Best Practices for Creating Short-Form Video

Best Practices for Creating Short-Form Video

Short-form video is an excellent marketing tool that helps you connect with your customers on a more personal level, while delivering all the information they need in 60 seconds or less. By 2020, video is expected to account for 79% of global internet traffic, which means there’s no better time to start producing marketing videos than now.

In order to create greater awareness for your products and services, generate new leads and retain existing customers, you’ll need to be able to quickly produce short-form videos.

5 Main Types of Short-Form Video

Short-form videos are typically 2-3 minutes long. Any online videos longer than 10 minutes are referred to as long-form video. Statistics show business professionals prefer short, informative and engaging videos. Nearly 60% of senior executives would rather watch a video instead of reading text and 95% of B2B buyers prefer shorter content formats.

These are the five most common types of short-form video:

  • Product Demo: This type of video allow you to demonstrate your company’s products. Customers coming to your website seeking product information are more likely to click on a short product demo before reading about it in a lengthy article.
  • Tutorial: In a tutorial video, an employee can show viewers how to tackle a particular project or issue, while showcasing one of your products. For example, Home Depot has a series of how-to videos using its brand of equipment.
  • Company Promo: An introduction video on a company’s home page offers customers a quick glimpse into your business. It’s an opportunity to show what your business has to offer, while displaying your company’s personality.
  • Employee Spotlight: By featuring employees at your company, demonstrating their typical work day and sharing what it’s like to work at your company, this type of video helps customers feel more connected to your company on a personal level. It can also help attract talented job candidates who are the best fit for your company’s culture.
  • Testimonial: Testimonials shared from happy customers are powerfully persuasive, especially when they’re on video and you can see real people sharing their experiences.

What You’ll Need to Purchase

Video has a reputation for being expensive, but you just need a few pieces of equipment and a smartphone or tablet in order to produce a quality video. Below is a quick list of video equipment, totaling about $100:

  • Cellphone Tripod Mount: This mount will hold your cellphone and enable you to use it like you would a video camera.
  • 60” Tripod: This cell phone tripod mount screws into the tripod. With a tripod, you can zoom and pan without creating shaky video. You can also set up the tripod so you don’t have to hold the phone while conducting an interview.
  • Miracle Sound Lavalier: Cell phones have small microphones, most of which are far back into the phone to increase water resistance. Because of this, your phone may record sound softer than you would want. Buying an external lavalier microphone that connects into your phone is a good way to ensure louder, high-quality sound.
  • CyberLink Power Director 15: This is professional, affordable nonlinear video editing software. The type of software you purchase should depend on your skillset level. If you are a beginner, try experimenting with free software such as iMovie (Mac) or Windows Movie Maker (PC).
  • FiLMiC Pro: A video app called Filmic Pro turns your phone into a high-definition camera with the ability to provide manual control over focus, exposure, ISO, shutter speed and color temperature.

There are many different types of video editing software, ranging from free to hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. If you’re new to post-production video editing, it is recommended that you start with a software that’s simple to use and inexpensive. With common video editing software, you will be able to find plenty of how-to videos online to help improve your editing skills.

Key Tips for Shooting Quality Video

Everyone knows how to aim, press record and take video on their phone. However, there are some guidelines that the average person may not know when shooting video. Here are seven helpful tips to keep in mind:

  1. Always shoot video horizontally on your phone.
  2. Record for a minimum of 10 seconds. This will give you enough footage to work with when editing.
  3. Keep the camera steady at all times. If you need to move, do it very slowly. Too much movement or zoom can make your audience dizzy.
  4. Frame your shots. Don’t be afraid to put your subject slightly off center. When interviewing people, put them to the left or right of the screen, but make sure they’re always looking toward the center when speaking.
  5. Use a variety of wide, regular and close-up shots. These can be mixed together when editing.
  6. Shoot in a bright area. Make sure the light is coming from behind the camera and not casting a shadow on the interviewee’s face.
  7. Shoot in a quiet room. It’s easier to lower sound quality than it is to raise it.

How to Promote Your Video

Once you’ve shot and edited your video together to create your masterpiece, it’s time to promote it online. There’s more to posting your video than just uploading it on your website and social media pages. You should adhere to the formula search engines have created to make finding your video easy for viewers. This means you need to embrace the power of SEO.

Here are several tips to help optimize your video for search:

  • Use relevant keywords in your titles, descriptions and copy, including the video file name.
  • Conduct keyword research using Google Keywords Tool to see what your audience is searching for.
  • Choose a compelling, visually appealing thumbnail.
  • Add a video transcript for closed captioning.
  • Embed your YouTube video onto your website. The more views your video gets, the better chances your video has of showing up in Google search results.
  • Publish content frequently, as Google will crawl your site more often and grant you higher authority.
  • Track your video performance through tools like Google Analytics.

Make sure to post your video across all of your online platforms, including your website and social media channels. Craft catchy headlines, add hashtags and make your video “shareable.” When posting to Facebook, make sure to use the “autoplay” feature. Many viewers tend to stop and watch video in their feed if it’s already running.

Last, but certainly not least, don’t be a perfectionist. Your videos will improve as you continue to produce them. It’s more important to get your marketing video out to your customers than to wait until you think it’s perfect.

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About The Author

As president, Brad Kostka leads business development, agency management and account services. His experience includes communications strategy, branding, content marketing, media relations, marketing automation, investor relations and event planning. Over his 25-plus-year career, he has worked with organizations ranging from global, publicly traded corporations to local startups.