Today’s audience can have the attention span of a sugared-up gnat. Take too much of their time and BOOM, they’re off to the next shiny object.
When you do get the opportunity to slow them down and draw their attention, it’s imperative that you take advantage of every precious second and make a lasting impact with your message.
Many companies are combating this need for speed by taking a lead from social media and using short-form video to promote their brand. We’re talking videos anywhere from a few seconds to no more than a couple minutes long.
Not only are they easy to make, they’re also a highly effective way to keep an audience invested in your message by giving them the ability to absorb your information before deciding to learn more about what your brand is offering. Just how effective you ask? Recent research shows that short-form video now claims to have the highest return on investment rate in comparison to all other social media marketing strategies. In other words, people prefer to watch and learn over reading to learn.
Pick your purpose
When and where short-form video is integrated into your social media marketing depends on what kind of heavy lifting you need it to perform. While by no means an all-inclusive list, most short-form videos fall into the following four styles. Pick the one that’ll get the job done for you.
Product and service introduction–a great way to highlight a new product or demonstrate a specific product or service feature.
Tutorials/how-to’s–wildly popular, these step-by-step videos are among the most searched-for online and are a simple way to explain a complicated product or service.
- Teasers–used to pique interest and anticipation for specialty offers or promo events that are exclusive to your social media audience.
Q+A/Interviews–put a name and human face to your brand while engaging your audience with insightful information and answers to common questions.
If you’re game to have a go at making your own short-form video, here are some guidelines to help you create a video that’s interesting, memorable and will incite the desired audience reaction.
1. Agonize over your messaging. Plan to spend an inordinate amount of time crafting your video script and storyboard. The simpler the better. Remember, this is not the time nor vehicle to wax poetic on all the intricacies of your business. Keep your content focused on a singular, main message with two or three support points.
Lead with a hook. The beginning of the video should grab attention and keep the audience watching.
Embrace authenticity. Be true to your brand and honest with your audience.
Be wary of humor. The line between funny and failure is wafer-thin. A good substitute for humor is “smart and affable.”
2. Get bossy. Always include a clear call-to-action so your audience knows what you want them to do: LEARN MORE, CALL FOR APPOINTMENT, BUY NOW. If you don’t, your content and messaging (and audience) will fall into the deep, dark chasm of “good to know” … never to be seen again.
3. Find your inner Scorsese. Follow these simple steps to best capture your subject and story.
Shoot vertical (9:16 aspect ratio).
Natural lighting is preferred. Shoot by windows, outside, or use a bright lamp to eliminate shadows.
Keep audio clear. Try to record in a quiet space or plug a lavalier microphone into your phone.
Use a simple, solid colored background. Keep the focus without distracting.
4. Edit, edit, edit. Did we mention edit? Knowing that brevity and clarity are your nearest, dearest friends, be sure to take the time to edit your video so it is easy to understand and digest. Avoid overloading the video with unnecessary graphics, on-screen text, or obtrusive music unless it helps tell your story or augments the message. Give these easy-to-use editing tools a try: Animoto, Adobe Spark Video, Promo.
5. Aim, publish and repeat. Choose the social media platforms that are right for your brand and message. Use audience demographics to guide your way.
Need a partner to help you generate and integrate short-form video into your social media marketing?