Mid-Form Content Outperforms Short-Form by +36% in 2023
Purpose of Research:
- Categorize the brands’ videos by duration and analyze the top performing pieces of content.
- Compare the performance of mid-form content vs. other content types.
Mid-Form content performs +36% better than Short-Form, on average.
(i) Platform Selection: Prioritize promoting Mid-Form content on YouTube and Instagram for optimal reach.
(ii) Optimal Video Length: Videos with a duration of 15-20 minutes received the best performance stats.
(ii) Viewership: Mid-Form content sustains steady views throughout the week, making it ideal for re-promotion. Its extensive content can be repurposed into short-form pieces that offers numerous storytelling opportunities.
73% of the competitive set’s top-performing Mid-Form posts consist of Episodic Content pieces.
(i) Merge education and entertainment. Craft content that entertains while informing.
(ii) Create a uniform video structure. Start with a clear introduction and transition smoothly to main content, ensuring brevity and clarity.
(iii) Prioritize user convenience. Segment videos for easy comparison or contrast, making content more digestible.
Viewers watching movies in 3-minute segments highlights an increasing interest in longer-form content.
(i) Break Mid-Form content into bite-size segments and post these snippets on your social media platforms.
(ii) Share snippets of the most engaging parts of your mid-length video & encourage audiences to watch the full content on other platforms.
(iii) Discard overt marketing, videos that feel organic have a higher likelihood of being viewed.
Fans appreciate genuine authenticity and cherish content that conveys a positive undertone.
Elements of top-performing mid-form creative:
(i) Address societal issues with humor and sincerity. Be authentic.
(ii) Viewers value genuine personalities. Highlight real reactions and candid moments.
(iii) Positive content is more than just happy stories; create content with genuine humor, playful elements, and surprises.
Mid-Form content performs +36% better than Short-Form, on average.
Chart is a visual representation and is not to scale. Calculated based on the average views & engagements from the competitive set between June to September 2023.
Out of the 12K videos we analyzed, only 5 were categorized as "long form", defined as videos exceeding 30 minutes in length.
The competitive set’s audience base consists mainly of Gen Z & Millennials.
Age demographics were calculated using data from YouTube & Facebook.
Although the competitive set posted more Short-Form content…
…On average, Mid-Form content performed better.
Mid-Form content generated a total of 350M views & engagements between June to September 2023.
The top performing video length for Mid-Form content was between 15-20 min long.
Short-Form content performs better on platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and X (Twitter)…
…while YouTube & Instagram are the best platforms for Mid-Form content.
An emerging trend on TikTok of audiences watching entire movies in 3-minute segments indicates audience interest in mid-form.
There's a growing appetite for longer-form content, as seen with Bobbi Althoff’s podcast, YeahMad, and Vogue.
- Break Mid-Form content into bite-size segments. To capitalize on this trend, post these snippets on your social media platforms.
- Highlight Reel. Spark curiosity by sharing snippets of the most engaging parts of your mid-length video & encouraging audiences to watch the full content on other platforms.
- Keep it organic. The audience dislikes overt marketing and videos that feel organic have a higher likelihood of being viewed.
Short-Form content peaks in views early on, while Mid-Form gathers views steadily throughout the week.
Mid-Form content sustains steady views throughout the week, making it ideal for re-promotion. Its extensive content can be repurposed into short-form pieces that offers numerous storytelling opportunities.
Based on our Tubular data, we only receive metrics for days 1, 2, 3, and 7.
The following content types are defined as follows for this report:
- Standalone Content: Only one video shared.
- Episodic Format: Standalone videos that follow a recurring template but do not need to be viewed in succession.
Links are examples to help define the content type categories.
73%* of the competitive set’s top-performing posts consist of Episodic Content pieces:
Apple’s “Apple at Work” Series
We will dive deep into the strategy of this top-performing series below.
Views 75M | Engagements 144K
WIRED’s “Answers the Web's Most Searched Questions” Series
This video series has celebrities addressing top-searched questions about them, catering to audience curiosity while promoting their latest releases.
Views 15M | Engagements 490K
Epicurious’ “Pro Chef & Home Cook Swap Ingredients” Series
This video series explores if price affects taste or if skill is paramount. Epicurious has a professional chef and a home cook exchange low and high-quality ingredients.
Views 8M | Engagements 106K
*Out of the 30 top-performing Mid-Form posts analyzed, 22/30 posts were episodic content, while 8/30 posts were standalone content.
These 3 series consistently made learning fun, had an ease of comprehension, a predictable format for bingeing, & a touch of humour.
Episodic Tactics from each brand:
- Make education fun. Apple's series entertainingly showcases new security updates, resonating with users & educating them on securing their products in case of theft.
- WIRED maintains a consistent simple introduction & background for their series. Videos begin with a subject's introduction, followed by an explanatory slide. It transitions directly into the main content, maintaining a concise, clean approach.
- Think convenience. In the Epicurious series, videos are segmented to contrast the techniques of a home cook & a pro chef, simplifying the comparison & evaluation for viewers.
Let’s break down Apple’s top performing Mid-Form content:
This belongs to a four-part episodic series, with videos averaging 7 minutes each.
The media commended Apple's Mid-form content for its humorous take on contemporary societal challenges.
By showcasing common experiences, Apple fosters emotional unity and leaves audiences pondering long after the viewing.
Fans appreciate genuine authenticity in videos.
Many comments mention how genuine, straightforward, and real Jenna comes across. They appreciate her candor during interviews and her willingness to be an "open book."
Numerous comments are directed towards Emily's reactions, improvements in cooking, & her humorous or genuine personality.
Viewers seem to resonate and empathize with her as she navigates cooking with such an expensive and rare ingredient.
Fans cherish content that lifts their spirits & conveys a positive undertone.
Positive content doesn't necessarily mean a constant barrage of happy stories. Sometimes, it's the humorous takes, the playful interactions, or the sheer surprise of a $1,400 cheese wheel that sparks joy and amusement.
Comments praising Jenna's calmness, intelligence, and sense of humor point to an audience that cherishes positivity not as an act but as an intrinsic quality.
Mid-Form content generated the following results for the competitive set:
- Engagement Depth: Mid-form content, often strikes a balance in video length, allowing deeper exploration of topics while retaining the audience's attention.
- Flexibility in Storytelling: This format provides brands with an opportunity to tell a more complete story, making their content more memorable and impactful.
- Higher Retention: Due to its depth and detail, mid-form content can lead to higher audience retention rates, especially if the content is engaging and relevant.
- More Shares and Comments: If viewers find the content valuable, there's a higher likelihood of them sharing it and commenting, increasing its reach.
- Enhanced Brand Reputation: Quality mid-form content can position a brand as a thought leader in its industry, enhancing its reputation.
Key Takeaways - Creative Elements
73% of top-performing posts are in the episodic content format.
Prioritize an episodic format for content creation, leveraging recurring templates to drive consistent viewer engagement.
Brands like Apple effectively merge education with entertainment, leading to enhanced user resonance and understanding.
Integrate humor and relatable scenarios in educational content, ensuring it both informs and entertains the audience.
Early introduction of the core premise, where the central idea is presented within the first 30 seconds, boosts viewer retention.
Front-load videos with the most crucial information or premise to capture viewer interest from the outset.
A consistent, simple introduction and background, leads to more streamlined viewer comprehension.
Implement a uniform introductory segment in all videos, ensuring clarity and setting the stage for the content that follows.
Segmented sections, like the contrast between home cooks and professional chefs in the Epicurious series, simplify content digestion and facilitate better comparison for viewers.
Organize content into clear, distinct sections or segments, enhancing viewer understanding and making comparisons more straightforward.
Focus on featuring genuine, relatable personalities in content, and embrace candid narratives to foster a stronger connection with the audience.
Content with a positive undertone resonates deeply with audiences.
Integrate positive, uplifting elements into narratives, ensuring content not only informs but also uplifts and resonates with viewers on an emotional level.
Date range: June 2022 to September 2023
Comments from WIRED & Epicurious’ top performing Mid-Form videos were analyzed. Comments on Apple’s top performing video were disabled.
Make your digital strategy bulletproof.
Get insights like these, customized for your audience and competitors.Learn about Research-AS-A-SERVICE →