Scratching your head at why your TikTok and Reels content isn’t performing that well? We’ve got some short form video tips to help!

Video content has boomed in the last couple of years. With the rise of TikTok, we’ve seen people shooting short form video in their humble bedroom then soar to stardom with record contacts and glittering success stories. It’s understandable that everyone now wants a piece of the action.

Instagram‘s plan to compete with rival TikTok is to push Reels and original video content. Recognising that short form video is the future, YouTube introduced its Shorts feature in the last year or so. With all the major platforms championing short videos, a new way of creating content has been born.

It’s easy to think that making a shorter video is just the same as a regular 10-15 minute one, but, well, shorter. But, in fact, it requires a whole new approach. The challenge comes from packing in the necessary information and making your points in a much more condensed timeframe. Oh, and you need to make sure it’s entertaining.

If you’re struggling to get to grips with the crafting of short video creation, we’ve got some helpful hints for you!

Perfect Your Hook

The key to short form video is to be engaging. You don’t have much time to convince someone to listen to you. Plus, you’re up against an unfathomable amount of content that people are scrolling through at a very fast pace.

Right out the gate, you need to hook viewers in. You can do this a number of ways, and your approach will differ depending on your content creator style. You might go for the shock factor, making people so curious they have to watch. Or, you could promise them something they can’t resist if they watch your video.

Keep Things Moving

You’ve probably noticed that “timeframe” and “pace” have cropped up a few times already in this article. That’s because they’re vital to consider when creating short form video content.

Everyone’s scrolling, looking for their next video hit. Once they get into a rhythm, they don’t want to slow down. If something threatens to do this, the viewer will simply skip onto the next video. To avoid your content being skipped, you need to keep up. That means making sure your video has a fairly quick pace, and a rhythm that flows well.

Try not to dwell on one point for too long, or go into too much detail. Whilst it can be tempting, remember you’re not creating vlogs, you’re creating bite sized entertainment nuggets.

Use Closed Captions

There are two great reasons you shouldn’t pass on the closed captions. Number one is accessibility. You want everyone to be able to enjoy your content, and that includes the deaf or hard of hearing. Number two is it allows people to watch your videos with the sound off.

Whether this is because a viewer is in public, sneakily watching TikTok at their desk, or in bed trying not to disturb anyone else, closed captions increase your chances of your videos being watched.

Show Your Face

Just like when you’re creating a scroll-stopping thumbnail for a YouTube video, you need to stop scrollers in their tracks on TikTok or Reels. Human faces are perfect for doing this. We’re hard-wired to look at other people’s faces. Something inside us is immediately intrigued, and our eyes will linger over content featuring faces compared to that without.

If possible, you should show your face in your video content. This will help engage people to begin with, but also help to reinforce reliability and familiarity within your audience.

Don’t Overcomplicate

This point continues on slightly from keeping things moving. It can be tempting to really get stuck into a subject you’re passionate about. However, short form video isn’t the place for it.

The same idea for not overcomplicating can be applied to the production of the video itself. Of course, using a great camera or lighting set up helps to make high quality videos. But, you can just grab your phone and shoot content on the fly. You can spend time adding finishing touches when editing, but a lot of high performing short video is shot very simply and quickly.

Have a Structure

To help you avoid waffling or missing points, it’s a great idea to shoot content with a clear structure in mind. If you write scripts for vlogs, you can adapt your approach to fit a shorter video. Just remember to have a strong hook, and keep the tempo up before finishing with a clear call to action.

Chaotic and random videos also do very well on platforms like TikTok, so a less precise approach won’t always work. However, a good structure can be applied to many types of content, and help speed up your creation process.

Nail the Landing

Yes, the hook at the beginning of a video is important, but the ending it arguably more crucial to get right. This is the last thing your viewers sees, and so will be their lasting impression of you. Here is the perfect opportunity to get them watching more of your content, and engaging with it.

Add a compelling CTA to the end of your video, either urging them to watch another video, try the things you’ve suggested in your video for themselves, or leave comments sharing their thoughts and experiences. Without a good CTA to round things off, viewers can be left feeling unsure of what to do with the information they’ve just received.

Adding great quality music to your short form video content is a sure fire way to keep audiences watching. The right track can help elevate your content and give it that professional, polished edge.

Sign up to Synchedin to start browsing a huge catalogue of awesome royalty free music, all with the sync license covered. Never let your short videos fall flat again, and watch those subscribers flood in!