5 tips to get you started publishing great short-form videos

January 22, 2020 - 10 minutes read

When was the last time you saw a video online? Recently, right? Whether you’re scrolling through a website or a feed or swiping through Stories, it has become much harder to turn a corner on the internet without running into a video. This trend is showing no signs of slowing down—because it’s working. Companies are recognizing and utilizing the power of video to increase brand awareness, ad recall, consideration and conversions.

The breakout star of this trend is the short-form video. In the past year platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook have thrown immense resources behind their respective Stories offerings and other tools for video creation. Outside of the ever-evolving world of Stories, we see short-form videos (6–15 seconds) taking over ads of all kinds. With legacy brands catching up to nimble startups on the short video wave, taking the first step to producing a video for your brand can feel daunting. That’s why we’re breaking down 5 tips to get you started publishing great short-form videos.

Earn Attention

As much as you love your brand, no one else has to care. The reality is that you have approximately 5 seconds to grab and keep your audience’s attention before they move on to the next piece of content. We are all biased towards our company’s products and content. This type of bias is the first step toward justifying ineffective content. Take some time to think about what causes you to skip videos put in front of you by other companies. Above all, use the same scrutiny when deciding how you want to present content to your target audience.

Here are some elements to consider:

Get familiar. There’s a reason influencer marketing works. People trust people. Even if you don’t have access to influencers in your product or service space, medium-frame and close-cropped faces do a great job of drawing initial attention.

Get to the point. Fast-paced content that dives straight into action-packed story creates a sense of excitement and curiosity and holds interest. Think about how you can use motion, sound effects and bright colors to ramp up the pace.

Get focused. You don’t have to say everything in one video. Consider making your video a quick, top-level overview of why your brand is great or (even better) position your messaging from a specific pain point. Companies are like kids and pets; everyone can talk about something they are heavily invested in ad nauseam.

The fastest way to lose attention is by throwing too many messages in the same video. Instead of saying it all at once, try packaging multiple short-form videos together in a campaign. It’s a great way to tell a longer story in short, interesting bites.

Remember to Brand

Remember those first 5 seconds we discussed earlier? It’s a crucial window of time not just for attention but also for letting your customer know who you are. Branding a video is a delicate dance; there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Minimal branding can leave customers scratching their heads and not knowing what to do next.

Over-branding makes people more likely to get annoyed and skip past your video. To figure out what works best for your company, consider the expectations of the target audience and the tone of your brand’s voice. There’s no limit to the ways you can infuse brand identity into your video. No matter what you do, make sure it feels natural to the scene and the story you create. Remember that many people watch videos with the volume off.

Connect With Your Audience

Emotion is the easiest way to connect with your potential customers. Fun, upbeat, energetic videos are a natural fit for short-form, but the possibilities are endless. The saturation of video on the internet can create a sea of sameness. If a funny, friendly, animated approach doesn’t feel quite right for your brand, don’t be afraid to explore other types of emotion like sarcasm or nostalgia to get your message across.

Make the Call

First of all, always include a call to action. Your audience needs to know why you’re asking for their attention. The “why” of your video should be the foundation of your planning, execution and placement. The actual call to action should be the cherry on top of an ultimate plan to increase brand awareness, ad recall, consideration or conversions. Starting with the call to action in mind is a great way to keep your video focused and your messaging clear.

Experiment, Experiment, Experiment

You might think this goes without saying, but experimentation is the most overlooked aspect of getting the most out of your short-form videos and, well, anything you do for your brand. Hitting the nail on the head with your content the very first time is an unrealistic expectation. We all know this logically, yet many entrepreneurs decide on their video formula and then go on to robotically reproduce that same content. Outside of getting lucky and going viral, don’t expect to get great results or growth without making a few tweaks to your first attempt.

Because of this, consider all of the methods of deploying your short-form video content: YouTube Bumper, TrueView, Instagram Stories, Facebook Carousels. You’ve got plenty of experimentation to do to find out what works best for your potential customer. Make sure you have the proper analytics tracking set up for your video campaigns, and go back to study the results. It takes time and practice to become an analytics wiz. If you aren’t willing to do the work, do your company a favor and hire someone.

Short-form video is a cost-effective, impactful way to drive business and awareness to your brand. Earn your audience’s attention with exciting, snappy stories, friendly faces and a fun tone. Optimize the power of your video content by making small tweaks to your storyline, style, format and deployment method. Harness the power of analytics by making sure you have the data-gathering infrastructure on the back end. The barrier to entry for short-form video is much lower than for its longer-form counterpart, but short-form can still pack a major punch with audiences!

About Us

Birk Creative works with businesses as a plug and play brand strategy team or as a complement to existing creative and marketing capabilities. We deliver wraparound services across all advertising and marketing activities: Visual identity, branding, brand messaging, custom content creation, podcast, video and radio production, social media marketing, employee thought leadership training and development and digital advertising.

Our in-house team and remote network include brand strategists, copywriters social media marketers, podcast producers, book and publication publishers, graphic designers and Web developers, illustrators, media buyers and a 10-person remote team.

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