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  • Writer's pictureStory Maya

What goes into creating Engaging Short Videos for Social Media?

A desire to reach out and tell your story your way

When it comes to making your presence felt in the digital arena, Short Videos have proved to be the currency of quick and effective communication that also qualifies for User Generated Content. With a plethora of easy-to-use tools available online, most of them absolutely free, short videos are easy to create and build one’s online presence effectively and quickly.

If you are looking at creating a social media presence or leveraging your personal brand using short videos, then the first step is to ‘Define the Persona’ that you wish to create. Answers to these questions could be your quintessential guide in making the videos ‘engaging’: 1) For whom are you creating the short videos? Define clearly for yourself 2) How should your audience perceive you? As a go-to resource in your chosen domain or purely as an entertainer or as someone offering life hacks. You choose 3) Based on answers to the first two, find out how are other creators engaging through their content? Start by emulating them.

Short clips of Motivational speakers often show up while browsing social media that generally summarize the solution to a specific problem, for example, procrastination or giving up too easily. Other creators offer valuable tips and resources from learning a new subject to cooking, traveling, and leading a peaceful life. In all these examples, the creator is often seen using their face in the videos. This is practiced by people who wish to create a strong personal brand on social media. Do you really want to be one of them?

Using your personal charisma

So, if you have in mind such types of videos where you dole out some sort of advice or shared experience, you need to plan and rehearse your lines well before you shoot yourself or someone captures you on video. If you are showing up in all your videos, then by mere design your videos appear and look engaging to the core. Marketers who rely on short videos also appear authoritative and in command of what they are talking about. The important thing is, that you need to have the desperate urge to SHARE the knowledge you possess with a dash of smile.

Social media platforms have their user interface and user experience designs that facilitate and promote short video formats. This has evolved due to ‘show-and-tell-me-quickly’ consumption patterns and shorter attention spans, across the globe. Ideally, short videos have a duration of 10–15 seconds. Add or subtract 5. As mentioned earlier, one may choose to shoot outside an app like Instagram and later upload it with the video having a slightly larger duration than the standard 15 secs.

With such a time limit, the creator has to figure out how to show and tell something that may move the audience to come back for more or take some action. Video formats on mobile-oriented devices such as Instagram and TikTok are created vertically in the 9:16 aspect ratio, whereas those on Twitter and Facebook also prefer horizontal orientation or the 16:9 ratio. So, the next step is to look for inspiration or source the actual video footage. Here, we’ll first look at ready-to-use videos that are available free of cost. Then, we will sample simple editing platforms that will help us combine our footage, add voice and music and create an engaging short video.

Faceless Informative Short Videos

Of course, the internet is a treasure trove of sites offering free stock images, illustrations, animations, and footage-all of which could be combined to create content as per your choice. Sites like and offer free stock footage under the creative commons agreement. gives free vertical videos for use on social media. Platforms like are an excellent way to create free powerful intros for your videos. The only disclaimer is that here you may need to spend some time getting familiar with all the different customization tools to play around with the text and design.

Basic Medium Friendly Training

Creating videos by using shooting equipment such as an in-built camera or a DSLR for example, requires training and a basic understanding of shot composition and often some assistance as in a crew comprising from one to three or four people. The process is effort-intensive but highly rewarding as it guarantees complete creative satisfaction. By using alternating shot magnification such as wide, close-ups, and telephoto types, the video looks vivid and interesting. So also is the case with changing the angles while shooting.

In this sense, video ads are yet another terrific source of inspiration for creating short, engaging videos hidden in plain sight. Facebook Ads Library is the place to search for different video ads that can serve as a great reference to fashion our own videos. By carefully observing the shot magnification, angles, and duration, one can learn a lot about creating similar short videos.

And, now for the unambiguous wizardry of putting it all together using one tool or app. That for me is Canva. Its free version is good enough for beginners and paid version is a must for professionals and freelancers in the content creation business. Canva lets you import your own videos or use them from their free library and it also offers a range of templates to choose from. You can combine the video with the audio of your choice and also use transitions between different shots. Finally, It allows downloading your video into a high-quality mp4 format, which you can upload to your social media account.

Finally, The secret sauce for making your videos really engaging is how you infuse emotion into them. Pets, kids, and loads of seductive smiles all add that chutzpah to your short videos. This alone you should decide.

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