Are you thinking about using short-form video content for your business? You’re on the right track! Effective short-form video marketing can catapult your business forward! With 30.98% of all internet users utilizing short-form videos, they are on the rise and will only continue to grow and impact digital marketing and various industries. If you’re a marketer or a business owner, you can start harnessing the power of short-form videos.
What is short-form video content?
To put it simply, short-form video content is video content that is usually brief in duration. Short-form videos are only less than ninety seconds long. Some might even say that videos lasting around three minutes still count as short-form video content. These videos are designed to quickly capture and maintain the viewer’s attention and engage with them in a prompt manner.
Some common characteristics of short-form video content include:
- Platform Compatibility: Short-form videos are often created with specific platforms in mind, such as TikTok, Instagram Reels, Snapchat, or YouTube Shorts. These are some of the best short-form video platforms, and each platform may have its own guidelines and preferred video length.
- Quick Engagement: The goal of short-form content is to capture the audience’s attention quickly. Creators use various techniques, such as catchy visuals, music, or storytelling, to engage viewers within the first few seconds. Some even use the power of humor or entertainment to engage the audience.
- Ephemeral Nature: Short-form videos are often designed for quick consumption and may not have a long shelf life. This means that short-form video content is well-suited for internet trends and challenges that may be popular for a short period.
- User-Generated Content (UGC): Many short-form videos are created by regular users or content creators themselves. This contributes to the interactive and participatory nature of well-known short video platforms. Users often engage with trends and challenges by creating their short videos.
- Mobile-Friendly: Short-form videos are typically optimized for mobile viewing, taking into account the shorter attention spans of mobile users. They are often shot and edited with smartphones in mind.
Short-form video content has gained popularity on various social media platforms due to its ease of consumption, shareability, and entertainment or educational value. It can also be said that people’s shorter attention span has also contributed to the rise of short-form video content. When people only have about 8 seconds to catch the attention of viewers, marketers, content creators, and video creators need to adjust accordingly and leverage short-form videos.
What are the benefits of short-form video content?
Short-form video content offers several benefits to marketers, brands, content creators, as well as viewers themselves. Its widespread popularity on various online platforms only continues to grow. Brands and marketers need to try leveraging short-form video content and analyze what it can do for their digital marketing efforts.
Here are some key benefits of short-form video content:
Short-form videos are designed for quick and easy consumption. Viewers can quickly watch and engage with content without a significant time commitment. This also makes them more likely to explore a variety of videos in a short period of time, whether they’re from the same creator or on the same topic.
The brevity of short-form content often leads to higher engagement rates. Viewers are more likely to watch an entire short video, increasing the chances of likes, comments, and shares. In fact, it’s been found that consumers consider short-form videos to be 2.5 times more engaging than long-form videos. A majority of them (66%) also think short-form video is the most engaging type of social media content. The interactive nature of social media platforms, where users can easily participate in challenges and trends, further enhances engagement.
Short-form videos are easily accessible to a wide audience and various environments. This includes people with limited time or attention spans and people in public spaces. They can also reach people with hearing impairments, as platforms make it easier to add video captions. This accessibility contributes to the broad appeal of platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels.
Creativity and Innovation
The constraints of a short time frame encourage creators and marketers to be innovative and creative. This has led to the emergence of unique storytelling techniques, visual effects, and creative editing styles that thrive in the short-form video format.
Virality and Sharing Potential
Short-form videos have a higher potential to go viral due to their shareable nature. Users often share interesting or entertaining short videos with their followers, helping content reach a larger audience rapidly. People are easily discovering new places, restaurants, media, products, food “hacks”, travel tips, life tips, and more because of viral short-form videos on different platforms. This is another reason why businesses can tap into Instagram Reels and TikTok.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
Short-form video platforms often prioritize user-generated content. This encourages a sense of community and participation, as users actively contribute to trends and challenges by creating their content.
Short-form video platforms also usually have features that encourage users to collaborate or create their new content from others’ existing content.
Short-form videos are well-suited for mobile viewing. This aligns with the increasing use of smartphones and other mobile devices. In 2021, the number of mobile users worldwide was 7.1 billion and is only continuing to rise. This means short-form video content is widely accessible to billions of users on the go and enhances the overall user experience no matter what device they’re using.
Short-form video platforms host a wide range of content. This includes comedy sketches, dance routines, educational snippets, and product demonstrations. This diversity caters to a broad audience with varied interests. This also means that marketers and brands can apply various kinds of content and storytelling to reach and engage audiences and create messaging that will resonate with people.
Adaptability to Trends
Short-form videos are well-suited for following and creating trends. Creators and marketers can quickly respond to and participate in trending challenges to boost exposure and reach a wider audience. This helps keep content fresh and aligned with the latest internet culture.
According to HubSpot’s 2023 Video Marketing Report, short-form video content is also known to have the highest ROI (return on investment) among various video formats. It’s also at the top when it comes to lead generation and engagement. This makes short-form video content a great digital marketing approach for a lot of brands or creators.
Overall, short-form video content is a dynamic and engaging way to capture the attention of your audience, in the hopes of entertaining, educating, persuading, and promoting.
Short-form vs. Long-form video content
Short-form video and long-form video content often go together. These two video formats show that video content is effective, especially when businesses know when and how to use them. However, for some businesses, short-form video content might have the upper hand.
Here’s a quick comparison breakdown of short-form and long-form video content:
|Short-Form Video Content
|Long-Form Video Content
|Usually ranges from a few seconds to a few minutes.
|Typically longer, ranging from several minutes to hours.
|Designed for quick and immediate viewer engagement.
|Requires a longer attention span from the audience.
|Popular on platforms like TikTok, and Instagram Reels.
|Common on platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and other streaming services.
|Often encourages quick likes, comments, and shares.
|Engagement is spread across a longer viewing experience.
|Limited time often leads to concise, focused content.
|Allows for in-depth exploration of topics and storytelling.
|Challenges creators to be innovative in a short time.
|Offers more time and space for complex narratives and visuals.
|Well-optimized for mobile viewing and on-the-go users.
|May require a larger screen, making it less mobile-friendly for some.
|Highly shareable, contributing to viral potential.
|Shares may be less frequent due to the longer time commitment.
|Emphasizes user participation and contributions.
|User participation is still important but may be less interactive.
|Trend and Challenge Adaptation
|Quickly adapts to and participates in trends.
|Trends and challenges may take longer to develop and participate in. They may have different kinds of trends altogether.
|Often focused on entertainment, trends, and snippets.
|Suited for educational content, documentaries, and long narratives.
Building a short-form video strategy
Creating a short-form video strategy is a worthy new endeavor for businesses and marketers in 2024. It’s also best to remember that a good strategy involves careful planning, understanding your audience, and leveraging the unique characteristics of platforms where short-form content thrives.
Here’s a step-by-step guide that can help you develop an effective short-form video strategy for your business:
Step 1: Define Your Goals
First and foremost, clarify your objectives. Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, engagement, conversions, or something else with short-form video content? Set your measurable goals before anything else. This includes the number of views, likes, shares, or conversions.
Step 2: Know Your Audience
Your audience, like any other marketing approach, is crucial. Understand your target audience’s preferences, interests, and behaviors on short-form video platforms. Tailor your content to resonate with your audience, while keeping in mind their demographics and other factors.
Step 3: Choose the Right Platform
Will you use TikTok? YouTube Shorts? Instagram Reels? Facebook Stories? Identify the short video platforms where your target audience is most active. Sometimes it’s better to choose and maintain one platform rather than getting into all of them at once. Adapt your strategy based on your chosen platform’s unique features and audience dynamics.
Step 4: Understand Platform Algorithms
Familiarize yourself with the algorithms of the chosen platform to optimize content for better visibility. Keep up with updates and changes to algorithmic preferences, so you can optimize your video content further.
Step 5: Create Compelling Content
Develop short-form videos that are visually engaging, entertaining, and relevant to your brand or message. Experiment with different formats, styles, and trends to keep content fresh and appealing. It’s also a good way
Step 6: Be Concise and Captivating
It’s also best to remember to capture viewers’ attention within the first few seconds. Short-form videos thrive on quick engagement. Keep the message concise and ensure that it aligns with the platform’s time constraints.
Step 7: Leverage Trends and Challenges
Participating in popular trends and challenges from time to time is a good way for your brand to stay relevant and boost exposure. This can increase discoverability and engagement for your business. You can also put your unique spin on the trends or challenges to stand out from the crowd.
Step 8: Consistent Branding
Maintain a consistent visual and brand identity across your short-form videos. You can use logos, colors, and themes that align with your overall brand image.
Step 9: Encourage User Participation
Foster user-generated content by creating your challenges and contests or asking for audience input. Engage with comments, likes, and shares to build a sense of community with your audience. The more engaged and interactive your audience is, the better you can boost your video content.
Step 10: Optimize for Mobile
Of course, you also need to ensure that your videos are optimized for mobile viewing. Pay attention to aspect ratios, subtitles, and visual clarity. You can also test your content on various devices to ensure a seamless user experience.
Step 11: Analytics and Monitoring
Regularly analyze performance metrics such as views, engagement, and conversion rates. You can also refer back to your goals and objectives to make sure that you’re getting the results you want. Use analytics to refine your strategy and focus on what works best for your audience.
Step 12: Collaborate and Cross-Promote
Collaborating with influencers or other brands to expand your reach is also recommended. This is because influencer marketing can be effective with the right influencers and the right strategy.
You can also cross-promote these short-form videos on other social media channels to increase visibility.
Step 13: Experiment and Learn
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new short-form video content ideas, formats, and styles. Short video content can be diverse and entertaining, so experimenting is recommended. Learn from both successful and less successful videos, and adapt your strategy accordingly.
Step 14: Adapt to Feedback
And, of course, pay attention to audience feedback and adjust your strategy. Consider comments from your fans and customers, current trends, and preferences. Be responsive and open to evolving your content based on the evolving nature of short-form video trends.
Best practices for short-form video content
If you’re ready to dive into short-form video marketing for your brand, you need to be prepared. You need to consider the best practices when creating your short-form videos.
Here are some of them:
- Keep it short – Short-form videos are meant to be quick and digestible. Focus on a single, clear message or concept. You can also consider the best video time length recommended for every platform.
- TikTok: 11-17 seconds
- Instagram Reels: 7-15 seconds
- YouTube Shorts: 15-60 seconds
- Snapchat Spotlight: 5-60 seconds
- Optimize for mobile viewing – Design videos with mobile viewing in mind. Ensure that your content looks good on smaller screens, and consider recording in vertical or square formats.
- Post consistently – Regular posting ensures you have good exposure and a higher chance of gaining followers consistently.
- Avoid cross-posting videos with another platform’s watermark – While it is encouraged to cross-post short-form videos, having another platform’s watermark on the video is a big no. Instagram announced it would be prioritizing original content on its platform in 2022. This means you need to create the videos within the platform, and not post downloaded and watermarked content from another platform.
- Add subtitles or captions – Many users watch videos without sound, especially on mobile devices. People with hearing impairments might also be watching your video content. Adding subtitles can make your short-form videos more accessible and engaging.
- Using trending sounds – Sounds or music are a big part of short-form video platforms. Take note of the sounds and songs that are currently trending and save them for your use.
- Be authentic – Most of all, be authentic. Audiences, especially Generation Z and Millennials, value authenticity when it comes to supporting brands. Engaging and entertaining content is recommended, but authenticity is also a must.
Short-form videos can be a powerful tool. Keep these tips in mind as you create short-form video strategies that will boost your business.