When to use long-form video

Sample of long form video from Step-up beds by Bakerbuilt Works

Step-up beds long-form video

When to use a long-form video is a tricky question. Who’s got time to watch a long-form brand video? 6-12 minutes? You got to be kidding! Well, it turns out people spend a lot of time watching videos.

You’ve got two sides of the coin. People are binge watching streaming shows for hours on end, then you’ve got TikTok, Reels and Shorts that are anywhere from about thirty seconds to a minute.

The question of how long a video should be has a simple answer. As long as it needs to be. Nevertheless, there are guidelines for the length of videos for specific purposes, and I’ll go over them in another post.

This post intends to help you with considering using a long-form video of 4-12 minutes and if it’s right for you. Many clients go straight to the adage that people have short attention spans and won’t watch. Again, make the video as long as it needs to be. Maybe they’re just not interested in the content of your video.

Let’s assume you’ve captured a prospective customer’s attention using various marketing methods like social media, targeted ads, email campaigns, etc. Then, if they want to watch and are interested, they’ll engage with your video. Even a longer version.

Why long-form video?

According to Vidyard, over 70% of marketers claim that video produces more conversions than any other content. People retain more information about a subject from watching a video vs. reading copy on a screen. Now, the results of reading hard copy are still being debated. If the subject matter warrants a deep dive, a thirty or sixty-second video won’t suffice.

I’ll reference a popular 2010 Simon Sinek TED talk: How great leaders inspire action. To answer why XYZ company does what it does, one needs to spend a bit more time to support the answer—using deep heartfelt reasoning and leadership does not come across in a fifteen-second social media post.

The leader of a company should share the culture or legacy of a company at some point in the company’s history. For example, if a big anniversary comes up, do a 12–15-minute mini-documentary with an “evergreen” shelf life. HR can use this for onboarding new hires and attracting interested prospective employees and even investors.

There are other subjects where long-form videos can work. For example, story based, multifaceted, and even conceptual or product demonstrations are good candidates for long-form videos.

Even if your audience is engaged in viewing your video, a long-form video may lose your viewer. Instead, consider breaking up your detailed tutorial or training videos into a shorter playlist for your YouTube channel.

In conclusion

Regardless of where you are in your video marketing journey, creating videos is very rewarding. Using either in-house or outside resources, when done right, they deliver a great ROI.

I’m a video producer/director specializing in corporate video.  I’ve created over 100 videos for Fortune 1000 companies, SMBs, and non-profits from all over the country. If you’re interested in starting a conversation, contact me here.