8 ways to leverage short-form video (and how to get buy-in)

by Jacob Solomon Mar 20, 2023 News
8 ways to leverage short-form video (and how to get buy-in)

It's a big deal if you say short-form video is a big deal. Who hasn't been scrolling through TikTok and realized they've lost an hour?

The rapid growth of TikTok has led to the creation of short-form video platforms. Pressure is being put on social media practitioners to direct movies. Changing formats are a challenge for marketers according to the report.

There is good news. The short-form video format is a good investment for the long term.

Several tips for a successful short-form video strategy will be given in this article. There are a few highlights about short-form video, and how you can get involved.

You should skip these links.

Why short-form video is worth using (and how to secure buy-in)

Whether you love short-form video but need buy-in, or you need some convincing, we have you covered.

There is no official length cut off for short-form videos, but they are usually between three seconds and one minute in length. You can use this content to increase your brand awareness. You can use it in your video marketing strategy.

There are a few use cases for short-form video that will convince you that it's worth the investment.

Short-form video statistics speak for themselves

Short-form video is a winner.

There are a few facts that show the value of short-form video.

  • Consumers find short form video to be 2.5x more engaging than long-form video (The Sprout Social Index™).
  • TikTok, a short-form video platform, is the most engaging social platform by engagement rate (Socialinsider).
  • 55% of TikTok users bought something after seeing the brand on the app.
  • Reels account for almost 20% of the time people spend on Instagram.
  • In fact, on Instagram Reels have the highest reach of all media types on the platform.
  • In 2022, Instagram Reels had an average engagement rate that was at least double that of other post types (Socialinsider).
  • As of June 2022, YouTube Shorts topped 5 billion monthly active users.

It’s the most popular content format

Short-form video is popular with people. Sixty-six percent of consumers say short-form video is the most engaging type of social content in 2020.

It is easy to share with friends and it is entertaining.

The content format they already love is what you should use to capture their attention.

It’s easy to make and repurpose

Producing video content is not as difficult as it used to be.

That has made a change. 42% of marketers who used video as a marketing tool for the first time in 2022 did so because creating video in-house has gotten easier.

It's easier to reuse this content on multiple platforms thanks to the social platforms that offer their own short-form videos.

Short-form video helps you reach more people organically

The economy is forcing teams to tighten budgets while the digital space is pay to play.

It's not a dream combo.

This is where short-form video can be used to increase reach. The popularity of this format makes it more accessible. Those engagements mean that your content will get pushed.

How to prove ROI of short-form video

If you can demonstrate the return on investment of short-form video, you can get buy-in from your leadership team. It can help avoid long approval times.

Video views are one of the metrics used by video marketers to measure their return on investment. Your overarching social goals will affect your video metrics.

There are a few that you can start with.

  • Video views
  • Average watch time, or view duration
  • Full video views vs partial (may also be called “watched full video”)
  • Likes/dislikes
  • Card clicks (YouTube-specific)
  • Link clicks (for Instagram Stories)
  • Engagements

To speed up approval processes, the senior social media manager advises. If you want to be more self-sufficient, ask your teams and leaders what they need to give you. Data can be used to back up why internal reviews need to be quicker and why it's better to be quick.

Using a tool streamlines this process so you can prove your return on investment. It is possible to have high impact video statistics for all of your channels.

The TikTok profile report in Sprout Social that displays a summary of published posts, video views and engagements for your TikTok channel.

The best short-form video platforms to use

Many platforms have created their own video tools and feeds in order to keep up with TikTok.

Here is a list of the most popular short-form video platforms to prioritize and the ideal video length for each.

  • TikTok: You can’t talk about short-form video without talking about TikTok. Having surpassed one billion monthly active users, the platform continues to deserve attention. On TikTok, videos can be as short as a few seconds, and as long as 10 minutes.
  • Instagram Reels: While Instagram isn’t prioritizing Reels as much as in 2022, they’re still a powerful reach tool. Reels can be from 15 seconds to 90 seconds long (read more about how Instagram Reels compare to TikTok).
  • Instagram Stories: This ephemeral content disappears in 24 hours, so it’s short-lived (unless you save them in Instagram highlights.) But with 50% of ‘gram users visiting a website after seeing a product or service in Stories, they’re worth using for promos, or to direct people to newly posted Reels. Individual Stories can be up to a minute long, but you can string multiple Stories together.
  • Facebook Stories: Facebook Stories are very similar to Instagram Stories. And with over half a million daily users, they could be a valuable resource for brand awareness.
  • YouTube Shorts: Since launching in 2021, YouTube Shorts officially surpassed 50 billion daily views. Shorts can be up to 60 seconds long.

8 ways to get more from your short-form video strategy

It is important to have a strategy when tackling short-form video. The team at Glossier helped us out.

There are 8 ways to get more from short-form video.

1. Start by doing your research

Short-form video is being used by your competitors. How many times a week do they use video? Is their tone? What gaps have they left? Stand out in your industry by using this information.

It is possible to turn weeks of manual analysis into a few minutes of work. No scrolling or spreadsheets are required for the Competitive Analysis Reports.

Sprout Social Instagram Competitors Report showing an overview of Instagram competitors you select to compare your channel against.

You should also look at the data behind the videos you have posted. It is possible to guide your future strategy by knowing which videos have performed well for you in the past.

2. Don’t be afraid to experiment

If you want to find the themes, trends and tone that work for you, you need to experiment a lot.

When they moved to short-form video, they had a learning curve. "It was a lot of testing and learning, and a lot of time scrolling through my own For You Feed."

Jamie Dinar

Senior Manager of Social Media and Digital at Glossier

Jamie found a TikTok identity after following nearly half a million followers. It took experimentation to make it happen. Their first video on the platform was this one.

One of Glossier's old TikTok videos next to a more updated, newer TikTok video on their channel that displays a clearer strategy.

Get creative and try out different video content ideas. Look at behind the scenes content, FAQ answers, product hacks, user-generated content, trend-based videos and educational videos.

Look at your data after you have published a lot of short-form videos. Which was the most engaged? What is the most viewed thing?

To see if short-form video is having a positive impact on your channel growth, use a tool like Sprout's post and channel performance reports to compare your videos' performance side by side across channels.

Sprout's Post Performance Report, which shows your top performing content across all of your social channels, individually or all together.

3. Schedule your videos

Nowadays it's easy to make short-form videos, but social teams are still stretched thin, and bandwidth is one of their top challenges.

An overview of social media teams' biggest challenges including bandwidth, proving ROI, social execution, resourcing and social as a business function. The leading challenge is bandwidth/talent, which has increased significantly YOY.

Social platforms have their own scheduling tools. You have to change platforms to schedule posts.

If you use the right tool, you can get back. You can schedule a video to be published on different platforms at the same time.

The Compose feature in Sprout where a dropdown provides the option to publish a vertical video post across multiple channels, including TikTok and Instagram.

4. Reuse videos across platforms

With nearly every social platform rolling out their own short-form video tools and capabilities, repurposing has gotten easier.

You can start doing this now if you need to re-purpose longer videos. Our team turned a video on the internet into a film.

A Sprout YouTube video next to a vertical Reel repurposing a clip from the longer YouTube video. The video is of a woman in an orange shirt with long brown hair sitting at a desk with a hand wave emoji displayed next to her on the screen.

Pre-made video templates are useful for streamlining your process. Plug your videos into a template and you're good to go.

The sign at the bottom of the screen is where you can find template options. At the bottom of the screen, you can find a template.

The TikTok templates interface where you can select pre-made templates to easily create your own content and streamline your process.

Once you start uploading videos, you can turn any reel with three clips or more into a template. You can find a reel by tapping the three dots at the bottom right of the screen.

The Instagram Reels display that allows you to select the option to turn a Reel you're watching into a template.

To create a post, tap the plus sign, tap the reel, and tap the templates at the bottom of the screen.

5. Find the right content mix

The first step is to experiment with different kinds of content.

The second step is to decide how often to post each type.

Jamie shared a tip from the TikTok reps. The TikTok channel needs to make 20% of their videos trend-based and 80% of their programming.

A Glossier TikTok that shows a Glossier sign at the company's headquarters and text on the screen that reads, things at Glossier HQ that make sense.

As their channel grew, Jamie needed a different way to stand out.

We realized that we had to give people a reason to come to our channel over all the others posting the same trends. We started building a strategy based on product hacks and associates.

Trends are still an important part of the Tik Tok strategy. Their short-form video content has become an identity on TikTok.

6. Lean into your community

It is important for your brand to have good social content.

User-generated content can be used to re-post on your own channels. 39% of consumers prefer to see real customer testimonials or demos If you want to build a relationship with them, tap your community for this content.

Jamie Dinar

Senior Manager of Social Media and Digital at Glossier

This is how the series began. Jamie says that the series is special because it was spurred from the community. It was a great chance to make it our own.

She continued, "We wanted to give our platform to the people using our products to tell their stories, instead of having it come from the brand." We didn't want them to be told how to use their products.

7. Leverage content that humanizes your brand

Short-form video is a great way to humanize your brand.

Employees and their headquarters are featured in one of the ways that Glossier does this. Jamie told us, "We have a meet the team series where we ask our store associates, who we call editors, to say their name and share their favorite product, which has been really helpful in reinforcing product discovery."

leaning into humor is one of the ways they do this. If it makes sense, we'll do silly dances. People in line will be asked questions.

Bloopers from set, or behind-the-scenes footage like products being made in the factory can be shown in promotional content.

A TikTok showing an assembly line in a factory where Glossier deodorants are lines up in a row on a machine.

8. Engage, engage, engage

You should double down on engagement in the comments section of your short-form videos.

The company is known for creating relationships with their audience. Jamie said, "We really stood out by using social as a tool for two-way communication and to cultivate a community by responding to comments and DMs."

The brand stands out because it uses a surprise and delight strategy with everyday users who post about Glossier. Jamie told us that they send them products and post friends-only content. We see them post more without asking. It's a great chance to build loyalty.

Brand loyalty is important. Consumers who feel more connected to a brand are more likely to buy from them than competitors.

Use short-form video to build a long-term strategy

Short-form video is here to stay despite platforms and formats changing.

For the long run, investing in this format is a good idea. If you scroll through your feed, you will see that it is research. You should get inspired. Your case needs to be built. Score buy-in and you're good to go. Even if they don't know it, your leadership team and brand will be grateful.

There is a need for a more robust social media management system. If you want to see what we can do for your short-form video strategy, team bandwidth and beyond, consider trying out Sprout for free for 30 days.