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Short Cuts: Leveraging the Short-Form Video Trend to Market Your Business

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Short Cuts: Leveraging the Short-Form Video Trend to Market Your Business

Modern consumers can’t get enough video content. From TikTok trends to Instagram and Facebook Reels, short-form video is the latest thing to catch (and keep) the attention of our media-saturated society. It’s also the best way to ensure your content gets seen exponentially. 

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Recent data indicates that video content in general ranks as one of the most influential marketing formats. A 2021 Wyzowl study reported that people share videos twice as frequently as other types of content. The study also concluded that a whopping 84% of people were persuaded to purchase a product or service after viewing the brand’s video. Those are impressive returns!

Marketers across industries are singing video’s praises, with 86% of businesses (Wyzowl) reporting using video as a marketing tool. Forbes recently cited video as a digital marketing trend to watch, noting that “between YouTube, TikTok and embedded ads, video has definitively emerged as the medium to beat when it comes to content. …[A]ll you need to do is create content that accurately reflects your brand, and there’ll be an audience for it.”  

The recent popularity of short-term videos on social media platforms is a good indicator of how pervasive the medium has become. And while TikTok dances and viral pasta recipes might be all the rage among the masses, businesses can and should leverage the format to connect with customers and enhance the bottom line.  

What IS Short-Form Video?

As shared by HubSpot, “A video up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length is considered short-form. But there’s no universal number that everyone has agreed on. For instance, TikTok used to allow up to 60 seconds and now that has gone up to 3 minutes. …[A] short-form video on Twitter can be up to 2:20 minutes. On [Instagram] Reels and Triller, it’s 60 seconds.” YouTube videos tend to run a bit longer. While the exact parameters of short-form video may change over time and depend on the platform, its effects are consistent, with recent survey results showing that short-form video has the highest ROI of any social media marketing strategy. 

With that in mind, short-form videos should be a part of any business’s content marketing strategy to increase exposure, user engagement and, of course, the bottom line.

Three Key Considerations

  1. First things first; go where your audience is. Whether through hard analytics or customer feedback, you should identify which platforms your customers (and prospects) are using most, and concentrate on creating and posting short-form video content that meets that specific criteria. Some popular platforms include TikTok, Instagram and Facebook Reels, LinkedIn stories, Byte, Dubsmash, YouTube and Triller.
  2. Remember that short-form video means business; it’s not just for entertainment. Align your short-form video messaging with your brand for maximum success. Be clear, be creative, and think about what your goals are (e.g., brand recognition, conversion, etc.). 
  3. Do your research. Stay up to date on current trends on the various platforms, see what your competition is doing, and commit to agility so that you’re ready when trends shift.

Trends to Look For

Short-form video trends run the gamut—and can change on a dime—but some to look for now include:

  1. Utilizing captions, which can be accomplished through auto-captioning tools or uploading SRT (SubRip subtitle files), which are plain-text files containing subtitle information.
  2. Incorporating UGC (user-generated content) into your short-form video content strategy, which is shown to be highly influential on customer purchasing decisions.
  3. Featuring behind-the-brand videos, which highlight authenticity and transparency.
  4. Sharing educational/how-to videos as a value add. They will also establish your industry leadership role and can showcase your specific product or service.

Types of Video Content for Marketers

Content marketers have a unique opportunity to get messaging out via short-form video formats, tailored to the specific needs of a company’s individual industry and market. Some hot topics and/or messaging types include:

  • Company overview. Check out this example posted on the Nimble Thinkers Facebook page. 
  • Customer testimonials.
  • Educational/how-to/training.
  • Health and safety.
  • Announcements (e.g., awards, new hires, new or enhanced products, new services, etc.).

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Finding balance between the trends and your brand’s niche is important so don’t shy away from including well considered short-form video into your overall marketing campaign. Short-form video is not just for kids; it’s a smart tool for building your business brand in a new, fresh way—one that not only provides content for the modern consumer’s short attention span but also offers relatively easy distribution to extend your reach.