short-form video content, instagram, tiktok, reels

Instagram shares insights to optimize your short-form video content

TikTok has really changed the social media marketing landscape. Yes, we notice that this article is about Instagram, but there is no talk of short-form video content without the input of TikTok.

With everyone inside, nothing but time on offer, a rapidly shrinking attention span, and an expanding tolerance for what is considered entertainment, TikTok exploded. But like anything else in the arts, just because it was the first, doesn’t mean it’s the best.

Instagram has taken that philosophy and run with it, deciding to teach the marketing industry how to really refine the short-form video content format, with a focus on Instagram Reels, sure, but it can be applied anywhere. And with YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, and Snapchat all getting into the mix, pointers on how to optimize your short-form video content can be applied everywhere.

As Instagram itself explains, “Since its introduction on Facebook and Instagram, Reels has grown to become a treasure trove of entertaining, imaginative and educational video content from around the world. Reels is the ideal place for brands to get discovered on the global stage, to express themselves with more creativity and fun, and can play a powerful role in crafting compelling narratives that drive excitement, engagement, and awareness.”

So, are you ready to get your Reels looking as spectacular as the rest of your social media marketing campaign? Take a look at our guide for some insight.

Hook them in

As mentioned, there is no getting away from the fact that users today have a short attention span. And that works in short-form video content’s favour most of the time, but you need to give users something to hold onto within those first few seconds or the user will simply swipe away. It’s important to catch them immediately. No one wants a YouTube-style “Hi there, followers. Today we’re going to be…” No. Simply show what’s happening from the first clip and explain as you go.

For brands, this means getting your objectives in there as fast as possible. Highlight your brand within the first few seconds and showcase your products or services thereafter.

Transition into greatness

TikTok is addictive, which means it’s easy to see the same thing a million times. The place you can get the most creative in short-form video content is with transitions. Play with transitions to show off your brand’s personality and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd.

There isn’t anything specific we can point to here, only that this is your chance to get creative. Jump cut to different outfits, spin into different backdrops, etc. Watch other content creators and keep an eye on their transitions to learn some innovative ways to move on from clips.

Hit the rhythm

Music was the original selling point of TikTok, but it’s even more so on Instagram. On Instagram, your content is mostly visual, and there is an option to watch Reels entirely in silence. Don’t get us wrong, very few Reels feature no music, but a very few feature talking too, so music is the go-to. Instagram points out that over 80% of Reels are viewed with the sound on, but it’s not a commentary place, which means users are listening to the music. But it’s important, for those who don’t watch home renovations in silence, to hit the rhythm of the song. Sync your content along with the rhythm of the song and you are likely to see a big change in your content performance, if only because people will keep watching because they’re enjoying the bop.

Stay on trend

This is an obvious one but is worth mentioning: stay on-trend. Trends trend because they’re trending. If you tap into trends, you trend too.

This can apply to a few different things, like the music you use, the topics you discuss, or even the content you put out there. New trends pop up with no rhyme or reason beyond the fun and virality of it so if it applies to you in the least, give it a go.

Be authentic

It might be a little ironic that Instagram is touting this advice, given that Instagram is undoubtedly the reason this advice is taking off, but be authentic. Part of TikTok’s appeal is the content being genuine and authentic. People don’t need a polished look or a high-res camera. Instead, they are reacting to people who start their content with the phrase “Excuse my bedhead” or “Ignore my pyjamas”. Not only do people not care, but in fact, they’re more relatable that way and therefore, more engaging.

If you are interested in other insights into affiliate marketing, take a look at our blog, which gets updated every day with the latest online marketing insights. Or, for a more personalized approach, book a free call with a member of our team.

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