We all consume vast amounts of short-form video, whether it be through Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter… the list goes on! In this article, we’ll learn how to maximise results with short-form video on social media. Let’s start with understanding what short-form video actually is:

What is short-form video?

Short-form video is typically less than 2 minutes 30 seconds long. However, with the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels in 2020, many of the videos you’ll watch will be even shorter, between 10-30 seconds.

How has our attention span had an impact on short-form video?

Our attention span has definitely taken a hit over the past few years. We’re spending more time than ever glued to our smartphones, but apps are constantly fighting for our attention. Even though we’re getting through content quicker, we are actually spending as much as 52 minutes on TikTok each day.

There are arguments that the rise of short-form video has ruined attention span, causing us to scroll and scroll and scroll, but what’s really interesting is how long we’re spending glued to our phones.

What will short-form video help me achieve?

The first question you need to ask yourself before including short-form video in your social media strategy is: what are your marketing goals?

Short-form video is particularly effective for:

  • Building new connections
  • Building consumer advocacy
  • Building brand awareness

If you need help, take a look at our handy guide to setting business & marketing goals for your next campaign.

What makes a good short-form video?

Now you’ve determined your goals, it’s time to consider the content itself.

Capture your audience’s attention in the first three seconds of your video

We know how long audiences are spending on social media each day, but you still need to work on competing against other videos. Make sure you aim to capture your audience in the first three seconds to avoid them scrolling through past onto the next video.

Create an invisible loop to increase the watch time of your videos

This is a particularly effective technique and can be a great way to increase the watch time of your videos, whether it be for an organic or paid short-form video. By creating a loop, your views will be more likely to watch again. You could also experiment with starting your video near the end so that your audience has to rewatch it to see the whole message.

Disrupt the feed, do something your audience won’t expect

TikTok and even Instagram Reels are extremely saturated with content, so it’s important to you do something unexpected. This could be as simple as making a bold claim that you’ll go on to explain in the rest of your video, or you could get creative with framing and transitions to help make your video stand out from the crowd.

The four ‘E’s:

With all of these techniques listed, you want to try and make sure that your content falls within one of the four ‘E’s. We learned about this technique from Rachel Pedersen, you can listen to her describing how she developed this system on this podcast episode: ‘TikTok Strategies for Lead Generation’.

Let’s break these down:

  1. Engagement – start a conversation! Have you included a call to action in your video? Experiment with different ways to build engagement, whether that’s asking your audience a question, prompting them to ask you a question in the comments section, or directing them to the link in your profile to help them further down the user journey.
  2. Education – how can you transform your evergreen content into educational pieces fit for Instagram Reels or TikTok? These can be a great way to regularly produce valuable content suitable for short-form video.
  3. Entertainment – how can you entertain your audience? Have you got a relatable story you could share or a funny encounter? Think about what would resonate with your audience and is specific to your niche.
  4. Emotion – show vulnerability. People like to hear the human story on social media, it helps build better connections online and may even help to improve trust between you and your audience.

Need more help with short-form video?

Short-form video is only going to continue growing in popularity. All social media platforms have recognised the power of this format and that’s why it’s more important than ever before to make sure it’s part of your strategy.

Our social team have worked extensively on TikTok campaigns in the last 18 months, as the app has risen in popularity. Get in touch with us to learn about how we can make short-form video work for your campaign.