You’ve seen them in your feeds and probably spent more time watching their loops than you care to admit.

They’re highly addictive and easy to share.

We’re talking about micro-videos, the high-impact ad format that should be a central part of your (or your clients’) marketing and content strategy.

Whether you work with a rich media vendor or produce all digital assets in-house, micro-videos are the perfect way to feed consumers’ growing appetites for video content and build brand awareness while repurposing existing creative assets.

But first, what are micro-videos?

Snackable micro-videos defined

When we talk about micro-videos, we mean short, snackable content: Personalized video ads that are usually 5-30 seconds long. Think Snapchats, Instagram videos and the now-defunct Vines.

Brands create and use these videos organically (as opposed to paid advertising) on their social media platforms, sites or blogs.

A perfect example: the pictured McDonald’s micro-video on Instagram. (Check out McDonald’s feed for more great micro-video examples.)

While brands can go with the paid advertising route, we’re focusing specifically on micro-videos used on brand’s profiles. The brand awareness and outcomes they drive qualify them as a high-impact ad format.

Why should micro-videos be part of your marketing strategy?

Now that we’ve determined what micro-videos are, let’s tackle the big why: why should micro-videos be a part of your (or your clients’) content and marketing strategy?

Answer: the rise of mobile devices, the decline of attention spans and consumers’ surging hunger for entertainment.

We overheard someone say they periodically checked their phone for the same reason they kept checking their fridge: they keep hoping something exciting will be there (or appear).

That’s where micro-videos come in.

Consumers love video. (But they hate bad ads.) Contently has a fantastic infographic on millennials and video marketing. Starting in 2017, millennials are expected to spend over $200 billion annually.

And a whopping 80% of Generation Y use video to help them make their purchase decisions.

Combine that with research showing people have attention spans shorter than a goldfish and almost 50% of internet users report consuming short-form content daily and well, adding micro-video to your content marketing strategy makes sense.

It’s also the ultimate recycling move.

Micro-videos: use what you’ve got

The most common objection to building out micro-videos? The assumed complexity of the production process.

Despite the availability of quality rich media agencies, many brands still see micro-videos as a lengthy process reserved for brands with billion-dollar marketing budgets.

The truth? You don’t need a film crew, recording studio or even a creative team brainstorm to develop reams of new creative assets. You can just repurpose creative assets from previous campaigns (or have your rich media vendor design custom imagery for your micro-videos).

Case in point: Kmart’s recent nod to the Oscars is playfully simple but still stands out as a high-impact ad format.

Brands can easily post micro-videos to the platform of their choice (and most brands already have existing, active sites and social media profiles), making the content a financially smart advertising move.

The 3-part formula for micro-video success

The key to crafting great micro-videos (and any high-impact ad format) is to follow the 3 C’s. Make sure your content is:

  1. Compelling
  2. Concise
  3. Creative

Micro-videos don’t need to show and explain everything about your product and service. They just need to grab attention and spark interest, like this Ben & Jerry’s micro-video does.

And then they need to get to the point. (Remember that shorter-than-a-goldfish’s attention span.)

But, don’t sacrifice creativity for brevity. Consumers expect creativity from brands. They reward advertisers who entertain them with views, clicks, shares and purchases. Humor is a go-to tactic for many brands and their high-impact ad formats but of course, take your target audience, offering and objectives into consideration before going that route.

Leverage your existing rich media vendor partnership

Unless you have an in-house digital production team, you probably use a rich media vendor to develop your display ads. Make the most of that relationship and talk to them about using your existing assets to build micro-video content.

(And if you haven’t found a good rich media vendor, check out our free guide to managing your HTML5 banner projects. We’ve included a helpful section on finding the perfect digital production partner.)


Keep an eye on this space. Next week we’ll touch on some exciting developments that will completely change your email marketing strategy.