Using Short Videos to Reach Your Audience


Did you know that you have 8 seconds to grab someone’s attention? A recent Microsoft study measuring how long people can focus on one thing for a specific amount of time showed the average person's attention span was 8 seconds. As a business owner, this creates a bigger challenge as you search for ways to reach your audience and get their attention.

Using video, and specifically shorter videos, is an effective way to get your ideal client to stop scrolling and watch your content. Having worked with hundreds of small businesses, I can already hear the groans because of the challenges you face in creating video. But, studies show that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support (HubSpot), and 72% of customers said they would rather learn about a product or service by way of video. 

Types of Short Videos

Short videos are a practical way to reach out to your audience. They’re more memorable and engaging than texts or static images. 

When creating short videos, think about what would interest your audience and keep their attention. There is a wide variety of video content you can create such as: 

  • Explainer videos to provide people with the basics of what your company does or how to use your products and services. 
  • Product videos to show your product in action and explain what it does. 
  • Case studies and testimonials to create trust by showing how customers have benefitted from your business. 
  • Behind the scenes videos to give your audience a sneak peek at what goes on in your business.
  • Human interest videos such as interviews, events, and stories to show your connection to the community.
  • Personality videos that introduce you and your brand and share why you do what you do.
  • Problem-solving videos to show your audience how your product/service solves their specific problem.
  • How to tutorial videos to demonstrate a specific feature of your product or service.

Length of Short Videos

Knowing that you have eight seconds to grab attention is a starting point. You also need to keep their attention. According to Sprout Social, videos between 15 seconds and five minutes increase the chances of being watched.

If you are camera shy, even 15 seconds can seem like a long time! Because people buy from people, I encourage business owners to participate by being on camera. I suggest a mix of on-camera video and screen sharing videos, and if you have the budget, using a production company to film video for you.

What is most important is the content of the video and creating an outline and script so the purpose of the video is clear and concise. While five minutes may seem like a long time, without an outline or script, videos can go longer and ramble on, and your audience will stop watching.

To keep your videos short and to the point, follow these guidelines:

  1. Have a clear goal and purpose for the video (look at the examples above for ideas).
  2. Create an outline of the specific points you want to cover.
  3. Create a more in-depth script of your content,
  4. Practice your script before turning on the camera!
  5. Create your video!

An example of a problem-solving video outline is:

  1. In this video, I am going to (and explain the problem your customer has).
  2. Short introduction of yourself and your company
  3. Solution point number 1
  4. Solution point number2
  5. Solution point number 3
  6. In conclusion, if you (state the problem), follow (your solution).

Tools to Create Short Videos on a Budget

In a recent blog post, I shared my top tech tools that I use to create social media content on a budget.   

To create short videos, here are some of the tools that I use:

Recorded Video

Lumen5 - free and paid plans 

Hands down Lumen5 is my favorite tool for creating videos from my blog content. The video library is extensive and, while there is a bit of a learning curve, the final product looks very professional. It has a smart tool that you can put your blog URL in and it will pull in the content, or you can manually add it yourself. That alone is a great timesaver.  The free plan allows for 3 videos per month and has the Lumen5 branding at the end. Here’s a Lumen5 video from one of my blogs. 

 Loom - free and paid plans 

Loom is multifaceted in that it both records videos and makes them easily shareable. It has quickly exploded as a user-friendly tool where you can capture your webcam, screen, or both. The basic free version allows up to 25 videos per month. I use Loom to record my short tutorial videos as well as to share video screen shares with clients and team members. Loom is not a video editor but does allow for trimming the video. Here are some of my Loom videos on YouTube.  

Live Video

Live video on social media platforms can be shared on the respective platform of the live and then downloaded after the live video to be shared on other platforms.

 StreamYard - free and paid plans 

The free version allows up to 20 hours of live streaming a month, up to 6 participants, and works with Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Periscope, and Twitch but only one platform at a time. StreamYard branding is on the video.

 Be.Live - free and paid plans 

The free version allows 3 shows per month and up to 2 people on screen and works with Facebook and YouTube but only one platform at a time. Be.Live branding is on the video.

Take Action and Create Short Videos

The most important thing you can do is to take action and get started. Your videos will improve over time, but the cost of not getting started and reaching your audience the way they want to consume your content is greater.

Research shows that short videos work to reach your audience. Make a goal to create at least one short video a month, to start, and build on that over time. 

If you have any questions about creating short videos, let me know in the comments.


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