Sep 03, 2019

The 5 W's Of Long Form Video Content

Audiences are no longer restricted by an eight-second attention span, consumer behaviour is changing and brands should adapt their content accordingly.

  • Adopting long-form video content will help to generate brand loyalty from key audiences through the creation of real connections.
  • In the past, short-form was always thought to be the best medium to engage millennials, based on the assumption that they were unable to concentrate for more than a 15-30 second advertisement.
  • Audiences can consume content in many forms and across many channels, but to stand out and engage, brands should adopt long-form video so that they can generate key audience loyalty and begin to build a lasting relationship with them.

The average user spends 88% more time on a website that makes use of video content.

This statistic alone should be enough to demonstrate to brands how much more engaging video content is to the majority of demographics - it is a more digestible, engaging, and captivating marketing strategy.


Research has previously indicated that video was largely ignored, with only 30% of B2B marketers believing that the use of video would be crucial to their content marketing success in 2017. 

However, Internet video traffic now accounts for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic with large, well-known brands like Patagonia leading the way by incorporating long-form video into their marketing strategy with great success. 

A video that is not restricted to the old school 15-30 second ad has more room to tell a real story, it has a better opportunity to create emotional connections with an audience than, for example, long and daunting pieces of text - one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

This ability to tell an in-depth story will create more brand awareness, it presents an opportunity to change how a consumer views the brand. Using video can take an audience on a journey, educating, whilst entertaining. If a brand wants a key message to be taken away by its consumers, video is without a doubt an efficient way to achieve this.

80% of users can recall a video ad that they viewed in the last 30 days.


“We’re finding that there’s a linear relationship with the length of the film and the engagement - people are engaging more with long-form.” Jamie Creedland, Senior Vice Marketing President of Strategy and Marketing, Unilever.

The assumption that advertising needs to be in line with the apparent shorter concentration span of millennials, is lacking sufficient evidence. The likes of Netflix and Hulu are demonstrating that, given the right content, millennials are perfectly capable of concentrating for longer periods of time. In a society where the majority of conversations revolve around sharing opinions on what has been streamed the night before, there is a lot of opportunity for brands to learn about the power long-form video has to excite, move, and connect audiences worldwide.

Following this, expectations for the future are that consumers will have access to high-quality video content, whether that’s Netflix, YouTube or IGTV, wherever they go and thanks to mobile phones, this expectation is already fast becoming a reality. When considering the rush hour commute, for example, there is always at least one person on the train that is watching a video on their phone. It has now become the ‘norm’ to access media wherever people are. Longer videos are no longer an issue to view on mobile, thanks to a number of reasons: public WiFi, improved video delivery, unlimited data plans and download. Ultimately, due to the development of technology and changing consumer behaviour, long-form video is and will increasingly be everywhere.


As previously stated, millennials are capable of concentrating for longer than the typical short-form advertisement, and as a result, marketers must alter their content to provide this key demographic with what they will engage with the most. The McCarthy Group found that in fact, 84% of millennials do not like the traditional, shorter form of marketing, with their main reason being a lack of trust towards these advertisements. Furthermore, in a survey conducted by Adweek, 57% of millennials were willing to view content from a brand on the basis that it showcased authentic personalities, is entertaining and provides value.

By 2020 millennials will make up more than 50% of the UK workforce, they are the key demographic for marketers to target, and long-form video is the best way to achieve this, and the time to act is now.


Long-form video content provides brands with a chance to engage viewers. According to One Story, 92% of consumers want brands to make their advertisements feel like a story, and realistically this cannot successfully be achieved through a 15-30 second ad.

After watching long-form video content, a viewer is almost five times more likely to continue engagement with that content than after watching a short-form video. In the eye of the consumer, the connection built between them and the brand which uses longer videos may just be the main differentiator between competing brands, what will set them apart are those that invest the time in building communities and relationships.


It has been said once, it has been said time and time again, Patagonia is setting the benchmark for brands that want to incorporate long-form video into their marketing strategy.

A well-known value of Patagonia’s brand experience is the way they use their business to inspire and put into action solutions that better the environment. A key way they are doing this is through encouraging their consumers to keep their clothing for as long as possible, passing them on to loved ones after desired use, instead of disposing of them.

This message is very different and surprising from a clothing brand, given the rise of fast fashion, as one would assume they would prefer people to dispose of and then make further purchases of their items. However, Patagonia’s passion for the environment and adventure resonates clearly through their actions and messages to consumers. Their project that inspires consumers to recycle and reuse their Patagonia gear not only demonstrates the quality of the items they sell but also makes the consumer part of the story they are telling. To stimulate awareness for this project, Patagonia created the short film, ‘Worn Wear’.

This video shares the story of a handful of Patagonia customers along with the story behind their clothes. The ages range from 11 to 30+ so they can target a variety of audiences and each clip features a well-worn and well-loved Patagonia item with the story attached to that item. 

“The most responsible thing you can do is buy used clothes.”

This video has received over 600,000 views on YouTube and demonstrates the opportunity that comes with long-form videos. Brands can tell captivating stories that encompass their brand’s ethos or mission. Consumers now strongly believe in shared values between themselves and the brand they are buying into and long-form provides a clear pathway to show consumers that there are mutual values.

Long-form video is a great opportunity for marketers to connect with their audiences on a deeper level as it provides context, value and entertainment, and Patagonia is just one example of a brand setting the bar for what is to come.