Getting Started with Short-form Video Marketing: Tips & Tricks for Beginners

A Rhode Island videographer using a video editing software to optimize short form video In 2020, TikTok surged to the forefront of social media and made short form video content mainstream. Beyond making us laugh at cats, short form video offers an excellent marketing strategy for brands looking to reach a wider audience.

So, if you’re ready to join the 81% of marketers who see an increase in sales from video content, you’re in the right place. Below, learn more about the basics of the short form video and get tips on optimizing your content.

What is short form video content?

Short form videos are typically between five to ninety seconds long. They’re quick, easy to understand, and include no filler.

Why is short form video so popular?

In part, short form content is popular because it’s low-commitment. You’re only asking viewers to give you a minute or two of their attention, which can easily fit into a busy day.

As a result, short form videos tend to have higher viewer retention rates than other types of video content. Videos under 90 seconds long retain around 50% of their initial viewers, compared to 39% for videos between 10 to 20 minutes and 22% for videos over 20 minutes.

Short Form Video Statistics

Statistics for short form video

How to use short form video content in advertising

Want to dip your toes into the world of short form content? Keep the following tips in mind when developing your initial video marketing strategy.

1. Film vertically

All mainstream social media sites use a vertical aspect ratio for short form content. With a vertical aspect ratio, you don’t need to rotate your phone to watch the video in full resolution, making it more convenient to watch while scrolling.

So, remember to flip your phone to portrait mode when filming shorts. If you want to make multipurpose video content, you can always film wider than you need, then crop it down to a vertical aspect ratio later.

2. Hook your audience right away

With only seconds to earn your viewer’s attention, you have to come out strong. So, use a hook within the first second or two, like a unique visual or soundbite.

Duolingo’s TikTok presence is a perfect example. Their videos often begin with their mascot in bizarre situations. When you see the Duo owl suddenly grow a second head or show off his ripped abs, chances are, you’ll stop scrolling.

3. Choose the right short form video platform

Several short form video platforms host short form content, including TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram. Each has its own demographics and engagement metrics.

  • TikTok has the most engagement of any short form video platform, having nearly double the comments compared to Instagram and YouTube. It’s also the most popular platform for Gen-Z, making it a good place to take advantage of viral trends.
  • Instagram Reels is the second most popular in terms of views. But Instagram is more popular among millennials. Plus, it allows you to combine your short form video content with your existing social media presence.
  • YouTube Shorts have the lowest engagement rate of any short form video platform. But the platform has grown almost 135% year over year. So, it’s one to keep your eye on
You can always cross-post your short form content to different sites to see which platform yields the best results.

4. Optimize your posting schedule

The best time to post your short form content depends on your local time and your platform of choice. The best time to post on TikTok is between 10 am to 11 am during the week when many people take a break from work or school to check social media.

Meanwhile, Instagram users prefer content posted slightly later in the day: Between 10 am to 2 pm. Of course, your audience may have different viewing patterns. So, you may want to experiment to see what times ultimately yield the most engagement.

5. Don’t delete low-performing short form videos

Of course, not every experiment will yield the results you want. When that happens, don’t delete your low-performing videos.

Most social media platforms use your existing content to determine where you fit into their algorithm. Plus, deleting content can cause a platform, like Instagram, to detect “unusual activity” on your account, which could impact your overall performance. Instead, leave your low-performing content up unless you need to remove it for another reason, like outdated information.

6. Repurpose long-form content

If a video underperforms, try re-editing it with new captions, music, or other tweaks and reuploading it after a few months. Your new changes might connect with your audience better or have better timing in the viral world.

You can also edit a “highlight reel” from a longer video, and upload it in short form. Good Mythical Morning’s TikTok offers a good example. Their TikTok features short summaries or clips from their main video content, offering a sharable tidbit and an incentive to see the full version on YouTube.

7. Keep accessibility in mind

Making your videos accessible allows those who are visually or hearing impaired to enjoy your content. You don’t need to go out of your way to be accommodating, either. For instance, you can include captions for audio or have a narrator read on-screen text.

It’s a small step that ultimately allows you to reach the broadest audience possible.

8. Outsource to influencers

Of course, instead of making all your short form content yourself, you can always outsource it to influencers with an existing following. Viewers are more likely to trust recommendations from “micro influencers,” or content creators with 10,000 to 100,000 followers. They may have smaller user bases when compared to mega influencers, but their content generally has a higher engagement rate among fans.

Conclusion: Getting started with short form advertising content

Short form content isn’t a passing fad: It’s now a staple of mainstream internet content and a valuable tool for content marketers. There’s never been a better time to incorporate them into your marketing strategy.

If you need help getting started with short form content, McVeigh Media is here for you. We can help you film and edit videos for a variety of short form video platforms, allowing you to cross-post your content however you want. We can even work with you to develop a marketing strategy for YouTube videos and shorts. Contact us today if you’re ready to work with an RI videographer who understands video marketing.
Posted by Sean McVeigh
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Sean McVeigh is an award-winning filmmaker and producer with over 25 years of experience. Sean’s work as a cinematographer and editor has been viewed on many of the major TV networks including NBC, ESPN, and the BBC. He has also worked with iconic brands like Apple, GE, Jaguar, Amtrak, US National Parks Services, and AAA.