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The Art of the Short-Form Video

Video in any form is a crucial part of any content strategy, and short-form content is becoming a bigger part of that strategy.   

Let’s say a long-form video is the nutritious, full meal that we need to survive. A short-form video is the bag of potato chips we binge on when we’re bored. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t learning from the short-form videos we watch – many are incredibly helpful! Just check out this TikTok on 5 tips to save money to see my point.   

This version of gaining knowledge has quickly become a more common preference among many demographics. Yes, this is in reaction to the general population’s attention span being slightly shorter. But, when someone knows that the answer to their question, solution to their problem, or punchline to a joke takes less than a minute to find out, you have their full attention during those seconds. So, the time you can hold attention is shorter, but when you have it, you have it.   

There is also that mildly addictive “just one more” mentality surrounding short-form videos than static images or drawn-out videos just can’t match.  

That is the beauty of short-form video. You can create shorter content that has a stronger impact – seems like a win-win, right? But, sometimes it’s not as easy as trimming old videos and posting on social. There are current best practices to follow, trends to experiment with, and functionalities at your disposal to create short-form videos that grab interest and engage your followers.  

Download our checklist of 30+ ways to promote content here.

What constitutes a short-form video?  

A short-form video is any video 2 minutes and 30 seconds or shorter. But within that timeframe, there are tons of popular lengths to explore.  

But within that length of time, there are many length trends and limitations to play around with when finding the ideal length for your short-form video. For instance, a short-form video on Twitter lasts as long as 2:20 minutes. On TikTok and Triller, you can create 60-second videos. On Instagram Reels, it’s even shorter at 30-second videos.  

Even though all lengths are considered short-form, each platform has its own set of recommendations. For example, a 2-minute video on YouTube sounds very short, but that can seem quite long in comparison to videos found on Instagram.  

Where are short-form videos valuable?  

Depending on the topic of your short-form video, they can be useful to leverage in many places. It’s safe to say that short-form video can perform well on almost every social platform at your disposal, and can be helpful on your website as well. But, some topics may perform better on certain platforms. A goofy and creative video may be the perfect piece of content for Instagram or TikTok. But, it may not fit the more formal preferences of LinkedIn. A product demo may seriously increase the value of a product landing page, but it may look out of place on TikTok.  

Interesting short-form video stats  

Recent data shows that people’s content-intake preferences put social and video at the top of the list.   

  • 60% of consumers who purchased a brand found out about them on social media.   
  • 69% of people say they’d most prefer to learn about a new product or service by watching a short video.  
  • Online video consumption is increasing across all age groups, with the largest increases seen in people over 46 years old.  

Current Short-form video trends

Leverage User-Generated Content  

Do you have user-generated content? Use it! User-generated content is considered more trustworthy than internal content, adds variety and interest to your feed, and can act as positive reviews.   

If you don’t already have user-generated content at your disposal, you can work with your closest followers and collaborate to create content you can both use. People that share their enthusiasm over your product can increase brand loyalty, product recommendations, and help you identify other potential social influencers to grow your brand reach.  

User-generated content can’t be as managed as internal content, but that’s where creativity and new ideas thrive! Let your collaborators flex their creative muscles and make something you could never do internally. (For example, launching a Chipotle burrito into space.)  

Informational (but fun) videos  

At the intersection of entertaining and information lies the perfect short-form video for businesses that can’t post silly videos. Think B2B companies, software companies – anything business that needs to keep it more professional. But professional doesn’t need to mean boring or outdated!  

Chances are, your followers are interested in your industry. Offering step-by-steps or tutorials related to your industry is a safe bet for potentially engaging content.  

Behind-the-scenes videos  

Your snoopier followers will be very interested in seeing the inside look at how you do your business! Whether you’re showing a look at the dealings in the office or how a photoshoot works or how an installation of a new system, this look into the life of your employees humanizes your company and creates a more approachable  

Check out this behind-the-scenes video by Cisco for great B2B content,  as a great product example.   

Quick tips for making great short-form videos  

Keep it casual 

Now is not the time for fancy branded graphics and written scripts – viewers will see right through that and get bored quickly. Keep it natural, unscripted, and genuine. This sincerity is where short-form videos thrive. Seeing the true personality, mission, and actions of your company will be key in having your content not seem stuffy or outdated. 

Use the platform   

The videos that are made with a phone will perform best for mobile content. TikTok prefers videos created on the TikTok app, IG Reels prefers videos created on the IG app, and so on. By creating your content on the app you want to promote it on, you better your chances of getting on an explore page, increasing your reach, and gaining new followers.   

Follow trends  

Following trends not only helps you create the content people want to see, but it can also help the platform prioritize your content. Use a viral song or audio for your background sound, try out a trending challenge, or if it works for your brand, try something a little more goofy, like this sports dietitian

Now is the time to jump on to increased reach, impressions, and engagements that come with investing in a video strategy! If you need help creating quality short-form videos, reach out to our team! 

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