Short-form video is the focus of many publishers and brands on social right now, as it has proved to be such a successful format. Many elements that make for a successful video are true of both long-form and short-form. But there are special considerations to take with short-form, given its brevity and social target. Here are some tips to keep in mind for crafting excellent short-form videos:
Grab Their Attention
The first thing you have to do is catch the attention of users. Stand out in their cluttered feeds by using a bold, eye-catching thumbnail. And make it compelling, so that they’ll want to click through to your video.
Once they’ve hit play, keep viewers captivated with a strong first few seconds. Videos live and die by the power of their openings – 65% of viewers who watch the first three seconds of a video will continue on to at least the ten-second mark, and 45% will watch for thirty seconds.
Short Means Short
Did you know that the average length of a video view on Facebook is only 18 seconds? Attention spans on social are extremely short, and that demands short, focused videos.
“Shorter is better” should be your mantra, with a focus on staying under one-minute, at the longest. Videos that are less than 60 seconds retain 80% of viewers through their halfway marks, and a full 60% all the way to the end. These are great retention rates for social, where users are constantly bombarded and distracted, be it by other social content or the world around them as they browse on the go.
Edit for Social Viewing
You know your short-form video is aimed mostly at social networks, so follow editing practices for the online, social world. Try “hiding” cuts between visuals by making them fall on words with hard consonant sounds or in-step with music. Cutting mid-action is also an effective way to keep momentum.
Focus on using big visuals, like close-ups and medium shots, that is “readable” on screens of any size, and stand out in social feeds. Most broadly, understand the point of the story of your piece and arrange the pieces of your video to cohesively convey that point.
Create for Your Platform
While certain aspects of creating short-form for social are true across the different networks, there are some things to keep in mind depending on which platform your video will be shared on. For example, consider the importance of sound: the vast majority of video views on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are made on mobile. If you expect a video to be viewed by mobile users, craft it to work without sound (even if it also includes audio for those with the sound on).
Consider also the best aspect ratio for your platform. Square orientation works best for Facebook and Instagram, simply because it occupies more space in feeds. YouTube’s mobile app now allows for square videos, but 16:9 content is still the best option. Either 16:9 or square can work equally well on Twitter and Linkedin.
Short-form social videos have become the centerpiece of content marketing strategies for publishers and brands of every size and interest. With these considerations in hand, you’re ready to fine-tune your short-form videos to be evermore successful on social.