What’s the last video you watched and how long did it take before you stopped paying attention?
Chances are, the answer is, “not very long”. Our attention spans are getting shorter, and research by Microsoft Corp has shown that people today start to lose concentration after 8 seconds — down from 12 seconds in 2000.
One major reason for this is we’re simply bombarded with digital information on a near-constant basis. The meteoric uptick in mobile usage over the past decades has played a huge role in this information overload phenomenon as well.
With our smartphones, we’ve been able to search, send, read, watch, skim, and listen to media at unprecedented rates. Social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter have engineered their platforms to seize our attention and keep us scrolling as they feed us an ongoing diet of data. And the pandemic only exacerbated our hours of screen time. Safe to say, we process a lot of information on a daily basis.
So, how should you, as a marketer, leverage rapidly decaying attention spans? How can you create content that sticks with your audiences?
In this article, we’ll elaborate on the benefits of short-form video content, how it compares to long-form, and how you can use both in your marketing strategy to propel your business forward.
Short-form vs. long-form content
How do we define short-form and long-form video content? There’s no hard-and-fast definition here, but a good starting point is Google’s own definition:
“Short-form videos are under 10 minutes and long-form videos are over 10 minutes.”
This seems a little generous, however, when we consider that platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels use videos that are often less than 30 seconds in length, and 50% of TikTok users say videos longer than 60 seconds are “stressful”.
Ultimately, the definition of short-form will depend on the platform you use and the audience you target.
Why use long-form video content?
Before we dive into all the benefits of short-form video, it’s important to remember that long-form video is not dead. Videos lasting more than a few minutes in length have many benefits for marketers:
- It’s exceptional for building relationships. It’s hard to establish a real connection with your audience with lots of broken short-form clips and longer-form videos allow you to establish a personality and forge a bond with your viewers.
- It’s great for SEO. Generally, longer-form content boosts SEO and video is no exception.
- Long-form content helps you leave a lasting impression. If you can retain your viewers’ attention for the duration of a long-form video, you’ll be able to share a ton of information with them, ensuring they remember and value your brand as a trustworthy and authoritative source.
- It gives you the space and time to weave a good story. Stories are incredibly powerful in marketing and help build better relationships, leaving viewers wanting to learn even more from you.
Why use short-form video content?
As we discussed, short-form video content is perfectly adapted for the shorter attention spans of today’s media consumers. The bitesize format of short-form video is much easier to digest and can attract a click more easily than a long-form video, but that isn’t the only advantage of short-form video. Here are some of the other benefits:
- Short-form video builds awareness over time in lots of tiny steps. This is a useful complement to long-form video. Since relationships are naturally built across a large number of short events, short-form video is a great way to slowly bake yourself into your audience’s minds and establish a connection.
- It’s well-suited to social media. Long-form videos might work well on YouTube or in blog posts, but on the majority of social media platforms, short-form video is much more appropriate. In fact, many platforms won’t even allow you to post a video over a certain length. For the most part, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all built for short-form video content.
- Short-form video works well in ads. Ads are, by nature, short and sweet. You can’t expect someone who has never encountered your brand before to spend more than a minute or two reading your ad (and that’s generous). Short-form video allows you to squeeze a few seconds of more dynamic content into your ads to maximize that window of opportunity.
Tips for getting the most out of short-form video
So how do you create the best short-form videos? This topic could easily fill an entire blog post of its own, but here are some tips to start:
- Grab attention quickly. Remember you’re working with very short attention spans — make sure your video is entertaining, original, dynamic, and engaging enough to catch your viewer’s eye and reel them in within seconds.
- Keep it simple. Again, you don’t have much time — eliminate any unnecessary content from your videos and stick rigidly to one key point.
- Chop up longer videos. You don’t always have to create short-form videos from scratch, just break down your longer videos into shorter chunks and repurpose that into a video of its own.
- Post at the best times. Find out when your audience is most active on each platform and schedule your videos to post at those times. Don’t forget to track your performance over time and adjust for best results.
- Outsource to a video production company. While you can definitely create great short-form video content on your own, outsourcing to an expert video production company saves time and gets you the benefit of a professional and highly experienced team with cutting-edge equipment.
At Lemonlight, it’s our job to help our clients create and share the very best strategic video content for their brand, so they can connect with their audience, build a stronger presence across all channels, and grow their business.
Whether it’s long- or short-form content, we can do it all.
Get in touch with us to get started on your next video project today.