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Short form video is the new wave of storytelling

Social & Digital

Short form video is the new wave of storytelling


The videos audiences are consuming are getting shorter everyday. Grant Munro shows marketers how to capture attention, tell a story and create something visually engaging in just 2.7 seconds.

Grant Munro 150 BWCreating and integrating video content into our marketing initiatives is not a new tactic. What is new is the increased popularity of short-form video content and the constantly increasing number of videos consumers are getting served up daily.

As a result, marketers are placing a greater importance on the format due to the high volume of consumers engaging with video content.

The rise of social has given us more opportunities to talk to consumers through engaging thumb stopping video content in an accessible and affordable environment.

As consumers are becoming increasingly time poor, marketers today are being challenged with being equally economical with their messages. After all, if Ernest Hemingway could write a story in six words and capture the attention of his readers, it’s surely time for marketers to make use of the 2.7 seconds they have to engage their audiences.

The new wave of storytelling

Big brands have reaped the rewards of embracing short-form video content, especially through social media platforms. Brands across industries – from gaming to food to retail – have recognised the reach and scalability of video across platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Social media has moved from just being a platform to connect with friends and family – it’s unlocked an avenue for brands to interact with their customers in an engaging manner, and can help shift perception and drive sales.

Today, consumers are suffering from content overdose. Video content is not only the perfect medium to help brands stand out on a cluttered timeline, but can also easily be shared by consumers. HubSpot found that 54% of customers prefer to see videos over other marketing tactics from the brands they follow.

Facebook is the first platform that comes to mind when you think about video marketing content. For example, Samsung’s Facebook page has a whopping 159 million fans and the brand engages with them regularly through video (from 10 second clips to three minute videos).

Related opinion piece: Facebook’s new video ‘Watch’ option enters an already crowded market »

couple phones video

As brands move away from traditional means of advertising, short-form video has become vital in attracting customers while competition for attention continues to increase. It’s more crucial than ever to develop content that leads to engagement and shares, which in turn helps brands reach a new audience.

2.7 seconds to get the job done

While consumers spend three to four hours a day on their devices, they are increasingly time poor and with fleeting attention spans. People scroll quickly, only stopping on truly eye-catching content. To stand out in such a competitive space, marketers need to be more proactive and identify the most strategic platforms for their audience. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, users do not actively seeking out branded content.

This new era of digital marketing means that the content created must be highly visual and captivating – using bite-sized snippets to tell a brand’s story in three seconds or less.

With just 2.7 seconds to grab someone’s attention, it’s imperative that brands make sure their message is clear and appealing, especially in video form. Marketers must make use of every part of that initial 2.7 seconds to make an impression on ad-skippers and show that their content is more than just another ad.

Why video?

Video content is great for every marketing challenge presented due to its adaptability. Here are some ideas on how you can start weaving video content into your plans:

  • Allow consumers to learn and discover – content like ‘how to’ videos and ‘behind the scenes’ clips engage audiences and help develop more meaningful relationships with consumers.
  • Brand credibility – expert interviews are a great way to showcase thought leadership; a quick ‘question and answer’ video can help communicate your expertise effectively.
  • Tell a real-life consumer story – a video case study helps showcase real results and build trust.

As technology becomes increasingly accessible for businesses regardless of size and technical ability, brands have been given the reins to create their own content which is both easily digestible and produced at a significantly lower price tag than ever before.

Cost and quality are incredibly important to the success of any video campaign. As camera technology and editing suites have become more affordable, the average marketer is able to develop filmmaking skills at the click of a button.

The barrier to being able to create interesting, high-quality content is being removed and now creativity and customer awareness are priced higher. Marketers can invest time into truly understanding the desires of their customers and create video content that ticks all the boxes quickly and efficiently.

This newfound access to high-quality video equipment means that marketers have the power to become visual storytellers. For smaller businesses, this means that the video ‘game’ is no longer restricted to companies with massive budgets.

It’s crucial in 2018 for brands to create videos that complement their marketing initiatives – the key is to make it visually engaging with a compelling story arc and capture the consumer’s attention in three seconds (or less).

Grant Munro is senior vice president of Shutterstock Custom


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Image credit:Kushagra Kevat


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