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How to Make Short Videos for Social Media

With a saturated, content-heavy digital landscape, there is a current video trend of producing shorter ‘snack-able’ video content, think of TikTok and Instagram reels. While this ultra-short form content has a place within the realm of the awareness stage of marketing, an effective video strategy must also have a balance of producing mid to longer-form content that caters to the consideration stage of an audience.

With the rise of TikTok and the trends of ultra-short video content, there is a risk of video content getting lost and forgotten by short attention spans. What makes a video have a lasting impression, while also provoking a call to action, is a well-structured story. (It is also important to distinguish that TikTok counts a view from the moment a video is clicked on, whereas traditionally YouTube and Facebook will count a video view only after 30sec of viewing, giving a more accurate reflection of engagement.) How to make short videos for social media that cuts through

Traditionally story has been broken into different acts that progress from a beginning situation, through challenges that have been overcome, to a resolution or reflection on how the situation has changed from the beginning. This simple format of storytelling is how humans have connected since the beginning of civilisation. Because modern society and technology have progressed exponentially, with attention spans becoming overloaded, even if ultra-short form videos are getting many views currently, this does not equate to an audience connecting with the video and inspiring any type of meaningful action. Even though many people may ‘want’ ultra-short form video content, when it comes to building and growing a healthy brand story over time, people need mid to longer-form video content that can deliver that story meaningfully. This is not to say that short-form video content for social media is not important, for sure it has a place in a modern video strategy, but short-form content must be balanced with well-structured mid to longer-form content that can reach an audience beyond the brain, and into the heart, in an over-saturated digital landscape.

Creating videos with a modular approach, that is, filming a mid-length content piece, and then being able to edit out key sections into short-form content for social media can be an effective use of time and resources to meet different needs. See the example below of a cutdown social media version of a full-length video I produced for NAIDOC week:

Full Version of NAIDOC week video:

Sam Dylan Irwin is a video production and strategy expert based in Perth, Australia. His career spans over 15 years of working with large organisations and brands, optimising and creating meaningful content.

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