May 29, 2019

Why Long-Form Video Content Is The Future

A consumer’s behaviour when engaging with content is changing and marketers are noticing that they must adapt their content accordingly.

  • Adopting long-form video will help generate brand loyalty from key audiences through the creation of real connections.
  • In the past, short-form was thought to be the best medium to engage millennials, based on the assumption that they would be unable to concentrate for more than a 15-30 second advertisement.

Recent studies show that 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 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.

The assumption that advertising needs to be in line with the apparent shorter concentration span from millennials is lacking sufficient evidence and the likes of Netflix and Hulu are demonstrating that, given the right content, millennials are perfectly capable of concentrating for longer periods of time.

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

Why is it so successful?

We live in a mobile-first world:

The expectation for the future is that consumers will have access to high-quality video content wherever they go and thanks to mobile phones, this expectation is already fast becoming a reality. When considering the rush hour commute, 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 a mobile phone, thanks to a number of reasons: public WiFi, improved video delivery, unlimited data plans, and download.

Man on phone

Long-form video is everywhere:

With approximately 1.59 billion monthly active users, it is safe to say that Facebook is one of the biggest social media platforms and despite recent fake news issues it has been dealing with, it still remains to be a key influencer for other social channels. Generally, what becomes mainstream on Facebook will also become mainstream elsewhere on social media.

Since 2017, Facebook has been encouraging long-form video content, with the maximum video length being 240 minutes. Long-form video is not just seen on social media, but is equally accessible on TV commercials. Despite most only being 100+ seconds, in relative terms compared to other TV ads, they are increasing in length and doing so effectively.

Long-form drives connection with consumers:

There is more opportunity to build communities and relationships when sharing a long-form video. In the eye of the consumer, this connection built between them and the brand may just be the main differentiator between competing brands.

Due to the abundance of comparison sites, if a consumer is in their purchase journey, they are able to easily compare price, quality, and reviews of a product or service. However, the connection they feel to the brand selling that product or service is incomparable and crucial to completing the sale.

The key to forming a connection with consumers is telling a real story, and when a brand decides to use long-form video content, they have more room to tell a really engaging story. Instead of stopping at the creation of brand awareness, a longer story has the ability to persuade consumers to change the way they think.

Improves a brand’s SEO:

Long-form videos have more opportunity to cover a topic very comprehensively, which allows for more search words in the video’s metadata. In addition, as a result of using longer videos, visitors should be on the brand’s website for a longer period of time. Both of these outcomes will send positive engagement signals back to the search engines, which present that page as relevant for targeted search terms.

It can be a useful assurance for leads:

If a consumer is interested in watching a long-form video that is, for example, 10 minutes long, out of their own time, then they are quite likely to be a lead that would also be willing to make a purchase soon.

Examining engagement analytics will help brands learn more about these leads: who are they, where are they, and what part of the video did they engage with most? This insight can be useful in follow-up calls and emails so that brands can provide consumers with a more focused and relevant conversation.