When’s the last time you watched a video on your phone? Since 2017, viewers have been trending toward mobile video over desktop viewing. Even among B2B audiences, a surprising number of queries come from mobile devices. As viewers consumed more content on the go, video adapted to match shortened attention spans.
You’ve heard the saying, “Go big or go home,” right?
Yeah, that doesn’t always work in video. Especially on social media, you’re better off keeping it short and sweet if you want to knock it out of the park. That’s where micro video comes in handy. So let’s untangle our metaphors and move on to the important stuff: what is micro content and how can you use it to supercharge your marketing strategy?
What is Micro Video Content?
Micro videos are just like regular videos, but shorter. They can run anywhere from three to 30 seconds, but shorter is generally better. Micro video can pop up anywhere from YouTube pre-roll ads to the hottest new social media platform. Don’t get lost in the weeds here, the micro label describes the length of the video, not the file format or platform.
Speaking of platforms…What counts as a micro video platform? You can share micro-videos anywhere, but some social media platforms were built for micro content. Think TikTok, Snapchat, and does anyone out there remember Vine?
On Vine, users could upload video clips ranging from 6 to 15 seconds and viewers could watch them on loop. Although the platform isn’t around anymore, for reasons that have little to do with its content, it did leave a legacy in the form of micro-videos.
Micro Video Can Increase ROI
You might wonder, why brands, creators, and even viewers are investing time in a video that only lasts a few seconds? The answer is easy: Return on Investment.
Here’s a simple equation to illustrate the point: quick production + high views = good ROI
Brands can produce micro content quickly. Where a half-day video shoot or hours of animation time might deliver just one longer-form video, you can make a dozen or more shorts in the same production time.
You need shorter scripts, fewer (or no) transitions, and minimal on-screen text. Cutting out all of those details doesn’t just shorten your video, it also makes it more cost efficient.
Short Video, High Quality
But hold on just a minute. We’re not advocating for churning out tons of low-quality videos. You should still tell a compelling story and deliver high production value.
A bon-bon is smaller than a twelve layer chocolate cake, but both should be decadent.
When you create high-quality micro video content, you’ll hook user attention. Since you’re asking for so little of their time, they’re more likely to take the risk of offering their attention. Once you’ve informed, entertained or delighted them, they can easily share this tiny piece of content with a friend or fifty.
Constraints Unleash Creativity
Most artists and creators will tell you that limitations are a good thing. Constraints force them to use their creativity in new and sometimes surprising ways. They have to refine their message down to its most impactful point.
Time limits cut your meandering presentation down to a short and focused video script. Your list of shots and out-of-focus zooms becomes a clear, focused image. That confusing cast of characters becomes one entertaining animated mascot.
In short: you communicate better.
Break Down Longer Content into Micro Video Content
Micro video content might feel like one of those fads for young people. You’re not a tween on the Snapchats and the Ticky-Talkies, you’re running a B2B brand over here. And micro video can help you do it.
At IdeaRocket, we use microvideo to engage audiences on Instagram, TikTok and even YouTube. (YouTube introduced “shorts” as a way to jump on the short vertical-video bandwagon.)
In the video linked below, we could certainly have made a longer explainer that walks viewers through all 12 principles of animation. Some viewers would be happy to watch that, others aren’t ready to commit to learning a dozen points in quick succession.
As you plan your video content, consider ways to break down bigger videos into bite-size portions.
GIFs, Cinemagraphs, and Video Clips
Some of the most shareable pieces of micro video content are animated GIFs. These moving images range from artful cinemagraphs to quirky memes and looping images of text. It’s really up to you. One way to get into the social media game with micro video is to chop up a few compelling segments of already existing video into 6-second clips.
This micro video ice cream sandwich recipe from Ben & Jerry’s Instagram is a masterclass in providing value to viewers.
Could this have been a longer video? Sure, but it didn’t need to be. The point wasn’t to give you detailed directions about cooking cinnamon rolls. They just wanted to get you thinking about unconventional ways to use their ice cream.
The built-in CTA at the end is also a nice touch.
Micro Video: Timely & Targeted
When it comes to product launches, seasonal events, and real-time engagement with your potential leads, there’s really nothing more powerful and immediate than micro video content. These short videos keep branding on message and because they’re usually quick to produce, you can create them very nearly in real time.
This video from Dove reveals a mural the company co-commissioned in New Orleans. It’s just seconds long, but allows far-away customers to get a nearly first-hand look at the mural reveal.
The company could have chosen a longer news-style video. They could have interviewed the artist or talked to passers by about the artwork. But this ultra-short video is more eye-catching than those formats could have been, and it took minimum production work.
Notice how they managed to squeeze in a ton of information using emoji, text overlays, and hashtags.
Micro-fy your Video Strategy
Let’s be completely clear. We’re not telling you that all videos must be less than 1-minute long. Different video lengths work for different platforms. All we’re saying is that if you plan to market on social media, you definitely want micro-videos in the mix.
For help creating micro video, long-form video and everything in between, contact the video marketing experts at IdeaRocket.