Why Not Use Both Short and Long-Form Video Content?

3 min read
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Are you only focused on short-form content? You may miss opportunities to share your organization's impact and values through long-form video content.

Maybe this isn't you, but I bet you've said, "We need more reels." Reels are fantastic, especially for the sub-group of your audience that wants short-form content. But what about the group that craves longer content?

Some believe shorter clips capture attention in our fast-paced digital world, while others prefer longer content for a deeper connection. Short and long-form content have roles in nonprofit communications but serve different goals.

What is Short-Form Video Content?

Short-form videos are typically 60 seconds or less, perfect for quickly grabbing your audience's attention. They're great for social media ads, promotional videos, and other situations where you must get your message across quickly.

Benefits of Short-Form Content

  • Increased Engagement. Short videos (30 seconds or less) have higher engagement rates. An average retention rate of 85% for videos that are 30 seconds long, compared to 50% retention for videos that are 2 minutes long. (Source: Wistia)
  • Mobile-Friendly: Short-form videos are well-suited for mobile viewing. A 2024 study by Yaguara found that 73% of consumers prefer short-form videos to search for products or services. This highlights the growing trend of viewers seeking quick and easily digestible information [Source: Yaguara].
  • Quick Information Delivery. Short videos convey concise messages, highlighting key points or calls to action. They can promote events, campaigns, or urgent appeals concisely and impactfully. Marketers are taking notice of the virality of short-form content. 

What is Long-Form Video Content?

These days, long-form videos are typically longer than 5 minutes. They are ideal for providing in-depth knowledge or telling a story. They allow you to go into detail and provide valuable insights.

Benefits of Long-Form Content

  • In-Depth Storytelling. While short-form excels at grabbing attention, long-form content fosters deeper connections.
  • Educational Content. Long-form videos allow a deeper dive into complex topics, providing viewers with a comprehensive understanding.
  • Brand Building. Longer videos allow nonprofits to showcase their brand identity, values, and mission more comprehensively. They help build trust and establish a stronger emotional connection with the audience. (Source: Forbes)

Examples of Nonprofits Using Both Short-form and Long-form Video Content

These nonprofits use short and long videos to tell powerful stories, raise awareness, engage donors, and inspire action. Each organization customizes its video strategy based on its mission, target audience, and storytelling goals.

Charity: Water

  • Long-Form Video. "The Spring" (24 minutes) - This documentary-style video follows the journey of Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity: Water, as he explores the global water crisis.
  • Short-Form Video. Social media snippets highlighting individual stories, impact, and fundraising campaigns.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

  • Long-Form Video. "Our Planet" (8 episodes, each around 50 minutes) - This Netflix documentary series co-produced by WWF showcases the world's most precious ecosystems and highlights conservation efforts.
  • Short-Form Video. Social media videos featuring wildlife facts, conservation tips, and calls to action.

Conclusion

Consider your goals and your audience's needs before picking a content type. Short-form videos are the way to go if you want to grab their attention fast. A long-form video is the best option if you must provide depth. The type of video content you choose will align with your entire strategy and help you achieve your goals.

Choosing between short-form and long-form video content is unnecessary. Both have their place in nonprofit communications to achieve different goals.

So, let's end the debate and create video content that resonates with our audience, whether short, long, or somewhere in between.

To make your short or long-form content resonate, download our free storytelling guide on creating emotive stories.

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