Long-form vs short-form videos ft. Vic Barry, Creative Video Director at Teamwork
We've had a chance to connect with Thomas Carter, Sr. Director of Marketing at Vision RT to understand how he thinks about facilitating community-created content and repurposing it
If I got a dollar (or euro) for every time I heard "Who's gonna watch a 30 min long video?!" I'd be able to at least cover my rent from that alone. The truth is, people tune in to long videos (read: binge-watching on Netflix and YouTube) more than we care to admit.
As a result, the question of creating long-form videos vs short-form videos is not one that has a binary answer. I went searching for more clues. On my path, I've had a chance to connect with contemporary video extraordinaire Vic Barry, Creative Video Director at Teamwork and accomplished YouTuber, to learn how he approaches this question for their business.
As part of our expert community series at tribetactics, we're always on the lookout to balance our own research with the insights we learn from experts in our community.
Teamwork is "a work and project management tool that helps teams
improve collaboration, visibility, accountability and ultimately results" and Vic wants to make sure the way Teamwork differentiates from others in the space is by focusing on the people behind the brand to produce what he refers to as personality-led content.
Learning #1: Nothing is black and white in video strategy
Using the scientific approach, marketers can systematically ship, measure, and learn from their video results. Every company is different, and it pays to know when something makes sense as a long-form video, and when something makes sense to be shorter.
"Leave the data decide on making the call. If you have a long form video out there, pay huge attention to the audience retention. If people are dropping off and you can see a particular trend or pattern in that drop-off, then identify why that is. Whether the scene doesn't change, the pacing is off, or something else. People are dropping off for a reason. It's this type of analysis that can help you improve your next long form video."
Even though 'video' is as artistic as a medium can get, it is important to spot trends and see how to course correct.
"If you have a 25 minute video and the majority of the audience have dropped off after 4 minutes, something is drastically wrong with the content. Is it delivering what it promised to deliver? Or, in this case, a 25 minute video, it's full of fluff and meandering off-topic conversations?"
Long-form content doesn't automatically signal quality. You have to make sure it is entertaining and captivating for the audience. Repurposing the content helps to extend it's shelf life and ability to work harder for you.
Learning #2: Show (and measure) empathy
We throw the word persona around a lot these days. Personas are important, but they are not to be abused. Your persona isn't a vague demographic, but rather a set of individuals who happen to share some commonalities. Keep them in mind and compassionately create content that will appeal to new or existing audiences.
"Provide value and the chances of them sticking around are increased. Deliver everything about nothing and never see them again."
Long-form and short-form video both have their benefits. By creating long-form content however, you get to double dip into both, which cannot be said for the other.
"Make a long-form video episode, while keeping in mind that a bunch of clips can be easily repurposed. You can flip it: tease out smaller clips leading into the bigger, full length video - over a period of days or weeks."
"Once the full video is out there, deep dive into the retention and see where it's going right, and where there's insights for improvement. "
Learning #3: Episodic content must be personality-driven
GaryVee once said "you are the niche", in response to someone who wanted to know what niche to best focus on for their video strategy for the business. Even if you cover a wide range of topics, your peoples' personality is what sets you apart. It's what makes it interesting. Your own personal take on things as a collection of personal brands, which is ultimately what a company is.
"More personality driven content is what companies need. People are buying into the who and why instead of the what. Everybody knows the what at this stage. You're a software company, a car company and so on. People know what you are. Having personality led content helps built relatability and showcase what you believe in and your stance on things."
Your company has a unique viewpoint, and episodic content can often be the perfect vehicle to express that.
"Brands have an opportunity to become facilitators of conversations; facilitators of a dedicated series. It doesn't have to be about a hard sell all the time, and probably never should be. Facilitate conversations that apply to the market and get on peoples' radar.
"Over time, a weekly (or even daily) series can make a huge impact on brand awareness and help build a community."
Looking to learn more about episodic marketing? Check out our guide here.