Master video in the new age of long-form content

From content strategy to managing distribution effectively, 

here’s how to get long-form video right…

There seemed to be a time when short content was the only option to capture the ‘millennial’ audience. Think back to Vine’s six second videos or Instagram’s maximum 15 second video upload. Brands were taught bitesize content was the way forward for maximum impact during a users social scroll.

Fast forward to 2018 and Instagram has launched IGTV, Facebook has introduced Facebook Watch and YouTube Originals now stands as a service offering long form content.


Influencers have also stepped onboard, with most recently, Shane Dawson moving into episodic long-form content. His ‘The Mind of Jake Paul’ series had episodes averaging around 45 minutes and had social media users going crazy on Twitter as they anticipated the next episode.


The key? Storytelling. The only reason users will watch the full video and continue to come back all comes down to a compelling narrative. When storytelling truly resonates with audiences, it’s like no other form of advertising.


Take Faces of the Fleet. This series focuses on real and raw stories of our men and women in uniform. It shifted the focus from technology and takes you inside of their real environments. These captivating stories seeded out across a period of weeks served as an effective and engaging teaching tool, boosting the Navy’s recruiting capabilities.



Particularly, the gritty story ‘The Ascender’ shows how Utah born Aric McGee spent his childhood moving around from town to town with his mother, feeling lost and unable to make lasting friendships.


The one constant in his life were his grandparents in Texas – and it was the stories he was told by his grandfather about his cousin, Charles McGee, a legendary African American pilot, that gave this little boy a glimpse into the life he could have if he really wanted it.


This nearly six minute documentary looks at how being a part of the camaraderie of the Navy took away those feelings of isolation and self-doubt and how, despite the odds being so heavily stacked against him, he ended up becoming the pilot of MMH-60 Romeos and a total success story.


Similarly, when you watch a story like Mental Health Advocate, Jake Tyler, something is ignited inside and we hope that the gritty reality of Jake’s life inspired people in similar situations to see there was hope for them, too.




Distribution & Consumption

When it comes to distributing long form content on social, targeting via paid social is key. Not only will you be able to hone in on the people genuinely interested for an almost guaranteed higher watch time – you’ll also be able to tweak your metrics and audience targeting to reach your goals. If the goal of your video is to increase awareness of the story or the brand, you’ll need your video to seen by the maximum amount of people – so concentrate on the view count metric.


Adding subtitles is not only proven to up completion rate but also skyrocket engagement. With video being consumed on mobile devices more than ever, you need to ensure you capture everyone who scrolls onto the film and eliminate the requirement to understand the video by adding an extra step to the user journey – adding earphones.

Plus, think about vertical versions of your film to seed out on social. A 16:0 / 1920×1080 edit fills the entire mobile screen making it look much sleeker. Ensure this requirement is considered and briefed in at shooting stage though as simply editing what should be a 9:16 film into a vertical version while maintaining a smart feel can be tough and result in a not-so-engaging film.  

Our own channels ensure we are at the cutting edge of audience behaviour and trends when consulting and advising with clients. With offices across London, New York and Los Angeles, CLICKON is the missing link for partners looking to scale digital marketing with tangible, visible results.


Our new way of thinking has delivered successful partnerships with brands including RedBull, Adidas, Y&R, Americas Navy, Acer, General Tires & Microsoft.

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For more details, interviews and images please contact Ruby Nightingale at


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