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  • Writer's pictureAlexandre Buisson

Mastering the Art of Short Form Video: Tips for Impactful and Retentive Content

short-form videos on phones

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, attention-spans have gotten dramatically shorter and platforms now place a large emphasis on short-form video content. Short-form content has not replaced commercial films or longer-form content but rather added on to it (but that is a topic for another day). However because short-form content is so widely spread, effectively communicating a clear, concise, and impactful message has never been more important. It is an art of itself and requires a unique set of skills and strategies - in other words, commercials are created very differently than how short-form content is created as these are two different formats with strategies of their own.

As a media production company specializing in short form video content and social media strategy, we are excited to share our top 5 insights on mastering the art of short form video:


1. Start with a Strong Hook

In today's bustling world, attention has become a currency - brands and businesses must fight harder than ever to earn their audience’s attention. As such, it is key to capture your audience's attention from the very beginning. Indeed, the first few seconds are the most crucial element in a video as this is when your viewer will be making the unconscious decision of whether they should scroll down or dedicate some of their attention to your content. To effectively grab viewers' interest - use an intriguing question, a bold statement, or visually striking imagery to create a hook that compels viewers to keep watching.

Many different hooks can work and we won’t prescribe a selective few to you - instead, our advice is to truly embrace the role of being what we call a content scientist. Every niche and industry is different, some hooks may work in some niches but not in others - be conscious of this, try out different hooks, consult your insights (especially the graph pictured below), and evaluate your results. From there, you should have a better understanding of what works best for you and therefore what hook(s) you should use.

Audience retention graph showing decline in audience retention as video goes on
Audience Retention Graph (Source: Instagram reel insights)

2. Focus on a Single Message

Given the limited time frame, it's essential to convey a clear and concise message. Identify the primary takeaway you want your audience to grasp and center your content around that key message. Avoid overwhelming viewers with too much information; simplicity is key in short form videos - you should view your video as one tight package that you need to diligently close. Your music, caption, and video should all work together in harmony to push forward one clear main message.

3. Utilize Engaging Visuals

Visual appeal is paramount in short form videos. Leverage high-quality visuals, vibrant colors, and compelling graphics to enhance the visual experience. Use concise and impactful shots that convey your message effectively without unnecessary complexity. We like to be extra careful when it comes to choosing the shots we want to include in a short-form video. Because of their natural time-constraint, you’re quite limited to how many shots you can include in a video, so prioritizing some over others and consciously choosing the ones that best guide your message is essential for the success of your short-form videos.

4. Incorporate Dynamic Editing Techniques

Make the most of the limited time by incorporating dynamic editing techniques. Quick cuts, transitions, and on-screen text can help maintain a brisk pace and keep viewers engaged. Experiment with different editing styles to find what resonates best with your target audience.

5. Optimize for Sound-Off Viewing

Recognize that many viewers watch videos on social media platforms with their sound turned off. Ensure that your content is still effective and understandable in a silent viewing environment. Use captions, visuals, and on-screen text to convey your message without relying solely on audio.


Now I know that we agreed on 5 tips but we couldn’t resist offering this last one to you as it is truly crucial for the success of your short-form content strategy:

6. Consistency is Key

At the end of the day, while a company like Papilio Productions can increase the chances that your short-form videos go viral, we would be lying if we said we could guarantee it. Chance and timing do play a role in social media algorithm’s decisions to direct attention towards your posts.

That being said, there are many elements you can control to greatly increase your success over time. Establish a consistent posting schedule for your short form videos and try to post often and consistently (a minimum of 2 reels a week is encouraged if you want to see growth over time, and some even argue that posting everyday is crucial). Consistency helps build brand awareness and keeps your audience engaged. Moreover, it also provides you with valuable insights and reliable data in terms of how your viewers engage and interact with your content and product offerings.

Such a rhythm might seem difficult to achieve for some brands and businesses but that is why many of them choose to work with third-party short-form content specialists like ourselves. This lets you focus on what you do best and leave your digital image in the hands of professionals.


Mastering the art of short form video is both a creative challenge and an opportunity for brands to connect with their audience in a concise and impactful way. By incorporating these tips into your short-form strategy, your brand can create short form videos that not only capture attention but also leave a lasting impression on its viewers in the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing. Don’t have the time, skills, or equipment to produce effective short-form content? Don’t worry - today most brands and businesses outsource the production of such content to media production companies like ourselves. Curious to see how this could benefit your business? Get in touch with us by emailing for a free digital strategy consultation. Let’s give your brand wings together! 🦋


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