YouTube and long-form content

With more than 2 billion unique monthly users, consuming an average of about 30 minutes of video content per day, YouTube is the largest VOD platform in the world. But different rules apply on YouTube than on social platforms, like Instagram or TikTok. Because the YouTube algorithm wants to keep viewers on the platform as long as possible, it favors content that generates the highest, quality attention (watch time). So what type of content has the highest chance of generating the most qualitative attention? Long videos! On YouTube, long form video content is the norm to gain organically.

The opportunities of having YouTube in your video marketing mix

Do you spend most of your budget on short-form video content? Then it is an extra investment to produce long-form YouTube content. This can feel like a barrier. Why don’t you start thinking from a long-form video perspective? Producing long-form content out of short-form isn’t an option. But creating short-form out of long-form is. Often without any extra costs, you can utilise a whole extra platform.

By starting your video production from the longest content perspective, instead of a specific channel, you’ll create an incredibly cost-efficient way of making video content that is hard to compete with.

What are the benefits of long form videos on YouTube?

1. Organic rankings on YouTube and Google

Google is an inexhaustible source of information about your market and target audience. By using this data, you can develop content that your target audience is really looking for and therefore wants to watch. In addition, Google is putting more weight on video, recommending it more in their search results. Increasingly, YouTube is becoming the key figure in their new algorithms. By creating long-form content, you not only rank organically on YouTube but also on Google.

2. Always-on organic reach

Whereas on Instagram the buzz ends pretty soon after a video upload, you create an always-on reach with long-form content on YouTube. DIY store GAMMA is the ultimate example of this. With their how-to video series on insulation, they created a campaign that is still ranking at number one and generating organic traffic 2.5 years after the campaign ended.

3. Better SEO performance for your website

By embedding your videos on designated landing pages on your website, your website ranks better in the Google algorithm, which pushes video content.

4. Warm leads for future conversion campaigns

If your creative matches what your target audience wants to see, you create a positive association as a broadcaster. The platform user watches your (organic) video from an intrinsic motivation. After all, they chose to view your video themselves after typing in their search query. These so-called ‘warm’ viewers are perfect for a retargeting campaign.

5. Better costs for a paid strategy

On YouTube, generating one hour of attention for a long-form video costs an average of 49 cents! If you want to generate one hour of attention with a “normal” 30-second YouTube ad, it will cost you an average of €7.20. A CPH (cost per hour) of less than €0.50 for YouTube viewers, who are actively engaged with the brand…that’s a good deal for a marketer, right? In our free, white paper YouTube for Advertisers’ you can learn about how to successfully put YouTube advertising into use. Download it here.

* This calculation assumes a CPV (cost per view) of €0.03 and a VTR (view-through-rate) of 50%.

6. Endless distribution possibilities

After uploading your YouTube video, the distribution process doesn’t stop. Besides embedding your content on your website, think of the possibilities there are for after care. For instance, are you an airline who wants to take away the customer’s stress after booking a ticket? Send your how-to video on the next steps to take in your email!

As a marketer, do you want to do something with online video? Then you can’t ignore YouTube anymore! However, this presents a challenge for many marketers. Because what do you do if you’ve already committed your budget to short-form content, which dominates on social platforms like Instagram or TikTok? “Should I then start producing new, long-form content for YouTube separately from what I’m already doing?!”… “What’s that going to cost?!”. The step to start with YouTube might seem too big, which is such a shame. By starting your video production from the longest content rather than a specific platform, you actually create a video strategy that is easy to scale to multiple social channels.

Channel-specific content production with YouTube as ideal starting point 

Starting with the longest content, rather than the type of channel, gives you space. Space to take a scalable distribution into account while creating the content. These long-form videos can then be made “snapier” with clever edits, so that they become appropriate for social platforms. Is this strategy a replacement for all your content? No. But it can, in a cost-effective way, overcome much of it. This is how you maximise your ROI.

At Team5pm, we capture this process in the ‘Content Multiplier Model’. This model represents how to create scalable assets from long-form YouTube content for other social channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. With minimal costs you can produce much more video content and serve YouTube in the best possible way.

This new way of thinking enabled one of our clients to efficiently produce local content, on a weekly basis. Three English long-form compilations were turned into 21 local compilations and 25 social assets, in multiple languages. And all on a weekly basis. In this way, the brand transformed a huge pile of archive content into an incredibly efficient, always-on content strategy. A content strategy, which generates profit. To this day, the brand makes revenue from videos on YouTube.

Ready to get a higher ROI on your video content?

Every marketer wants to earn their ROI back in a few months. This quick satisfaction doesn’t necessarily apply to long-form content. It requires a different way of thinking. By taking YouTube as a starting point and developing content from a long-form perpective, you’ll get a rich source video content. Long-form video content, which is easily scalable into short-form assets for social platforms. In the long run, this is way more profitable. The result? A Content Multiplier Model, which is hard to compete with. So, are you ready to get a higher ROI on your video content? Our free white papers YouTube for Advertisers’ and ‘YouTube for Brands will help you on your way. Download them here.

Want to discover what a YouTube marketing agency can do for you?

Born and raised on YouTube, we’ve developed a unique, data-driven approach to create effective videos. As the second-largest global search engine, tapping into YouTube’s full potential requires more than just uploading videos. A specialized YouTube agency can efficiently navigate this complex platform, ensuring your marketing investment translates into measurable results. Click here to learn more about a YouTube marketing agency.