Short form videos have emerged as a content powerhouse, captivating audiences worldwide. Whether it’s a quick tutorial, a comedic skit or a product review, these bite-sized videos have become an integral part of our online experience. 

Want a slice of the short form video pie? Delve into the world of short form videos and explore their popularity, discover their various types, learn the most crucial best practices and find out which platforms are best for short form content.

A man standing outside holding a smartphone in both hands. The phone’s camera app is open, and is being used to take a video of a trail running through a lush green forest. 
In the Skillshare class “Short Form Video: Create Viral Videos for Instagram Reels and Tik Tok,” teacher Sean Dalton captures a video to use in his short form content. 

Short form videos, which typically last anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes, have gained immense popularity due to their easily consumable nature. In a world where countless pieces of content are competing for viewers’ attention, these succinct videos offer instant gratification and entertainment without demanding a significant time commitment. 

Don’t blame short form videos’ popularity on our collectively shortening attention spans, though. It turns out that’s a myth anyway, and Gen Z—often unfairly derided for their supposedly short attention spans—is more invested in reading books and consuming long form content than ever. 

Rather than capitalizing on dwindling attention spans, short form videos are simply a convenient way for people to view many different types of content in a relatively short amount of time. And judging by their explosive popularity among people of all ages, they’re here to stay for the foreseeable future. 

Short Form Digital Videos: Types Explained

A rich tapestry of short form video types has captivated audiences across various platforms. Here’s a taste of some of the most common types, plus how you can leverage each one: 

  • Product demos: These are instrumental in providing potential customers with a tangible understanding of what your offering brings to the table, and are a powerful tool for boosting product comprehension and influencing purchasing decisions. Use short for product demos to showcase your product in action, and be sure to highlight its features and benefits in a visually appealing manner.
  • FAQs: By directly addressing common queries in short form FAQ videos, you can not only provide valuable information to your audience but also establish a sense of transparency. This type of short form video helps foster a connection with your audience and can serve to acknowledge and proactively resolve their concerns. 
  • Behind the scenes: Videos that share a behind-the-scenes perspective help to humanize your brand, and allow your audience to connect with the faces and stories behind the products or services you offer. Consider offering a sneak peek into the inner workings of your brand or the making of a product.
  • Reviews: Authentic reviews carry significant weight in the consumer decision-making process. Short form review videos allow you to convey key points succinctly, making them more accessible and shareable across various platforms. When crafting your short form review videos, strive to share brief, honest reviews of products, services or experiences.
  • Highlights from the past: By showcasing the highlights from you or your brand’s history, you can evoke feelings of nostalgia. As an added bonus, this type of video not only engages your existing audience but also serves as a compelling introduction for new viewers. To create your own, compile memorable moments, achievements or milestones and edit them down to a brief video.
  • Skits: Comedic skits are a fantastic way to entertain your audience while conveying a message, demonstrating your skills or showcasing your brand’s personality. Well-executed skits can leave a lasting impression and contribute to the shareability of your content. 
  • Recaps: Recap videos allow you to keep your audience informed without overwhelming them with lengthy content. They serve as quick updates, and ensure that your audience stays connected and up-to-date. Try summarizing events, content or recent developments in a concise format.
  • Dance videos: Riding the wave of dance trends can significantly boost engagement, especially on platforms like TikTok. It’s a fun and interactive way to connect with your audience and showcase your playful side. 
  • Live stream clips: Clips pulled from your live streams allow you to repurpose exciting or noteworthy segments from longer live sessions. This ensures that even those who missed the live event can catch the highlights, maximizing the impact of your live content.

Not sure which type is best for you? Try out a few: Incorporating several types of short form videos into your content strategy can keep your audience engaged, entertained and eager for more. 

Best Tips For Your Short Form Videos

A person’s hand holding a smartphone over a drawing tablet that’s resting on a wooden tabletop. The phone’s camera app is open, and is being used to take a video of the artwork displayed on the drawing tablet, which depicts a red-headed woman sitting next to a tiger. 
In the Skillshare class “Reels and TikTok for Digital Artists: Learn how to Boost your Art,” teacher Maria Lia Malandrino takes a video of her art to publish on social media. 

In the fast-paced world of short form content, grabbing and maintaining audience attention is an art form. To ensure your videos stand out amidst the digital noise, it’s important to adhere to some best practices. Here are invaluable tips you can use to make short form videos like a pro:

Pay Attention to Trends

Keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s currently popular ensures your content remains relevant and resonates with your audience. Monitor trending hashtags, challenges and formats across different platforms, and be sure to capitalize on those that could be relevant to you and your brand.

Educate and Entertain Your Audience 

Short form digital videos provide a unique opportunity to blend education with entertainment. So, try to craft content that not only imparts valuable information but does so in an engaging and enjoyable manner.

Create Unique Content

Originality sets you apart in an increasingly crowded digital space. Strive to create content that reflects your brand’s voice and values, and experiment with different formats, styles and storytelling techniques to find an approach that resonates with your audience.

Post Consistently 

Consistency is one of the keys to building a loyal audience. Establish a regular posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and anticipating your content.

Repurpose Long Form Videos 

Maximize the potential of your existing content (and extend its lifespan at the same time) by repurposing longer videos into shorter, more digestible clips. Try extracting key highlights, insights or moments and adapting them for short form consumption.

Share User-Generated Content 

This can not only strengthen your community but also provide authentic testimonials and perspectives to new viewers. It’s a powerful way to showcase real-world interactions with your brand and build a sense of camaraderie, so encourage your audience to participate and create content related to your brand.

Embrace Cross-Platform Promotion 

Diversify your reach by promoting your short form videos across multiple platforms. While each platform has its unique audience and dynamics, cross-promotion allows you to tap into different user bases.

The 3 Best Short Video Platforms

The success of short form videos is intricately tied to the platforms that host and amplify them. Each platform offers a unique set of features, audience demographics, and engagement mechanisms. 

Here are three of the best platforms for short form videos, each of which gives creators the opportunity to showcase their creativity and connect with a global audience:

  • TikTok: This ubiquitously popular app has revolutionized the short form video landscape, and has become a global phenomenon with its user-friendly interface and algorithm-driven content discovery. It allows users to create 15-second to 10-minute TikTok videos, often set to music, and has become a breeding ground for creativity and trends. TikTok’s audience is predominantly young, with most belonging to the Gen Z demographic.
  • Instagram Reels: This is a feature within the Instagram app that allows users to create and discover short, engaging videos. Launched to compete with the rising popularity of TikTok, Reels has quickly become a go-to platform for creators looking to create 15- to 90-second videos. With a user base spanning various age groups, Instagram Reels is particularly popular among Millennials and Gen Z. 
  • YouTube Shorts: As YouTube’s answer to the short form video trend, Shorts allows users to create videos ranging from 15 to 60 seconds. Positioned as a competitor to TikTok, YouTube Shorts is integrated directly into the YouTube app. Given YouTube’s massive user base, Shorts attracts a diverse audience from around the world. Creators can tap into their existing subscribers while also reaching new viewers through Shorts. 

Grow Your Brand and Engage Your Audience With Short Form Videos

Short form videos have become a dynamic tool for brands and creators to connect with audiences looking for quick, easily digestible content. By understanding the various types of short form content, following best practices and leveraging the right platforms, you can propel your brand forward and foster a deeper engagement with your audience. 

Need some extra help learning how to grow with short form video, use TikTok for business or edit and organize your footage? Look no further than Skillshare and our vast selection of expert-led classes. 

Written By

Carrie Buchholz-Powers

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