Out of all the social media marketing tactics, short-form video content provides the best return. Consider these tips when integrating them into your marketing mix.
TikTok and Instagram Reels have redefined the way we consume video content. The platforms, which show users short, bite-sized video content, provide more than personal entertainment — they also provide marketers a powerful tool for driving brand engagement and marketing returns.
According to HubSpot’s recent survey on 2022 marketing trends, short-form video has the highest return on investment of any social media marketing strategy, so prioritizing it will prove key to marketing success in the year ahead. That said, marketers have to first know a few key things about short-form video and how to strategically use it if they hope to give consumers what they want.
Short-Form Video Basics
Although there is no standard length for short-form video, anything under a few minutes generally qualifies. In today’s world, however, “short-form” most often refers to fast-paced TikTok-style content that is meant to be consumed quickly and easily. The idea is that users have to spend only a few moments with the content, so it should be engaging from start to finish.
Trends also influence how marketers might create and share short-form video content, but those trends change all the time — typically every three to five days — so creating the most relevant and engaging content requires staying up to date. Popular trends often revolve around viral audio clips, TikTok dances, editing effects, and transitions, so marketers have to be regularly engaged on these platforms to understand what’s most popular and how that might fit into their brand strategy.
The Marketing Advantages of Short-Form Video
Short-form video is obviously popular, but why does it make strategic sense to incorporate it into your marketing efforts?
There are a few reasons. First, it’s easy for your audience to connect with. Short video content translates as authentic and relatable, and if marketers can communicate those feelings through short-form branded content, consumers are more likely to view the brand as genuine. It’s also attention-grabbing and highly shareable. More than that, though, it forces marketers to condense their messages into a shorter time frame, making the content easier for consumers to digest.
How to Make Short-Form Video Part of Your Strategy
With that in mind, marketers who are ready to make short-form video a valuable, strategic tool in their marketing arsenal can use the following tips to get started:
- Tailor your video content to each platform.
In today’s world, sharing the same content on every platform using the same message just doesn’t work. Consumers expect to see strategic content tailored to each platform, so be intentional about customizing your short-form video for each platform you plan to share it on. A video that looks like it was created to be a TV commercial won’t perform well on TikTok, and vice versa.
- Focus on authenticity.
As mentioned above, short-form video is a great way to share brand messages authentically. Viewers on platforms where short-form video reigns want to feel like they’re really connecting to a brand’s content, so they won’t respond well when content feels fake or overproduced. Don’t be afraid to let your guard down and show your brand’s real and unpolished side. When you do, you increase the odds that consumers find a stronger connection with your content — and turn that connection into brand engagements down the road.
- Engage with trends quickly and thoughtfully.
If you plan to share short-form videos that capitalize on a current TikTok dance or editing style, make sure to get your video done and published quickly. This content isn’t designed to be perfect, and you don’t have time to nitpick every detail if you want the content to remain relevant. Trends have a short life cycle and will fade quickly. If you share short videos based on an out-of-style trend, viewers will see you as disconnected from their viewing habits and preferences, and the video will lose all of its marketing value.
- Share educational content.
Short-form video is great for sharing product demos and use cases, how-to videos, and other educational content. Some brands fear that educational content is too dry for marketing messages, but that’s definitely not the case for videos shared on TikTok and Instagram Reels. In fact, consumers on these platforms actually seek out educational content, so it’s a good, strategic move. Work to understand what your audience members might need or want to know about your brand or industry, and provide them with information that they can use moving forward.
- Don’t focus on selling.
Finally, and on a similar note, don’t create short-form videos that push consumers to buy. This content type is much more about connecting and relationship building than selling, so be careful not to treat your short video content as product ads. As you foster your connection with consumers over time, your audience will remember your brand when it’s time to make a purchase.
Short-form video has the power to connect you with your target audience in a fresh, relevant way. It lets you build connection and trust — both of which lead to consumers engaging with and developing loyalty to your brand. If you haven’t made short-form video content a part of your marketing yet, now is the time. Watch and see how quickly you reap the benefits.
Written by Hope Horner.
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