In today's digital age, where data and technology reign supreme, understanding consumer behavior is crucial for businesses aiming to deliver personalized experiences and cultivate brand loyalty. One of the most dynamic and engaging ways to connect with your audience is through video marketing. However, therein lies the question: do you shoot for long-form or short-form content? In this blog, we'll delve into the world of video marketing and explore the advantages and considerations of both formats.
MAIN FACTORS TO CONSIDER
When deciding between long-form and short-form content, several factors must be considered:
- Audience: Who is your target audience, and what kind of content do they prefer?
- Purpose: What is the goal of your video? Are you educating, entertaining, or promoting a product?
- Type: Is your content a tutorial, testimonial, product demo, or something else entirely?
- Budget: Longer videos may require more resources, so budget constraints can be a significant factor.
- Channels Utilized: Which platforms are you utilizing, and how do they accommodate your chosen format?
When it comes to video marketing, the potential for shareability can't be overlooked. Short-form videos, typically ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes, have the upper hand in this department. They are more likely to be shared across social media platforms, reaching a broader audience in a shorter amount of time. The bite-sized nature of short-form content makes it highly shareable, as viewers can quickly consume and pass it along to their network.
Each platform has its own quirks and audience expectations. Certain platforms are perfect for long-form educational content, while others thrive on short, visually appealing videos. Some platforms even cater to a mix of both. To maximize your reach and engagement, it's essential to tailor your content to fit the platform you're using:
- TikTok –TikTok is currently the number one, most downloaded app in the world and purely exists as a user-generated content tool. The king of short-form video content hosts a user-friendly content creation platform with an algorithm that focuses on personalization and suggests videos based on the users’ likes and interests. The ideal video length is between 11 and 17 seconds.
- Facebook Reels – Out of all the platforms, Facebook grants the widest potential audience, reaching 2 billion daily active users. Reels reach isn’t limited to how many like or follow your page. Reels exist in their own section on the site where it can reach scrollers organically.
- Instagram Reels – Since their both owned by Meta, Instagram Reels operate on a similar level as Facebook Reels. The length of these videos can range anywhere between 15 and 90 seconds. Reels make up over 20% of time users spend on the app. This a popular feature for brands, as they’re encouraged to showcase their products creatively and efficiently in a short window.
- YouTube Shorts – As one of the pioneer websites for user-generated, viral video content, YouTube’s impact can’t be overstated. While the platform is commonly known for long-form videos, its ‘Shorts’ allows for repurposing content. Your business can slice longer videos into several bite-sized, digestible shorts for quick scrollers.
BOTH STRATEGIES NEED A PLACE IN YOUR MARKETING PLAN
It’s important to know that there's no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to video marketing. A lot of the content decision-making and frequency depend on established goals. Is your FI team looking to grow your customer/member base, be thought leaders in the industry or reduce common service questions? When it comes to your video content, long-form and short-form each have their own unique strengths, and both deserve a place in your marketing plan:
- Long-form videos allow you to dive deep into a topic, establish authority, and engage with your audience on a more profound level. They're ideal for tutorials, webinars, and in-depth product reviews.
- Short-form videos are fantastic for capturing attention quickly, conveying key messages, and leveraging trends and virality. They work wonders for brand awareness and engaging with a fast-scrolling social media audience.
VIDEO MARKETING BEST PRACTICES
Some quick, easy and impactful tips to help improve engagement and SEO for your videos:
- Keep it Short – Don’t let your videos be overlong and risk losing the viewers' attention. Create quick and punchy videos that get straight to your point.
- Use Keywords – Ask yourself: What are people looking for? Research and apply relevant keywords to your videos to increase your findability when users are searching for answers to more common questions.
- Include Subtitles – Never underestimate the subtitles. In fact, on Facebook, 85% of videos are watched without sound. Many people watch videos on the go, resulting in them watching with no sound. Subtitles give you the edge, and viewers the context, in video engagement.
- Have a Call-to-Action – Your video content should always inspire viewers to act. Your CTA can be anything, from wanting the viewer to learn something or convincing them to buy a product or visit your website. The latter options result in measurable engagement.
- Use Eye-Catching Thumbnails – Oftentimes, engagement comes before audiences click on your video. Design expressive thumbnails and titles that will catch the users’ attention, so they’ll want to engage. Be careful not to over-design thumbnails, however. Your imagery and fonts should be relatively influenced by your brand standards.
FORM YOUR PERFECT VIDEO MARKETING STRATEGY
In the end, it's not a matter of choosing between long-form and short-form content, but rather integrating both into your strategy. Neither format is inherently "better" than the other; their effectiveness depends on the context and your specific goals. To create a successful video marketing strategy, consider your audience, purpose, content type, budget, and the platforms you plan to utilize. By aligning your content with these considerations, you can make informed decisions about when to opt for a captivating short video or a comprehensive long-form piece. In the end, it's about using the right tool for the job and crafting a strategy that maximizes your reach and engagement while resonating with your target audience.