Updated: Jun 19
Video marketing is one of the most popular and influential forms of online marketing. Let’s face it; we all love to watch videos. The 2021 We Are Social Digital Report showed that 90.6% of people globally watch online videos each month. Moreover, 93.4% of internet users in Kenya use entertainment and video mobile apps. Video marketing will keep getting bigger, with short-form videos seemingly at the forefront.
What are short-form videos?
Short-form videos are videos that can be as short as 10 seconds or slightly longer. There has been no time standard set per se, but short-form videos vary depending on the platform you are using.
The Genesis of Short-form Videos.
Several applications are well-known for creating and publishing short-form video content e.g. TikTok or Instagram Reels. However, Snapchat is credited with pioneering the concept of short-form videos in 2011. Snapchat allowed users to capture and send ‘snaps’ which were only viewable for a set duration of 1 to 10 seconds. Snaps could (and still can) be posted on Snapchat stories, where they are only viewable for 24 hours.
The snaps did so well that by the end of October 2012, Snapchat users worldwide were sharing about 20 million images a day, which is approximately 231 snaps per second. This concept became so popular that we saw platforms like Instagram adopt a similar concept by introducing Instagram stories in 2016. Like in Snapchat, Instagram Stories are ephemeral, disappearing after 24 hours. A single Instagram story post can only last 15 seconds.
TikTok was also established in the year 2016. TikTok is a short-form video-sharing site that only allows you to make and share less than one-minute long videos. But it wasn't until 2018 that the platform really took the world by storm. In November of 2018, TikTok reported that the platform hosted an average of 500 million monthly active users. Today, TikTok has an average of 732 million monthly active users.
In 2019, not long after the rise of TikTok, Instagram introduced the ‘Instagram Reels’ feature that also focused on short-form video content. Millions of users were making videos daily.
Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook also have short-form video content features incorporated into their platforms. It is clear that short-form video is popular and here to stay.
Why should you create short-form videos?
Creating video content today should be a no-brainer practice for businesses that have an online presence. According to a Wyzowl study from 2020, people share videos twice as much as any other type of content. It was also reported that 84% of people were convinced to purchase a product or service after watching a brand's video. Short-form videos have recently risen to the forefront of social media platforms, accounting for a substantial portion of the above data.
Here are some reasons why you should implement short-form video content into your marketing strategies:
1. They are relatively easier to make.
It doesn’t take up as much time to make a 1-minute video as it would a 10 minutes video for example. Also, audiences today are responding to more authentic videos that aren’t heavily edited. Because of this, you can be able to consistently create more videos to post at a higher frequency.
2. People have shorter attention spans.
Social media is continually bombarding us with new information. It, therefore, shouldn’t come as a surprise that people’s attention can nowadays only be captured for shorter periods of time. That is why it is better for some of your videos to be short and precise in order to maintain your audience’s attention.
3. Short-form video content doesn’t need to be a new idea.
Short-form video ideas don’t have to be new. Instead, you have the benefit of repurposing your previously curated content in the different formats that they were. You can take a historical blog article, summarise the key points into a 30-second video and share it. This makes it easier for you to always have content to share with your audience, even as you come up with fresh ideas.
Trending short-form video content ideas to focus on in 2021.
So, you’re all set to start making your short-form video content? Here are some trends you should pay attention to this year.
1. More User Generated Content.
User-generated content (UGC), also known as user-created content, in the context of short-form videos, is a form of publicity as a result of unpaid consumers creating and/or sharing content that references your business or brand. UGC however, is different from influencer marketing because it is purely organic, meaning it is unpaid. These kinds of videos allow potential consumers to view your products in their natural use context, making it easier for them to trust your brand. When your audience creates content about you, it's social proof.
User-generated content can be obtained in a number of ways. For example, some brands invite their followers to post content about them and tag them in order to be featured on their page. Others start a challenge with a well-known hashtag with the aim of making their brand go viral.
Customers’ video feedback and video testimonials are other common and effective examples of user-generated content.
UGC should always have a spot in your content plan because it has the potential to improve a brand's reputation.
2: More educational or demo videos.
Making educational content that is specifically relevant to your niche has become the standard model for many brands. Educational videos are excellent added-value content because they teach your consumers about your product or service and how it can help solve their challenges.
A good example of this would be this Instagram reel we did to educate people about how they can successfully take their business online. The video is short and precise, but it provides valuable information.
With these types of videos, you can choose to cover a specific concept or demonstrate a functionality such as how to download your app for example. Brands that emphasise education in their marketing campaigns may end up increasing their lead-customer conversion rate in the long run. You can also easily target customers who are in the process of making a purchase decision and demonstrate value to them through a short video. If executed effectively, you can convert potential customers into buyers.
3: More behind-the-brand videos.
You should strive to tell your audience more about your brand story through video. Go beyond what you’re selling.
These videos allow your audience to see what they wouldn't otherwise see: What goes on behind the scenes in your workplace, what challenges you face, who make up your team, what exactly is their backstory, etc. These are some of the questions you may consider addressing as you continue to create and share short-form videos about the humans and challenges that make up your brand story. The ‘humanisation’ of your organisation helps you to engage with your customers on a deeper level. It also allows them to develop a rapport with you, something that a faceless corporation would otherwise not be able to do.
Sharing your brand story ultimately builds trust between you and your consumers. According to a Sprout Social survey, 70% of consumers felt more connected to brands whose CEO is active on social media platforms.
Short-form video content generally requires a more authentic but creative approach. Figure out and demonstrate, through video, what your brand's unique point of view and personality is. Use it to differentiate yourself from the competition. A good video content strategy requires time and effort. If it’s executed well, it will definitely pay off.
You should also be intentional about the trends in which you want to participate in. We all want to get in on the latest trend, but first and foremost, concentrate on catering to your niche and remaining authentic. Don't be hesitant to try something different. It's all about finding a good balance between what's trendy and what's suitable and right for your brand.