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How to Create Successful Short-Form Videos for Your Digital Catalogs

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Short-form videos have become a powerful tool for businesses to engage with their audience effectively. Every platform has created a version of a short-form video. From TikToks to Reels, the format is here to stay. Attention spans are getting shorter, and platforms ensure they cater to this change in consumer behavior. It’s no wonder that HubSpot’s Marketing Trends Report for 2024 found that short-form video is the top leveraged media format in marketers’ content strategies. Most notably, short-form ranks #1 for return on investment ROI.

Mastering the art of short-form videos can significantly enhance your brand’s visibility and reach, whether for digital catalogs, Instagram, TikTok, or email marketing. 

This blog will delve into what the short-form video format entails and provide actionable tips on crafting engaging content quickly and tapping into trends and pop culture.

Understanding the short-form video format

Short-form videos are bite-sized pieces of content, typically ranging from a few seconds to a few minutes. They capture attention quickly and deliver a concise message to the viewer. Although still widely debated, it’s agreed that short-form videos can be between 20 seconds and two minutes long. 

But the best way to truly understand the format is to experience it yourself. Register and create a TikTok account, then watch a few engaging videos from the ‘featured’ section or search for your product’s keywords to find out what others are doing. Notice what formats people follow and other details you can use in your videos. 

Here are a few TikTok accounts we recommend checking out in the retail sector: 

  1. Asos – With 2.1m followers, Asos is getting the fashion video format right while still staying relatable
  2. Starbucks – Starbucks has used humans to create fun and original content using their product range 
  3. Le Creuset – Le Creuset has used its products to create recipe-related videos that are very popular and add value to the followers 
  4. Flypyourhome – This property business uses DIY content and home decorating tips to showcase its products and has attracted a high number of likes because of it  
  5. The White Company – This is an excellent example of how to showcase a home furniture and decor brand 

Next, go on Instagram and watch reels created by influencers. What appeals to you? The rule of thumb is that others will enjoy what you enjoy. 

Here are a few Instagram accounts we recommend in the retail sector: 

  1. Take a recess (@takearecess) – This brand uses drink recipes to show off their different flavors
  2. Bala (@bala) – This activewear brand uses different tactics to showcase their products, especially workout routines 
  3. Shopify (@shopify) – Shopify has done a great job of staying relatable and making content for everyone
  4. Etsy (@etsy) – Etsy is using its product offering to create reels that inspire creativity, which speaks perfectly to its brand 
  5. Lululemon (@lululemon) – Lululemon uses human content to create great product demonstrations

Notice any recurring sound bites or songs? These could indicate trending topics. Brands and creators frequently leverage these trends to boost their video’s visibility. Furthermore, when viewers recognize a trend in your video, they’re more likely to watch it in its entirety.

The 5 C’s of short-form video creation 

An excellent framework to follow when creating short-form videos for Digital Marketing is outlined by the Digital Marketing Institute

  1. Commitment: when considering your involvement in short-form video creation, start by realistically assessing how much time and effort you can commit to making and promoting your videos. 
  2. Creativity: Using a creativity checklist as a guide, decide whether you will craft videos independently or need to hire a creative agency. 
  3. Content: ensure you choose content that fits your brand ethos. Not every trend will fit your brand, so choose what you create carefully to ensure you come across to followers authentically. Based on your data, it is also important to understand which types of videos perform best on each platform and tailor your strategy to match. 
  4. Consistency: Creating a structure for your posting schedule is essential for maintaining audience engagement, so develop a content calendar to track your postings consistently. 
  5. Community: Ensure your target audience is active on your chosen platform. If they are, engage actively with them to build a connection. If they’re not, reconsider where you’re posting to maximize the impact of your content.

Crafting successful short-form videos for digital catalogs

Creating short-form videos for digital catalogs requires balancing the effective showcase of your products with the engagement of your viewers. The key is to keep the videos visually appealing and informative, highlighting key features and benefits where relevant. 

Before creating videos, you should have already planned out your Digital Catalog’s flow and content to determine which areas need videos and what those videos should contain. The videos you create should support the content already there.

Once you have completed your Digital Catalog creation process, plan out which areas should get a short-form video added. These videos could be product demonstrations, product education, product inspiration, or brand loyalty-building videos, such as videos from founders discussing the company’s history.

You should closely tie the videos you embed in your digital catalogs to your product category or business goals. For example, if you are a supermarket, you could create content that shows users how to use the ingredients you’re selling through a recipe format.

Source – Metro Catalog

If you are a DIY store, you can create how-to videos that showcase your DIY products being used to complete beautiful projects. This can inspire customers and encourage them to buy what you are selling. In the video below, the influencer upcycles an old footstool. During the video, she clearly shows wood stain and rustoleum. You can place this video alongside those products in your catalog.

Source: Instagram

Norwex uses video to convey product USPs quickly 

Norwex uses a video format to highlight the unique selling points of its broom product. This engaging format helps users quickly see if the broom will deliver the value they need.

Source: Norwex.com

Brochu Walker uses video in digital catalogs to showcase fashion fit

Brochu Walker uses video to showcase how their clothing fits and moves. The video format is excellent for fashion catalogs as it mimics how the items move in real life, giving the user a better impression of the product than a static image.

Source: Brochu Walker

Tips for crafting engaging content quickly

  • Start with a hook: Start your recording with something visually eye-catching or with a compelling line of text. Some examples include ‘The secret to,’ ‘Don’t start without,’ ‘X tools I use for,’ ‘How to feel more,’ and ‘Secret BTS (behind the scenes) share.’   
  • Plan Ahead: Outline your video content and storyboard the scenes to streamline production.
  • Keep it Concise: Focus on delivering your message succinctly, without unnecessary fluff or filler. Soy Candle does a great job with this in their Instagram video — this would also translate well in a digital catalog for a home decor company (see below).
  • Utilize Templates: Leverage pre-made templates and editing tools to expedite creation.
  • Optimize for Mobile: Ensure you optimize your videos for mobile viewing (with clear visuals and legible text).
  • Batch Production: Create multiple videos in one sitting to save time and maintain consistency in your content.

Source: Instagram

Tapping into trends and pop culture

  • Stay Updated: Keep an eye on emerging trends and popular culture references relevant to your target audience.
  • Be Authentic: Incorporate trends organically into your content without forcing it, maintaining authenticity.
  • Engage with Followers: Encourage audience participation by asking questions, hosting polls, and responding to comments.
  • Embrace Challenges: Participate in viral challenges and trends to increase visibility and connect with a broader audience.
  • Monitor Analytics: Track the performance of your videos and adapt your strategy based on audience feedback and engagement metrics.

Testing short-form videos in digital catalogs 

Mastering the art of creating successful short-form videos requires creativity, strategic planning, and adaptability. Whether you’re looking to showcase product features with clarity or inspire customers with dynamic presentations, videos can captivate and persuade. 

Sign up for a Gold or Silver Publitas trial and explore how easily you can embed videos into your digital catalogs. This creates an immersive shopping experience that encourages deeper interaction and drives sales.