Short video is so popular now. Alarmingly so, some would say.
If we think back just a year or two ago, short video was only just emerging as one of the most popular types of content on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Now it’s everywhere and every platform worth its salt is jumping on the short-form bandwagon. TikTok was arguably one of the first to popularise the format, but even YouTube has decided to come along for the ride.
This presents a bit of an issue for creators. Which platform is right for you? Should you be on all of them or only those on which your audience is most likely to be found?
In truth, it pays to experiment with them all and settle on whatever makes the most sense for your content, audience and patience. You’ll know after a while which one works for you, or you might decide to spread yourself across all of them.
To help you on your short form video journey, we’ve decided to put together some content creator tips for all platforms. So let’s dive in!
Instagram is arguably the big brother of social video. The Facebook-owned service remains one of the most popular choices for brands and creators.
Reels is Instagram’s take on the 15-second video trend and, as you’d expect, it’s brilliantly integrated with all of Instagram’s features.
1. Add music
Music plays a huge role in Reels and Instagram offers loads of ready-made music clips which can easily be browsed and applied to your videos.
2. Play with the recording speed
With Reels, you can slow the video down by 5x or speed it up by 3x. Both can have drastically different impacts on the way your videos come across to viewers.
3. Use the effects
The effects in Instagram Reels are there for a reason. From the green screen to obligatory silly faces, have some fun with them!
4. Use the timer to record groups of reels
You may want to record a bunch of reels in one go. This is where the timer comes in handy. Set it for a three second capture on each video.
5. Align captured video
This is really useful. If the video you’ve captured is blurry or shaky, you can use the Align feature to straighten it out.
At first, many thought Instagram Stories were another fad which would soon pass most users by. Not so.
They’re used comprehensively by most creators and there’s so much you can do to get the most from them.
1. Use your own photos or gifs
If you’ve got gifs and photos in your camera library that you’d like to add to your Stories, you can do so by simply copying the photo in your smartphone photo library and pasting it into the story.
2. Align your text
It’s not immediately obvious, but you can actually align your text left, right or centre in Stories. Just look for the little control at the top of the create screen to toggle through.
3. Play with the editing features
At the top of the screen, you’ll find a bunch of editing features which change depending on the content you’re adding. Play with them – you never know what you might find.
4. Customise the colour
When using the colour picker at the bottom of the screen, press and hold any colour to precisely pick any shade you wish. You can even pick up colours from other elements in the image by using the eye drop on the far left.
5. Don’t be afraid to only post one item to your story
Stories don’t have to be several posts long. In fact, if you have something significant to say about one topic, idea or opinion, just add one story item and let it settle for the greatest impact.
Many thought IGTV (Instagram’s long-form video platform) would die a quick death.
It hasn’t. In fact, it’s still used to a wide extent by a whole bunch of creators. Here’s how to get the most from it.
1. Keep in mind the format
IGTV is designed for vertical video, so make sure you keep that in mind when shooting your footage. Your viewers won’t switch their screen around to view your content properly, and it probably won’t display as intended if it isn’t vertical, anyway.
2. Keep things short
Sure, you can publish up to 10 minutes of video on IGTV, but that doesn’t mean you need to use every minute. Keep it short and succinct; 5 minutes tops is a great time to aim for.
3. Make relevant content
IGTV is at its best when the content is relevant. This means you need a good understanding of who your audience are and the current affairs or topics they’re going to want to hear your opinion on.
4. Use it to teach
Some of the best IGTV content is educational. Try using the platform for short how-tos on your topic or expertise of choice.
5. Use it for behind-the-scenes stuff
People love to go behind-the-scenes of businesses and YouTube channels. Whatever it is you do, use IGTV to provide a tantalising glimpse behind the curtain.
Ok, let’s be honest – when it comes to short form video, TikTok is continuing to blitz it.
TikTok remains the number one choice at the time of writing for a generation of short form video creators.
1. Jump on trends
When it comes to TikTok, it really is fine to jump on trends. In fact, it’s encouraged, so if you spot a TikTok which is going viral – make your own, quickly.
2. Ask something of your audience
Whether it’s a non-verbal call-to-arms or simply a dance you’ve made up which you want people to copy, the more you ask of your audience, the more likely your TikTok is going to be seen by the masses.
3. Don’t repurpose content
This is a simple one. TikTok isn’t for repurposing content from other platforms. Use it only for original short form content.
4. Always follow up on popular videos
If you start to see some traction on one of your videos, that’s the only reason you need to follow it up with a repost, response or additional videos. Add to the story!
5. Always keep the videos short and snappy
This goes without saying. TikTok is designed for snappy videos which don’t dilly-dally and which instead get to the point super fast. If that only takes you five seconds – awesome!
At the time of writing, YouTube Shorts is the latest in short-form video content. And it’s a bit of a mystery at the moment.
No one appears to be sure of how to make trendable content or exactly how YouTube themselves promote or distribute Shorts. But it’s still worth a go, because it could go BIG, given the audience and platform on which it sits.
Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
1. Keep it going throughout the day
One of the best things about YouTube Shorts is that you can create content so easily. And with that in mind, why not keep the story going through out the day – that might just find you an audience.
2. Use them to preview longer content
If you’re a YouTuber or use your company’s YouTube channel to serious effect, try using Shorts to preview your longer content as a bit of a cliffhanger.
3. Consider it a way of expanding your target audience
One again, if you use YouTube’s standard video platform, Shorts could be a great way to expand your audience and get your brand in front of people who may otherwise never discover you.
4. Use it for bloopers
Have some fun with Shorts. Use it to post bloopers or outtakes from your other content. It’s supposed to be fun and engaging, after all – and people love that stuff.
5. Post short tutorials
If you can chop up your educational content into super bite-sized pieces, they’ll be perfect for Shorts, so get the scissors out!
We hope we’ve been able to give you a great insight into the tips, tricks and hacks you can use to make the most of short form video on these various platforms.
Our best advice remains to go forth and give them a go. And have fun – that’s the whole point of short-form video. After a while, you’l naturally find your rhythm, and, potentially, a big audience.