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Content good enough to eat

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“The edit you’ve provided is 60 seconds. Will we be creating a 6 second cut down, as the media agency suggested?”

These are words we’re hearing all too often (as reported by Adweek) and I’m sure you are too.

What’s the answer?

TLDR; you should probably make both.

Imagine you’ve invested time, money and a few swears in an intensive four day shoot. You’ve created several hours’ worth of amazing content and you’re ready to take on the internet with your slick new edits. You understand the client’s objectives, you know what’ll resonate with your audience, and you can predict how engaged they’ll be when you deliver a beautifully crafted piece of content. A piece of content with a story, a journey and a message you’ve carefully plotted across the duration of 60 seconds.

Now to hear that your 60 second film needs to be reduced to 6 seconds, in order to meet KPIs and deliver cost efficient media buy, is a bit mad, right?

You’re right.

While formats serve specific purposes in delivering a message, we must first consider how it’s delivered, who it’s delivered to and what reaction we want to evoke. A battle of cost efficiency will always swing in the favour of short and will indeed provide big reach numbers for the shareholders. Which is great some of the time – ensure mental availability among the masses, ensure that your brand is recognized. Absolutely. However longer form content will deliver resonance, it will engage your audience on a more emotional level. 6 seconds won’t make anyone fall in love with your brand, but take them on a journey, get them invested in a story and you might just shift perceptions. After all, awareness is great, but what does that matter if purchase consideration is non-existent?

To break it down simply;

  • Short form content serves a purpose in quickly placing the brand front and centre while delivering cost effective results. It smashes KPIs and delivers great, measurable results.
  • Longer form creative content is necessary to tell a story and can perform very well when relevant and tailored media targeting is considered. It sells the idea and the brand.

But what are people actually learning about the campaign they’re being served content for? These short clips may garner the attention of a consumer browsing their feed, but ultimately where are we directing them to? There’s no substance, no meat between the bread. It’s a bit like when your favourite chef teases an Instagram clip of their new YouTube series releasing soon… but you’ve got to wait a few days for it. These short, snackable clips whet the appetite and leaving you wanting and needing more.

Unless you’re watching every 6s clip, back-to-back, you’re unlikely to understand the journey the brand wants to take you on. They want to spoil you with the visual delights and narrative of a culinary trip around the world, but need to get you hooked - this is what we’ll call the main course.

Short form content is the amuse-bouche. It’s a taste of what’s to come, but not too much.

With the right strategic approach and relevant content placement, or even paid retargeting, we can use shorter form content to deliver resonant longer form pieces of content to the feeds of people who are more likely to enjoy it. Those that have seen your short clips, but want a larger helping.

So in summary, don’t fill up on appetisers because you’ll ruin the main course.

On that note, it’s probably time for lunch…


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About Author

Toby Ross
Toby Ross

Social Media Manager. Future influencer.

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