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Video is already a big deal. Every marketing and advertising company worth its salt is investing in enhancing its video output, and that is a trend that doesn’t seem likely to stop anytime soon. And, with research suggesting that the digital TV and video industry is set to be worth $119.2 billion by 2022, it’s hardly surprising that businesses are clamouring to get a piece of that lucrative pie.

The instant gratification generation

It has long been known that attention spans are becoming shorter. Some studies have even gone so far as to suggest that the average goldfish (nine seconds) has a greater attention span than the average human (eight seconds). And, while this research could be seen by some as being little more than tongue in cheek speculation, it is indicative of a generation of people that have become accustomed to gorging on short videos, 140-character messages and meaningless memes.

The mobile revolution

However, video content is an integral part of the mission to make long-form content vogue again, especially that which can be consumed on mobile.

Statista estimates that there are approximately 42.4 million smartphone users in the UK. When removing the estimated 7.5 million UK citizens that are aged below the age of nine, it can be deduced that a minimum of 75 per cent of UK adults are smartphone owners. And, though it would be easy to conclude that the rise in smartphone ownership would lead to more people wanting to consume quick content immediately, there is actually research by IAB to show that this is not always the case.

In the wake of the research, Joe Laszlo, IAB’s VP of industry initiatives, said: “The conventional wisdom is that all video on mobile screens must be short in order to resonate with audiences. Our research shows that for some demographics and some goals this doesn’t hold up.”

Long-form is a sign of quality

Long-form content, both written and produced as video, is powerful. And science backs this up. Long-form content gets better SEO rankings, is regarded as more authoritative, tends to last longer as quotable source material because it requires more research, and gets more shares across social channels.

That’s pretty comprehensive.

However, even anecdotally, providing long-form content makes sense. If everyone else is prioritising short-form content, and is striving to jump on the Snapchat and Instagram bandwagon, then the best way to stand out is by being different.

A middle ground?

Of course, there is room for both long- and short-form video content in every marketing strategy, but to completely ignore longer videos because Snapchat and Instagram focus on capturing attention for just a few seconds would be a mistake. There is still room for the longer videos, and if what you create is of significant quality, you will be able to reach new and old audiences alike.

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