short form video tips

8 Tips You Must Know To Create Engaging Short-Form Videos

Despite the popularity of short-form videos such as YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, TikTok videos, and those shorter LinkedIn video clips, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes when it comes to making engaging, and dare I say, revenue-generating short-form videos. So if your short-form videos aren’t performing well on social media, you will learn WHY they aren’t reaching their potential, and HOW to fix it.

In this article, let’s talk about the 8 things nobody told you about short-form videos.

Fasten your seatbelt, let’s go! Start reading from the top, or jump to a tip that resonates the most using the Table of Contents below. If you are desperate to explore the tools first, feel free to visit Best AI Content Repurposing Tool For Video And Audio: Our 8 Favorites (2023)

Video Tutorial

The video above was created using some but not all of the tips written in this article. Keep reading, and see if these tips resonate with you. As always, I’d love to hear from you via the comments below.

8 Tips To Create The Best Short-form Videos

1. Short-form videos are easy to create, tough to captivate

By easy to create, I mean all the tools we have available today to chop up long videos into shorter clips. You can use a free app on your phone such as iMovie, or CapCut, or AI-powered video repurposing tools such as Munch, Opus Clips, DeepBrain AI or PodIntelligence.

These AI tools are getting better by the day, but still, short-form videos without a strategy and consistent publishing will not get you the results you need.

In the following tips, I’m going to share more “whys” when it comes to the challenge of creating short-form videos.

2. You need new storytelling (and editing) skills for short-form videos

With short-form videos, you have a short and limited timeline to work with. This means you have to convey your message quickly and effectively. This requires concise scripting, precise editing, and ensuring that every second counts.

These skills can be learned but you have to be patient. It takes practice, trial, and error to figure out what works for your content and your business. Think in a 3-month term, not days or weeks. I’m a big fan of leveraging AI tools such as Munch and Opus Clips to get a bunch of short-form videos from the long-form content you already have and start testing them out on your social media.

These AI tools will help you jump-start your short-form content creation process without having to learn how to edit videos and save you hours of manual work.

3. Simple doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Have you heard of the saying: just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy?

There’s a Chinese saying that also reflects the idea that simple things are sometimes more challenging to master: “写字难写的是简单的字” (xiě zì nán xiě de shì jiǎndān de zì). This literally translates to “In writing characters, the difficult ones to write are the simple ones.”

This saying emphasizes that while a character may appear simple in structure, mastering its strokes and achieving a balanced and beautiful form can be more challenging than writing complex characters. It’s an expression of the idea that simplicity can sometimes demand more skill and precision than complexity.

I think this saying is quite relevant to short-form videos. When it comes to short-form, you need to strip away more of what’s not needed and center the most valuable content as the core of your short videos. Less is more!

4. The first few seconds matter most

The first few seconds matter so much for short-form videos. You need to be extra creative to create a “hook” through visual or audio to grab your viewers’ attention. There are different ways to do this.

  1. Of course, you can TELL your audience what you are going to teach and share that’s worth their attention, AND
  2. You can also use smart visuals to even more quickly convey your message in the first few seconds

Example: a very smart and successful young YouTuber named Jenny Hoyos shared her secret formula, which she learned from others on YouTube. She uses a combination of imagery + text to convey a captivating message, that is also thought-provoking and makes people want to click and watch the entire clip to find out what happens in the end.

Best tips to create short-form videos in 2024 (YouTube Shorts)

5. Business content needs a different strategy for short-form videos

Whether you run a business podcast, webinar, or panel discussion, your content is different than a lot of “hot and trendy” content on YouTube. So, what do you do?

If you believe that you need a different set of strategies and tactics, you aren’t wrong. On top of that, you also need consistency.

Creators and business owners with long-form videos tend to hesitate when it comes to short-form video repurposing. In their heads, they often worry:

  • What if short-form videos won’t work for my business?
  • What if my videos are too boring for repurposing? (People only want to watch Mr. Beast!)
  • What if my videos won’t perform on social media?

These assumptions often aren’t true. I discussed with Sean McDonald, the content director for BoardPro, in great detail how to leverage short-form videos (exacted from long-form webinar recordings) to grow their business by 40% and over 2 million dollars in 2 years.

Instead of looking for trendy, hot topics, you should focus on publishing these short, valuable content for your business:

  • Q&As from interviews, webinars, panel discussions
  • Clips centered around valuable topics and keywords
  • Tips, tricks, and stories that resonate with your audience (look for analytics such as engagement time, and peaks for clues) – Related: YouTube Key Moments: How to Use It to Increase Ranking and Watch Time
  • Moments you remember that delighted and surprised you as a host, moderator, or attendee

6. Stop creating eye candy (they are costly and might not even work for your business)

It’s easy to look at the beautiful, sophisticated short-form videos created by top creators that captivate millions of views, and think that yours should look like theirs, or at least half as good, right? The answer is NO. Those videos aren’t relevant to your business in terms of styles and production, and they are very costly.

There isn’t a lot of public data on how much popular creators spend on making YouTube shorts. However, it doesn’t take much to gather similar data to guess how much money and time they typically spend on a regular video. You are looking at thousands of dollars (if not more), and dozens of hours of production work by a team, not a single person.

If this is out of your budget, don’t panic. Most creators (99%) will not be able to swallow such production costs, even though most of us have been watching and conditioned by the “standard of short-form video quality”.

The rule is simple: don’t wait for your stunning, viral short-form video. Start posting short videos that feel 80-90% there, or think in B or B+ if academic measurement helps you move forward more easily.

7. Your first short-form videos won’t be perfect (but publish them anyway)

“Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good.” This is also true for short-form videos. Unless they are recorded originally as short-form videos with tightly written scripts, they are most likely, not perfect.

Regardless of powerful AI editing features by removing ums, uhs, and silence from repurposed short-form videos, you can still spot imperfections in most.

  • Why doesn’t the speaker sound as fluent or coherent as I remembered?
  • Did I fully articulate my point?
  • Is the context missing from this clip?
  • The clip is cut off mid-sentence (and I wish I didn’t have to edit that)

These are common concerns with the natural imperfections of repurposed short-form videos. But once you start publishing them and see the business power behind short-form videos, you will begin to look past some of these details and better engage and grow your audience.

8. Learning to “ship” short-form videos is KEY

Now that we’ve talked about pricing, and quality, knowing what’s good enough means it’s ready to ship, I still see SO MANY people hesitate to share their content (or share them consistently).

I have also witnessed creators and businesses who receive a few neutral or negative comments and decide short-form videos aren’t worth the effort after all.

We have to change our mindset and action.

Seth Godin often emphasizes the concept of “ship it” or “merely ship.” In this context, “ship” refers to the act of releasing a product, project, or piece of work to the public even if it’s not perfect, or your highest standard (which is different from person to person). Instead, focus on sharing your work as a habit, embrace failure, get real-world feedback, and combat resistance. “The resistance” in his writing, refers to the internal forces (like fear, self-doubt, procrastination) that prevent us from doing our best work.

Speaking of real-world feedback, receiving negative comments isn’t always a bad thing. No comment or engagement is often worse. We need to rethink negative comments as they often relate to constructive criticism and also misunderstandings that can be clarified, discussed and agreed to disagree.

Which of the 8 tips resonated with you the most right now? Let me know!

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