this blog post. We'll also look at a few important things to consider so you can maximize your results.

Let's dive in!

Short-from vs. Long-Form Video 

When it comes to video content, there are two main types: short-form and long-form. Short-form videos are generally under five minutes, while long-form videos can be anywhere from five minutes to an hour or more.

You'll see a lot more short-form videos on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, whereas YouTube or company websites work best for long-form videos. 

Benefits of Short-Form Video

1. Reach shorter attention spans 

In a world with answers at our fingertips, our attention span seems to be getting shorter and shorter - this is why short-form video is so compelling. Short-form content is designed to be quick, digestible, and shareable. 

Consider how popular memes and GIFs have become online today. Why is this? Because consumers value snackable and entertaining content, the same rule applies to video. In addition, optimizing short-form video means you can produce regular content that grabs attention quickly, leading to more brand awareness over time. 

2. Easily shareable across social media channels

Short-form video is the number one choice on most social media platforms - and with 3.6 billion active users, sharing more short-form content across the map is the way to go. The good news is that apps like TikTok, or Instagram's version - IG Reels, make creating this type of content relatively easy on your own.

For the most part, you can easily share the same video to multiple platforms with minimal time or financial investment. 

3. Works well for social media ad campaigns

For both reasons noted above, short-form video works incredibly well for social media ad campaigns. By nature, ads are typically short and sweet, so if they don't capture an audience's interest quickly, they tend to scroll to the next thing without hesitation. 

Short-form video ads have become a powerful marketing tool for brands to promote products, drive engagement, and get a high ROI - sometimes in 60 seconds or less.

Benefits of Long-Form Video

1. An opportunity for storytelling

Long-form content provides a greater opportunity for brands to tell their story and create an emotional connection with their audience. Leveraging storytelling marketing is one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd and build a strong brand identity.

With a longer video, you have more time (and control) over your brand message and what you want to convey to your audience. 

2. Provides value

Similar to blog posts, long-form video provides extra value, establishes authority, and boosts your SEO in the algorithms. 

Suppose you can retain your audience's attention for more extended periods. In that case, they are far more likely to view you as a source of information and an expert in your niche, providing a sense of community and exceptional value. 

3. Easily repurpose into snack-sized content

Just as you can easily share short videos across social media channels, you can easily repurpose a long-form video into snack-sized content.

Repurposing long-form to short-form involves a "slice and dice" approach - basically, you break down a video into shorter clips and use them as an entirely different piece of content. For example, from a single long-form video, you can create social media posts, newsletter or blog content, and more. 

Short-form vs. Long-form Video: Other Things to Consider

1. Your audience

Before choosing between short and long-form videos, consider where your target audience hangs out online. From there, you can determine what video length is better suited based on which platforms you'll promote the content.

For example, if you're trying to reach members of Gen Z, you might find more engagement on TikTok or Instagram with a quick video that entertains and engages. On the other hand, if you're trying to reach a more segmented audience to connect and educate, a longer video will be more beneficial. 

2. The type of video

Having a clear purpose for your video will help you decide on the type of video to create. 

For example, if your goal is to show your audience how to create a website, you will unlikely achieve that in under 60 seconds. If you simply want to show them 3 different web hosting platforms they can try out, a quick video guide will serve that purpose just as well. 

3. Your Budget

Your budget is the last thing to consider when choosing whether to produce short or long-form video content. Can you afford to hire a professional videographer to film your product or brand videos? If not, you may be looking to prepare all your marketing in-house. 

Whether you're able to invest in services or planning to utilize free tools (there are a lot of them!) to produce your videos, knowing your budget will impact what type of video to use in your business.

Ultimately, the best video length will vary depending on your unique business goals. Remember to test different types of video, analyze content performance, and be flexible with your video marketing strategy. 

Need a little help? Get in touch to get started on your next video project today.
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