Long-Form or Short-Form Video – What’s Best for Your Marketing?

Are your goals for your marketing videos to capture attention and build brand awareness? Or do you want to build authority and lasting relationships? Or all of the above? 

As with any type of marketing, your objectives will dictate what message delivery channels to use and how often, and in the case of marketing videos, whether your business should use short-form video, long-form video or a mix of both.

Here are the basics for short-form and long-form video for your business, and which you should choose if your budget says you have to.

Short-Form Marketing Videos

Short-form videos are 60 seconds or less and are created primarily for social media, usually in a square or vertical format. 

When you’re swiping through videos on YouTube, TikTok or Instagram, you’re watching short-form videos. The popularity of short-form video content has exploded with the expansion of these platforms and has become an essential tactic for many businesses. The allure of short-form is likely to continue to increase as people’s attention spans become shorter and shorter, which is a nearly inescapable aspect of our modern society.

As I mentioned earlier, short-form videos are great for capturing attention and building brand awareness. They’re also good for generating quick results – likes, page follows and messages to your business. 

Here’s an example of a short-form customer testimonial video Capture created for Cavallo, a business software developer and integrator:

And here’s a golf tip video Capture created for Neuropeak Pro, a company that produces sports training devices and mobile apps :

As good as short-form videos are, their effectiveness dies out within a few days or even a few hours. This is due to how the social media platforms’ algorithms work and how people interact with the videos. The algorithms strive to keep people on the platforms, so they don’t show the same content repeatedly when people are swiping through. Instead, the algorithms want to continually serve fresh content to their users. As a result, new short-form content is rewarded by the algorithms but its exposure trails off quickly. 

For longer-lasting engagement, and engagement over greater periods of time, consider incorporating long-form videos into your overall marketing strategy.

Long-Form Marketing Videos

Long-form videos can be as short as 2 minutes or as long as 10; the length ultimately depends on the complexity of the message or the knowledge you’re trying to convey.

Regardless of length, long-form videos have a more complete structure or story to them. They usually begin with an intro or hook, followed by the informative content of the video and, finally, a call to action. 

As I mentioned earlier, long-form video really excels at building authority and lasting relationships. The longer format allows you to really demonstrate your expertise on particular subjects, which is much harder to do with short-form video for obvious reasons. For example, check out this long-form video Capture created for Grilla Grills, which supports the company’s bona fides as a grilling expert:

And here’s another long-form video for Grilla Grills that provides in-depth education about one of its products:

Long-form video also is really good for search engine optimization (SEO); it can help your business rank higher on YouTube, improve your rank on Google and even increase the on-page time for your website and blog.

So where should you put long-form videos? They work great on websites, blog pages and, of course, YouTube. You can even use them on your social media platforms, but I recommend using a short-form teaser pulled from the long-form video rather than the long-form video in its entirety, along with a link to the full video.

The only real downside to long-form content is that sometimes it takes a while for it to rank well in YouTube and Google searches. But if you have a good evergreen video strategy, your videos could generate views and leads for your business years after you've posted them.

Reports of Long-Form’s Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated

Contrary to what many people are saying these days, long-form video is alive, well and contributing significantly to the success of companies that use it.

In fact, I’d argue long-form video is a better investment for most businesses because it attracts more qualified leads. Whether it covers popular questions in your industry, delivers education about your market segment in general or provides information about your specific product, people actively search for content that is ideal for this format. And when they find it (your marketing video), they intend to watch it. Ultimately, the engagement is going to last longer and they’re more likely to come back to your business for more information later.

Short-Form? Long-Form? Both?

So what’s best for your business, short-form marketing videos or long-form marketing videos? 

Some of both is ideal. 

However, if you need to choose just one format due to budgetary, time or other constraints, I'd recommend short-form video for business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing and long-form video for business-to-business (B2B) marketing. Here’s why:

Individual consumers are much more impulsive with their buying decisions than businesses or organizations. In addition, they’re constantly on their social media feeds, swiping through and watching videos that catch their eyes. That, in turn, results in more short-term sales for B2C companies.

Meanwhile, there’s more intent with someone who is actually seeking a service or product for their business from another business. Since long-form delivers more information, and more in-depth information, it’s the better option for B2B marketing.

Have Your Long Video and Short Videos, Too

One approach to tackling both short- and long-form is to film, edit and present a long-form video first, then edit it into separate short-form clips. Drop the new short-form videos into square or vertical formats, add captions and post. This way you get the benefits of both forms of content while offsetting some of the drawbacks. You'll get quick results with the short-form video clips, but over time the long-form video will start to rank and provide more qualified leads.

Capture Can Help

There’s a lot more to be said and learned about short-form and long-form marketing videos, so let us know what questions you have in the comments section below. Until then, thank you reading/watching, and I’ll see you in the next video.

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