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Digital Marketing Tips: Short-Form Video

Short-form videos are the latest trend in video marketing.

By Diane Falvey
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Digital Marketing

Tik-Tok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Stories and now YouTube Shorts…we all know video content is great for connecting on social media. In 2021, for example, brands spent more than $49.5 billion on video marketing, according to statistica.com. Short-form videos are the latest trend in video marketing. You can still grab potential customer attention and elevate your brand marketing, often in less than a minute.

Research shows that 50 percent of consumers would prefer to engage with videos on social media, and people stop scrolling once a video catches their attention. Short-form videos can help you reach your sales goals by holding viewers’ attention longer than other forms of content.

Short-form videos are those that are up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. And you don’t need two and a half minutes. There are 4-second Vine videos that morphed into the TikTok bite-sized video offered up at 15 and 60 second intervals; Instagram reel videos; or the 2-minute YouTube short Boomerangs you’ve seen across social media.

According to eclincher.com, a social media management company, these tips can boost your visibility and engagement through short-form videos.


1. User Generated Content

User-Generated Content (UGC) is a highly cost-effective way to create video content. It gives your content an authentic feel. Include members of your target audience. For best results, produce brandable content and reward anyone who submits UGC.


2. Take viewers behind-the-scenes

Consumers want transparency. They want companies to communicate with them openly and honestly about the products and services they offer. Plus, when you take viewers behind the scenes, they feel like they’re getting something exclusive. Use video to share insights about your brand. You can share team building and company events, updates or in-action content, for example.


3. Keep it educational

Short-form educational videos are a great way to answer questions and drive customers to your website or brand’s page.

   According to Google, the global watch time of educational, how-to videos that use phrases like “for beginners” or “step by step” in the title increases more than 65 percent year over year. These numbers signal that people depend on videos to learn new skills or how to use a product. Making education a primary goal in your short video marketing strategy can increase lead generation and brand loyalty.


4. Focus on the first few seconds

Social media video content (short-form videos in particular) can be compelling because they work with the human attention span. Keep your videos short and focused, and capture the audience’s attention. Share your value proposition in the first three seconds.


5. Tell a story

Storytelling is a great strategy for social engagement. It increases the emotional connection and helps people remember you. Storytelling can increase the value of your service or product. You can show your human side to create a narrative. A humorous yet straightforward concept can make you more relatable and portray you and your employees as friendly and funny.


6. Aesthetics matter

Use the editing features of video production apps, special effects and cool filters to make your videos aesthetically pleasing. With TikTok, for example, you can use special effects such as Glitch to give videos a futuristic twist. Or, use VHS to add a retro feel. You can also add easy-to-read fonts that are graphically pleasing.


7. Optimize for your platform

Each social platform has different optimal dimensions for different visual content. The demographic composition on each platform also differs. The better your video looks, the more engagement and conversions you’ll get.

Speak your audiences’ language and create videos that work with the sound off too.


8. Music, sound effects and subtitles

You want to encourage viewers to watch the entire video. Adding sound effects or trending music can help accomplish this. It will give you more engagement. Don’t overlook subtitles – they allow viewers to watch a video without sound. You can use subtitles in introductions, credits or to give the viewer more information.


9. Have a Call-to-Action

The key to strategic video marketing is directing viewers to take the next step with a Call to Action (CTA). Your CTA can have many goals, from asking for contact information to converting a qualified lead. There are four stages of customer engagement: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. When creating awareness stage videos, for example, consider a CTA that encourages viewers to explore more of your content. For decision stage videos, consider linking people to pricing info or a product catalog. Make sure your strategy aligns with your overall business and sales goals.


10. Unboxing videos

Videos filming the “unboxing” of a product  for the first time make customers emotionally invested. These videos also show potential buyers what they can expect with a purchase.

Currently, more than 90,000 people type “unboxing” into YouTube monthly. To capture their attention, use branded boxes, unique packing material, place the product strategically and add a personal touch.


11. Video testimonials

​​Customers want to know how you benefit others. With video testimonials, you can add an extra dose of personality and persuade your audience to click on your CTA.

Short-form video is a great way to grow your brand’s awareness in social media circles, but pay attention to implementing these videos correctly for the best results.

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