At this point, I think I would be lying if I said that online video is the future of marketing. The truth of the matter is that it isn’t an upcoming trend—it’s the definition of right now. Thankfully, most companies and brands—big, small and in-between—have embraced this movement and no longer ask what is now considered to be an obvious question: Should we be using online video?

Yes. Yes, a million times, yes.

While that answer may roll off the tongue without hesitation, the emergence of online video as a necessity has opened the floodgates to a whole slew of questions. One consideration in particular seems to be a consistent source of deliberation for all online video coveters: Which length of in-stream content—short-form or long-form—is the most effective for my brand?

Well, the answer to this question is a bit more complex and multi-faceted.

Luckily, thanks to insights provided by TubeMogul, we aren’t left shrugging our shoulders or making the too-generously-worded “educated guess.” According to its BrandSights tool, when it comes to brand awareness, location recall and click-through, short-form is the way to go.

Brand Lift Chart

Click-Through Chart

Clearly, short-form content is a powerful tool for marketers, but this debate is far from over. The best way to understand which in-stream format is best is to understand the benefits and shortcomings of both options.



  • Effective driver of traffic to other content, like corporate or brand websites
  • Easy to produce
  • Easily consumed by the viewer
  • Relatively inexpensive


  • High turnover rate requires constant production and updates
  • Short lifetime and window of opportunity to be seen by audiences
  • Engagement doesn’t require a deep investment from viewers



  • Establishes expertise and authority
  • Develops a deeper level of trust and credibility
  • Emotional investment creates opportunities for long-term relationships with the audience


  • Difficult to maintain the attention of the viewer
  • Requires investment of time and money
  • Produced less frequently

So who wins? Neither. You are the real winner because who says you can only utilize one form or the other?

The lesson here is two-fold. The foundation to your marketing efforts is built through your online video content. Although that video content can come in short-form or long-form, the secret to an all-encompassing marketing campaign is using both.