Why Brand Owners Need to Use More Short-Form Content

According to behavioral researchers, our attention spans have been decreasing over the past decades from about 3 minutes to less than a minute. This has been driven by several factors, including the ever-increasing amount of information confronting us every day, the number of digital devices/channels that can and do distract us and—particularly in younger generations—the expectation for near-instant gratification.

The ramification for marketers is that they have less time than ever to introduce a brand message and make an impact, forcing a focus on short-form content—particularly early in the sales funnel. Short-form content allows for quick consumption (generally requiring less than a minute to digest) across multiple platforms, which increases access, sharing and engagement. To boot, short-form content often is more cost-effective to produce and often does not require the high level of curation and production quality that long-form content does. However, short-form content does require a mind shift, as the team producing short-form content is “always on” developing and posting content.

Short-form content can be used in a variety of different ways to engage target audiences and to realize marketing goals. Here are some of the most common formats:

 

Social Media Posts

Posts (consisting of text, imagery, video and/or animation) on social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, X, Instagram Reels, Snapchat, LinkedIn, etc.) are currently all the rage. These posts should be visually engaging to capture audience attention within a few seconds. They should also be optimized for mobile viewing. Videos are best as they involve the highest density of information per unit time and require the least amount of effort on the viewer’s part. Quotes, interesting statistics, infographics, tips and thought-provoking questions or comments can also help spark engagement and drive traffic to a brand’s website or other brand assets.

 

Short-Form Email

Traditional email campaigns typically use emails that can stand on their own. Applying short-form thinking to email campaigns brings in teasers and reminders with brief video, animation and sound to enhance click-throughs to website or landing pages and are great to mix in with regular length emails.

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Inside Scoops, Sneak Peeks & Behind-the-Scenes Views

This category of short-form content gives customers and prospects access to contextual and experiential information not directly necessary or important to the ultimate pitch, but something that is unusual and interesting to many and may just prove to be the deciding factor in engaging with these audience members. Examples might include a short video on how the product is made, historical photos of significance to the brand, an animation on how the product was developed or examples of innovative ways different people are using a product. This type of content humanizes the brand and builds emotional connection and trust with the target audiences.

 

User-Generated Content

Providing for and encouraging customers to share their own short-form content around the experiences they have with your brand is an excellent way to build community and brand impressions while expanding organic reach.

 

Interactive Content

Whenever possible, brand owners should use interactive content like polls or contests on social media platforms or brand websites and landing pages. Increasingly, video clips can also be made to be interactive. These interactive experiences not only increase engagement and create positive brand experiences, but also offer the opportunity to collect valuable data from your target audiences.

As attention spans shorten, so must the content marketers put in front of prospects, especially early in the sales funnel. For help creating short-form content for your brand, contact us at Six Degrees.

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Frank Schab
An experienced marketing and branding strategist, Frank has been helping clients optimize the value of their brands through insightful analysis and effective strategy for more than three decades. Along with holding positions at General Motors and Pfizer, Frank served as a Managing Partner at Interbrand New York and VP of Global Brand Research at Opinion Research Corporation before co-founding Six Degrees. His brand-building work in various sectors including hospitality, medical device, pharmaceutical, automotive and technology has taken him to 17 countries on four continents. Frank holds a doctorate in psychology from Yale University and speaks fluent German.

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