5 Top Tips for Conquering short Form Video
Do you ever feel like showing up on video in your small business is a total ball ache? That thing that you keep promising you will do, but never get round to it?
There’s not only the what should I say in my videos dilemma to ensure you sound credible, but then there is all that prep work, making sure you look presentable, and then editing it and getting it out there across your networks in the hope that it brings you business.
So why bother?
Online video makes up 83% of all consumer internet traffic…so if you are not using video, you can sure as hell bet that someone else in your niche is, and they are getting in front of all those leads that you could be too.
Now I have been using video in my business since the beginning of time. At University where I was studying performing arts, I specialised in video making, in fact I was exploring hybrid art forms and how to use mix media, music and performing arts to help communities (ie tribes) tell their stories….this was back in the late 90s so I was very much ahead of the curve.
My masters research in Multimedia Designs and Cultures went a step further exploring how solopreneurs could use social media platforms and web applications to increase their visibility and profitability, as they built portfolio careers…erm kinda what’s going on with influencers these days I guess.
But a lot has happened in the last 20 years.
In that time I’ve been a documentary maker on housing estates, commissioned video reports while working as a consultant on the London 2012 Olympic, and then used video as a core marketing strategy for my plus size fitness brand Too Fat to Run.
But it is short form video that this blog is about. It is short form video that gets me so excited on my clients behalf right now.
Short form video are those clips that go viral, those videos of folks dancing, transforming from one thing to another in front of your eyes, those out and about, behind the scenes video clips that have you checking out a new influencer, brand or small business owner. But they are also the short videos which sit on your website, that you post out via email, that you send via DM, to help potential clients connect with you on an emotional level.
72% of customers said they would rather learn about a product or service by way of video, with 84% saying they’ve been convinced to buy a product of service by watching a brands video.
During the first lock down TicToc became the thing didn’t it? With al the kids convincing their old people to do the new dance, to try the latest trend. My 7 year old took over my account, entertaining herself by replicating viral trends, while I tried to run my 2 online businesses…and then came Reels…Instagrams short form video feature….or as Rose likes to describe it “TicTok” but for old people.
And small business owner reading this right now, regardless of what niche you are in, or how confident you are on camera, there really is no avoiding it now…so here are my top 5 tips to get you started
1. PLAN…don’t just shoot and go, nobody wants to listen to you rabbitting on about your business. Have a strategy, know what your core content pillars are, and what the purpose of each video is, what you want people to feel or do as a result of it. Plan in advance, and not just one video at a time.
2. SHOOT FOR MOBILE….75% of all videos are played on mobile devices, so shoot with that in mind. That doesn’t mean you can ignore quality control or production values…our expectations are higher than ever. We want to be educated, engaged and entertained in equal measure. Make sure you shoot in the right format for each of the platforms, landscape used to be the thing, but its all about the portrait right now.
3. KEEP IT SNAPPY….videos that are up to 2 minutes long get the most engagement. And the first few seconds are critical. think about how quickly you scroll past a video that doesn’t hook you in, and how likely you are to go back to that persons videos if they have a habit of being boring or long winded. My tolerance is around 2 seconds I reckon.
4. CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY….post video content regularly, keep yourself accountable by setting a posting goal so that people can expect new content from you. How can you tell if short form video is right for you, if you only use it every now and again. Imagine how much attention you would get if you committed to posting a video once a day for a month, or for 21 consecutive days?
5. BATCH…have days where you batch lots of materials, so that you are not having to film or edit every day. Store footage that can be repurposed, capture exciting moments/locations/events that you might want to use in the future on your phone. Collect ideas all the time, that way you never run out of ideas for creating.
My 9 year old daughter Rose is a pro at video. Completely self taught, keen to develop her skills, and not afraid to make mistakes, we should all channel our inner 9 year old self when creating content…if we are havng fun with it, our audiences probably will too.
Do not ignore video as a marketing tool any longer my friend…get over the learning and uncomfortableness curve, and you’ll be amazed at what’s waiting for you on the other side.
The world of marketing and video marketing is moving fast…we need to keep up or engagement will just become harder and harder, we are no longer competing against our competitors, we are competing against Netflixs, Cat Videos on YouTubes, and 9 years olds churning out 3 high quality videos a day to grow their merchanidse range.
In 2019 I created a longer form video called What if There Was a Different Way which at the time was pretty disruptive and really helped me grow my brand, it has since had 1873 hits on YouTube, probably around a similar number too when I posted it on Facebook…and I am still incredibly proud of it.
BUT…that piece was 3 months in the making, 2 days of shooting, the cost of an external videographer and editor…and although it’s a great digital asset and has 100% led to sales of my Tribe Builder Programme giving me a decent return on investment, it is dated now, and probably not the route I will go down moving forward when it comes to video.
A piece of short form content I created in my car on Saturday morning before doing my weekly parkrun 5K, took me less than 10 minutes to create and edit, has been seen by 1576 people, and led to a whole heap of sales and enquiries over the weekend, without costing me a penny in production, post production or promotion.
So what are you waiting for?
Start your short form video journey NOW
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Julie Creffield is a serial entrepreneur, and creative business mentor with a passion for building and activating powerful and profitable communities, and helping solopreneurs to THINK bigger and PERFORM better
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