5 Tips for Creating Engaging Short-Form Direct-to-Consumer Video Content

As social media continues to dominate the world with visual experiences, viewers’ attention spans continue to condense. On top of that, more video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. television networks have created in 30 years. Because of these shifts, your brand’s content needs to be in a position to grab your audience’s interest quicker than ever.

By definition, short-form video is usually defined as video under 10 seconds in length. (There has also been increased interest in 6-second video ad formats, partly driven by YouTube’s launch of a new “bumper” format in 2016). Which was the original idea of the mobile sensation Vine App. Vine App was eventually acquired by Twitter awhile back, but still, even nowadays on Twitter, Vine-esque 6 second videos seem to still be commonly used in the Twitter space.

But how do you create a short video for direct-to-consumer marketing? When the concept is not just showing a funny cat, how can you leverage short-form video content for your brand messaging that is quick, digestible, and engaging?

One of the best features about this super-short format is that it necessitates an especially strong concept together with equally strong visuals. Further, 6-second ads align very well with the broader aims of a campaign, so for instance, mixed with longer form 15 or 30 second ads they can provide a complement to longer, emotive or informative videos.

These 5 best practices for creating short video content can help you get it right:

1. Clarity is key:

There isn’t time to convey multiple messages, so you have to start with a deep understanding of your point, and then hone your messaging from there. Survey your customers prior as it happens, often the actual use case is different from the consumer point-of-view of what the brand owner initially thought.

2. Avoid clutter:

Standalone short-form ads demand extreme simplicity. Ads with clutter (crowded imagery, heavy on text) tend to be less effective.

3. Put your brand first:

Rather than trying to cram the message into a brand sequence at the end, a more effective strategy is to put your brand or product at the heart of the video. Even in longer ads, leaving the reveal until the end isn’t usually advised. When it comes to a 10-second ad, this approach can make the video feel rushed and disjointed.

4. Play with emotions:

We know the most memorable videos evoke an emotional response but be realistic with your expectations given the short-form structure. The following emotions can be evoked very rapidly as it’s straightforward to trigger these feelings with one powerful image or punchline: Hilarity, Surprise, Knowledge, and Fear

5. The initial frame matters:

For click-to-play formats, the initial frame and introductory text is crucial. Familiar, universal images help the viewer to orientate themselves quickly, whereas shocking visual twists help to make a strong impact in a short time.

Short-form videos give you the opportunity and freedom to produce hard-hitting, relatable videos that get to the point, without the overhead of creating more in-depth content. Because of their short nature, these videos present marketers with the opportunity to engage viewers on social media or paid platforms in a far less intrusive way to improve consumers’ experience and increase click through rates. Looking for a creative content agency to help you grow your social presence? Contact us to learn more about our branding, marketing and social media marketing services.

5 Tips for Creating Engaging Direct-to-Consumer Short-Form Video Content