23 March 2021

How to use long form video content on social media

As our attention spans get shorter you might assume that long form video content is losing popularity but that is not the case. Long form video content is alive and stronger than ever. Look at video talk shows like the Joe Rogan Experience and long form films on YouTube such as Kraig Adams. Though it is true that viewers are interested in bite-sized 10-second videos, but they are also becoming increasingly interested in long 10+ minute videos that dive deep into a topic. There are certain stories, topics, and discussions that cannot be effectively explored in under 10 minutes and that's where long form video comes into play. While short form videos are very easy to consume they can often lack meaning and depth. In this article we will look at the long form video definition, how to use long form video on Facebook, how to use long form video on Instagram and the future of long form video content in general.

What is Long Form Video Content?

Let's start out by looking at the long form video definition. There is no "official" definition of long form video but in this article, we will refer to long form video as anything over 5 minutes in playing time. This is in contrast to 30 second Instagram Reels, 60 second Tik Toks and other short form video methods. You can now upload long form video on Instagram via Instagram TV, as well as Facebook and Youtube.

Why Long Form Video Content is Amazing

  1. Audience Connection

Long form video content allows for more in-depth conversations, since time is not limited, which will allow for a better audience connection. For example, Joe Rogan's podcast episodes are 3+ hours long and because of this, his fans know him well. When your fans tune in to a long form video they are making a commitment to learning more about you and/or your brand. When you aren't limited by time you have a better chance of educating your fans and steering shaping your content to be interpreted in its intended way.

  1. Better SEO

Long form videos on many platforms will rank higher in searches because there is more metadata. YouTube's ultimate goal is to have viewers stay on the site for as long as possible in order to maximize ad revenue. Since long form videos will keep a viewer on YouTube longer, Youtube pushes longer videos to rank higher in searches. Furthermore, long form videos will typically cover more content which means you can write about all the topics discussed in the video description. This will allow you to touch on more keywords which will make your video rank higher when users search for topics related to your video.

  1. Better Stories

When you take the long form video approach you have more time to tell detailed stories. This allows you to build up the characters properly, set the scene and get viewers really invested in the story's outcome. With short form content, trying to squeeze an entire story into under 60 seconds usually means that lots of important details get left out. Take the time to set up your story, tell it in great detail and the viewers will be much more invested.

Long Form Video on Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and many other social media platforms all allow long form video content now. Unfortunately on Snapchat long form video is not yet available but you can always use Snapchat as a marketing tool to get people over to your long form video. Below we will look at a few common types of long form video.

  1. Live Videos

A great way to create long form content is by doing live video streams. You can do live videos on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and many more social media platforms. These live videos will allow you to connect with your audience in a very direct way and won't require a lot of planning if you know your topic well. With platforms like Twitch, viewers are getting more used to live videos and many platforms now push live videos to perform better to grow the movement. Set up a well-lit area in your home or office and give a live video a try. Live videos are a cheap and quick way to produce long form video content.

  1. Podcasts & Interviews

Podcasts are taking the world by storm and it's a trend worth looking into. Many of the top podcasts have episodes that are 2-3 hours in length and have huge engagement. You can do a solo podcast if you want to keep it simple or interview people in your chosen field. If you are a musician maybe you get other musicians on your show to discuss music trends, gear and more. This is another cost-effective and relatively quick way to produce long form video content.

  1. Documentaries

Documentaries are one of the oldest forms of long form video content. Documentaries used to be thought of as big multi-year productions but now thanks to technology this is changing. Anyone can make a short documentary on anything simply using the phone in their pocket. If a story is intriguing enough then a short documentary might be the way to go. For example, you could create a 15-20 minute documentary on the founding story of your product or company. Once your documentary is complete you can upload it to YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram TV to maximize its reach.

Long Form Video Content Summary

Sure, we all love the 3 second videos of cats dancing, people dancing and anything that will grab our eye... but that does not mean long form video is dead. Long form videos are still dominating social media in the form of Live Videos, Podcasts and Interviews, and Documentaries. Start experimenting with long form video content - get out there and keep on creating!

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