short-form video

The demand for video content is on the rise. An increasing number of businesses use video content, and an increasing number of marketers see it as a vital part of their strategy. In 2020, 87 percent of marketers reported that video content led to a positive ROI, according to Wyzowl.

For the best results, you need to consider video length. You might have plenty of information you want to convey to your audience, but longer videos aren’t always the right way to go. In fact, short-form videos can be incredibly useful, depending on your goals.

A short-form video is a video that ranges anywhere from several seconds in length up to about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. These snappy videos are rising in popularity because they’re versatile and can deliverful impactful messages to audiences, even as the average human attention span seems to be shrinking.

Benefits of Short Videos

Short-form videos come with a number of benefits, both for you and your audience. The first, and perhaps most obvious, benefit is that they cater to a short attention span. When people browse social media, they have no shortage of posts to scroll past. Short videos are more appealing because they don’t require a large time investment. They’re concise enough that viewers can click, view and then move on. Viewers may even feel compelled to share the quick content with friends, knowing it won’t take up too much of their time either.

For a digital marketer, making short-form videos can be a quick process, and the files take up less space than long videos. Short-form content is also easy to repurpose. Consider putting multiple short videos together to make a full video, or dividing a full video up into shorter clips.

With the right messaging, short-form videos can also be more memorable than longer content. Clips that are humorous, awe-inspiring, relatable or touch an emotion are hard to forget. You may not have enough time to fully explain your product or service in detail, but you can still aim to boost brand awareness.

Of course, you shouldn’t plan to abandon your long-form video content. Lengthy videos come with their own advantages. Want to interview an industry expert or offer or create an in-depth tutorial of a product? Long-form is the way to go when you need to create explainer videos or engage with viewers who are already invested in your brand.

Short-Form Video Platforms

Before you start crafting short-form videos, you’ll need to decide where to post them. Here are several platforms that cater to short-form video content.

TikTok

TikTok is well known for its viral challenges and duet option, which allows a user to add to another user’s video in a split-screen collaboration. It also gained plenty of attention in 2020, when then-President Donald Trump considered banning the Beijing-owned platform. Despite taking political heat, the video-sharing app is incredibly popular, especially with Gen Z. The app is forecasted to pass 1.2 billion average monthly active users in 2021, according to TechCrunch.

Instagram Reels

Instagram launched Instagram Reels in 2020. The tool lets you create 15- to 30-second clips with your camera and then add audio or effects. You can share your creations with followers via your Story, and users will also find them on the app’s Explore page.

YouTube Shorts

Shorts is YouTube’s answer to the increasing popularity of short-form content. Users can create videos that are 15-seconds long or less or string together multiple clips. The feature has proven successful in India, and YouTube plans to launch a beta version in the U.S. in March 2021.

Byte

The Byte app debuted in 2020, and it allows users to create and share short clips from their phones. Unlike the other video-sharing apps we’ve covered, Byte only allows for six-second videos, so it’s more comparable to Vine than TikTok. The platform forgoes pre-roll ads and following-feed ads, but allows creators to monetize videos through a partner program.

Tips for Mastering Short-Form Videos

Once you’ve determined where you’ll share your videos, you can use the following tips to ensure your content reaches your target audience. Keep in mind that videos that are visually appealing, trustworthy or evoke strong emotions, such as awe, are the most likely to go viral.

Know the Platform

While some short-form video platforms have plenty of features in common, they may also set different specifications for content. Video length is one factor. But you should also consider features such as in-app video editing limitations. You’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with the community guidelines and adhering to the rules as well.

Stand Out Immediately

Always remember that your short-form video is competing for attention. Why should viewers click on your content and spend time watching your video when there are thousands of others to choose from? Grab attention by using a colorful, attractive thumbnail with each video.

The video itself should also hook your audience right away. This will help ensure viewers stick around and watch the content to completion. Some platforms, such as TikTok, even have algorithms that factor in average video completion rate when determining which videos to boost in search results.

Use Captions When Possible

On some platforms, especially TikTok, music clips and sounds are integral to the experience. However, in other cases, you should consider the possibility that some of your viewers may not be watching the video with their sound on. Add in captions and other text to supplement the video when possible. Make sure the text doesn’t obscure the video though.

Use Captions When Possible

On some platforms, especially TikTok, music clips and sounds are integral to the experience. However, in other cases, you should consider the possibility that some of your viewers may not be watching the video with their sound on. Add in captions and other text to supplement the video when possible. Make sure the text doesn’t obscure the video though.

Take Your Time

Unless you’re preparing live content, you have plenty of time to do multiple takes. Readjust your background, explore lighting options and change up the script until you’re satisfied. When it comes to the editing process, take the time to experiment with special effects that add visual appeal to your work.

Let Metrics Guide You

No matter which platform you post on, you’ll likely find a way to view your content metrics. For example, a TikTok Pro account gives you the ability to monitor factors such as video views, average watch time and traffic sources. Take note of which videos are performing the best and consider what’s making them so popular. Perhaps you’re using the right hashtags or the content itself is just more humorous than your other videos. Aim to replicate your success without creating content that’s too repetitive.

Experiment With Different Types of Content

You can accomplish a lot with a short video. Consider making a fast-motion product demonstration or quick DIY tutorials to educate viewers. Or make multiple short videos to address frequently asked questions from consumers. The FAQs can focus on your brand, product or the industry itself. Tease new product lines and upcoming events in a short clip, or use user-generated content to share testimonials from real customers.

Have a Script

Not the most confident person when the camera is rolling? Writing a script — or even a short list of main points — beforehand can help you stay on message. Because the videos are so short, you shouldn’t have much trouble memorizing the script or simply reading it in a way that seems natural.

If having a script doesn’t help, consider reaching out to an influencer for help. Influencers who appreciate your brand can create short-form video content that endorses your products or services. Whether the influencer has a large audience or small following, their videos can help spread awareness of your brand.

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