Glance over to someone on their phone on public transport and there’s a decent chance you’ll see them scrolling TikTok or Instagram Reels.
Short-form video has become the go-to time filler in today’s fast-paced, attention-short world. In fact, TikTok users are so hooked on short-form videos that almost 50% of TikTokers agreed that they found videos longer than a minute “stressful”.
And as of July 2022, videos that are under 60 seconds made up 57% of YouTube views, compared to just 11% two years ago.
The more people watch them, the more they’ll be served up. Social media algorithms favour short-form videos because they encourage engagement and keep users on the platform for longer.
Google loves short-form videos too
Google’s search app has recently begun to promote and autoplay short-form videos, injecting a TikTok vibe to one of Google’s most commonly-utilised tools.
With the update, Google is looking to mix up more videos and imagery into search results, giving Google’s response to searches a richer look.
The change comes as the company is up against serious competition from TikTok (which overtook Google in 2021 as the most popular website). TikTok has become a search engine in itself, with younger viewers turning to the platform to look at short videos on subjects like travel destinations and restaurants. As such, Google launched YouTube Shorts in 2020 to take on TikTok.
What does this mean for marketers?
As you’d expect, marketers have responded in kind. According to HubSpot’s latest marketing strategy and trends report, 90% of global marketers said they were increasing or maintaining their investment in short-form videos this year.
The question for marketers, however, is how best to utilise the format – aligning output to marketing strategy and goals. The majority of short-form videos that users watch are made by creators and other users, as opposed to brands.
But that isn’t to say there isn’t the potential for brands to capitalise on the trend. Consider that 73% of consumers prefer to watch a short-form video to learn about a product or service.
While it’s not guaranteed you’ll have a viral hit on your hands, the right approach to a product or service teaser can whet the appetite of your audience and pique their curiosity enough to find out more.
Short-form video, then, is great for a bit of brand awareness and generating new leads. But the use cases for the format don’t have to end there.
What are some of the best short-form video ideas?
Short-form videos provide a platform for creativity and self-expression. Make the most of it. Your short-form videos need to capture the attention of viewers quickly to avoid the brutal scroll – but as the following ideas suggest, short-form video doesn’t have to be confined to social media:
A type of learning that involves short and focused learning modules, microlearning provides the audience with quick, easy-to-consume chunks of information that can be accessed on-demand and on any device.
It plays into people’s desire to improve themselves or their situation without having to commit a lot of time into understanding the benefits of a product or service. From showcasing cutting-edge software to introducing a new medical treatment, short-form content is showing viewers the way.
For marketers, it’s about presenting the problem and offering the solution in the quickest time possible. Sometimes the viewer might not recognise the problem until you present it to them – it’s about making them care enough to want to learn how to change it.
2. Talking head videos
Putting a face to a name via short-form video helps to humanise your brand, creating an element of transparency. Having an approachable identity, such as a company figurehead or brand ambassador, helps reinforce trust and positions the expertise within your organisation.
Even if members of your company don’t seem like they’d be a natural in front of the camera, you’d be surprised! We’ve worked with individuals who quickly become comfortable being filmed when faced with the right questions and the reassurance that we can do as many takes as needed to get it right!
It’s also important to remember that the standard of your video will ultimately communicate the standard of your company. It’s therefore crucial that the talking head video looks (and sounds) like a slick production. If not, you risk coming across as unprofessional and it could cheapen your brand.
3. Behind-the-scenes content
If audiences are to take advice and recommendations at face value, they need to believe they’re coming from an authentic place. Short-form video presents brands with a great opportunity to show some authenticity.
Behind-the-scenes content is nothing new, but the new format gives brands even more licence to show their passion and personality.
We’ve filmed some great content from brands showing off their production and/or creative process. Often, we will create a longer-form video for a company’s website, which can then be ‘sliced and diced’ into short-form videos to push out through socials or email newsletters.
4. Customer testimonials
With 92% of customers trusting non-paid advice over paid ads, social proof is more important than ever – why not boost your brand’s trustworthiness by turning some of those text testimonials into short-form videos?
For some users, it’s much more appetising to press a short video on your website than it is to scroll through a case study. By keeping the testimonial unscripted, you’ll also boost your authenticity.
You can be as ‘out there’ with your customer testimonials as you like. There’s nothing stopping you from turning a TikTok dance into a testimonial – just make sure that it’s right for your brand and won’t look out of place on your website if you want to host it there.
Ready to create some short-form video?
With Google loving video as much as audiences, make sure your short-form video spans both your social media profiles and your website. You want to get those search benefits, too.
At Q Content, we can work with you to build a video strategy – and then help you deliver it in a time- and cost-effective way by using some of the tricks of the trade (such as creating six months’ worth of videos in a couple of days of filming).
Drop me a message for some examples of the short-form videos we’ve created for brands over the past year or so.