How to Create Great Short-Form Video

January 9, 2024

If you’re a social media user of any kind, you’ll know the popularity of short-form video. It’s everywhere. And it’s only growing in demand. In fact, 73% of online consumers prefer to watch short-form video when learning about a product or service. So, how to jump on this upward trend, and create great short-form video? We’re here to help.

What Is Short-form Video?

This may seem clear, but let’s get specific. Short-form video has been around for a minute, but took off greatly with the likes of apps such as TikTok. It’s recommended length as of this year is at 15-30 seconds long (generally kept under a minute), and has found its home in the vertical format.

As to why it’s become so popular, this is usually attributed to the shortening of audience attention spans. Yep, the general human attention span lasts a mere 8.25 seconds (less than that of the ill-focused goldfish!). Short-form video is digestible, and gets your information to your audience clearly and efficiently (if done well).

So, how do you do it well?

Elements of Good Short-form Video

  • Keep it short. As already stated above, 15-30 seconds long is the recommended time length. But definitely under a minute. TikTok reported over 50% of their users found videos longer than a minute “stressful”.
  • To help do this, get to your point, clearly and succinctly. The point of short-form video is not to necessarily fully inform your audience, but to get their attention, and leave them wanting more.
  • Which brings us to this: include a clear call-to-action within your video. This could be anything from “subscribe” to your page, “buy” your product, “give” you a call, etc. But be sure to lead them to what to do next.
  • One of short-form video’s perks is it can be either professionally produced (high quality) or done “selfie” style, giving it a more casual feel. Produce according to your video’s objective and desired platform. (We generally suggest a mix of both.)
  • As with ALL good video, be sure to have a good light source (natural light works great, if on a budget), as well as good sound.
  • Keep it vertical. Online consumers prefer viewing content via smartphones, meaning 94% of the time it’s being viewed vertically. Plus, with the sizing specs on social media, vertical video enables you to fill up more space on your audience’s screens. So, take up that space.
  • As with ALL good video, again, include captions. According to this study, a whopping 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. So, keep it watchable and inclusive.
  • Keep it authentic and (when appropriate) include humor. Sincerity will never go out of style, and “funny” connects people. Always keep these two as your constant companions when creating content.

Video Apps to Create Short-form Video


Depending on the production level of your video, creating your content directly through social media platforms may be a good option. TikTok makes this process easy, giving you timed recording options and simple editing tools, including adding closed captions, music, and the ability to download video prior to adding its watermark, enabling you to cross-share to other platforms.

Adobe Premiere Pro

This one’s for those seeking a more “professional” creating/editing outcome. Adobe is reported to having comprehensive editing tools, as well as supports cross-functionality between Windows and Mac, and is compatible with multiple distribution platforms. But be warned: it does require a learning curve, as well as potential investment in upgrading your hardware, due to system demands. So keep this in mind if you’re ready to take a learning and investment journey.

(Other pro-level non-linear editing platforms we love are ​Blackmagic’s Davinci Resolve​ and ​Apple’s Final Cut Pro​.)


Capcut is a popular, super accessible choice when it comes to creating short-form video (and virtually entirely free, which is always a plus). It provides pre-edited templates as well as a wide range of editing tools, including smooth transitions between multiple videos, song library with the power to replace pre-existing music, filters, and audio edits, to name a few. This is a solid choice for those looking to spend little to nothing on their editing tools, and not have a huge learning curve at their fingertips.

Hire a Video Production Company

This one is for those who wish to not worry about the editing process at all. If your brand is looking to create high quality video, and have it professionally edited, working with actual video professionals is, well, a no-brainer. Just be sure to discuss that you’d like to create vertical video from your video shoot with your videographer. This can be done quite easily but knowing beforehand will help inform the camera work, and simplify the post-production editing process.

Best Platforms to Post Short-form Video

These days, most social platforms are short-form video friendly. But the ones with specific homes for short-form video are as follows:

  1. YouTube Shorts. These have a time limit of only 60 seconds, and will revert your video to the traditional horizontal format if over that. But they, not surprisingly, are predicted to be the leader for short-form vertical video this year, with an impressive 2 billion logged-in users engaging with the platform every month. So, jump on this train. You’ll be glad you did.
  2. TikTok. While being known for its short-form video, TikTok has recently expanded its video length from 3 minutes to 10, allowing more flexibility when it comes to your video posts and purposes.
  3. Instagram Reels. IG reels max out at 90 seconds, very much the same as Facebook Reels (unsurprisingly, since they are under the same Meta umbrella). One of the main differences between these two and TikTok, however, would be audience age range. TikTok is reported to gear towards a younger crowd (16-24) whereas IG and FB both cater to a slightly older clientele (25-34). So, know your audience, and post according to where they are.

So, there you have it. Keep it clear, to the point, and have fun while doing so. And hey, if you want help creating your short-form video, give us a call.