It’s not breaking news that short-form video has taken over social media platforms. If you spend any time on social media for personal or professional reasons, you have seen short-form videos all over the place. Of course, the TikTok platform is designed for exactly this type of content, but it is also becoming quite popular on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Short videos or reels aren’t just for influencers though. Businesses can get great engagement on social media by creating some easy-to-digest, short and catchy video content. While that task can feel like a big one, it might not be as tricky as you think. With this article, we’d like to give you plenty of ideas for types of content that can work well for small business marketing. It might take a bit of experimentation and practice to dial in what kind of videos connect with your audience, but it will be well worth the effort in the end when you see those likes and comments increase.
The Appeal of the Short-Form Format
Before we get into short-form video ideas for you to consider for your business, we’d like to spend just a bit of time talking about their value. Once you understand why short-form video has gotten so popular, and why it’s a nice fit for many types of businesses, you may feel more compelled than ever before to give it a try.
So, here are three big reasons why short-form video should be on your radar:
- A minimal ask. One of the hardest things about promoting your brand online is capturing the attention of your target audience. After all, the competition for attention online is extreme, and the potential for distraction is endless. By creating short-form videos, you aren’t asking people to pay attention to your brand for five or ten minutes while you present them with some video content. Instead, you are asking for just a minute or less, which is a much easier bridge to cross. Even if someone is not familiar with your brand and doesn’t know what the video will be about, watching for 15-seconds (for example) is a minimal commitment and makes it more likely that they’ll give you a chance.
- It’s easy. Have you tried creating a quality 10-minute-long video for your business? If you have, you already know one thing to be true – it’s hard. Creating something of that length that is good enough for you to want it to represent your business out there on the web is a huge mountain to climb. On the other hand, short-form video is relatively easy, and the format lends itself to a more casual, relaxed production. You should be able to shoot these quick videos and have them loaded and live on the web in the same day. If you have been intimidated by the idea of getting started in the world of producing longer video content for your audience, short-form versions are the way to go.
- It’s testable. Given the ease of creating short videos, you should be able to try out a variety of different types of videos to see what works and what doesn’t. For example, let’s say that through some testing of short videos, you find that your audience responds particularly well to educational content. With that information in hand, you might decide to lean into that marketing direction and create some longer, in-depth content along the same lines. You’ll already have market proof that your audience likes this kind of content, so investing time and money in such efforts will be an easier decision to make.
Consider These Types of Short-Form Videos
Let’s get into some different ideas for content creation. Not all of these are going to make sense in the context of your business, so you’ll need to think about these ideas through the lens of what it is your brand is trying to achieve on social media.
- Educational content. We already mentioned this quickly above, so we might as well put it at the top of our list. Even in short-form videos that only last less than a minute, you can take the opportunity to teach something to your audience. It might be a quick tip on how to use one of your products, or it could address a common issue that some of your past customers have had. If the full explanation needs more than a short-form video can hold, use the video as a teaser and direct viewers to a blog post or longer video for the full solution.
- Direct messaging. In this type of video, you are going to put someone on camera who holds an important place within the business. It might be the owner, the head of a department, or simply someone who has worked in the company for a long time and can deliver a succinct sales pitch for what the business has to offer. These kinds of videos can humanize your business and lead to a closer connection with the audience.
- Highlight great customers. This is an excellent option because it can help potential new customers see exactly how they can benefit from engaging with your business. The idea is that you will ask some current customers if they would be willing to be featured in a short video where they talk about why they work with you and what they gain from the partnership. Testimonials are proven to be powerful marketing assets, so nearly any business can utilize this strategy effectively. You might want to use these short-form testimonials as lead-ins to bigger case studies on some of your best customers.
- A sneak peek. Anyone interested in your brand is likely also interested in what goes on behind the scenes at your business. Humans are naturally curious creatures, and you can use that curiosity to your advantage to drive engagement. Create some short videos that show how things work in your warehouse or factory, for example, or how your creative team does its work, and you’ll likely get a lot of interested viewers. Think about what would be most interesting to someone who has no idea how your business works and then find a way to create short-form video about that subject.
- Explain the advantage. If someone is thinking about making a purchase from you, it’s likely that they are considering buying some of your competitors, as well. So, why should they pick you? Make short videos about how your products or services are different than the alternatives on the market. You probably don’t want to mention your competition by name, so work on finding creative ways to discuss how your offers are better without stating it directly.
- Teaser video. When you have an exciting event or launch coming up, use short-form video to tease those occasions and build some anticipation. To make sure the viewer of the video doesn’t feel like you have wasted their time, consider adding some sort of bonus or enticement within the video. For instance, give them a chance to sign up early so they’ll be the first to have access to the new offering, or include a coupon code that can be used once the product goes live. This type of content makes the viewer feel like an insider that is getting access to something that isn’t available to the market as a whole.
- Influencer content. Rather than paying an influencer to promote your brand on their channel, you could bring in that person to play a role in videos that are posted to your own accounts. Of course, it’s important that the influencer you choose is well-known to your target audience, so they will carry some authority and lend credibility to what you are offering.
As you get started with some of these ideas, it’s likely that even more will come to mind. Soon enough, you’ll get an idea of which types of videos seem to make the most sense for your brand and which ones you enjoy making.
Should My Business Be on TikTok?
With all of this talk about how useful short-form videos can be, this discussion is naturally going to lead in one direction — should you be publishing these videos on TikTok? At first, it would be easy to dismiss TikTok as a casual platform that isn’t suitable for serious businesses. Isn’t it just about silly dance videos and other forms of passive entertainment? That’s certainly part of it, but as it grows in popularity, the viable uses for this platform have quickly expanded.
There is a great case to be made for including TikTok in your digital marketing strategy. Because of the sheer size of the platform, and thanks to the different approach it takes to content as compared to other social platforms, you might be able to reach a segment of the market that would have never found you otherwise. If you’ve been struggling to break into new market segments that might have an interest in your products or services, this is a great opportunity to seek some new customers.
Also, the style of content that tends to do well on TikTok is personal and engaging, allowing you to show more personality with your brand than you might in other settings. In fact, as you go through the process of trying to develop content that will make sense for use in the TikTok environment, you might find that you are developing a new marketing “voice” for your brand that you can apply to other promotional efforts.
There is a lot to like about using short-form video for your business. While the initial jump into this kind of media can be a little intimidating, you might wind up finding that it is one of your favorite types of promotion to do. As with all other marketing activities, carefully monitor the performance of your short-form videos and adjust your strategy as necessary. We hope the ideas in this article help to get the wheels turning, and we wish you luck with this endeavor!
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