The year is 2013. You and your friends just finished sharing the newest, funniest Vines with each other, watching these 6-second looping videos on repeat. Fast forward to 2020. While Vines are still referenced, the platform itself has been archived. TikTok is emerging as the leader in social media, causing other platforms to shift their strategy to stay relevant. We start to see Instagram and Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts, Snapchat Spotlight. Since then, short form video content has become the leading growth strategy across the social media realm and businesses that have implemented this strategy have seen great return on investment. In 2021, the average person watched 18 hours’ worth of video content per week.
But what, exactly, is short form video? Basically, it encompasses any video that’s up to 5 minutes in length, though data shows that the optimal length for engagement is just under 1 minute. The idea is to create small bites of content that are easy to consume, easy to digest, and leave the viewer wanting more.
There are generally five different types of short form video:
- User Generated Content: These videos are created by your audience based on parameters set by you. This could involve using a specific hashtag, an original audio you created, or a branded filter. A great example is GoPro. The majority of their content is user generated and submitted through hashtags. Using this strategy is easy and budget friendly, perceived as more authentic than branded content, and provides you with data about your audience (who they are, what their pain points are, how they think, what they like, etc.) which then leads to improved targeting.
- Influencer Videos: Influencers have an established audience that engages with, enjoys, and is influenced by their content. Partnering with an influencer can significantly boost your brand’s awareness and reach, as they can place your brand in front of an entirely new audience. An influencer’s followers are also more likely to try products and services recommended by them since a relationship of trust has been developed. For more on influencer marketing, check out our blog post.
- Product or Promotion Teasers: These videos are a great way to build intrigue and suspense about an upcoming product or promotion. A common example is musicians teasing the release of their newest single or album. This could be anything from cryptic video clips to hint at what the song is about to soundbites of the song itself. Another example is artists showing a work in progress without revealing what the whole piece looks like.
- Educational Content: These videos are excellent for establishing your brand as a knowledge base in your niche by addressing common pain points. Demonstrate a product. Provide a tutorial. Take a blog post you’ve written and turn it into a series. Regardless of what kind of educational content you choose to provide, doing so provides value to your audience and sets you apart from competitors that focus on sales over connection.
- Behind-The-Scenes: Speaking of connection, these videos are the best way to show your audience the people and personalities behind your brand. This could include taking a tour of the office, showing off how a product is made, documenting a team building activity, or even doing a blooper video. The point here is to relate to your audience in a likable and authentic way that builds relationships and connections.
As the most popular – and most preferred – form of content on social media, using short form video can increase your brand’s visibility, relatability, and authenticity. Many of the platforms’ algorithms prioritize video content since it is more attention-grabbing and engaging than photos or text posts. To successfully implement short form video into your marketing strategy, it’s important to remember that each platform is different, both in terms of demographics and in terms of how users interact with content. Tailor your content to each platform you use. What works on Instagram may not work on TikTok. That being said, content is king, so any video you put out there is better than none at all!
If you need help with creating short form videos or have any questions about new and emerging trends, reach out to us today for more information!