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The Rise Of Short-Form Videos: How To Use Videos To Get A Bigger ROI


Influential American film critic Pauline Kael may be one among many credited with the oft-repeated phrase, “Everyone’s a critic."

But these days, everyone’s a director. Short-form video sites like TikTok and Instagram have distilled and democratized the video-making process into a 6 to 15 second window of opportunity that’s easily accessible to the general public.

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And that's a good thing for you. As a business owner, you can take advantage of this trend to create catchy, engaging videos that drive customers to buy your product. All you need is the right strategy to do it.

Why Are Short Videos So Popular?

The technology is actually easily accessible on several levels because it’s flexible, intuitive, and embeddable. Meaning; it’s an extension of a medium that people are already familiar with, mainly Facebook (which owns Instagram).

With Instagram and TikTok, you can take up to 15 seconds of video. It might sound impossible to make a video for your business in just 15 seconds, but many big brands like Wendy's and Apple have proven it's doable and it works.


The reason these short videos are so trendy is, one, they are short, and in today’s world, people would rather spend six seconds than six minutes watching a video. These clips are a great way to grab someone’s attention without asking for anything from them in exchange. 

Secondly, you don’t have to be a master at video to make one. Sure, the really creative, catchy Vines made by professional videographers or whiz kids are great. However, your video doesn’t have to be knock-down, drag-out show-stopper to be of value. Many of the videos filmed by big brands are filmed on an iPhone. Pretty easy, right?

So, just what kind of marketing opportunities do these intrinsic content-creation tools present? Well, according to one recent study, people are 4 times more likely to share a short-form clip than any other video format. In fact, TikTok has 800 million users worldwide and more than 1 million video views per day.

These stats may not hold a candle to YouTube, but they do give businesses a leg up in the creative marketing department. You just have to remember a couple of pointers:

  • Forget about the complexities and roadblocks of high-quality editing. This process is stupid-simple. Before staking out a niche in video territory, Instagram tackled the formidable opponent of simplifying photography. Essentially, developers took what they have learned from photography, adapted it for short-form video, and users can create clips using the same tool kit and interface.
  • Beware the audience. Social media, streaming, and mobile campaigns have left people with an extremely short attention span. As a result, video continues to get shorter, punchier, and tighter. Follow the trend. Don’t fall off the cliff into the far reaches of the internet; get to the essence of your story in the time allotted.
  • It needs to tie in with the rest of the Business GrowthStack. Video is only one part of the Business GrowthStack (marketing automation). You still need clear messaging, campaigns, and sales automation to get real results from your video investment.


How do I create a short video for my business or organization?

If you are a business, these short-form videos can be of great value for increasing traffic to your website, getting more social media followers and generating leads. So, what can your business create with these tools? How about:

Idea 1: How-to videos: 6 to 15 seconds is all it takes to explain things like simple fixes around the house or demonstrate a fun and effective networking technique.

Idea 2: A company back-story in snippets: Use a fun interactive device or game to tell your company’s story a little bit at a time.

Idea 3: Create a visual mission statement: Can you communicate why your company is special without using words? Perhaps use an interactive photo album.

Idea 4: Contests: This is a smart and appealing way to boost subscribers and generate leads from your site’s content. Someone is always a ready and willing contest participant.

Understanding the rules and strategies for using short-form video can put you ahead of the ever-changing trending curve. But, just like everything on the internet, things change. In six months, three-second clips may be the new video on the block.

Questions and Final Thoughts

All in all, short-form videos are easy to make, easy to market and easy to measure/analyze. Are you incorporating video into your online marketing strategy? Because if the answer is no, it's time to rethink your strategy. Video is an effective tool for attracting, connecting with, and converting customers. It may seem like a lot of work on the front end, but that investment will be well worth it.

Hey, and if you need some help figuring out your video strategy, I've got your back. Schedule a free strategy session, and let's brainstorm some ideas.

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