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Even with the potential TikTok ban in the US, short video content continues to make a huge impact across the digital ocean. With 73% of consumers preferring to watch short-format videos to learn more about a product or service, it’s definitely a strategy that will remain relevant for much longer, regardless of which platform comes or goes.

Short-form videos have transformed the landscape of media consumption. Typically lasting less than a minute, these dynamic videos are ideal for today’s fast-paced world, meeting the needs of our increasingly brief attention spans while maximizing user engagement. 

Despite their brief nature, creating impactful content demands a strategic approach. Even on highly interactive platforms like TikTok, it’s crucial to craft content that resonates with your target audience and fits your niche.

With that in mind, this blog post will guide you through the best practices for formulating and executing a successful content strategy for short-form videos. I’ll ensure your content not only aligns with your brand’s identity but also significantly contributes to achieving your marketing objectives.

Why short-videos are important? 

Integrating short-form video content into your marketing strategies can boost sales and conversions by up to 80%. Impressive, right? 

This might explain why so many businesses are increasing their investments in short videos. But if you’re still not convinced, here are a few more reasons for their popularity:

  • Engaging: Short-form videos are 2.5 times more engaging than long-form videos, making them a valuable tool for capturing audience’s attention quickly
  • High ROI: Short-form video offers the highest content ROI compared to any other marketing strategy.
  • Cost-effective: These videos can be adapted for various platforms and don’t require extensive resources, making them cost-effective
  • High shareability: Short videos are often more shareable because they can be quickly viewed and passed along. Consequently, they have a high potential to go viral
  • Our attention spans are shrinking: A study conducted by Dr. Mark, at the University of California, reveals that people can only focus on a single screen for an average of just 47 seconds. This finding aligns perfectly with the typical duration of short-form videos

Crafting engaging short-videos

Ok, now that we are convinced about their importance, let’s dive into how we can craft short videos that will engage our audience.

With the convenience that smartphones offer, it might seem easy just to grab your phone and start recording a series of videos, right? However, it’s not that simple! Strategy matters, especially if your goal is to gain views, likes, comments, and most importantly, build authority, increase reach, and drive conversions. Consider these points:

  1. Your audience

Before grabbing your phone and starting to record, you need to understand who you are making these videos for. Who are your followers? What are they interested in? 

Research your audience’s interests, preferences and online behaviors to find out who you want to impact. This helps to direct the content of your videos towards something that resonates with them, ensuring greater interaction and sharing.

  1. Planning

Structure your ideas, create a basic script, and identify the key points you want to convey. This not only saves time while recording but also improves the cohesion of your video.

@samdespo How I plan all of my content 💡 #digitalmarketing #socialmediamarketing #ecommerce #shopify #notion ♬ Forever – Labrinth

Additionally, regular posting is key when it comes to short videos. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram reward consistency with greater visibility. Therefore, try to maintain consistent posting as part of our strategy.

  1. Storytelling

Creating stories in your videos helps forge an emotional connection with your audience, making your content more memorable and enhancing engagement. 

Develop a script that allows you to be authentic and incorporate personal experiences whenever possible. Storytelling is an effective way to humanize your brand.

  1. Editing

Just because these videos are short doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in editing as you probably would for a longer video.
Use editing tools like Capcut or Canva to eliminate unnecessary parts, add visual and sound effects, and ensure your video flows smoothly. Keep the editing dynamic, focusing on the main message. 

Bright and clear on-screen captions can help convey your message effectively, especially when viewers are watching without sound. Also, well-executed color grading can enhance the visual appeal and emotional impact of your videos.

  1. First impression

People usually won’t see thumbnails here like in longer-format videos, so the first few seconds of a video are crucial for capturing the viewer’s attention. Be creative, use striking visuals, or even start with an intriguing question. 

Use effective hooks that captivates your audience right from the start. A captivating intro increases the chances that viewers will watch until the end, boosting your video’s retention—that is, the time people spend watching your video.

  1. Keep it simple

Avoid visual clutter in your short videos. Design a scenario or layout thinking about how your video will be watched, indicating where the audience should focus their attention. 

Maintain a harmonious look, focusing on the main content, using colors and a consistent visual aesthetic that can make your videos stand out on social media timelines. The same applies to what you are going to say in your videos; try to be clear and direct, as you don’t have much time (neither does the viewer).

  1. Trends

When we talk about short videos, trends are a must! Try to incorporate trending sounds, memes, filters, or video styles into your strategy. Trends move fast but they can increase the chances of your video reaching more people. Staying current with trends and collaborating with influencers can significantly increase your reach.

  1. Test!

Don’t be afraid to test new things and learn from them! Experiment with different video styles, formats, and themes. Analyze performance metrics to understand what resonates best with your audience. The ability to adapt and evolve is essential.

 

Best Practises for TikTok

TikTok, originally launched as Douyin in China before rebranding globally, is renowned for its viral challenges, dance videos, and a highly personalized “For You Page” (FYP) that uses sophisticated algorithms to recommend content. 

 The key to success on TikTok is to stay abreast of current trends and incorporate them creatively into your videos. The use of popular music, engaging hooks, and a call-to-action can significantly increase your video’s visibility and engagement.
Source: TikTok

Best for: Engaging a young audience with dynamic, trend-setting content. Ideal for creators looking to rapidly build a following through viral challenges and music-driven videos.

Format: TikTok recommends that all videos uploaded to the platform have dimensions of 1080 by 1920 pixels, which corresponds to a 9:16 aspect ratio. TikTok supports both .MP4 and .MOV file formats, but .MP4 is considered the more universal format and the best for TikTok.

Maximum length: Although the platform started with a 15-second limit, it is now possible to post videos with durations of up to 10 minutes.

Where to watch: Shorts can be watched within a dedicated tab in the YouTube mobile app and on computers. However, the experience of browsing and viewing the videos is better suited to mobile screens.

How to create: You can start creating new TikTok videos directly within the app or upload pre-made videos. You can also upload your videos from a desktop computer directly to their website. Its in-app editing capabilities are very compelling, with transitions, auto-generated captions, voiceovers, filters, and more.

Hashtags: Hashtags are crucial for discoverability on TikTok. The platform does not limit the number of hashtags you can use, but it is advisable to choose them wisely (trending and niche hashtags work best). 

Remix options: TikTok encourages creativity through its remix features, such as Duets or Stitches. Duets play split-screen style, with both videos playing simultaneously while Stitch plays in sequence, beginning with the original video before going into the Stitched content

Monetization Options: TikTok has two main ways for creators to monetize their content: TikTok Creator Fund and TikTok Creator Marketplace. Both require at least 100,000 followers and at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days.

 

Best Practises for Instagram Reels

Just as Instagram introduced Stories to compete with Snapchat, it launched Reels to keep up with the trend of short videos on social media platforms and to rival TikTok. 

Instagram Reels has the advantage of being part of Instagram, meaning you can reach your existing audience and a broder one from the Explore page. To achieve this, your content must be engaging, high in quality, and aligned with the interests of your target audience.

Source: Instagram

Best for: Showcasing products, demonstrating services, and connecting creatively with a diverse audience. It’s effective for existing Instagram users and brands that aim to enhance their presence without starting from scratch. 

Format: The ideal format for Instagram Reels is MP4 or MOV, with a recommended resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, maintaining a 9:16 aspect ratio for full-screen immersion or a 4:5 aspect ratio when viewed in the feed.

Maximum length: Reels can be up to 90 seconds.

Where to watch: Reels can be viewed within the Instagram app, both in a dedicated Reels tab and within users’ feeds, allowing for both targeted and organic discovery.

How to create: Creators can use the Instagram app to record Reels directly or upload pre-edited videos. The app provides tools for adding music, text, and effects, and users can utilize features like the Align tool for seamless transitions or the timer for hands-free recording.

Hashtags: using hashtags for Reels are a way to not only appear randomly in other users’ Reel tab or explore page but also when users search for specific topics. While up to 30 hashtags are allowed, sticking to 3-5 relevant hashtags is typically more effective.

Remix options: Instagram allows users to remix both videos and images from any creator on the platform. Creators have the option to enable or disable remixing for their content at the time of upload. When you remix content, it is automatically transformed into a Reel, regardless of its original format.

Monetization Options: Though it doesn’t include direct monetization, creators can monetize their Reels through Instagram Gifts, brand partnerships, and subscriptions.

 

Best Practises for YouTube Shorts

YouTube launched Shorts as a feature within its existing platform, allowing users to create videos up to 60 seconds long. Shorts are integrated into YouTube’s vast video library, offering benefits like potential monetization, broader audience reach, and utilization of YouTube’s strong search capabilities.


Source: Youtube

 

Best for: Existing YouTube creators looking to expand their content and new creators seeking to leverage YouTube’s extensive audience(especially older demographic) and search capabilities.

Format: the best file format for YouTube Shorts is MP4. The ideal resolution is 1080 x 1920 pixels or a 9:16 aspect ratio.

Maximum length: Shorts can be up to 60 seconds long.

Where to watch: Shorts can be watched within a dedicated tab in the YouTube mobile app and on computers. However, the experience of browsing and viewing the videos is better suited to mobile screens.

How to create: To create the videos, you can use the camera within the YouTube app’s Shorts section or import media from your gallery. It’s possible to edit the videos directly in the app using tools to trim, apply filters, and add text, audio, or narration.

Hashtags: Utilizing trending hashtags is crucial for discoverability. The platform does not enforce a strict limit, but concise use (about three to five relevant hashtags) is recommended to avoid

Remix options: Like its competitors, YouTube Shorts offers a “Remix” feature that allows for cutting up previously published videos. You can remix music video content in a few different ways, including Green Screen, Cut, and audio remixing.

Monetization Options: Content creators who meet the requirements of the YouTube Partner Program can monetize Shorts. This requires having 1,000 subscribers and 10 million valid public short views in the last 90 days.

 

Which one is best? 

It depends. The ideal platform varies based on who’s asking and what they hope to achieve. 

Choosing the right platform for short-form videos depends on your content style, target audience, and monetization needs. It’s not a straightforward answer. But here’s a little secret: you don’t have to limit yourself to just one—diversity can be your ally here!

And here’s a little secret to save you some stress: you don’t need to whip up a brand-new content for each platform. Here’s a little trick you can use: repurposed content. This clever strategy lets you take a single piece of content and tweak it just enough so it fits the specific dynamics of each platform. This way, your message gets out to more people, and your effort goes a lot further. Pretty handy, right?

By the way, tools like Edgar can make repurposing content far easier. 

 

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