5 Fundamentals for Making Short Form Videos Quickly Without Sacrificing Quality

Video Tutorials
December 9, 2021

5 Fundamentals for Making Short Form Videos Quickly Without Sacrificing Quality

Short form video has taken over social media and if you don’t believe me, try scrolling through Instagram or Facebook for even a second, without seeing one autoplay on your feed. Short form videos have become so popular that even platforms like Linkedin and Pinterest have incorporated them into their user-experience. Videos work so well because they provide information in a fast and easy way, and this has created a need for frequent and constant video content creation from businesses. Luckily, short form videos can be made quickly without sacrificing quality; especially if you apply the best practices we’ll share in this blog. First though, to better grasp this trend, let’s take a quick scroll through memory lane, at the key milestones that have occurred over the past 20 years, leading to the rise of short form video.

The Evolution of Short Form Video

Early 2000’s

The early 2000’s brought life to some of today’s most widely used social media sites and saw the beginning and end of others. In 2003, MySpace launched, followed by Facebook 6 months later. These social media platforms revolutionized the way we connect, giving people a world-wide digital space to come together and share everything from family photos, to their relationship status. In 2005, Reddit entered the scene, followed by Twitter in 2006. While these online networking spaces inevitably included the option to watch and share video content, short form videos’ potential hadn’t yet been realized. Even in 2010 when Instagram made its debut, it did so as a photo sharing platform; in fact, posting video content wasn’t even an option. 


Fast-forward to 2013 when social media saw major changes in the way content would be enjoyed.

Short form video captured the attention of millions with one of the fastest growing apps of it’s time. Vine was released in January 2013, and made it easy for people to create, view, and post a short looping video, all from their smartphone. The one caveat was that Vine videos were restricted to just 6 seconds in length. With this limitation, a precedent was set; there was no need to have high budget effects or professionally shot footage because the purpose of these short form videos was to share a quick, funny or entertaining video sequence. Vine made it possible for people with no previous experience, to make unique and sometimes even viral content. With this short form video app grabbing the attention of so many users, other social sites took notice. Facebook implemented the video autoplay feature, making it nearly impossible to ignore a video on your newsfeed, and by June 2013, Instagram introduced the ability to record and share videos up to 15 seconds long. 

2014 – 2017

In 2014, with short form video content captivating social media users all over the world, Musical.ly (later to become TikTok) launched, allowing users to create short (15 second to 1 minute long), lip-syncing, music videos. In just a few years, short form videos had become a huge part of the social media ecosystem and could be created, posted, and viewed on most platforms. Soon influencers, and even celebrities were reaping the benefits of connecting with their audience and growing their fan base through releasing short form videos. 

In October 2016 the originator of true short form video content, Vine, saw its demise; partially due to the lack of creator support in terms of monetization or advertising options, and partially due to the restriction of 6 second videos, when other platforms allowed a bit more time to get a story or message out through video. This was the same year that Instagram launched Stories, which would become widely used over the next several years.

Shortly after that, in May 2017, the app Musical.ly, having over 200 million users, was acquired by Bytedance and merged into TikTok.

2020 – 2021

Today, short form video apps like TikTok and Instagram, have over 1 billion monthly active users. Even Snapchat created a feature to compete, called Spotlight in November 2020, that showcases the most popular Snaps across its community. YouTube also added YouTube Shorts as a short form video outlet that went public in March 2021, and received over 6.5 billion views in that first month alone!

Short form videos have become a significant part of people’s online experience and an essential way to gain brand exposure and build customer loyalty. When it comes to short form videos, consistency is a requirement to winning the attention of your consumers. While longer form videos created by traditional production companies still have a place in the marketing spectrum of a business, to stay top of your customer’s mind, you need an efficient way to produce video content often, and short form videos are the best way to do that. Let’s check out some best practices to implement, in order to create effective short form videos regularly, and keep up with consumer demands.

Short Form Video Best Practices

1. Optimize Videos for the Platform:

When you’re creating a short form video, consider the platform you intend to share it on. Each platform has a specific format and time restriction. For example; Stories on Instagram or Facebook, allow you to share up to 15 seconds of video at a time, disappear after 24 hours, and you have to click on them to see them. YouTube Shorts or TikTok videos autoplay when you open up the app or browser, can be up to 60 seconds long and tend to perform well when following a trending theme.

2. Repurpose Existing Video Content:

Repurposing content gives you tons of options and, compared to creating a video from scratch, is quite efficient. You can take an already existing, long form video and edit it into multiple short form videos. Or, you can update a video by adding text on screen using Storyblocks text templates, rearrange the video clips in a new order, or add effects using After Effects templates from our Stockblocks library, to freshen up an older video. Repurposing existing content allows you flexibility to share across multiple platforms and gives you more videos to release!

3. Make a Plan:

Get clear about the message you want to send in your short form videos, who these videos are for, and how you can share concise information in a way that will connect with your customers. If you’re recording content, make sure you have what you need readily available to show on camera. And if it applies, add a call to action at the end of your short form video.

4. Use High Quality Content:

When creating short form videos, make sure your subject is well lit, check your frame before pressing record to ensure there are no distracting elements on screen, and make sure your content is shot in at least 1080p. Platforms tend to compress the quality of content when posting, so providing them with a high quality video is best, and if you’re shooting video on your smartphone, typically, the camera on the back of your phone will be better. Also, for the best results, try to record good audio by reducing and removing distracting background noise, speaking loudly and clearly, and within a few feet of your microphone for best results.

5. Use Stock Content:

Stock content makes creating high quality short form videos easy by giving you an abundant amount of professionally shot clips, creative templates and royalty free music. You can create entire videos with stock content, in a fraction of the time it would take to film them and with Storyblocks constantly updating their stock catalogue, there’s always new content readily available to keep up with your businesses short form video needs. A Storyblocks unlimited subscription gives you and your team access to creative stock media resources, with a cost-efficient plan. When you’re continuously creating content, using stock media will save you tons of time and money, compared to a pay-per-asset plan or hiring a video production crew.

Short form video has become the most consumed type of content and the go-to way to share a message fast while capturing the attention of consumers. Businesses big and small are starting to recognize the value of leveraging short form videos; not only to expose consumers to their product or service, but to build a loyal brand community. With so much content being uploaded every second, it’s more important than ever to stay top of mind by posting short form videos frequently.

Storyblocks Enterprise offers scalable solutions for organizations and creative teams. To see if Storyblocks is right for your company, just fill out the form on this page and we’ll get back to you shortly.

Alli Saunders

Video Creator, YouTuber: Alli and Will

Alli runs several businesses including a Toronto based video production company and an online business that’s trained 150,000+ students in a wide range of courses. She has 7+ years of cinematography and editing experience producing corporate, web and commercial videos. Second to that, Alli has a YouTube channel with her husband and business partner Will that’s focused on filmmaking, traveling, and a behind the scenes of their lifestyles.

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