Short-Form Video Marketing for Small Businesses

Short-form video marketing has become a powerful tool for small businesses to reach their target audience and increase sales. With the rise of TikTok, and similar features on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest, businesses can easily create and share engaging videos that capture the attention of potential customers. If you haven’t yet added short-form video to your social media strategy, hopefully by the end of this blog post you’ll see why it’s all the rage for small businesses.

The power of short-form video

Short-form videos are typically less than 60 seconds long and are designed to capture the attention of viewers quickly. They are perfect for today’s short attention spans and our addiction to constantly scrolling through feeds. According to a study by HubSpot, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from businesses they support. Not only can you provide your customers with the information they want in the format they prefer, but short-form videos can also help you stand out in a crowded market and connect with your audience on a more personal level.

Are short-form videos right for you?

Short-form videos can increase your thought leadership by allowing you to share your expertise and insights in a concise and engaging format that can be easily consumed and shared by your target audience. By consistently creating and sharing short-form videos on relevant topics, you can establish yourself as a trusted authority in your industry, build your personal brand, and increase your visibility and influence among your peers and followers.

However, if you’re incredibly uncomfortable on video, this might not be the best strategy to add to your marketing mix. As a knowledge expert, your potential clients will want to see your face on video and hear your voice. While there are ways to create videos without you appearing on screen, they likely aren’t going to be as effective at building trust and engagement.

If you represent a retail store or a product, short-form video is very effective in building relationships and trust with existing and potential customers. Showcasing how products are made, boxed, shipped, or showcased brings people into the behind-the-scenes life of your business, which creates trust. Allowing your staff to create content builds their loyalty to the business and showcases the personalities of the people we’ll see when we come into the shop, or call to place an order. People today want to know who is behind the brand and there is no better way to show that than short-form video.

Creating effective short-form videos

Keep it simple

When it comes to short-form videos, less is often more. Keep your message simple and focused on one key point. Use clear and concise language and avoid overwhelming viewers with too much information. Some platforms allows creating playlists to collect multiple short videos together for a more comprehensive topic.

Be creative

Short-form videos allow for creativity and experimentation. Use interesting visuals, music, and effects to capture the attention of viewers. Don’t be afraid to try new things and think outside the box. And while it seems counter to being creative, follow the trends on your chosen platform. Participating in trending sounds, filters or video memes can help your content be seen by more people.

Optimize for mobile

Most social media users access content on their mobile devices, so it’s important to optimize your videos for mobile viewing. Use vertical video instead of horizontal, as it takes up more space on a mobile screen. You should also consider adding subtitles to your videos as many viewers watch videos without sound.

Show, don’t tell

Short-form videos are a great way to showcase your products or services in action. Instead of telling viewers about your product, show them how it works and how it can benefit them. Appeal to their FOMO by showing your products headed off to the post office, or at a market selling out, etc.

Platforms for short-form video marketing


TikTok was the instigator of this new form of social media and has become increasingly popular amongst all demographics. The platform is known for its algorithm that promotes content to users based on their interests, making it a great way to reach a wider audience. There are hundreds of filters and features built into the video creation platform that makes editing videos fairly intuitive.

Instagram & Facebook

As TikTok became more popular, Instagram and Facebook quickly added similar features to their platforms. While not as full-featured as TikTok, you can still create lots of great content directly in the app. You may find things that trend on TikTok are trending on Instagram shortly after.

YouTube Shorts

With even fewer editing features than Instagram, I believe most people are creating their videos elsewhere and importing to Shorts. However, if you’re a knowledge expert in an area people could be searching for information, focusing on a YouTube Shorts channel might not be a bad idea.


If you’ve been using Pinterest at all in the last few years you’ll understand it’s not like other social networks at all. The algorithm is completely different and people use it as a search and save platform. You can recycle your short-form videos here as Stories, but I would focus on the educational side of your business unless you’re putting money behind it to promote a specific product.

Examples of effective short-form videos

Here are a few of my favourite short-form video creators to get your creative juices flowing. Let me know who you would recommend!

Knowledge Experts

Jenny Ward – a career strategist (Instagram Reels)

Dr. Jenn Huber – the menopause nutritionist (Instagram Reels)

Miss Excel – Excel expert who will BLOW your mind (TikTok)

Caroline Vencil – Canva expert who will also BLOW your mind with Canva tips and hacks (TikTok)

Anita Kirkbride – Yes, me. I’m walking the talk.

Retail Stores

My Home Apparel (TikTok)

Incandescent Boutique (Instagram Reels)

Product Businesses

Eclair Lips (Instagram Reels)

Michnat Fashion (Instagram Reels)


Short-form video can be a great addition to your social media marketing strategy if you allow yourself to be a little bit creative and give yourself some time to experiment. The good news about this “new” marketing tactic is that once you figure it out, you can create content quickly and easily. Batch-tasking and scheduling content saves time and your new short-form videos will quickly become part of your batch-creation days.

One more thing to ponder while you’re thinking “Anita’s crazy, I’m never making TikToks!”

Short-form video is FLAWSOME. Most creators are not creating videos in studios with professional cameras, lighting and microphones. You can do this in your home, office, store, basement, or backyard. You might need an inexpensive microphone, but otherwise most videos can be made with just your cell phone and a tripod. Your customers are CRAVING authentic, personable content from you. And YOU are the only one who can give it to them.

Short it up! And when you do, send me a link so I can engage with your content.


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