Your business needs a marketing plan, and your marketing plan needs a content strategy. It’s more than likely that social media is part of your marketing strategy, but social media won’t turn profits for your business unless it’s done right. Since most customer-facing and business-facing companies are using social media today, there is a fair bit of competition online.
You might need to do some research to stand out on social media and help ensure that your social media strategies are profitable. Snapping photos and posting with sales-y captions simply isn’t enough anymore; you’ve got to get informed about the delicate art of social media marketing.
Social media specialists use statistically-informed tactics and mathematical algorithms to make social media pages successful. However, there are some basic, easy-to-understand practices that the everyday business owner can use to make the most of social media. One golden rule of thumb that’s easy to understand and put into practice is sharing short-form content.
What is Short-Form Content?
This is as simple as it sounds: short-form content is content that can be absorbed quickly. This includes static images, videos under ten minutes in length, and copy that is less than 1,200 words. Conversely, long-form content might include things like lengthier blog posts, in-depth videos, interactive slideshows, or informative white papers.
Common examples of short-form social media content include:
- Photos or GIFs
- Instagram reels
- TikTok videos
- Live videos
- Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat stories
- Tweets or status updates
Why Use Short-Form Content?
Both short-form and long-form content have individual benefits, but sharing short-form content on social media has been proven to increase engagement. Creating and sharing short-form content is beneficial for businesses and viewers.
It’s Easier to Create
When it comes to short versus long, short typically means less effort is involved. While creating quality short-form content isn’t an effortless feat, using simple social media templates and writing shorter blog posts generally takes less time, money, and effort than creating long-form content.
It’s Easier to Consume
While long-form content pieces like informational videos and papers are certainly valuable for consumers, an element of interest has to come into play. If a customer isn’t familiar with your business or particularly invested in your business’s practices or the industry in which you operate, they won’t be motivated to take the time to consume that long-form content.
Short-form content, on the other hand, is so easily digestible that customers don’t necessarily have to be already interested in your business to consume it. Sharing short-form content on social media is successful because it caters to the social media habits of most consumers.
As users scroll for hours on end, they don’t often have the attention span to stop and digest tons of information. Short-form content is typically mobile- and scroll-friendly, and digestible for audiences with short attention spans. Moreover, the smaller bits of information found in short-form content are easier to remember than all of the information one would find in a lengthier post or video.
How to Make Great Short-Form Content
We’ve hinted that creating short-form content is often easier than creating long-form content, but don’t underestimate the effort needed to make short-form content effective. Longer videos and posts mean more room for details and information. With shorter posts, you’re challenged with packing as much necessary, attention-grabbing information into a much smaller space.
Grab Their Attention
Short-form content is all about efficiency. With a single post, you’re hoping to draw a user in, send them a message, and make them remember your business within a matter of seconds. As such, when a potential customer is mindlessly scrolling through social media, your content should jump out enough to make them stop for a second to engage with your posts.
Grab users’ attention using bright colors for graphics, photos, and text. Likewise, use bold, eye-catching words that help tap into consumers’ emotional appeal — business and marketing experts know that appealing to emotions is the first step towards a sale.
Know Your Intention
As a business, you never want to post on social media just to post. Each social media post that you create should serve a purpose, and that is especially true for short-form content. Short-form content is also great for expanding your audience and getting new eyes on your page, whereas long-form content is better for things like SEO or sharing in-depth information.
Use short-form content to emphasize timely things like sales, specials, or business updates. Readers should be able to view your post and understand what you’re offering within a few seconds, so keep your copy concise and clear and your content attractive. When you create short-form content with clear goals and intentions, you’ll be able to narrow down the words and visuals that will best promote those intentions.
Keep it Branded
Since short-form content is consumed so quickly, you want to make sure that it’s memorable and that it’s remembered in association with your business. Otherwise, you’ve just spent time and money creating great content that was enjoyed by a customer but didn’t benefit your business.
This is why branding is so important. Creating an identifiable brand through your social media persona is necessary to help your business compete with others and stick out in customers’ minds. You can build a brand identity on your social posts by creating relatable content, sharing posts with similar messaging and a distinct voice, and using on-brand colors, graphics, fonts, and logos.
Balance Short-Form With Long-Form
Keeping your social media page successful helps to share various content. So, while short-form content is wonderful, try to balance it out by sharing long-form content as well. Grab users’ attention with short-form content and keep them interested with long-form content.
For example, you could post a few attention-grabbing photos throughout the week to promote your newest product or service and then share a longer video or post that shares more in-depth information regarding that new service. This way, customers are already interested and, therefore, more likely to want to check out your long-form content.
Repurpose Longer Content
If you’ve got a lot of long-form content, you’ve got a lot of short-form content. Breaking longer blog posts or videos into short, easily-digestible pieces of content is a foolproof social media marketing tactic that numerous businesses capitalize upon.
Repurposed long-form content can be clips from television appearances or long videos, short chunks of information taken from your blog posts, attention-grabbing quotes taken from interviews or blog posts, shortened versions of listicles, and more. Repurposing your long-form content into short-form content is an easy way to generate more posts and can help you get more views on your longer pieces! (Think of how many times you’ve read a quick post and headed straight for the “link in bio.”)
Since grabbing users’ attention is so important to making short-form content effective, ensure that you’re sharing it when people will actually get to see it. Using scheduling tools or planners, pre-schedule your posts at optimal times to get the most eyes on your page.
There’s a ton of research behind the optimal posting times, and the best times to post often vary across platforms. For example, on Tuesdays, it might be best to post at six in the evening on Instagram, but better to post at ten in the morning on Facebook. Do your research and make the most of your content!
Start Sharing and Start Selling!
Social media marketing can be your business’s best friend, so long as you approach social media with a solid strategy. Use long-form content to provide value to your customers, but be sure to use plenty of short-form content to keep them interested, entertained, and in the know about your business. Think about your audience and business goals, develop content topics, and start making killer content!