Google’s march 2023 core update: winners, losers & analysis

In the battle of short form vs. long form video content, only one can win…right? Well, not exactly. Creating videos for your business is a tried-and-true way to boost engagement with your audience. In fact, it can increase conversion rates, email click-through rates (CTR), brand association, and audience engagement. But the question isn’t if you should use either short-form or long-form video for your brand. It’s how you should incorporate both into your video marketing strategy.

Short-form vs. long-form video content: Definitions

The difference between short-form and long-form videos is simple: short-form videos are short, and long-form videos are long. To be more specific, short-form videos are typically under 10 minutes long, while long-form videos exceed that 10-minute mark. You’ll see a lot of short-form videos on social media (although you can use this format on other channels). Target, for example, uses this video format on Instagram to advertise its products.

You’ll typically see longer videos on a business’s website or YouTube. Video and podcast hosting provider, Wistia, uses long-form video to educate its audience about the cost of video production.

A brief history of video marketing

Since the early 2000s, video has exploded as a method for building relationships with audiences. Back in 2005, for example, YouTube was just a small video dating site (yes, dating site). It was not the major video search engine and social media platform it is now. We didn’t have TikTok, IGTV, Reels, or a majority of the other video-focused platforms, either. YouTube, however, is a perfect example of why mixing both lengthy and bite-size videos matters. Up until 2022, long-form YouTube videos were the way. How long people watch videos was (and still is) an important part of its algorithm. Just look at the hour-long event videos Apple shares on its channel. To compete with short-form powerhouses like TikTok and Instagram, YouTube launched its Shorts feature that limits video length to 60 seconds or less.

Now, YouTube creators and businesses alike benefit from sharing a mix of long and short content—all on one platform. The wide array of video marketing channels means that your strategy needs to be flexible. Each platform—whether it’s YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or your website—has its own best practices for video. Choosing to create either short-form videos or long-form videos isn’t really an option if you want your content strategy to be successful in 2023 and beyond. Both long-form and short-form videos have their place in your content plan. Keep reading to learn more about each type of video content and when you should use them for your business.

Your marketing channels

Lastly, where you want to share your videos greatly impacts the decision of short-form vs. long-form video content. As mentioned before, you can stray from the status quo when it comes to what type of content belongs on a certain marketing channel—but only if it works. Some platforms set limits to how long your videos can be. At the time of writing this blog post, Instagram Reels can only be 60 seconds long. TikToks have a 3-minute limit. LinkedIn videos are allowed a 10-minute maximum. On those three platforms, you can’t post long-form video content (yet), no matter how much you want to. If you’re using videos in your ads, you’re also limited by what the platform offers.

Make sure when you’re thinking about the duration of your videos that you first research the platforms where you want to share them. The last thing you want to do is invest in a video that doesn’t work where you want to share it.

Hire a team of expert marketers to handle the research and video creation process for you

Just because something worked for one type of video doesn’t mean it will always work. Your video marketing strategy needs to be flexible and adjust to people’s viewing behaviors for maximum impact.

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