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Dummies guide to short-form video

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Dummies guide to short-form video

In 2024, creating short-form videos is easier than ever.

You don't need fancy equipment to start making videos, just a smartphone with internet connection will do the trick.

Content creation is becoming easier and more accessible with the help of AI tools - and short-form video is no exception.

With automatic cutting tools and short-form video algorithms, AI can do all the hard work for you.

While it might be a good idea to hire videographers to shoot and edit your marketing content into something more polished and professional, making TikToks or Instagram Reels doesn’t always take an expert.

Putting together video footage into something short and concise can take as little as a few minutes.

In fact, it’s the 2024 equivalent to cut and stick from primary school days. Replace scissors and prit-stick for trimming buttons and drag-drop, then you've made a moving image digital collage.

You can simply add little snippets of video together in order to create a story.

Short-form video is the most effective content

Short-form videos last 30 seconds or less, but others can go as long as 90 seconds or more. They're the ideal digital snack in a world when time is of the essence.

Short-form video hits, because it’s just that...short.

But that means you’ve only got a few seconds to hook engagement and prevent your audience from bouncing or scrolling.

Some general rules to stick to when it comes to short-form video:

  • Keep shot length durations as low as possible
  • Get your points across clearly and concisely
  • Quick cuts will improve engagement
  • Make content easy to watch
  • Encourage viewers to like, comment, or share the video for increased engagement.
  • Include a call to action at the end of the video
  • Have objectives for your videos (Are you aiming for brand awareness, product promotion, storytelling, or engagement?)
  • Add captions to make your video accessible to all viewers, including those who watch without sound
  • Use natural light as much as possible
  • Ensure clear and crisp audio; consider using an external microphone for better sound
  • Keep the video fast-paced, dynamic, and exciting to maintain viewer interest
  • Incorporate interactive elements like polls, questions, or challenges to encourage viewer participation

What content should you include?

Sometimes the hardest part of short form content creation is actually the content itself - especially for B2B. You might offer something that’s not textbook ‘fun’ or luxurious, but you still need to hook engagement.

You could create content based on...

  • Behind the scenes footage
  • How your product is made or used
  • Team introductions
  • Incentives or competitions that engage the audience

What’s the point? The benefits of creating short form in-house

So what’s the point? How will these efforts affect growth?

Creating short-form video content yourself will...

  • Humanise your business (particularly if there is a person in the video)
  • Improve the accessibility of your product or service
  • Help you bash out more inbound content, quicker
  • Involve your audience directly

Let’s dissect the different platforms of short form and going through their pros and cons for each one...

The best platforms for amateur video content creators

If you're new to video content creation, it's probably best to stick to easy-to-use platforms that are extremely user friendly.

All of these platforms have filters, effects, music, caption tools, and user-friendly trimming tools.

So which platforms should you be using?


TikTok has taken the world by storm with its addictive short videos. It's quick to make videos, and it's not too overwhelming.

Pros: Trendy and highly engaging, massive user base (especially younger demographics), easy-to-use editing tools, potential for viral/wide reach.

Cons: May not align with every brand's aesthetic or target audience, content can be hit-or-miss, competition is fierce within trending content.

Instagram reels

Instagram Reels is integrated seamlessly into the Instagram platform. It's easy to post a mixture of still image and moving image content - but you'll most likely get engagement from a reel.

Pros: Leverages Instagram's existing user base, great for reaching a teens to early 30's audience, customisable features like filters and effects.

Cons: Limited video length (up to 60 seconds), algorithm can be challenging to crack for maximum exposure, requires a strong Instagram presence for optimal performance.

YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts is YouTube's answer to short-form video content, the video creation is incredibly user friendly.

Pros: Leverage YouTube's massive reach and searchability, potential for long-term visibility, ability to experiment with a variety of content formats.

Cons: Still an evolving platform, competition from longer-form YouTube content, less focused on trending challenges and reduced viral reach.

Snapchat Spotlight

Snapchat Spotlight is designed for short, casual videos. The spotlight videos will often appear on the 'Discover' tab of the app. It's a hub of opportunity for paid ads.

Pros: Opportunity for exposure to a younger demographic, incentivised monetisation for creators, allows for more casual content.

Cons: Limited reach compared to other platforms like TikTok or Instagram, may not be ideal for all brands or content types.

Be consistent

When you begin posting short-form video in house, it's important to keep up some consistency.

Establish a regular posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and interested.

  • Monitor performance: Analyse video metrics and audience feedback to refine your content strategy and adapt to changing trends
  • Stay flexible: Embrace new trends and adapt your content strategy based on what resonates best with your audience


The best way to master short form video content is to just do it.

Experiment with different platforms, content styles, and techniques to discover what works best for your business.

Remember, authenticity and creativity are key ingredients for successful short-form video content.

So unleash your creativity, and start crafting captivating videos that leave a lasting impression on your audience. It might just be the very thing that sends your social engagement soaring sky high.

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