The digital landscape has experienced a revolution in recent years with the explosion of live-stream content and short-form video media. Gone are the days when long-form content dominated the online space. Platforms like TikTok have changed the game by popularizing short-form content that is entertaining and easy to consume. However, as the industry continues to evolve, there is still a demand for long-form content that keeps audiences engaged with authentic stories and relationship-building.
In this blog, we will explore the rise of short-form video, discuss the differences between short-form and long-form content, and delve into how TikTok keeps transitioning.
Live-stream content refers to real-time broadcasting of video and audio over the internet, allowing viewers to watch events or interactions as they happen. This type of content has gained significant popularity in recent years, driven by platforms like Twitch, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and YouTube Live, and it’s expected to reach $224 billion by 2028.
Live-stream content covers a wide range of topics, including gaming, concerts, sports events, product launches, educational sessions, and personal interactions between creators and their audiences.
Even though live-streaming services bloomed during the pandemic and post-pandemic world, forecasting 163.4 million live video viewers in the US. for 2023, there is still more to come regarding this video format and many ways to keep audiences engaged through relevant and exciting videos. The landscape of live-stream content is expected to evolve, driven by technological advancements, changing consumer behavior, and the medium’s growing popularity. Creators and businesses should keep an eye on trends and be prepared to adapt their strategies to remain competitive in this rapidly changing environment. Here’s everything you can expect:
Interactivity in lifestreaming is one of the main components of keeping viewers engaged. Platforms will likely incorporate more interactive features into their live-streaming services as technology advances. This could include live polls, Q&A sessions, and real-time reactions, allowing creators and viewers to engage more directly with one another.
Take the time to answer viewer questions and build relationships with those in the audience to boost loyalty while inspiring action. Many brands like Apple have been using it for years to build trust and generate connections.
Enhanced virtual and augmented reality experiences:
Integrating virtual and augmented reality technologies into live streams will offer more immersive experiences for viewers. This could include virtual concerts, sports events, or even educational sessions, allowing viewers to feel like they are part of the action.
Furthermore, AI can provide more in-depth analytics and information on how the audience responds to the video. It can also help personalize the streams, give the best posting times, and facilitate a better user experience.
Growth of e-commerce and live-stream shopping:
Live-stream shopping, where influencers showcase products and viewers can purchase them in real time, has already gained traction, with big names like Amazon investing in strategies supporting this method. The trend combines entertainment, influencer marketing, and e-commerce, creating a unique, seamless, and quick consumer shopping experience.
Entertain your audience with a lively, exceptional host, and answer any questions about the product right there. You can also incorporate gamified content for the viewers, such as promotions and giveaways, but only for a short time. This approach will make the experience more fun and interactive.
Expansion of live-stream content genres:
As more people turn to live-streaming, we can expect a broader range of content genres to emerge. This could include niche topics, hobby-based content, and even educational or instructional live streams that cater to specific interests.
Improved monetization options for creators:
Even though this has already been implemented by live-streaming platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch, we can still expect media to keep introducing new monetization features and tools to help creators earn revenue from their live-stream content. This could include ad revenue sharing, subscription models, or even using digital currencies or tokens to support creators.
Greater focus on mobile live-streaming:
According to Infogram, people spent around 548 billion hours streaming through mobile devices in 2021. With the increasing use of smartphones and mobile devices, platforms will focus on improving the mobile live-streaming experience. This could involve better video quality, optimized user interfaces, and seamless integration with other mobile apps and services.
The Rise of Short-Form Video
The success of short-form videos can be attributed to various factors. One of the main reasons is the shift in consumer behavior as people increasingly crave quick, bite-sized entertainment. This demand has led to the emergence of platforms like TikTok, which allow users to create and share videos that are 60 seconds or less in length. According to HubSpot, 57% of Gen Z and 42% of Millennials prefer short-form videos over other formats to learn about products and their features. Video is also the most popular, highest ROI format for social media marketing, so there’s no surprise that it will see the most growth.
73% of consumers prefer short-form videos. Here are some reasons why it’s gained so much popularity:
- Easy to consume: With the average person’s attention span decreasing, short-form videos provide a quick and engaging way to entertain viewers.
- Shareable: Short videos are more likely to go viral as they are easily shareable across social media platforms.
- Creative: Short-form content encourages creators to think outside the box and develop unique, captivating content that stands out in a sea of endless scrolling.
Short-Form vs. Long-Form Content
Even though short-form videos have gained a lot of interest in the last couple of years, it doesn’t mean long-form is dead! Long-form has a lot of benefits to marketers, from SEO to storytelling. Short-form and long-form content have unique advantages and disadvantages, so finding ways to leverage both is best. Here are some pros and cons you can consider:
Pros: Easily digestible, shareable, encourages creativity, and caters to shorter attention spans.
Cons: Limited storytelling capabilities, can become repetitive, and may not provide in-depth information or analysis.
Pros: Allows for deeper storytelling and engagement, can explore complex topics, works better for SEO, it’s exceptional for building relationships and often provides more value to the viewer.
Cons: Requires more time and commitment from the audience, can be challenging to capture and retain attention, and is less shareable.
TikTok’s Revolution and Expansion into Long-Form Content
TikTok’s success with short-form content and virality has made it a dominant player in social media. This year, the app is predicted to generate 6 billion US dollars in advertising revenue, more than triple the amount it made in 2020. However, the platform is not resting on its laurels; it has already expanded into long-form content. TikTok recently increased its maximum video length, opening up new opportunities for creators and audiences alike. Hilton even dropped a 10-minute TikTok ad with a clip of Paris Hilton asking, “Would you watch a 10-minute-long TikTok?”
But why would TikTok change gears into long-form content if they have been so successful with the short form and it’s also the most demanded video format? This shift towards long-form content allows TikTok to:
Attract new creators:
By offering the option to create longer videos, TikTok is broadening its appeal to creators who may have previously found the platform too restrictive. Long-form creators live almost exclusively on YouTube; by doing this, they’re giving space for those creators to join the platform and maintain their video style and unique voice.
Foster deeper engagement:
Longer videos provide an opportunity for more in-depth storytelling, allowing creators to build stronger connections with their audience. In contrast to short-form videos that are difficult to establish a connection with, longer-form videos will enable you to make a personal relationship and forge a deeper bond with your viewers.
Diversify content offerings:
Expanding into long-form content enables TikTok to provide a more diverse range of content, from educational videos to mini-documentaries and beyond. The long-form content we see online usually contains very niche and targeted storytelling. By adding long-form, TikTok is bringing in more versatile content and new niche audiences to the platform.
Compete with other platforms:
As TikTok ventures into long-form content, it positions itself as a more direct competitor to platforms like YouTube, which has traditionally dominated the long-form video space.
What’s To Come For Long-Form And Short-Form Video Marketing?
The choice between long-form and short-form videos for marketing depends on several factors. Both long-form and short-form content can be practical marketing tools when used strategically. Here are some characteristics to consider when deciding which format is best suited for your marketing efforts:
1. Target audience:
Consider the preferences and behavior of your target audience. Short-form videos might be a better fit if they have shorter attention spans or are more likely to engage with quick, snackable content, conversely, if your audience appreciates in-depth information and analysis.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What kinds of videos do they want to see?
- How much time are they willing to invest in that type of video?
There are several ways to find out which format is better. You can do market research to understand their preferences based on demographics (age, gender, etc.), interests, etc., or you could also test different formats on your other sm platforms and see which ones perform better to adjust depending on results.
2. Marketing objectives:
Your marketing goals will also influence the type of content you create. If you aim to build brand awareness, generate a higher click-through rate, and reach a wider audience quickly, short-form videos are often more shareable and can go viral. However, suppose you desire to establish thought leadership and loyalty or educate your audience about a complex product or service. In that case, long-form content can help you achieve those goals more effectively.
To select the best option for you, ask yourself the following questions before making a decision:
- What’s the purpose of the video?
- How does it connect to your audience?
- What are the most important KPIs?
3. Nature of the product or service:
The complexity and features of your product or service can also dictate the appropriate video format. Short-form videos can quickly and effectively communicate the value proposition for simple products or services.
On the other hand, more complex offerings may require longer videos to provide a comprehensive explanation and demonstrate their benefits.
The choice of platform for your marketing campaign will also affect the type of content you create. For instance, if you are focusing on media like TikTok or Instagram Reels, short-form videos are the preferred format. Conversely, platforms like YouTube or LinkedIn are more conducive to long-form content.
Short-form videos are usually very successful for new prospects, creating brand awareness and generating impressions. They are also great for Millennial and Gen X consumers who are fast-paced and prefer to view their videos on mobile devices.
Suggested platforms: Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and TV.
Long video content is usually best for existing clients, building brand loyalty, educating audiences, and fostering relationships. It’s great for audiences over 50 who prefer to invest more time researching and understanding the details before deciding to purchase.
Suggested Platforms: Facebook and YouTube.
The rise of live-stream content and short-form video has undoubtedly changed how we consume and produce content. In a fast-paced world where attention is scarce, short-form content will likely continue to thrive. However, as TikTok’s foray into long-form content demonstrates, there is still a strong appetite for more in-depth and engaging storytelling, so it’s essential to pay attention to the value of long-form content. Not to mention all the platforms currently investing in live-streaming content that provides other monetization opportunities for creators and businesses alike.
As the lines between video formats continue to blur, content creators need to stay adaptable and responsive to the ever-changing preferences of their audience. By embracing diverse opportunities, creators can provide their viewers with mixed, engaging, and informative experiences. In turn, social media platforms must keep innovating and expanding their offerings to stay relevant and meet the evolving demands of users and creators alike.