7 Ways to Improve Your Short-Form Video Content

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Did you catch the latest craze on TikTok, or are you getting lots of reactions on Instagram Stories and Reels? Short-form video is the hottest trend to take over social media feeds. As its name suggests, it’s short—often just under a minute—fun, engaging, and when done right, high-converting.

Most importantly, the best short-form video content is viral. It meets these goals by bringing in record-breaking impressions, reactions, and shares in just a few weeks. In fact, you’ll know that you’ve made a viral video when viewers start engaging with it more creatively, like remixes and other new spins. The best part is that most viral videos are organic: like a good video marketing campaign, but without the ad spend. This is exactly why 58% of marketers are looking to leverage Instagram Reels in 2022 and get in on the benefits of viral fame.

So if it isn’t yet part of your digital marketing strategy, now is a good time to learn how to achieve viral fame. In this article, you’ll learn all about making viral short-form videos, so keep reading below. Lights, camera, and dive in!

What makes a viral video?

Before you start shooting a short-form video, it’s helpful to keep in mind what makes it achieve viral fame. Generally, a video is viral when it spreads quickly on the platform it’s posted on. In some cases, highly viral videos can transcend platform boundaries, often due to cross-posting by various users who are very engaged in the content. You might have seen this before — TikTok crazes that get shared and reposted on Instagram and Twitter, where they gain even more impressions and engagement.

Views or impressions are the number one metric for determining video engagement, and whether it’s achieved viral fame. This number is often in the millions, like 5 to 8 million achieved in just a day or up to a week, although there isn’t a magic number that acts as the threshold. Instead, it’s helpful to think of viral short-form videos depending on the number of views against the population of the platform. 

For example, TikTok has 1 billion users, so a video that has achieved millions of views will count as one of the most viewed — and viral on the platform. More importantly, it’s important to consider how many of these videos have translated to reactions, follows, and other conversion measures that indicate the success of your brand in reaching new audiences.

Tips for Making a Viral Short-Form Video

Ready to take over the internet with a viral video? Check out these ways to improve your video content and launching an all-new video marketing strategy guaranteed to go viral:

1. Start with a hook and reel ’em in

Grab their attention. Most users only take the first few seconds to decide whether to keep watching a video or to skip it. And in a short-form video, there’s even less time — only 1.5 seconds — to make a solid impression, since you only have a limited window for getting to the message. 

This means, you need to make your video stand out with a bold and catchy thumbnail, so users don’t just scroll past your content. Once you’ve captured their attention, make every second count since 65% of viewers who make it past the first 3 seconds will keep watching until the 10-second mark, while only 45% continue to the 30-second mark.


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2. Short means short

Depending on the platform, you typically only have 60 seconds or less for short-form video — and even much less time to capture your audience’s interest in order to catapult to viral fame. 

And it’s all for good reason, as short-form video retains as much as 80% of viewers until the halfway mark, and 60% all the way to the end. Short-form video was created exactly for increasingly short attention spans, especially as more video content now appears on social feeds and competes for impressions and reactions. 

3. Create for each platform

Wondering why TikToks go viral? The most viewed and shared short-form video content are highly tailored to the platform they’re published on. For example, on this Gen Z favourite platform, the most virtual TiKToks are created according to the hottest trends, whether it’s a dance craze, a lip-sync, or a remix.

Creating for each platform also means creating for mobile-first. This means optimizing the viewing experience for mobile apps in terms of aspect ratio, visuals, and sound, so they’re easy to watch and interact with.

4. It doesn’t have to be professional

With the speed at which social media feeds change, the rise of one trend after another, and the various built-in features on each platform, your video content doesn’t have to look professional. Simply, you don’t need a full-scale production to go viral. 

Instead, you can use what’s already on the platform, like music and audio effects built into Instagram Reels, filters, and more. Similarly, it’s best to follow popular editing techniques for social video content, like “hiding” cuts between visuals or mid-action. You can also use big visuals like close-ups and medium shots to pull viewers in and keep your video viewable and impactful across screen sizes.

5. Hone in on your message

Since you only have 60 seconds to capture and convert, every second needs to be spent wisely. This is why it’s crucial to focus on a single message that provides the most value to viewers. Think about why you’re making a short-form video and the story you want to tell. Focus on the key message that will get viewers to watch and prompt them to take a desired action. So, whether you’re sharing tips, a how-to-guide, a product demo, or influencer content, all 60 seconds must be focused on these.

6. Use a powerful headline and copy

Before you hit post, you need to make sure that the headline and caption are click-worthy. While these don’t need to be clickbait, they still need to be powerful enough to capture a viewer’s attention. Similar to the opening of the video, you need to hook viewers in and give them a preview of what they expect. Whether it’s humour or a heartfelt sentiment, it’s important to know your viewer demographic and what reels them in in order to leverage a strong emotional reaction.


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7. Track analytics

And finally, there’s a lot more to short-form video marketing than simply creating and posting. Equally important is tracking the video analytics and seeing whether a video did in fact become viral. 

Check out different stats, like impressions and reactions to find out how well your short-form video resonates with audiences, and how many viewers took a desired conversion action. It’s only with this fulsome view of the video marketing cycle that you can determine what worked and didn’t, and how you can optimize video marketing.

Create Short-Form Videos with Consultus Digital

Ready to create and publish a viral video? With these tips, you can improve your video content and optimize production to make sure your short-form video goes viral. From using a compelling hook to keeping it short and impactful, you can make a viral video as part of a winning marketing strategy. 

And if you’re wondering how exactly to use these tips for your next short-form video, we can help. Consultus Digital offers videography services in Toronto to help you tell compelling stories through short-form video and make these go viral. With combined videography and marketing strategy, we can help you create and share viral short-form videos that viewers will remember and convert from.

Lights, camera, action! With only 60 seconds available, does your short-form video content have what it takes to go viral? Get expert videography for social content and fulsome video marketing strategy, only with Consultus Digital.

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