Long or Short Form Videos

Weighing in on the Social Video Debate

When Instagram killed off IGTV and Netflix announced it was losing subscribers, many mistook that for the 13th reason why long-form video was dead and buried.

Spoiler: it wasn’t. TikTok’s breathed new life into the arena with three- and ten-minute video formats. Plus, Insta’s made video lengths unlimited.

But with Reels, Stories, and snappy content still cutting through the noise, which horse do you back? Long or short-form videos?

With 4.6B scrolling socials daily, and 50M considering themselves influencers, social media platforms are, in a word, saturated.  How, in a feed more crowded than the Waterloo and City Line on Monday morning, can you stand out? How can you be sure your content stops that thumb? First off, you’ve gotta choose the right format.

Ask yourself, which is right for me? Which hits the brief best? Read on to hear our in-house production team’s take.

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WHY SHORT-FORM VIDEO FORMAT IS THE BEST

This year, 82% of global internet traffic is set to come from streaming videos and downloads, with the average person spending 100 minutes per day consuming them.

With these odds, you’ve got to fight to be heard, fending off the Netflix trailers and football highlights.

It’s the worst kept secret in the social video sphere that you have 0.05 seconds to grab your audience’s attention, so short-form videos are often the go-to.

To increase your chances of traction, you can target your content to people on the move, on the phone, and on the gram. Data shows viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, so keeping it short will help. Another reason for shorts is because the limitations force you to get creative with it… not that we need telling twice.

As a whole, our attention span has dropped by a quarter in 15 years. So, with less than 10 seconds to play with, you’ve really got to spit it out. And when you think about it, mobile phones are quite literally fit for short-form purpose.

“Short form video content can be consumed anywhere — from on the bus, to waiting for a friend, to while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.”

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WHY LONG-FORM VIDEO FORMAT IS THE BEST

Saying that, short-form videos come with their own constraints. When delivering campaign content, squeezing in an engaging narrative, strong branding, and an effective CTA in six seconds isn’t always easy.

“If you already have a highly engaged audience then a more long form video format can often promote even more brand loyalty — you are giving them a deep dive into the thing that they love.”

Long-form content is worth its weight in ROI, times ten. If you can bag yourself a top-of-the-range video editor (like us), you can use cutdowns to formulate paid ads. Plus, behind the scenes B-roll content can be remixed for different platforms.

Digging into the data, we’ll find out where your target demographic lies, and pinpoint the perfect form for you. Where’s the drop off point? What’s the engagement like? How are you measuring campaign success? Throw ‘em all together and we’ll work out which form will pack the most punch.

OUR TAKE

So, the answer? Both. Hit us up to tailor your production plan so you’re never missing another pillar again.

Send us a brief