How To Create Compelling Content for Short-form Videos

Short-form videos are among the most popular posts on social media, thanks in part to the hugely successful Tik-Tok, so it's no surprise that more businesses are trying to get in on the content hype.

"Our data showed consumers find short-form videos 2.5 times more engaging than long-form ones," says Sprout Social in a post on its website. "Plus, short-form video is the most engaging type of in-feed content, followed by images and live video."

Sixty-six percent of consumers report short-form video as the most engaging type of in-feed social media content in 2022, up from 50 percent in 2020, according to the software company's Sprout Social Index.

Further, consumers told the survey they want to see authentic content on social media — 51 percent said they want brands to highlight their product or service in social media content.

"Some 39 percent want to see customers testimonials/demos, and 34 percent report wanting posts that showcase a brand's personality and less-produced videos," says the Sprout Social Index.

Why Short Videos?

Given their continued popularity, short videos are a great way to provide authentic content to customers — to promote your products and services and boost your brand via social media.

In TikTok's Global Retail Path To Purchase Study, 44 percent of users said they discovered something on the platform and immediately went out to buy it.

"More and more American small businesses are turning to TikTok to take us inside their world in a fun, authentic way, and as a result, they are reaching new customers, hiring more employees and growing their business," says Sofia Hernandez, the company's global head of business marketing for TikTok, in a Fast Company article by Danica Lo.

Here's more information and tips on creating and posting short videos on social media to promote your small business.

Keeping them short. "We're talking 2-3 minutes tops on Facebook and Twitter," explains a Sprout Social post about video marketing strategy.

Try aiming for 15 seconds of video, even though Instagram permits videos up to one minute, writes Jamia Kenan, a content specialist for Sprout Social.

Make it engaging. Keep in mind that videos on YouTube or Google are usually found by users looking for something, i.e., to learn how to do or find something. However, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, users will likely be stumbling across your video in their feeds.

So whether people watch the video you're posting will depend on how eye-catching and engaging it is, points out Sprout Social.

Your social media fans are likely to immediately scroll over your video if it is not interesting inside the first few seconds, says a post by the video creation platform Biteable. Aim to capture viewers' attention inside the first three seconds by including an attention-grabbing title card, the post adds.

Getting started. If you don't already have an account for your business set up on the platform where you're planning to create/post your short-term video, go through the steps to do that first.

The steps for creating a video on TikTok and Instagram are similar. You can upload photos and videos from your camera roll or take fresh ones on both platforms, explains Jacqueline Zote in a Sprout Social post about making a TikTok video

She adds that both platforms include tools for customizing your video, such as the ability to add effects and soundtrack.

Getting started with making a TikTok video shouldn't be difficult if you're comfortable with Instagram Reels, she adds.

More how-to. Choose the duration from the scrollbar above the record button to make a TikTok video.

"By default, you can record up to 15 seconds of video," Zote writes. Since then, the app has enhanced its recording feature to support videos of up to 60 seconds, he said, adding that this will create a longer 60-second video from four shorter 15-second films.

The red record button located at the bottom of the screen should be pressed to begin recording after selecting sounds for your video from the TikTok music library.

Additionally, Zote writes, you can combine several clips so that they play in the proper order. Simply press the record button once more to begin a fresh clip, he added.

To use a video saved on your phone, vs. creating on the platform, upload it to the app — you should see an option to customize it, as you would if you were making the video there. 

According to the how-to post by Sprout Social, you may edit a video on TikTok by adding text, stickers, voiceovers, filters, voice effects, captions, and effects using the tools in the right-hand panel.

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