The creativity and innovation of the digital era is exciting to watch: new forms and methods of communication have sprung up left and right over the past decade, and with each form came endless venues for creativity and learning. Now, there are more opportunities than ever to create engaging content that suit many purposes and settings. Kerrin Sheldon recently wrote an excellent article on the rise of short-form video at Fast Company and how it represents an opportunity for marketing to consumers. Here are the five main takeaways:
- More and more users are consuming their video entertainment online.
- Marketers are using video to engage social media audiences.
- Barriers to entry are low.
- Quality is expanding quickly.
- There are plenty of avenues for dissemination.
Though Sheldon talked about short-form video for marketing purposes, I think the reasons he discussed applies to a broader opportunity regarding how people consume content and share with others. Video has become a key part of the social sharing and dissemination of information, and widely populates a host of social media sites. In April 2012, ComScore reported that the average viewer watched nearly 22 hours of video in a single month, which Sheldon supposes were likely broken into many short-form videos, each being watched for just a few minutes at a time. Why is this important? Time and time again social media has changed the way that people communicate. Habits that manifest on social networks often play out, and even are adapted, in the workplace. There has been a rise of work-related social networks such as LinkedIn, Yammer, Chatter, and more — all of which mimic “consumer-ish” social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Thus, we can expect the use and consumption of video to mirror this trend — for a generation of people who are used to receiving information in bite-sized 140-character chunks, short form videos are a simple and effective method of conveying information. We are already beginning to see a number of short-form videos being used for company training. Sheldon infers that, as attention spans shorten, people will have less and less patience for long videos, placing more importance on brief but well-crafted messages.
It’s important to note that brief videos do not exclude a depth of information, but can instead inform easily digestible information and aid in knowledge retention. With videos and information broken into manageable chunks designed to fit the media consumption patterns of the modern workforce, short-form online videos used for learning and knowledge sharing will likely become more effective than ever.
Likewise, the increase in accessibility of quality recording equipment, especially with the advances in video cameras on today’s smartphones, will make it easier than ever for companies to make videos that can be used for product demos, sales and marketing pitches, employee training, etc., without breaking the bank. New technology means that short videos can be created more quickly and easier than ever. Here’s a great example of how a sales training manager at Bronto Software is able to develop a vast library of video-based training resources for her team.
Do you have any great examples of how you’ve used short-form video successfully in your organization? Let us know!
Image credit: tecca.com