Traditional wisdom says “the shorter the better” when it comes to online video. After all, nobody has time to watch 30 minute clips anymore, right? Not so fast! Long-form videos can be an effective way to market a company — when they’re used correctly.
In this article, we’ll explain what long-form video actually is, why it’s beneficial, and how to create it effectively. Let’s dive in!
What is Long-Form Video?
A long-form video is a piece of video content that’s longer than the average. What constitutes as average depends on the distribution channel being used.
For example, at the time of this writing, the average video on YouTube runs 11.7 minutes. With this in mind, a 15 minute video would we considered long-form, as would videos that run for 30 minutes, an hour, etc. Conversely, videos that run less than 11.7 minutes would be short-form.
The Benefits of Long-Form Video Content
So why would you want to create long-from content? Since human attention spans seem to be shrinking at an alarming rate, wouldn’t it make more sense to create shorter videos? The answer is, it depends on your business and your unique customer base.
But there are a few distinct advantages to creating long-form video content. They are:
While people may watch more short-form videos than their long-form counterparts, long-form video wins the audience engagement prize by a landslide.
A recent study showed that videos exceeding 15 minutes in length account for 50% of video engagement — even though roughly 80% of videos created have run times of less than 5 minutes. Obviously, people engage most with longer, more in-depth content.
The fact that long-form video boosts audience engagement isn’t surprising. The extra minutes you spend in front of the camera will allow you to deliver more value to your viewers.
By educating or entertaining your target market on topics that interest them, you’ll be able to reach new potential customers and build relationships with them. When they’re ready to buy a product you sell, your company will be top of mind. It’s content marketing 101. But it only works if you deliver consistent value. Long-form video will give you this opportunity.
These days, consumers don’t just buy products. They invest in companies that align with their values, belief systems, and world views. By creating long-form videos that showcase what your brand stands for, you’ll be able to connect with your target market on an emotional level.
5 Tips for Better Long-Form Videos
Long-form videos should have a place in every company’s marketing strategy. But before you go shoot your next half-hour masterpiece, take a look at the five tips below. Our advice will ensure your long-form video efforts have the greatest chance for success.
1. Have Something to Say
Long-form videos can benefit your company in a variety of ways. But creating longer content for the sake of it won’t help you. If you don’t have something worth saying for 15+ minutes, you’ll be better off creating short, snappy videos.
So before you hit record, make sure that you have enough value-giving information prepared. This will ensure that your audience actually watches your long-form videos and engages with them.
2. Create Relatable Characters
By creating a relatable character for your long-form videos, you’ll be able to distinguish your brand from the competition. You’ll become the “company with the monkey videos” instead of “that one company that sells X widget.”
This is one of the reasons that GEICO has a gecko for a mascot, or that sports apparel brands like Nike and Adidas pay professional athletes to endorse their products.
To be clear, you don’t have to wrack your brain and create the next Indiana Jones or Harry Potter for your videos. You don’t need a beloved fictional character to succeed with long-form video content. Instead, you just need a character that your audience can relate to.
For example, you could create a character that faces the same problems that your target market does and show them overcoming their challenges using your company’s product. It’s that easy!
3. Write a Series
While crafting a series with ongoing topics and themes will require more effort and creative energy, the benefits of doing so will probably be worth it.
You’ll be able to get more mileage out of your characters this way, and you’ll give your audience a reason to watch the next video, and the next one after that. The more you can keep your target market watching, the better.
Patagonia has done a great job of this with its Worn Wear series of long-form videos. Each clip features Patagonia customers who talk about their love for their brand and how Patagonia clothing has impacted their lives.
4. Partner With Other Brands
Make the creation and promotion of long-form video content easier by partnering with other organizations that serve a similar audience to your company.
For example, if your company sold denim jeans, you could partner with a footwear brand to create long-form video content. Your characters could wear products from both organizations and talk about their experiences in front of the camera.
You could also try partnering with publishing and/or content creation companies to develop interesting stories. What if your denim brand connected with a top men’s fashion blog and worked with them to create a series of videos featuring your jeans?
Your company would benefit from the exposure and the fashion blog would benefit from having new content to create and promote to its audience.
5. Pay Attention to Your Metrics
Finally, you need to pay attention to your metrics when creating long-form video content — just like you do with email and social media marketing strategies. If you don’t have a firm grasp of your metrics, it will be nearly impossible to improve your results.
So look at how many people are watching your videos, how long they watch for, and what they do after consuming your content. Then adjust your strategy based on your findings.
2 Brands Who’ve Perfected the Art of Long-Form Video Content
You now have a pretty good idea of how to create winning long-form video content. But before we let you go, let’s look at a couple of brands that are already crushing it with this medium:
MailChimp is known for fun, off-the-wall marketing campaigns. So it should come as no surprise to see them featured here. The email marketing company’s MailChimp Presents series aims to inspire its target market of marketing professionals and entrepreneurs.
Many of these well-edited videos could be considered mini-documentaries, as they feature business owners talking about their rise to success.
InVision, a popular design tool, shares many videos on its blog that teach its audience about general design principles and best-practices, how to use InVision products, and more. These tutorials are often lengthy and feature a ton of value for viewers.
One of our favorite InVision long-form video examples is its Design Systems Manager Masterclass, which is a 6-part series that includes over two hours of content.
Promote Your Organization With Long-Form Video
Long-form video content has the ability to increase engagement, provide more value to viewers, and help your company better brand itself. But to succeed with this marketing medium, you have to keep our five tips in mind:
- Have Something to Say
- Create Relatable Characters
- Write a Series
- Partner With Other Brands
- Pay attention to your Metrics
If you do that, you should be able to find success with long-form videos and reach your audience in a new and exciting way. Good luck!
Here’s the thing: long form video, while beneficial, can be difficult to store and organize. That’s why you need a tool like CleanPix. Our digital asset management (DAM) solution makes it easy to archive your video content, locate it when needed, and distribute it wherever you want.
Try CleanPix for free for 14 days. We’re confident you’ll love its powerful features and intuitive interface — just like our many other customers do!