The rise of “snackable” videos: Why production value isn’t the most important factor for video marketing

Published May 19, 2021

What’s the first thing people do when they’re waiting in line for coffee? Pull up a feature-length Netflix documentary on their smartphone? Not likely. It’s a safe bet instead that they’ll open their preferred social apps for some quick, stress-free scrolling. A 20-second Instagram ad here, a minute-long TikTok there, and before they know it, coffee’s up and they’re on their way.

This is precisely the situation that “snackable” videos are perfect for. Interesting, funny and helpful bite-sized videos created to take consumers’ minds off the day-to-day—however briefly—and let them engage with brands without feeling like ads are being forced upon them. 

Do today’s consumers have short attention spans? Maybe, but what they’re really looking for is something that cheers them up and doesn’t take up too much of their time. These 15- to 60-second snackable videos are paving the way for a new era of video marketing where social shareability is top of mind—and where enormous production budgets aren’t really necessary.

Viewers share snackable videos because they enjoy them, not because they’re impressed by production value

It’s simple: consumers share content they enjoy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a million-dollar advertisement or a shaky video shot from an iPhone; if it’s engaging, someone somewhere will spread it within their network. And one share can quickly turn into thousands.

What’s “engaging” depends on the viewer, but data suggests it has nothing to do with how expensive a video was to produce. A survey by TheSoul Publishing—the short-form video-pioneering studio of “5-Minute Crafts” YouTube fame—found that from 2000 American participants, the reasons for sharing video content were purely due to feelings of positivity and enjoyment:

  • 38% shared videos they found interesting
  • 21% shared content because it was funny
  • 12% shared videos that were helpful to them

The “wow” factor that comes with top-tier production value—and cost—just isn’t what viewers are looking for. If the goal is for videos to be watched and shared, and positivity is what makes that happen, snackable videos fit neatly into consumer viewership trends and tighter marketing budgets.

Related: Take your social media presence to the next level with social commerce

Big-budget video marketing is becoming a thing of the past

Production value doesn’t need to compare to the latest Avengers film to resonate with audiences today. Wholesome, genuine and entertaining snackable videos are phasing out the need for big-budget creative and production crews:

““Back in the ‘big-iron’ days of corporate video you took some shots of the corporate headquarters, threw in a couple talking heads yammering on about the company’s mission statement and their place in the universe, added in a whack of superfluous motion graphics and $25,000 later, voila! – you had yourself a corporate video,” writes Jimm Fox from One Market Media.”

Today’s viewers are savvier, and they don’t want you to pull the wool over their eyes—and they don’t want over-produced corporate messaging, so it’s unnecessary to try to perfect every part of a video before it’s released. Thankfully, trends in consumer viewership align with how the means of production are also becoming cheaper. 

Related: Generation Z characteristics: What businesses should know about the next wave of consumers

Equipment is more affordable

Major motion pictures are filmed with meticulously staged lighting rigs, custom settings and props, not to mention cameras that cost tens of thousands of dollars. For video marketing, though, businesses don’t need to blow their budget on the latest toys. Let the big studios spend more on video gear—if consumers require content to be created with all the bells and whistles, they’ll buy a ticket to the movie theater.

At the top end, for example, businesses can buy something like the  Sony FS7—a handheld, studio-quality 4K camera that does everything you would ever need a camera to do—for around eight grand. But even that is excessive considering most people carry a high-quality camera in their pocket daily. 

Combine a decent smartphone camera with the entire Adobe Creative Cloud software suite for around a hundred dollars per month, and you’ve got all the pieces needed to create breathtaking video content without the staggering equipment costs.

Personalization boosts customer experience

Reality television has made it abundantly clear that the line between entertainment and real life can be blurred beyond recognition for the sake of views. Now, the wave of “real reality” is upon us, and it can mean lower production costs for businesses.

With nearly every individual capable of creating video content with their smartphones, it’s getting harder for businesses to “fake” or embellish what is supposedly real (testimonials, reviews, etc.). This is actually a good thing for businesses that have nothing to hide. They can rely on genuine, spontaneous video content—whether user-generated or made in-house—that requires less writing, less planning and less spending.

Video marketing resources are available for cheap—or free

From free and/or ultra-affordable video editing courses to tantalizing royalty-free stock footage, online resources for video marketing have never been more readily available. 

The internet is full of resources to supplement businesses’ video marketing efforts. No longer would a business need to invest in a drone to capture an aerial shot of a city skyline when they can just purchase stock footage for next to nothing. 

Snackable videos make it easier to share positivity during hard times

Consumers have flocked to social media during the pandemic, and snackable videos have found a home within the social networking experience. Now, almost a third of consumers are spending more time watching positive short-form videos to improve their moods during hard times. 

It’s here—where consumers can find relief and relatability with marketing content—that the true potential of snackable videos becomes clear. Not only do they play to consumption habits during times of isolation, they also deliver reprieve and the ability to share a smile with someone else—something that has been in short supply over the past year.

Positivity and inspiration win with today’s audiences—a sign of the times. The good news is that uplifting snackable videos can reach a lot of people in a short amount of time. The better news: they don’t need to break your budget to leave viewers feeling inspired. 

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