Social media marketing is all about capturing and holding interest. This is even more true of short-form video formats like Instagram Reels or TikTok.
If your video can’t capture the viewer’s interest within a couple of seconds, they’ll likely scroll right past to that funny lip synch gag further down the feed. And if your video doesn’t hold their attention to the end, that all-important call to action may be worthless.
No, you don’t have to fill your Reels with funny dancing. While that might demonstrate how well (or not) you can dance, unless you’re a dance instructor it won’t demonstrate why anyone should be interested in your business.
Instead, short-form videos like Reels are a great way for any business to demonstrate expertise or present relevant advice, with each nugget of information only demanding the viewer’s attention for a few moments. With a little creativity, even topics many might consider dull or irksome can capture and hold attention, as you’ll see later.
Of course, nurturing a follower’s mild interest into active curiosity about you and your business takes more than providing useful information – which is why so much content marketing misses the mark.
For your short-form videos to drive genuine marketing outcomes – new leads, new customers, new sales – you need to infuse them with “Know, Like and Trust”.
Know, Like and Trust
Salespeople have long known about the importance of Know, Like and Trust. Before someone becomes a customer, they need to:
Know you. Sounds obvious, but customers need to know who you are and what you have to offer.
Like you. Sure, your product may be great. But if your sales experience, marketing or content just aren’t that enjoyable, your audience may be less inclined to continue the relationship.
Trust you. Liking someone isn’t enough. Your audience also needs to trust the information and advice you give, and that the experience of being a customer will be everything you’ve led them to expect.
“People won’t buy into whatever you’re selling unless they have that Know, Like and Trust,” says Alisha Marfatia of The Social Impact. “One of the most effective ways to sell anything is through video marketing, because you can build that Know, Like and Trust quicker and more efficiently than ever.” (You can read more from Alisha in our recent Spotlight interview.)
Each of the following examples squeeze plenty of that Know, Like and Trust into just a few seconds of well-thought-out video.
Take this example from Jacob Fahmy at Advisory Corp. Accountants.
The Reel deals with a common misconception people have about claiming business expenses on tax – that by claiming the full amount, you somehow save the full amount in tax (wrong).
Right up front, the Reel captures attention by presenting the misconception as a short skit that exposes the problem. It’s a few seconds of fun designed to also trigger some viewers to think, “Hey, wait … what? So how do tax write-offs really work?”
The explanation and advice are then contained in the post. But as the Reel has already taken the viewer from mild interest to active curiosity, they’re more likely to read those 200-or-so words of plain English advice.
Know: The Reel clearly shows that Jacob offers accounting advice to small business.
Like: Both the Reel and the post are friendly and conversational in tone. The video is actively funny while the copy avoids jargon for relatable examples the reader can easily understand.
Trust: The advice makes sense, while also demonstrating how Jacob applies his knowledge to a business’s finances to find the best overall outcome – not just a smaller tax bill.
Show them how
While taxation isn’t exactly a highly visual topic, making it hard to convey too much information in a 15-second video, other topics lend themselves extremely well to video. Sometimes the best way to get information across is through demonstration.
For example, you might read a description of a particular exercise and never quite get it right. But watch someone perform the exercise and the movement becomes much easier to replicate.
Pelvic floor exercises might not sound very exciting. But if you’re a new mum trying to get back in shape, learning some fun new moves might be well worth a few seconds of attention.
Once again, the Reel squeezes plenty of Know, Like and Trust into just a few seconds.
Know: Bec uses the Reel to demonstrate her expertise, while the post makes clear that Bec is an instructor, targeting those who might benefit from these exercises (women).
Like: Bec lets her personality show in the video, and the captions are both instructional and fun. Plus, the last line of the post (complete with emoji) gives the post a slightly cheeky edge. Bec comes across less like a bootcamp drill instructor and more like a friend you’d go to the gym with.
Trust: The post includes more information about the why and how of these exercises, while showing that Bec understands the lived experience of many women trying to stay in shape. Understanding leads to trust.
Bite-sized nuggets of inspiration and education
As you can see, marketing your business with short-form video doesn’t require funny dancing or lip-syncing. It just takes a little thought.
After all, presumably you are interested in whatever it is you do. How can you use short-form video like Reels and TikTok to nurture a little of that interest in your audience for just a few seconds?
What will inspire your audience to think positively about your business?