July 19, 2019

Are longer videos better for engagement?

Over the last few years, content creators have been obsessed with short and sweet videos. Reason being that audiences are bound to watch short videos to the end as compared to long ones. Businesses have believed that video completion is the key metric, but message delivery has proven to be the metric that matters.

Long-form, documentary-style video content: what is it?

Long-form video content is any content that runs for longer than the average internet clip — typically, this means that the content runs for at least ten minutes, sometimes longer.

Why is this format so successful? Simple — it allows the creator to tell a full, cohesive story.

Storytelling is the crux of all advertising. Good stories connect people to one another and can be used to add a level of humanity and personality to any business or advertising campaign. Stories are hard to tell in less than a minute; but, given enough time to have a beginning, middle, and end, stories can be unbelievably powerful.

Sure, long-form content may not be great for the average click-happy internet user — but it is great for conversions. Someone who clicks on a twenty or thirty-minute long video is much more likely to be invested in the topic than someone who happened to see a thirty-second clip on Facebook. In this case, longer content might actually mean more conversions.

We aren't the only ones who've noticed. Reputable companies such as MailChimp and Wistia have proven eager to jump onto this marketing bandwagon, creating their own long-form video content — and you can too, whether you know it or not.

How Long-Form Video Content Has Made A Comeback

If we told you 10, 20, and 30 minute videos are great for engagement, you wouldn't believe us, but think about it. If a person is willing to dedicate up to 30 minutes of their time on your content, this means your business has adequately captured their attention. The truth is, long-form video leads to higher engagement and here's why:

The Benefits Of Long-Form Video Content:

  • consumers are device-agnostic
  • long-form video is everywhere
  • builds relationships & community
  • SEO friendly
  • great business lead qualifier

Why are social channels now focused on long-form content?

Today, long-form videos are the in thing. It is reported that Facebook spent $1billion in 2018 for lengthier content. Google reverted to original YouTube programming, spending millions of dollars. Twitter has also invested heavily in live video streaming. Instagram got onto the band-wagon with its IGTV offering. Snapchat is now featuring shows from major media companies.

The outdoor gear retailer REI released a forty-minute long special about a man named Paul who passed away before he could live his dream: to hike the Appalachian Trail. The story is touching, beautiful, and relevant to REI's purpose and message. With well over a million views on YouTube, the project was an overwhelming success.

research conducted by ThinkNow Research data indicates that, over the last few years audiences have been gravitating towards longer content. 61percent of the adult American population regularly watches shows on Netflix.  33 and 24 percent on Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu respectively. This proves that a large portion of the adult population has become accustomed to watching lengthier content.

More consumers are now watching online videos on mobile devices. It is estimated that by 2021, 84 percent of internet users will be ardent consumers of video content. About 83 percent of them will be viewing them on mobile devices. Hence the demand for digital videos is expected to increase in coming years.

What is future of long-form videos?

The use of lengthier videos on social media is relatively new. However, as cited by eMarketer, 40 percent of US consumers stream videos on social channels and 52percent of consumers do so worldwide. This indicates that use of longer videos is expected to grow in coming years.

Increase in advertising demand, a surge younger consumers and change in audience behavior are clear indicators that longer videos on social channels are here to stay.


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