Featured Image

Use Short-Form Video to Bolster Your Long-Form Message


Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

It’s big.

As of September 2021, TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users: the fastest social network to reach that staggering figure (Facebook, for example, took 71% longer).

TikTok is big (recently celebrating 1 billion monthly users), yet short: with videos either 15 or 60 seconds in length.

What we’re getting at is this: short-form video is hugely popular. And, as such, it should play a major part of your marketing plans.

Why is short-form video so popular?

A Cisco report from 2018 (which you’ll find quoted all over the internet) predicted that by 2022, 82% of all online traffic will be video. Because of the pandemic, however, that estimation might be a little low.

Nielsen reports that the pandemic has caused global video consumption to increase by 60%. Nielsen also found that in the US, time spent online on a mobile device increased by 215% (YOY from 2019 to 2020).  

Another commonly quoted statistic about video comes from James L. McQuivey, PhD from Forrester. He just did the math: If a picture is word 1,000 words and an average video has 30 frames (or pictures) per second, then standard 1 minute video would be composed of 1,800 pictures. Therefore, 1 minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words.

Is it really 1.8 million words worth? No. But video is a sure way to maximize information transmission by engaging both the visual and auditory centers of the brain. The bonus is: by firing up two centers of the brain, more connections are made in the brain which helps battle our ever-shrinking attention span.

Short-form videos are easy to consume either one at a time or by binging. They are easy to share: an important part of short-form video’s success. They are also a great tool to combine emotion, humor, and a more conversational tone with your message.

TikTok’s short form content has proven so desirable by users that other video platforms are launching their own ways to capitalize on this video trend. Over the summer, YouTube launched a new incentive for creators to use its TikTok competitor: Shorts. The Shorts Fund will dish out monetary rewards to high performing content. Is it a bribe? Will it work? We have another year to find out.

Regardless of platform and regardless of their recruiting techniques, we know that short-form video needs to do at least one of four things to be engaging and effective. Let’s examine each of the four types of short-form video and how they make videos more attractive to your audience.

1. Introduce

This is your “hello” video, summing up your company into an engaging first pitch. It is your “unveiling a new product” video. This is your “meet our favorite copywriter” video. Introductory videos are your audience’s first time experiencing something. They are a synopsis, highlighting the best features or points about the thing being introduced.  

Introductory videos should be exciting, while also leave the viewer wanting more. Remember, this type of video isn’t a “be all and end all” presentation, but rather an overview and entry into the realm of your company, products, and/or services.

2. Educate

The purpose of an educational video is just that: educate the viewer about a specific product, feature, or topic. It’s an informative piece created to impart some sort of knowledge to your audience. These are your “learn more” videos, your explanatory elaboration videos, and videos that repurpose your evergreen content.

But since these are short videos, care must be taken to make sure the video is focused, and the presentation isn’t cluttered. This isn’t a “cram everything in” sort of video. Ensuring your educational video is clear, to the point, and precise is what will make it memorable and shareable. If you teach them, you will reach them.

3. Demonstrate

This type of video is a close cousin to an educational video, with one big twist. Instead of showing what a new product or feature can do, you are demonstrating how to do it. These videos are mini step-by-step powerhouses that show how easy your products or services are to use and how their features can directly impact the user in a positive way.

Best of all, when you have a collection of demonstrable videos, you can combine them into a how-to database. Not only will this database provide added value to your product, but it can also relieve pressure off your customer service and technical teams. Build your how-to database correctly, and you’ll have a searchable, multi-use bastion of knowledge that will definitely turn heads when customers are looking for industry leaders.  

4. Entertain

Sometimes, you just want to amuse your viewers with something memorable that will add some positivity to your brand. A video scripted to entertain is the perfect way to share an emotional connection with your audience, even if all the response you’re provoking is laughter.

Focusing on entertaining can show a more human side of your business and create an image your customers can more easily relate to. This type of video often gets a wider reach just because of how enjoyable they are to share.

Of course, the best videos have a strategic blend of more than one of these forms. An entertaining product introduction. A video that both educates about a new feature while showing step-by-step how to use it. Just remember: don’t overload your video with too much. You want your videos to be engaging while remaining brief—using your short-form videos to maximize and strengthen your long-form marketing messages.