10 Best Practices to Create Engaging Short-Form Videos
Like it or not, billions of people use social media around the globe. Why does this matter to your tour or attraction business? In a word – exposure.
Short-form social media video has a massive potential to skyrocket your online marketing. One quick video of your Halloween walking tour can generate quite a bit of buzz for your business.
Pop onto Instagram or TikTok, and you’ll find highly engaging short-form videos that demonstrate the amenities of a local hotel, tips for vacationing on a budget, and how to get the perfect selfie on a walking tour of New Orleans.
If you want to grow your business, this is a great organic and low-cost place to start. Let’s get right into the tips that will help you create and market these short-form videos.
1. Know Your Audience
You can’t deliver excellent video content unless you know who will be viewing it. For example, if you run a tour of famous author homes in New England, you need to target users who love books, writers, history, and cozy reading nooks.
Understanding who is viewing your content guides what you create. If you want a good place to start, look at your competitors. What content are they promoting that resonates the most with audiences? How is that content different for your business?
Pro Tip: Use hashtags on Instagram! A great place to get content ideas is through hashtags. For our example above of author homes, these might be #bookstagram, #writersofinstagram, or #authorlife.
2. Start with a Hook
A hook is a piece of content designed to grab attention and maintain it for as long as possible. Your video content should do the same. Make it dynamic and attention-grabbing so the average user gets immediately invested in what will come next.
3. Record Vertically
This is a common mistake a lot of users make. Do not record your short-form video content horizontally (landscape for you creatives). Stick to vertical recording so it is easier to edit, post, and share online — where viewers will be watching on their mobile devices. You don’t want those annoying black bars on the top or bottom of your final video. It is just not as aesthetically pleasing.
4. Keep it Under a Minute
Shorter videos are more engaging. When you keep your content under a minute, you get a hard-hitting video that is direct to the point and relatable to your target audience. Trimming the extra fat reduces the chance of visitors bouncing from your video to the next.
5. Showcase Your Tour/Activity in Action!
A rollercoaster not moving and without any riders looks boring. An action video of the same rollercoaster flying through a corkscrew from the perspective of the front seat is white-knuckle engaging!
Give the people what they want. Showcase what you do through the medium of video and watch your engagement metrics grow.
Pro Tip: Leverage UGC (user-generated content). These are the unboxing videos, online reviews, and shareable content your target audience is putting out there on their own. If a local shares a great video of them celebrating a birthday at your zoo – why not share it and boost your engagement? Just be sure to tag the creator in your share so they get the credit.
6. Share to Multiple Platforms Consistently
Consistency is the gold standard of social media empowerment. That consistency becomes a lot easier when many platforms allow you to cross-promote without duplicating the work. There are also free services online like Hootsuite, where you can post once and have it distributed to many other platforms.
Shoot for 3-5 posts a week or even once per week if you are just starting out. The critical thing to remember is to be consistent. You want your audience to engage with you, and that requires being at the top of their streams by having new content on a regular basis.
7. Provide Context in the Captions
Don’t worry about over-explaining your short-form video – the visual should do that on its own. Your captions are where you give context to what is happening. Put the tags, info, and any other relevant information in the captions to make it more engaging.
Pro Tip: Remember those hashtags we searched for? Here is where you place your own. Make sure you have one unique to your company (like your brand name), and then add at least five more based on what you’re sharing.
8. Keep an Eye on Current Trends
Trending social media posts are the bandwagon you want to ride. There are tons of social media news aggregators like SocialMediaToday that will give you newsworthy stories related to your niche. Or you can search your hashtag and see what is most popular now.
The goal here is to leverage the popularity of what is already gaining a lot of attention and make it your own. If there is a popular dance on TikTok, get your tour guides involved during a tour. If people are using a particular song or sound in the background, do the same. Capitalize on what is working to bring in more engagement.
9. Repurpose Long-Form Videos
Using what you already have is one of the secret tricks of any social media creator. Here’s the rundown.
- Create a 30-minute YouTube video.
- Transcribe that video into a blog post to share on your website.
- Break that down into small snippets.
- Share to Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and More.
- Link back to your blog post.
- Rinse and repeat.
Just make sure to crop the footage into vertical format so you don’t lose that visually pleasing content on mobile.
10. Consider Working with Influencers
Have you run out of content ideas? Get some influencers involved. These are experts at leveraging video content to grow users and fanbases. They will see your business, tour, attraction, or location from a different perspective and give you a leg up by driving their viewership to your organization.
Short-form video is today’s golden child of content creation. It is the key to the kingdom for your business to grow online rapidly. Get creative. Have fun. Keep it simple.
As always, we at FareHarbor hope this helps you grow your brand and become a social media leader. Don’t think you need millions of followers. Hit that first 1,000 and then grow little by little, and you will see your bookings soar.