Video content. Is longer better?

Renderforest, an online video maker, found in January 2019 that 20% of viewers on average give videos 10 seconds or less before scrolling on. In the past, studies have promoted bitesize content to engage the consumer; using flashing images and bright colours to capture the Twitter generation who cannot stomach more than 140 characters at a time. How can brand-presence be established under such restrictive parameters?

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September 9, 2019

James Pierechod

But times are changing. Social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, are investing in long-form video content and, according to Socialinsider’s data of May 2019, the optimal length for Facebook videos is between two and five minutes. Visual media trends are changing, and video production along with it.

Huge success can be had from investment in long-format video. The Adidas Tango Squad FC YouTube series, a brand-promoting documentary of twelve episodes achieved 32.7 million cross-platform views.

Adidas Tango Squad FC – Extended Trailer

Their website asserts they have cultivated “Netflix levels of addiction for a brand”, and as Netflix has grown to have nearly 150 million subscribers in 2019, is longer video content paving the way for visual marketing?

There is still uncertainty as to the reliability of long-form content as opposed to media under 30 seconds long. The success of the snackable cannot be denied, as consumers scroll there are only moments for a product to make an impression. A 30 second video we produced for  Marks & Spencer’s ‘Best ever steak pie’ resulted in the pastry becoming their fastest ever selling product of all time!

M&S Best Ever Steak Pie – M&S’s fastest ever selling product

However, as each product differs, so should its marketing. Long-form video content provides an opportunity to establish a narrative and provide some personality to a product. Brand names can evolve into stories, while consumers can find out who you are, not just what you do.

Booths Quinta de la Rosa Port – Delivered 25% sales uplift

This longer video we produced brought a 25% sales uplift for Booth’s line of Quinta de la Rosa port. Running at over 6 minutes, we were able to tell a story and establish an emotional connection between the brand and viewer. It proves that there is a time and a place for the long-form video.

So, strike a balance. Different platforms demand varying formats: if short-form is for views, long-form video is for watches. The two need not compete, but work in tandem. Using a combination of long-form and its condensed counterpart opens up a cross-platform reach, hooking the viewer in with a quick attention grabber to building powerful and enduring emotional connections.