Short Form vs Long Form Video: Which Is Right For You?

If you’re in the process of figuring out your video strategy, then you’ve probably focused heavily on what types of videos you’ll need to create, what topics you want to cover, and where you’ll feature them. It’s important to remember a key element as you’re planning your video production – how long your videos should be.

Do you know the difference between long form vs. short form video? Do you know when a long form video is more appropriate and when it makes sense to use a short form video instead? If you’re unsure, then you’ve come to the right place! Below we dive into when it’s best to use each video length and for what purpose. We’ll also chat through which elements to consider to help you determine the most optimal video length.

Long Form vs Short Form Video

First things first – let’s discuss the differences between long form and short form videos. A video is considered a long form video if it is over 10 minutes long. That means that a video is short form if it is 10 minutes or less.
 
That leaves a pretty wide window for the length of each type of video. Your short form video could be 30 seconds long or 8 minutes. The same goes for your long form video; it could range from 15 minutes to over an hour. So even though we’ve narrowed it down to either less than or greater than 10 minutes, there are a ton of other factors to consider that will help you further narrow down the time length for your video.

Video Length Considerations:

Video Topic –

Choosing between long form and short form videos is going to depend on a variety of factors. One of the main factors to consider is the topic of your video. Does your topic need an in-depth explanation? Is there a storyline that you cover from start to finish? Will you be interviewing a handful of subjects? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to consider long form video. You want to allow yourself enough time to ensure that the topic of your video is covered in detail. With that being said, it’s important to make sure you’re keeping your audience engaged, as well. If you drone on too long, your audience may lose interest. It’s quite possible to cover a detailed storyline in under 10 minutes, thereby making your video short form.

Short form video is great for quick ads that capture a user’s attention and briefly cover the benefits of a good or service. They can be used for recaps of an event or to highlight a company’s culture. Short form videos can even be good for showing off customer reviews and testimonials. As was the case with long form videos, you don’t want to unnecessarily extend the length of your short form video (even if it’s under 10 minutes). Keep it concise.

Where the Video Will be Displayed –

In one video shoot, you may be capturing footage for a variety of different videos (e.g. for your website, for ads, for social media, etc.). In order to capture the footage you’re looking for, you’ll need to be aware of where the video will be going (even if it’s multiple places). 

In addition to where that video will live, you’ll also want to combine that with the video topic to better understand if it should be long form or short form. For example, a video that’s going on your website that will cover how your company got started and what you’re all about is likely to be short form. Another video for your website might dive deeper into a patented technology that you use and require longer than 10 minutes to discuss the topic in-depth, making it long form. 

We can say fairly confidently that most videos that you have on your social media will be short form (with the exception of Facebook). In fact, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn all have separate video max lengths that are 10 minutes or less, so you are limited to short form videos on those platforms. Facebook is the outlier, so it is possible to post a long form video on your Facebook. Before you do, be sure to consider the other factors here to determine if short form or long form is right for you.

Target Audience –

Your target audience is also going to be an important factor in choosing short form vs. long form video. Does your audience have certain background knowledge that you can leave out, thus making your video length shorter? Is your audience made up of current customers who are already engaged with your brand? Or are you targeting new customers who are unfamiliar with you and your products? Tailoring your video content to your target audience will not only help to ensure your video resonates with them, but it will also help you determine the right video length for that audience.

Video Budget –

While your budget isn’t going to automatically put you in either the long form or short form video category, it’s definitely an important factor that will help you decide what’s feasible. If you are looking to cover a topic that requires filming in multiple locations, but your budget won’t allow for that, that may mean that you either need to adjust the number of locations or perhaps adjust the length of your video. There are a variety of ways to work around a smaller budget, but keep in mind that your customers will notice the quality. A high-quality 30-second video may be better than a 10-minute low-quality one.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to make an attention grabber, it’s time to get started on your video. Not sure where to start? That’s where we come in! Our team of experts can help take your video from an idea to a fully-edited finished product. Reach out to us today via message or call 831-824-9660, and we can get started on making your video idea a reality.

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