Your Short-Form Video Strategy: Research and Planning

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Short-form videos, such as Instagram Reels, TikToks, and YouTube Shorts, have become increasingly popular among social media users. In fact, not only is short-form video the most popular trend among marketers, with one-third using it, but it’s also the most e ective and has the highest ROI.

Additionally, 73% of consumers prefer to watch a short-form video to learn about a product or service, and 59% of short-form videos are watched for 41-80% of their length, while 30% of them have an average watch rate of over 81%.

One of the primary benefits of short-form videos is their ability to grab the viewer’s

attention quickly. They also have a higher potential for virality, allowing increased visibility and reach for your brand. Additionally, short-form videos are a great way to showcase your brand’s personality and creativity, humanizing your brand and creating a stronger connection with your audience.

Short-form videos are also often less expensive and time-consuming to produce than longer-form content, freeing up more time and resources for other aspects of your social media strategy.

Here’s Michael Rowe, cinematographer & on-camera talent at Nexorank, to share more.

Michael Rowe: The appeal of short form videos for consumers is ultimately that you’re getting some amount of value, entertainment, education, and the desire to engage with a brand within a very short amount of time — 60 seconds. Within those 60 seconds, you know that by the end of it, you’re going to have gotten some kind of value out of it. According to some studies, the average attention span is 47 seconds. Some people say it’s as short as 8 to 12 seconds. Ultimately, we know that attention spans have gotten shorter over time. So, I think the advantage of short form is that it’s kind of fitting into what people are expecting in terms of how willing they are to pay attention to any given piece of media.

With these videos taking a more prominent role in a marketer’s social media strategy, it’s worth putting in some extra research and planning to build out a short-form specific part of the equation. Understanding the purpose of your videos is essential for planning, researching, and creating content. Are you looking to build brand awareness? Sell products? Perhaps you want to educate and inform, thus establishing your business as a thought leader.

Take this TikTok example from Microsoft 365. If you review their profile, you’ll see that their videos feature a cast of young workers and use a lot of memes that are popular on the platform. But what they’re consistently doing is two things: building brand awareness with ayounger audience, and highlighting the features of the Microsoft 365 product. If you know what you want your videos to accomplish, it will help dictate the style, content, and audience of your videos.

Having a purpose for your videos is important for helping them get noticed by the algorithms used on each social platform, since each algorithm considers watch time and audience engagement when deciding how widely to distribute content. By creating content with a clear purpose and audience in mind, you can increase watch time and engagement, and improve your chances of being promoted by the algorithm.

Market Analysis and Content Strategy for Michael Rowe

Michael Rowe: your target personas and target audience. How quickly are you going to be able to create content? How often are you going to be able to create content? Who are the competitors? What are other folks doing within this space, within your given business lane? Basically, you want to almost perform a market or SWOT analysis, see what the rest of the field is doing, see what you’re going to be capable of, and then begin to build your content around that.

Regardless of whether you’re just starting out making short-form videos, or if you’re looking to revitalize your current strategy, researching what others in your niche are doing can help you save time and learn from their successes and mistakes.

Begin by looking for similarities in titles and content that are succeeding in your space, and take note of what is succeeding and failing for other channels similar to yours. What type of imagery and storytelling are they using? Are they using humor? Memes? Pay attention to your competition’s titles and hashtags too, as they’ll be helpful for SEO. Understanding what’s resonating with audiences similar to yours will help you home in on just the right type of content you should be creating.

Next, it’s important to have a structured plan for producing consistent content. Once a week might not be enough with short-form video, particularly on TikTok where it’s the only kind of content. Instead, focus on developing quality content and producing lots of it. An important factor in this will be your analytics, since they play a crucial role in determining what works and what doesn’t. Consider developing daily shorts, analyzing analytics after amonth, and then duplicating what worked well.

Repurposing some of your longer-form content can also be a game-changer for your social media strategy. It saves you time, e ort, and resources, while maximizing your output. However, to get the most out of repurposing, there are some best practices to keep in mind. Rather than starting from scratch, try reusing your existing content in bite-sized clips. The trick with this, though, is editing. Pick only the most engaging, relevant clips from your long videos and keep them short — between 20 and 60 seconds, ideally. Once you do this, you can shrink an hour-long video down to a few clips and run them as a series or part of avideo carousel.

Best Practices for Repurposing Longer-Form Content

Michael Rowe: When repurposing longer form content, Ithink that’s honestly excellent. You get to double dip on e orts that you’ve already made, and repackage it for these other platforms. The thing that you need to keep in mind is that if you’re posting a longer video to YouTube and you want to cut that down to TikTok, the expectations of those audiences are a little bit di erent, right? TikTok is a little bit more high energy. You have captions on screen. Ultimately, whenever you’re repurposing, you want to play into theexpectations that folks have of that platform. And to do that, you kind of need to know what that platform is all about.

Another best practice is to shoot videos in a vertical format and avoid platform-specific features. For example, it’s not a great experience to see the TikTok logo showing up on an Instagram Reel. Instead, shoot the video outside of each platform and upload rather than resharing.

Next, it’s crucial to keep in mind the length of the video and platform requirements, as di erent platforms have di erent length requirements, and some platforms may cut o  important parts of your video if they’re placed at the top or bottom of the screen.

In addition, it’s best to use copyright-free music or create your own music to avoid any copyright issues, as some platforms have restrictions on the type of music you can use. Using copyrighted music can result in less monetization or fewer impressions. If you’re using music chosen from a specific social platform, don’t reshare that content — the music copyright may be specific to that platform and that could put you in violation if you share it on a di erent one.

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to keep a copy of your content externally, so you can repurpose it in the future. Changing the music or other elements of the video can give a fresh spin to old content and attract new viewers.

Planning and developing a short-form video strategy requires a clear understanding of your audience, purpose, and niche. Conduct research to learn from others, create content that’s engaging and consistent, and obsess over analytics to track your progress. And consider what video content you already have — you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Once you have these elements in place, you’re ready to start developing your short-form video content.

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