Don’t sleep on the short-form social video trend
Short-form video is all the rage across the biggest social apps on the market. We’re seeing pizzeria shorts go viral and reach millions of watchers. The social exposure of short-form video is unmatched by other posting methods.
What is a video short? They are also known as micro-videos and are typically 15 to 60 seconds long.
The trend can be traced to the social giant TikTok that came on the scene in 2016. By 2018, it was the most downloaded app in the U.S. Today, TikTok has over one billion active users worldwide.
The social powerhouse started a revolution that has reverberated to every major social channel. Instagram uses Reels and later Facebook adopted the feature. YouTube has added Video Shorts to its repertoire. Twitter is the latest to add a full screen video option.
Why short-form video?
We hear push back on adding video shorts. “It’s just one more thing to have to do.” “It will require too much work.” “I have no budget for that kind of thing.” Video shorts have dominated the social channels and they are projected to keep going up. To stay in front of your audience who are watching digital shorts, it’s time to get in the game.
If a picture is worth a thousand words; then a video is worth a thousand pictures. Video allows you to tap into not only visual elements but movement and sound. Creating a 15-second video allows you to appeal to the short attention span of today’s social users. The shorts are bite-sized and easily digestible.
Let’s talk Short Content
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to come up with captivating video shorts. You already have one of the hottest subjects on social media to work with — pizza. Make them obsessed with your pizza. It’s 15-60 seconds. To go even deeper on video length, the sweet spot for TikToks and Reels is often suggested at seven to 15 seconds.
• Show Off Your Food. It goes without repeating but I’ll say it again, show off your food! We have seen static short-form videos that are photos of a special’s flyer. That is not going to sell your pizza.
The basic rules of food photography still apply to video. You need good lighting and an engaging composition. With video there is another element, motion. There are some basic motions you can use to energize your videos of a new pizza, pasta or appetizer. Tilt is when you hold your camera or phone in a single position and slowly tilt the lens down or up to reveal the dish. Pan, in addition to being a delicious pizza style, is when you move the camera slowly from side to side. Zoom is where you make mouths water as you go in closer to show the dish’s ingredients.
• ASMR. It stands for autonomous sensory meridian response. The most literal definition of ASMR is a tingling sensation that starts in the scalp and moves down the neck and back. ASMR can be triggered by stimulating or relaxing sights and sounds. It’s is a hot trend in short-form video.
What does it have to do with a pizzeria? You have so many ASMR-invoking possibilities in your restaurant that will captivate your social followers.
What you see as an ordinary action in a pizzeria can actually seduce your social audience and trigger real salivation with optimal end result of ordering pizza.
For example, slicing pizza after pizza isn’t exciting for you, but get a close-up video of it and capture the sound of the crunch as blade works its way through the crust, that’s ASMR. Here are a few more ASMR ideas:
- pizza being released from the peel into the oven
- a pizza maker turning a pizza in the oven
- someone eating a piece of pizza
- the dough stretch
- a sizzling pizza landing on the cut table
- opening a box, putting pizza in and closing the box
- a beer or soda being poured
- a topping being chopped
- dough going through its final mixing stage
The possibilities are endless.
• Go Behind the Scenes. Draw back the curtain and give your customers an inside look at your operation. Your fans want to see how you make such incredible food. Give them a window into what makes your pizzeria tick. Highlight employees. Showcase their talents.
• Be You. Whatever you create, be sure that it is genuine and represents your brand. Trends can be a great way to increase visibility. But evaluate whether they match your pizzeria’s visions and goals.
Getting Professional Video on a Smartphone
While many successful short-form videos are professionally made by videographers and marketers, many others take a grass-roots approach and are created by business owners, employees and even customers. You have the technology in your hand to create captivating short-form videos. Since the editing happens in the
social app, you need to concentrate on the quality of the videos you are using. Here are some tenets to producing professional-quality video:
- Light it up. Natural lighting by windows is your bread and butter. But if you don’t have great lighting (like in your kitchen), create it. This does not mean using your on-camera or phone flash. There are simple, compact and effective light kits for smartphones that are affordable and connect directly to your Bluetooth.
- Steady. Lock down your phone with a tripod. If your hands are shaky doing handheld video, try a stabilizer, like a gimbal. Unless you are looking for that grunge, home movie look to your video, you should stabilize your device. If you don’t have a stabilizing gadget, try holding it against a wall or table to hold it steady.
- It’s all in the angles. It is often boring to see the same direct, head-on view in a video. Think about what will draw watchers in. Try different perspective angles until you find the best way to highlight your subject.
Now get out there and create great video shorts. Don’t forget to tag @PizzaToday.
Denise Greer is Executive Editor of Pizza Today.