Consumers’ attention spans are decreasing to the point that even a 15-second video may be too long to capture your target audience’s interest.
It’s not that people don’t care about your brand anymore; they are just numb to the thousands of ads they are exposed to every day. If you’re going to grab their attention, you need to do it quickly and effectively.
“Attention must be earned in an instant,” said Paul Verna, Insider Intelligence Principal Analyst.
Read on to discover how you can reach your target audience through engaging short-form content.
Using Short-Form Content Effectively in Your Marketing Strategy
Short-form video marketing is a powerful tool for promoting your brand and engaging with your audience. Over 90% of marketers who use video report an increase in traffic and better understanding of their products and services from customers. Additionally, 89% of users were convinced to buy a product or service after watching a brand’s video.
“Before, horizontal content was the optimal thing to look at on your phone or your laptop,” John Roman, CEO of BattlBox, told SUBTA. “We’ve changed. Now we shoot content where it can be landscape and it can be vertical. We shoot content by design in a way where we know it’ll be easy to chop up into multiple short-form versions.”
In the last year, BattlBox has gained more than 825,000 TikTok followers (and counting) while attracting more than 565,000 YouTube subscribers — with Shorts occasionally reaching millions of views.
BattlBox won Best Marketing Campaign at the 2021 Cube Awards! Nominate your brand for this year’s awards ceremony!
The three most popular channels used for short-form videos are TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube Shorts. You don’t need to have a big following to get hundreds of thousands of views; their algorithms curate a user’s content based on how long they watch a video or whether or not they engage with it.
Which Platform is Best for You?
If you’re still unsure which platform to start on, try all three.
“While we occasionally might have some content that is exclusive to one channel, the vast majority of our short-form content is edited outside of a specific platform, so we can post on all three short-form channels,” says Roman.
If your target audience does not fall into the categories listed above, identify where the majority of consumers spend their time. According to a report from TINT, consumers plan to be most active on Facebook in 2023 in addition to Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Best Platforms to Edit Short-Form Content
How to Make Impactful Short-Form Videos
You should focus on creating short-form content that is visually and emotionally appealing. Additionally, you should focus on crafting a narrative that will engage your audience and make them want to share your video with others, creating a sense of community.
Even in less than 30 or 15 seconds, your content can be both entertaining and informative. For example, BattlBox’s TikTok feed is rippled with product demonstrations, incentivizing people to buy and subscribe.
How to Leverage Your Brand Advocates Through Your Content
Encouraging your subscribers to create and share their own videos featuring your products or services can increase your reach and engagement with brand advocates, which ultimately can lead to quality user-generated content (UGC).
Eighty percent of consumers would rather see a real person behind a product versus stock photos of it. In fact, three-quarters understand when they’re being advertised to and are more likely to purchase a product or service when it’s shared through UGC rather than from the brand itself.
You can effectively leverage your brand advocates and gather UGC through giveaways, partnerships, and, in some cases, by hiring them.
Brandon Currin is the face of BattlBox’s TikTok and was originally a long-time fan posting reviews of his own accord. After organically sending many customers Roman’s way, the brand brought Currin on full time to produce product reviews and has attracted millions of followers across all platforms.
“We are continuing to double down year over year on content,” said Roman. “This year, we have already hired an additional full-time video editor and hope to hire an additional full-time creator in 2023 as well.” He documents more of the company’s social media journey on his personal blog, Online Queso.
The Other Side of Short-Form Content
While short-form content can be helpful in expanding your reach quickly, it does have its limits.
For example, shorter videos are often less detailed than traditional videos, which can make it more difficult to convey complex information and educate your target audience on the product or service you offer. You can work around this issue at times by posting short-form videos that promote longer ones on YouTube, for example.
Additionally, it’s important to manage your expectations when posting short-form videos.
“We struck out for almost the better part of a year,” Roman told SUBTA. “But we knew there was something there and around the end of 2021, we started to see success.”
It’s also much harder to talk to your target audience, as your videos will be seen by millions of people. Short-form content is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. You will have to identify which videos you want to produce to gain exposure and which you want to use to engage with your existing community.
Always ask yourself the following questions before going into production: What is your video’s purpose? Is it subscriber acquisition or retention? Maybe engagement with existing customers? Or could it be simply brand awareness?
How to Enrich Your Short-Form Content Strategy in 2023
When (or if) you’re just starting out with short-form video, you don’t have to hire a full content marketing team. If you’re drawing a blank on ideas, generate them in a matter of seconds from hashtags, keywords, or even robots, like OpenAI.
Here are a couple of examples on how you can use the software to your advantage:
Also, leverage influencer resources, like TikTok marketplace, to find creators who can generate additional brand awareness for your subscription.
If adding short-form video to your content marketing strategy is taking too much time, consider hiring or working with younger individuals. If there’s anyone who knows short-form video, it’s Gen Zers. Take a look at Duolingo’s TikTok page. Guess who runs it: Zaria Parvez, age 24, one of Forbes’ 30 under 30.
Nearly 80% of marketers are investing more in video content this year than ever before, which begs the question: Are you?
Looking for more exclusive insights and knowledge to succeed in the subscription industry? Attend the world’s largest DTC subscription conference, SubSummit, on May 31 – June 2, 2023!