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  • Chris Gib

Unleash the power of social media scrolling with short-form video: Part 2

It is no secret that YouTube is undeniably the home of online video, and music videos are the most watched media – some with views numbering in the billions. But you don’t need to become the next Taylor Swift to get people watching and sharing your short-form videos; You just need some creativity, enthusiasm, inspiration and guidance because there’s plenty of research out there to suggest video marketing is the #1 way to get your brand in front of your target audience, and spiralling through your conversion funnel.

In part 1 of this series discussing the incredible power of short form video for elevating brands and engaging audiences, we imparted some of our learnings on how to increase engagement, the power & pitfalls of comedy content, and the importance of leveraging the correct video lengths and hashtag strategies for maximum exposure. And now here are a few more things we learned during our experiments (and failures!)

Crap cropping can cause confusion and consequences.

Ideally, you’ll want the initial engagements on your social media video posts to be enthusiastic shares or limitless likes. But when one of the first few comments is instead “Nice crop (100 emoji) (100 emoji)”, there’s not much left to do but face-palm. Additionally if your post has already garnered some attention in terms of likes, views and shares it's unwise to delete and repost it with a fixed crop. To add insult to injury, a bad crop might also cut out an important element of the video (like your brand name or logo) which can negate the point of creating and publishing in the first place! So make sure you are well versed with the best aspect ratios for each channel or platform you want to utilise for your video strategy.

Entertaining education is engaging.

  • 91% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.

  • 82% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a video.

  • When asked how they’d like to learn about a product or service, 44% of people surveyed say they’d most like to watch a short video.

There aren’t many people who haven’t utilised video for education, whether it’s to learn a new skill, new knowledge, about a product or service or to keep up-to-date on what’s happening in the world. But when there is so much choice regarding which video to watch and which one to skip, entertainment and engagement becomes paramount. Educational videos that do not entertain and/or engage the viewer are more likely to be skipped. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how to make your videos stand out from the crowd.

Personalised promotion over professionally polished.

The reason consumers rely so heavily on review sites to make their buying decisions (like Trustpilot or TripAdvisor) is because the reviews are considered to be authentic and are contributed by other real-life users/buyers of a product or service. The same is true for video. User Generated Content (UGC) is a powerful concept that can be leveraged to provide valuable third-party social proof around a company, concept, product or service. A satisfied consumer publishing and sharing a self-made promotional video regarding their positive experience(s) with your brand creates trust and credibility - and is likely to have more impact on buying habits/decisions than any professionally produced advert generated by a business. If your customers are making and sharing videos raving about your brand without any payment or coercion, you’re doing it right!

Consider captions for the quiet consumers.

Most of the time, scrolling and sharing videos on social media is a silent activity. Watching videos out loud in public, professional or social spaces is the bane of most people’s lives, and the more considerate “social-scrollers” will be keen to put their device on mute as they enjoy their content. As a result, captioning short videos that contain speech is essential to optimise engagement. Luckily, there are many tools available to add captions or subtitles to short videos – some are even native to the platforms used to publish content online. You could even consider watching a video (with captions) to learn how to add captions to your videos. How ‘meta’ of you.

The highs of the hits and the misery of the misses.

This is an amazing idea for a social video post” you tell yourself “Thousands of people are going to love, share and comment on this video!

So you spend a great deal of creativity, time and resource making sure nothing can go wrong. Cropping? Perfect. Captions? Done. Content? Engaging.

You enthusiastically post your short and wait like an excited expectant child on Christmas morning for Instagram to blow up!

But instead there's silence. Nothing. How disappointing. What a waste of time.

Sadly, not every video will be a hit, and there are many reasons why – especially for brands and businesses that don’t already have an established following. There are a number of reasons that might prevent a short video from flourishing; video length, incorrect hashtags, inconsistent posting, a temporary shadow ban, the time of day, current events, or that you simply failed on this occasion to predict what will engage, entertain or educate your audience. But keep going. Don’t let it get you down. Building brand engagement using short form video is a marathon, not a sprint – and it’s a dark art at the best of times. Get in touch of you want to talk about it.

There are many reasons why businesses are still hesitant to employ and deploy short form video in their marketing strategies. Lack of budget, lack of resource, market saturation and uncertain ROI are some of the reasons, but wide ranging research and evidence illustrates that businesses who haven’t put video at the heart of their marketing activities are practically inviting their competitors to outperform them.

We hope that this 2-part series rambling about the power and pitfalls of using short-form video for brand promotion and marketing has provided a few valuable insights that will help to deliver some successes (do let us know if that’s the case).

As always, articles published by DarkScorpio Media & Marketing are written from our own thoughts, experiences and perspectives. We are humble enough to know that we might be misinformed, or have arrived at the wrong conclusion with our musings. If anyone out there has any contributions or corrections with regard to our articles, we would love to learn from you, so please do leave a comment and start a discussion.

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