Eric Crowley, Video and Digital Production Director, Rooster Strategic Solutions

More and more of our clients are planning to add short-form videos to their marketing mix this year, and they’re not alone. According to a recent Hubspot report, 90 percent of marketers who used short-form videos last year will increase their investment next year, and 21 percent of companies will start using them for the first time. If you’re not one of them, you’re missing out on a tactic that could deliver significant ROI. Fortunately, getting started is simple.

Leverage your existing video content. Most companies have a catalog of relevant, long-form videos sitting on their websites. Cutting one or more of these into bite-sized, 15- to 30-second pieces is a great way to reach out to new audiences and drive them back to your produced content. And because most long-form videos tell multiple stories, you can make several smaller films from a single moment. This will require using many of the same strategies necessary for creating a new short-form video, listed below, but it is typically an easier and less expensive way to get started.

Work with an influencer. A terrific way to start using short-form videos is to work with a content creator who understands and likes your brand and already has a relationship with the audience you’re trying to reach. In my experience, inviting your influencer to an existing video shoot can deliver incredible results. For instance, while I’m shooting a standard product video, the influencer is shooting “behind-the-scenes” versions suitable for social media. This also works well with testimonial shoots, giving them a fresh new energy. Choosing the right influencer is difficult for some brands, but the results are almost always worth the effort.

Plan, execute, and distribute your own short-form videos. Honestly, it’s easier than you think. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • You don’t need a script, but you will need an outline. Telling a story in 15 to 30 seconds is much easier when you have a well-defined message.
  • You don’t have to be funny, but you must be engaging. Mastering short-form video doesn’t mean doing the latest Tik Tok dance. However, you have about two seconds to capture a viewer’s attention. Lead with whatever you think is the best part of the video.
  • Shoot with your phone. Not only is it easier and cheaper than hiring a crew, but it’s also easier to edit within an app. Basic camera knowledge is good enough. Besides, you don’t want your short-form videos to look too polished; most viewers can smell a brand a mile away, and if your video looks like a commercial, they’ll scroll past it. Using your camera helps give short-form videos a more authentic feel.
  • Remember that most people watch without sound. Some apps automatically add subtitles, but you’ll want to include bullets or captions around your key points, especially if it helps provide context.
  • Choose the right social platform. This should be a direct result of your marketing objectives and KPIs, as well as a nod to the type of audience you’re trying to reach. For instance, if you want to introduce your brand to Gen-Z viewers, choose Tik Tok. For most ag companies and clients, however, YouTube Shorts may be a better fit offering more engagement and sharing. If you have a significant following on Facebook or Instagram, Facebook Stories or Instagram Reels should be at the top of your list.
  • Don’t expect immediate results. Most marketing plans take time to develop and generate returns and short-form video is no exception.

Start simply. Test the waters where you can. Don’t blow your budget. This is a hit-and-miss tactic, so it’s best to begin with simple goals and simple messages.

If you’re interested in adding short-form video to your marketing mix, but have questions or aren’t sure where to start, I’d love to have a conversation.