[This article was first published in August 2018 and has been updated and revised for 2024.]
Most business owners shy away from creating video content and visions of expensive production requirements. But short form video doesn't have to be.
The reality of video content is that it can be easily produced with nothing more than a smart phone. And the power of short form video is unsurpassed in content marketing.
Short-Form Video: A Content Marketing Powerhouse
Short-form videos, captivating audiences in under a minute, have become content marketing powerhouses. Their concise nature cuts through the noise, grabbing attention in our fast-paced world. This format allows brands to showcase products, educate viewers, and build connections in a digestible way.
Platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels offer vast reach through their algorithms, making viral potential a reality. With minimal production costs and high shareability, short-form videos offer an impactful and cost-effective way for brands to engage their target audience and achieve marketing goals.
According to Tal Navarro, writing on LinkedIn,
"Short-form video is taking the digital marketing world by storm. Brands of all sizes are tapping into the power of short-form video to boost brand awareness, engage audiences, and drive real business results. The platforms and tools have made it incredibly easy to create short, fun, and impactful video content. And the audiences are there, with billions of views happening every single day."
Here's a few statistics to back up that premise:
According to Khrisdigital.com,
"It is projected that in 2024 – this year – the average daily usage time of the social short-video platform by U.S. adults will increase to 48 minutes. An estimated 1.6 billion people will use short-form videos to communicate this year. Do you also know that it is estimated that adults in the U.S. will spend an average of 58 minutes daily on TikTok’s social short video platform? – Statista"
Here's a few more numbers rounded up by Yaguara.co:
- 73 percent of consumers prefer short-form videos to search for products or services.
- 60 percent of short-form videos are watched for 41% to 80% of their length.
- 57 percent of Gen Z prefer short videos to learn about products and services.
- Short-form videos receive 2.5 times more engagement than long-form videos.
A recent HubSpot marketing report called short-form video the most popular and effective format for social media content in 204.
So, the question for you is this: should there be a place for video in your digital marketing strategy? The easy answer is, "Yes!" If your primary objective with your marketing strategy is to drive traffic to your website, then adding video to the mix is a no-brainer.
Short-Form Video Can Be Affordable and Accessible
Effective short-form videos don't have to be highly produced. Short-form videos are intended to be quick, easily digestible content that's between five and ninety seconds long.
Another company, writing on LinkedIn, noted that,
"Unlike highly produced and polished advertisements, short videos often have a more casual and spontaneous feel, which resonates well with modern audiences. By showcasing genuine experiences or behind-the-scenes footage, businesses build stronger connections with their target market, fostering trust and loyalty."
The bottom line is that a marketing strategy that isn't leveraging video is a strategy with a gaping hole. Yet, for many business owners and small business marketers, the challenge of incorporating short-form video is their seeming lack of resources and skills.
But, the good news is that you don't need a big budget or big skills to take part in content creation with video. In fact, with the available technology and resources, anyone can easily produce short-form videos.
Effective Short-Form Video: Good, Not Polished
So, what makes for good video?
Clear and understandable audio, sufficient lighting to make visual elements easily visible, and a compelling, relevant, and engaging topic or story. But what about editing or special effects or studios? Not so much...
In fact, as has been made immensely clear by viewer behavior and activity, "handmade" video with little or no production work employed is what engages more than highly produced, heavily edited, and big-budget productions.
And it doesn't have to be overly difficult or labor intensive.
Here is a cool graphic from eCampusOntario that highlights the three stages of video production that apply to both short-form as well as long-form video content:
But What About Video Content Quality?
Professional video producers might disagree, but a great looking video can easily be made with simple tools. Regardless of the tools you use or the size of your budget, there are three essential things needed for good video:
- A decent camera
- Good lighting
- Clear sound
However, even the most sophisticated production efforts are wasted if the resulting video is shaky or blurry or pixelated, if the lighting is too poor or too bright, and if the sound is muddled or hard to hear. The good news is that the quality of today's affordable video tools means that all three of these quality requirements can be easily met.
Point and Record
For a camera you can simply use your iPhone or Android device. Really. If you have, or want to buy, a "real" camera for video just keep in mind that you don't have to break the bank. A few hundred dollars is all you really need to spend. But, again, even a quality mobile phone can be used, if you want.
See It Well
A background that does not distract or overwhelm your subject is a basic consideration. Your lighting must be bright enough so that your subjects can be seen easily and clearly. While you don't need to invest in professional studio lighting, you should try to use available sunlight, either outdoors or indoors through windows, or good indoor lighting.
Hear It Well
Sound can be a bit challenging, especially outdoors, since many cameras, especially phones, only have built-in microphones that aren't always designed for video production. By planning your video shoot, and taking time to position your subjects well, you can minimize any audio issues. Simple narrated videos present less of a challenge, but any type of audio must be clear and of a decent volume.
You Gotta Have a Good Story
Any video, no matter the topic, no matter how short, must have a story. Without an engaging and audience-relevant story, your video will be less than compelling. Your video content must have a message that serves a purpose and reflects your brand.
CMI notes that,
"Nail the messaging in both your videos and your video marketing strategy. Consistency is key. You cannot afford to create a video with one message and contradict that message in another video. Consistent messaging also ensures that your videos align with your brand voice."
It bears noting that you should be clear on your message, your audience, and your desired call-to-action before launching into making videos. Keep in mind that simply talking about your product or service doesn't make a very good story (not to your prospects anyway!) Know your audience and speak to what they want to know or need to learn.
Engage, Educate, Entertain
Effective short-form video content hinges on three key elements: capturing attention, conveying value, and igniting engagement.
- Hook viewers within seconds: Start strong with captivating visuals, a surprising opening, or a relatable scenario.
- Deliver value in a concise way: Educate with quick tips, showcase products creatively, or spark laughter with relatable humor. Every second should contribute to the overall message.
- Spark engagement: Encourage viewers to participate through challenges, polls, or questions. Utilize trending elements like sounds, music, and transitions to keep the video dynamic.
Ultimately, the challenge is to present that information in a way that is appealing to your audience and can be framed as a compelling story.
Good Marketers Get Help With Their Content Marketing
A content marketing strategy takes time. Your objectives won't be met with a few great videos. In fact, your audience will want to consume your content for a while before they contact you. Yet, without your content compelling them to contact you, your marketing goals may never be met.
The good news is that content marketing works day in and day out. Once you upload a video (or social media post a blog article, etc.) it is always there, working to educate and compel people to become visitors. And when they do come to you, they are educated, informed, and much more likely to make the decision to buy.
When you are ready to take your content marketing to the next level from where you are today, you need the help of a knowledgeable partner.
BroadVision Marketing is that partner.
To learn more about short-form video and digital marketing strategy, and to help you make an informed decision, call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238.