A Beginners Guide to Short-Form Video in 2023
If you haven’t noticed by now, short-form video content is everywhere. Instagram has optimized its feed for Reels, YouTube shorts are quickly evolving, and TikTok is as popular as ever. 42% of social media marketers who don’t use short-form yet plan on trying it for the first time in 2023 – and we’ve put together a guide to help you launch your strategy.
What is Short-Form Video?
Hubspot defines a short video as anything under three minutes, with 33% of video marketers saying the optimal length is 31-60 seconds. Short-form videos easily communicate bite-sized pieces of digestible information to viewers without requiring a significant time investment. With online audiences’ attention spans and expectations changing — one thing is sure, ultra-short video content is here to stay.
Why is Short-Form Video So Important?
Let’s face it. Ignoring video is no longer an option for brands who want to excel. A whopping 90% of marketers who currently leverage short-form video will increase or maintain their investment in 2023, and it’s easy to see why. Video is an effective tool for increasing brand awareness, driving engagement, and educating consumers. In fact, 83% of marketers who publish short-form videos say it’s the most effective format they leverage.
Compared to a static image, video is more attention-grabbing and engaging, and helps people feel more connected to a brand. The more people engage, the stronger their brand loyalty becomes, and the likeliness of them returning to consume more content increases. Ultra-short videos are more approachable, meaning people can watch multiple videos in one sitting without dedicating a ton of time. This is perfect for marketers who want to share knowledge or educate their audience about a product.
The Top Short-Form Video Channels
Social media is the go-to channel for distributing short videos, and rightfully so. 63% of marketers believe that social media is the most effective way to promote video. Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Google continue to expand their short-form offerings as video becomes a major focus of the in-app experience. The most popular social media platforms for short-form videos are TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts.
TikTok is a social media app centered around short-form mobile videos. TikTok shows a variety of personalized videos to each user via their For You Page: a mix of videos from accounts you follow and other content they think will appeal to you. Videos can be uploaded or created in-app and range from 15 seconds to 10 minutes in length.
Instagram introduced Reels in 2020 as a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram. Fast forward to 2023, and Reels are being favored by the Instagram algorithm. People can see your Reels in the Reels section on your Instagram profile and on places like the Reels tab and effect, hashtag, and audio pages. These full-screen vertical videos can be up to 90 seconds long and may be recorded and edited in the app, or uploaded as a pre-shot video.
One of the latest features from YouTube is YouTube Shorts. Shorts is the spot to shoot, share, and view vertical videos that are 60 seconds or less on YouTube. People can find and watch Shorts on the YouTube homepage, in the Shorts Tab on the YouTube app, and on your channel homepage. To create new Shorts natively in YouTube, you’ll need to use the mobile app. You can also upload pre-recorded videos or use the YouTube Remix tool to shorten pre-existing YouTube videos.
In addition to social media, consider adding videos to your company website, blog, email campaigns, and even paid advertising efforts.
Types of Short-Form Video Content
Depending on your company-specific goals, there are many different types of short-form videos to leverage. Below are 8 video ideas:
- Educational Content or Tutorials
- Showcase Products or Services
- Behind the Scenes
- User-Generated Content
- Engage in Trends
- Answer FAQs
- Event Videos
- Customer Testimonials
Defining Goals and Developing a Strategy
As with any other marketing campaign, defining your goals and objectives should be first on your do-to list when adding short-form video content to your marketing toolbox. Define your target audience, choose the best platform to reach that audience, and set your goals. Do you want to boost brand awareness? Educate your audience? Generate buzz about your latest product? Once you outline your goals, you can develop your messaging and begin planning the type of content that you want to produce.
Next, set a timeline and budget for your video. Decide who will shoot, edit, and upload the content. While making videos is easier than ever, you’ll want to make sure your team is on the same page, and roles and timelines are clearly defined.
How To Produce a Short Video: The Basics
Now that you’re ready to start making short-form video content, you’re faced with the question of how to produce it. Luckily, because of the authentic spirit and vertical format of short videos, your team can most likely produce them in-house. All you really need is a smartphone and you’re ready to get started.
Before you hit record, be sure to lay the groundwork. Write a script, prepare any participants, and set up the background and lighting. After you shoot the video, be sure to organize your footage, edit it together, add music, and record any voiceovers. All of the social media platforms mentioned above have editing capabilities within the apps themselves, but you could also use external editing software such as iMovie or Adobe Premiere.
Best Practices, Tips & Tricks
Vertical Video First Approach
Short-form video platforms are meant to be viewed on mobile devices in a vertical format, and right now, most social media platforms are optimizing for vertical content. While you could upload short-form content in a horizontal format, it’s not going to look quite right and it probably won’t produce the results you’re hoping for.
Hook Your Audience Quick
You need to grab your audience’s attention within the first few seconds of your video before they continue scrolling. Start the video with a question, a problem that needs to be solved, or a surprising statement.
The Shorter the Better
Although different platforms allow for various video lengths, try your best to be concise and keep it under 3 minutes. Remember, you’re aiming for bite-sized pieces of information.
Optimize for Silent Viewing
You can expect some viewers to watch your videos without sound. Adding captions or turning the auto-captioning feature on is the easiest way to ensure that your video is accessible.
Repurpose Your Long-Form Videos
If you aren’t quite sure where to start, or if you already have an extensive video library, shortening your long-form videos and editing them to fit a vertical screen is a great place to begin.
Capitalize on the Caption
The caption space is highly valuable real estate. Use it wisely to provide additional context to your video, include a call-to-action, link to other relevant content, encourage conversations in the comments, or sneak in some keywords and hashtags.
Show Your Face
I know, I know. You don’t want to. But showing your face helps create more trust with your viewers and can encourage engagement through comments, likes, and shares.
Post Consistently and Promote
Decide on a posting schedule and stick to it. Once your audience starts expecting your content you don’t want to disappoint. It’s also safe to assume that social media platforms reward consistency in their algorithms. Promoting your content by teasing a video before it drops, or sharing it again when a relevant moment arises is key.
Measure, Refine, Repeat
After you’ve published your short-form video content, be sure to keep an eye on the data. There are several metrics marketers can track to evaluate the success of their video strategy: view count, engagements, click-through rate, and follower growth to name a few. Take note of what types of videos are most effective and keep experimenting.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.