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April 12, 2018 (Updated: February 28, 2020)
Video content has become increasingly popular thanks to improvements in technology, data speeds, and unlimited data plans. Not only is video content entertaining, but it’s also a powerful marketing tool that you can’t afford to ignore. Short-form video provides a multitude of opportunities for creative social media marketing.
Image via Flickr by garryknight
Short-form video is a video piece between one and 10 minutes long. Consumers of all ages respond to this medium, and it’s especially valuable for targeting millennials or consumers ages 25 to 34. Television commercials are a type of short-form video content, although the term is typically used to describe marketing content either on a computer or a mobile device.
Viewers seek out short-form videos on video streaming sites such as YouTube, news sites, and social media. Research shows that younger consumers prefer short-form video to other types of media, and for individuals younger than 24 years old, it’s their primary source of news and other information. In recent years, streaming channels such as YouTube have been placing short advertising clips before the video begins, and viewers have become comfortable with the idea of exchanging advertising for free content.
Video advertising can also become the content itself when it successfully provides information on the brand or product that consumers want or need, or when it is used as a way for consumers to engage with the brand on a personal level.
The ideal length for a short video clip depends on many factors, such as the content itself, the place it will appear, and any other content that accompanies it. The best short-form video is “snack size”; it’s long enough to communicate one simple concept without losing viewers’ interest.
Many people believe that attention spans are getting shorter thanks to the constant barrage of visual content that surrounds us. Your “snack-size video” could be 10 minutes long or as short as 10 seconds. Generally speaking, the shorter the better, as long as the video does what you need it to do, from providing information to sending out an effective call to action.
The type of content that you can use in a short-form video has no end. To compete for your consumers’ attention, you’ll have to be as creative as possible. Some ideas include the following:
Short-form videos can help you achieve many of your marketing goals. For one, YouTube videos tend to rank high in Google search results. Videos can make your site “sticky,” increasing the amount of time visitors stay on the site and helping your search engine ranking. Placing a video into a marketing email, with “video” in the subject line, increases open rates.
Video content can help build your brand identity and promote engagement with your clients and customers. If you provide a place for viewers to leave comments, then you can get instant feedback on your product, service, and marketing campaign.
Production quality is probably one of the most important factors to creating short-form video that gets results, but you don’t necessarily need to buy time in a studio, hire a professional videographer, or invest in expensive equipment.
An easy way to make videos is to simply record them on your iPhone or Android device. From this point, you can employ a wide range of apps for editing and enhancing your videos. For more polish, a Go Pro camera with its Quik software is a great choice. If you plan on uploading your videos to social media channels, you need to be aware of the specifications for each channel. Also, since many social media users will be watching your videos with no sound, captions are recommended.
Everyone wants a video to “go viral.” Although setting out to create a “viral” video is probably the least likely method to make it happen, a few tips can improve your video’s performance and popularity. Videos that create an emotional response are more likely to be shared on social media and viewed all the way through. Unless your company is traditional and serious, you can lighten up and use some creative humor.
Many business owners avoid making short-form videos for marketing because they are afraid to get in front of the camera. If this thought applies to you, you’re not alone. Fortunately, you can use strategies to overcome this roadblock.
One of the best parts about short-form videos for camera-shy people is the fact they are short. Limiting your camera exposure to two or three minutes — or less — helps you stay focused and increases the likelihood that you will remember everything you wanted to say. Write down the important points you want to include in the video beforehand and be prepared.
Another advantage of short videos is that you don’t need to publish the first one you record. You don’t have to publish the 10th one. Even if it takes you 100 tries to get it right, you can practice until you feel more comfortable. You can experiment with different lighting, your posture, the background, props, and anything else you will be using.
Watching other videos can also help you become more confident in front of the camera. Study the marketing videos published by successful brands to see how they produce and share content. Use them for inspiration.
After you’ve gone to all the trouble of creating the perfect short-form video, it’s important that you track a few metrics so that you know how successful the video has been at reaching your objectives. These goals include your view count, play rate, engagement, social sharing, click-through rate, and conversion rate. Keeping an eye on these numbers will tell you how to create and share your next video.
Short-form video marketing can be a powerful part of your overall content strategy. Since it’s so flexible in terms of your investment of time and money, you can tailor it to the specific needs and goals of your business. Make sure at the outset that you know what those goals are, who you want to reach, and what you want an audience to do after viewing your video.
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