Video is one of the most vital parts of any marketing strategy: sticky, engaging and malleable, the format is ideal for brand marketers looking to cultivate a loyal following and build a carefully constructed brand image.
As far as length, the conventional Web video wisdom has always held that shorter is better. However, with advances in broadband penetration, related Web-based portals such as Hulu, and smart TVs, this wisdom is quickly changing. 5 years ago, it was rare to regularly download a movie or to watch a feature-length film online.
Today, this is a very common experience, with comScore's average minutes per viewer across US video content properties coming in at 1,354.7.
That's over 22 hours of video watched in one month - an impressive statistic that points to the increasing appetite for long-form video watching.
This trend has been accelerated by the quick uptake of tablets, providing a much more casual user experience ideal for watching longer-form programming while lounging on the couch, for example.
And this trend is set to continue, with over two thirds of internet users consuming video at least once a month.
Video monetization firm FreeWheel has confirmed in recent research that longer videos are increasing their share of consumption, not only providing users an enhanced, TV-like experience to viewers but also offering publishers more lucrative opportunities to engage viewers with advertising.
And in welcome news for both publishers and advertisers, users are accepting ever more ads in long-form video content - a shift that is likely to change the video mix of publishers relying on video content.
As far as ad length, longer-form ads are also increasing in popularity.
As videos go long-form, ads follow suit - again providing advertisers more time to engage viewers in their brand story, and allowing publishers to invest more heavily in more involved, longer-form video content.
Another opportunity revealed by these trends is of particular interest to travel brands looking to take advantage of consumer appetite for video: owned-media channels.
Travel brands should seriously consider investing in their own long-form video content, as this sort of branded content can be very effective at furthering content marketing goals without relying on pre- and post-roll ads on 3rd party networks.
A recent eMarketer report aggregated data from Sharethrough, and found that nearly 75% of surveyed executive had taken advantage of owned-media channels as part of their media distribution strategy.
Pre-roll or in-stream were still the most popular; however, the opportunity to leverage the brand's own portals within the video distribution strategy is a very clear advantage.
Plenty of food for video thought here. Do you foresee any longer-form video content in your brand's digital future?