In recent years, short-form videos have become extremely popular on different social media platforms thanks to their ability to capture users’ attention in seconds, entertain viewers and communicate with them effectively and concisely. But how to properly integrate this format into a social media marketing strategy? Read the article to find this out!
In recent years, short-form videos have progressively increased their popularity on different social media platforms and today they are the most popular and appreciated format by users. According to the “2023 Marketing Strategy & Trends Report” created by HubSpot, an Inbound Marketing software platform, it emerges that the success of short-form videos will continue to grow as, according to some surveyed marketers, it is the most effective format and which has the highest ROI. For this reason, 90% of marketers said they will continue to invest in short-form videos; while 21% of marketers surveyed plan to integrate this format for the first time in their marketing strategy.
Having said that, it is clear that anyone who wants to increase their business or do branding on social media should learn to take into account the creation and publication of short-form videos.
Table of contents
What are short-form videos?
As the name suggests, they are video contents with a short duration, usually 60 seconds or less, although they can often reach 90 seconds. These videos are created specifically to immediately capture the attention of users and communicate information to them quickly and effectively, offering useful, entertaining and, above all, engaging content.
Short-form videos were born in 2013 with the launch of Vine, a social media platform which allowed to create mini-videos lasting only 6 seconds. However, this app failed to take off and was closed after about three years. Following the closure of Vine in 2016, Musical.ly, a Chinese social network for creating and broadcasting video and messaging, was launched. The following year, Bytedance, the company that owned TikTok, acquired Musical.ly, which was popular with Gen Z in the US. The success of TikTok was not immediate because there was a rapid growth only from 2020. Today TikTok is among the most used social media in the world with over 1 billion and 51 million active users every month and its success is due to short-form videos. Due to the success of short-form videos and to compete with the Chinese social network, other platforms have also started to develop a similar format within their own platforms – including Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts.
What are the main formats?
- TikTok: the most popular platform for short-form videos. On TikTok you can create original videos using a wide range of editing tools, special effects, music tracks and filters.
- Instagram Reels: a feature of Instagram, launched in 2020, that allows users to create and share videos up to 90 seconds. Instagram also offers a series of editing tools, effects and audio tracks.
- YouTube Shorts: to compete with other platforms, YouTube also launched a short-form video format, called Shorts. Shorts allows you to create videos with a maximum duration of 60 seconds using editing tools, music and effects.
TikTok Videos, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are also characterized by a vertical format (usually with aspect ratio 9:16), which facilitates the viewing of the content on smartphones without the need to rotate the screen.
How to create a short-form video?
As we already saw in the previous paragraphs, short-form videos are currently the preferred format and the most viewed by users. As a result, if we want to improve our social media marketing strategy, reach our target audience or effectively promote our brand or our products and services, we cannot fail to take this video format into consideration. Like any content that is shared on social media, even short-form videos require a precise planning phase. Let’s see what are the steps to create a short-form video.
Define the goal
The first factor to consider is the purpose we want to achieve with our video. Let’s ask ourselves if we want to create a video that aims to entertain and amuse the audience; or if we want to give notions and technical information about our products or topics of the sector in which our company is active; or if we want to promote a particular product or service. Being aware of our goal will help us plan content effectively.
Plan the content
To organize our video, we have to identify the main points or scenes we want to include. During the creative process, using a storyboard can be very helpful. It is a tool as simple as it is effective, used by video makers to visually create a story. The storyboard, in fact, is nothing more than a graphic representation of each scene, which helps us organize the narration. Basically, we have to put ourselves in the shoes of a director and imagine scene after scene as we want our video to appear.
Choose the platform
At this point, we select one or more social media platforms according to our needs and to the audience we want to reach. Each platform has its own target as well as its own peculiarities, duration limits and different editor tools so it could be necessary to modify the content based on the specific features of each platform.
Choose the right equipment
You don’t need professional tools to create successful, good-quality videos. A smartphone with a good camera is enough; however, to increase the quality of our videos we can consider investing in an external microphone, a ring-light, a tripod or an image stabilizer.
Prepare the set
We have to find a location that fits the content of our video and pay attention to having good lighting and that there is not too much background noise. We also need to prepare any products or objects that we will need in the video and evaluate the use of virtual backgrounds to improve the visual appearance.
Once we have planned the content, chosen the ideal location and prepared all the necessary tools, we start recording the video, by paying particular attention to framing, light and audio quality.
Edit the video
At the end of the shooting, we can edit the video using an editing app (such as VN or CapCut) downloadable directly on our smartphone, or transfer it to our PC in order to edit it with other tools including Abobe Premiere Pro. At this stage, we can cut unnecessary or bad scenes, organize the clips in the desired sequence and add transitions, effects or filters.
Add music and effects
To make the video even more memorable, it is important to choose the right background music or sound effects. Choosing a song or a sound directly from the library of the social media platform allows us to show our video to all users looking for that particular audio track. Also, at this stage we can record the voiceover or adjust the volume of any audio in the background.
If we choose to add an audio track outside of the platform, let’s make sure it is free of copyright or can be used by purchasing a license to avoid copyright issues.
Prepare an effective caption
Writing an eye-catching and impressive description helps us capture the attention of users, provide them with information about the content of the video and gain more visibility. The caption should be completed with a call-to-action that encourages users to watch our video.
Share the video
At this point, we review our video to make sure everything is as desired and once we’re satisfied, we upload and share the video on each of the chosen platforms. Get ready to reply to all the comments and interact with users to consolidate our community.
Why integrate short-form videos into your social media marketing strategy?
The reasons for the success of the video shorts are several. First, nowadays, it is essential to be able to create content that can capture users’ attention, stimulating curiosity or involving users in a few seconds. In fact, the attention span, or the average duration of a person’s attention, is currently only 8.25% seconds and has decreased by almost 25% from 2000 to 2015. Short videos are suited to users’ current preferences as they provide a fast and engaging viewing experience and are for brands a tool that can grab users’ attention and communicate the message before they get distracted.
Moreover, the brevity and immediate impact of this format makes such videos perfect to be re-shared by users on social media and become viral, thus amplifying our visibility and reaching a wider audience.
Short videos require less time and resources to be produced than longer videos. For this reason, they are the ideal solution for companies that have a limited budget and economic resources. In fact, have a smartphone and rely on free or low-cost editing tools is enough to succeed in making a quality video.
Finally, we must keep in mind that nowadays social media platforms are focusing on short-term content and their algorithms tend to give more visibility to this type of video. As a result, by leveraging this format we can quickly reach a wider user base and interact with our audience effectively.
In summary, short videos allow us to engage and communicate effectively with our audience, provide users with content they can consume quickly, and increase brand visibility. All these reasons make short videos the ideal tool to create a successful content marketing strategy.
If you want to know how we can help you set up a content strategy that includes short videos, contact us now!