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When it comes to technology in general, we have a fairly on/off relationship with most devices. It’s easy to remember a time when Blackberry dominated the mobile phone industry. When DVD’s were commonplace, CD’s too, floppy disks, remember those? As much as our love has waned for others, we have always watched and enjoyed online video content. 

The personal touch that can be created through a great video can’t be replicated. Whether we are watching excited dogs on social media, ridiculous dances on TikTok or a Louis Theroux documentary on the television, video content is awesome. As we continue to move increasingly online, video gives us a splash of the offline, of real-life, from our comfy chairs, is that why we love it?

Knowing how to use online video isn’t as simple as just throwing something together and chucking it onto the internet. Plenty of planning, a responsive and flexible content strategy and knowledge of your demographic are all key before you implement video content within your business.

In this blog, we’re offering our advice on how to utilise video within your business. We’ll talk long and short-form video content and, the newest of the bunch for social media, live video. So, pens at the ready as we take a walk through the world of online video.

Definitions 🤓

To fall into the classification of short-form online video, your content has to be under ten minutes in length. So whether it’s the five-minute step by step recipe video on how to use your product or a three-minute music video or advert, these are both short-form videos. Anything that falls even shorter is sometimes called a ‘snackable video’ or ‘snackable content’. This is due to our desire not to digest the full content featured, but instead, we choose to snack on it when and where we have time.

Snackable content would be TikTok videos, Snapchats, Instagram Stories, etc. So basically, the content you see every day and love to waste your time watching. From cute videos of puppies, ‘Can I Pet That Dog’, to a marketing sell on Instagram. The world loves snackable content, and we are sure you do too even if you don’t notice how many you see in a day.

Anything over 10 minutes is a long-form video. This could be a Q&A session, an interview, or pretty much anything you can keep interesting for that long.

As well as these three forms of content, we’ll also talk about live online video. But let’s not delve into that too much yet, live online video can fall into all three formats.

Which one 🤔

It’s essential to remember that your message should dictate the length of each video. If you have plenty to stay, then go ahead and spread the message. Of course, certain forms of video are more effective on different platforms. So your platform of choice will also dictate the length of the content you post.

Think of it this way, if you were going up to accept an Oscar, the likelihood is you’d have a lot to say. That moment wouldn’t be a snackable piece of content; people will want to hear who you have to thank etc. At the same time, if you are still up there ten minutes later, the audience will be half asleep. In an interview afterwards, people want to know and hear more, that’s when it becomes long-form content. It’s all about the message.

Snackable 🍿

You should always be using snackable content. Integrating it here, there and everywhere. From funny TikTok’s to informative Instagram Stories, this is not only because of the love the audience has for snackables but also because they are usually quite easy to make. 

Something that you consider meaningless, a coffee machine churning out the morning brew, can make great snackable content. Think on your feet, be careful not to offend and keep it laughable and light-hearted. You’ll be fine.

Short-form ⏩

A short-form video is potentially the most powerful when executed correctly. This type of content is flexible and used almost anywhere. Whether it’s a great introduction to your business that lives on your website or a brilliant new product launch video you’re sending out via email. Short-form video is malleable but it should hit the spot. 

The most successful short-form videos are generally between one minute thirty and two minutes. In this time, you can build a narrative of what the video is about, create conflict and resolve the whole thing without the viewer switching off. Sounds great, right?

Longform 🎬

Longform video is the hardest to pull off. When introducing long-form within your marketing, you need to always think about your audience. If you are going to build a long piece of content, which will likely be expensive to make, you want people to be watching. Planning is essential.

The most common execution of long-form content in the marketing sector is usually Q&A, interview-style videos. With something like an interview, you can pre-determine the length of time you will be recording, which means longer content is achievable. However, when a business integrates long-form video as a purely narrative piece, it usually avoids focusing on the company or product involved and focuses on story-telling. Most of the time, the product will only become noticeable once you understand the underlying themes in the video itself. Think of all those emotional heart-filled adverts you see that end up being for McDonald’s.

We’re live 🚨

In the last year, live video content has become more popular than ever. If you haven’t seen “has gone live” pop up on your Instagram feed, you must have been hiding under a rock.

Live video puts your business closer to the consumer than any other form of content. It allows real-time interaction with your customers, which is invaluable if used correctly. You are far more likely to see live video used for short or long-form content, and the possibilities are pretty much endless. 

Take a look back to 2016, when live video was in its infancy. LadBible managed to accumulate 4 million viewers on a video that had four ice lollies melting in the sun. People absolutely loved it. Eighty thousand of the viewers hung around for a full 36 minutes to see which delicious treat would emerge the champion. If you haven’t seen the video, spoiler alert, it was the Magnum, who, let’s be honest, is the king of ice lollies anyway, or is it an ice cream?

What this bizarre live video did was give personality to LadBible as a brand, and that’s precisely what live video could do for you.

Decision time 😲

In case you’re still undecided, they all do a brilliant job of building your brand’s reputation, even if short-form and snackable content are more popular.

Here are some extra bits of info that might sway your all-important decisions:

  1. Short-form can lead to long-form. Shorter content can be used as a trailer for the more substantial and meaty longer video. Having a short introduction allows people to draw their conclusions about whether they want to commit to longer content. This is a one-way relationship; think about it. You wouldn’t go to the cinema to watch a film about a trailer, would you?
  2. Short-form and Snackable content are great on the go. If you have a ten-minute bus ride to work, you’re unlikely to engage in a feature-length film. But would you watch a music video? Or a whole host of TikTok’s with pupsters on? Hell yes, you would.
  3. Short-form is much better when you’re chasing conversions. Up pops an advert; most pop-up ads aim to drive clicks or conversions. Despite being much more common, snackable content could also be called skippable content. Whereas short-form video is engaging enough for a potential client to click through to your site or store.
  4. Both long-form and short-form are fantastic for explaining. So if your product is complex, you’ll need to offer more of an explanation to your customers. You likely can’t do that in a snackable thirty seconds.
  5. Longform takes more time to digest. Have you watched The Shawshank Redemption? It’s almost two and a half hours, but most people have. If you haven’t, please do; it’s incredible. Anyway, people will give your content the time if it’s good. They’ll do more than that; they will go online and talk about it. A recent study found that almost 50% of all video engagement involves fifteen minutes or longer videos, despite videos of that length only making up 8% of those online.
  6. Long-form is for you if you have something to say. A lot of the long-form videos are produced by companies with a message to share and a stance to take. If your business falls into that category, share your message in its entirety, don’t be forced to chop and change because of video length.

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Whatever way you look at it, video is a powerful tool in the world of marketing. Whether you are simply throwing out snackable content to brighten a few people’s days or if you’re offering a full Q&A about why your business exists.

It’s within our nature to want to connect with people and things we believe in, whether they are brands or products. So, if you’re not putting video out there, you’re missing a trick, and honestly, you’re not giving your followers what they are looking for.

Take a look at some more of our blogs for helpful tips, tricks and advice: