Ep 206 | Creating Short Form Content for Social Media with Ben Hendricks

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Short form video content isn't going away. If it isn't a part of your strategy, what are you waiting for? Short form video is a great way for you to connect more with your audience and build trust. It is also the preferred way more and more people want to engage with a brand!

Get strategies for creating short form content and how to go about adding it in your digital marketing plan.

What you'll learn:

→ what is short form video content?
→ tips for creating videos. 
→ tools for creating short form video.
→ repurposing long form video content into short form.
→ video and Gen Z.
→ keys to making a viral video

Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:

[4:47] What is short form content? 30-90 second vertical video clips that are utilized on social media, YouTube, Pinterest etc. It is easy to create with your phone and helps you connect more authentically with your audience. It is important to make the videos with your audience in mind, hook them in the first 3 seconds and stop the scroll.
[9:33] Using tools can help you create videos. While you can easily use your phone and the editors in the individual social media platforms, there are also some great tools to help make it easier. Check out the resources for those mentioned in this episode.
[12:43] Starting with your existing long form and breaking it into short form video is a great place to start. Context here is the most important thing. Viewers won't have seen the entire thing so you want to make sure they can still get the clear message.
[15:51] Video is crucial for connecting with Gen Z and Millenials. They want to see your face and hear your voice. This is how they build trust and prefer to connect with brands.
[19:47] The three main tenants to telling stories with your video are entertain, educate and inspire. The more of these three elements you can include in a video, the more likelyl it'll go viral and get more views.


Adobe Creative Suite
Mid Journey
Canva Pro

Ben Hendricks

Ben Hendricks

Ben is a video editor with 12 years of production experience in a variety of industries. Ben’s current focus is on creating short-form videos for social media platforms. He works with personal brands and consultants, helping them effectively communicate their messages through video. Throughout his career, Ben has developed a reputation for his creativity, technical expertise, and ability to work collaboratively with clients to achieve their goals.

Outside of video, Ben is an accomplished musician/songwriter and has traveled the world playing guitar in alternative rock bands. He lives in Akron, OH with his wife and 2 Australian Shepards. Learn more: www.newenergymedia.org 

Watch on YouTube: www.youtube.com/@benhendricks 
Follow on Instagram: www.instagram.com/newenergymedia 

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Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] We are wrapping up our month of content and talking about short form video. Video is critical and a really important element to our marketing and building trust and engaging with our audiences. And showcasing who you are and what we do and what we do well. And I'm excited to kind of bring it back full circle, we started the month talking about repurposing, and this is going to be a deep dive into using video to repurpose the content that we have and create information for our audiences to engage with. Now, this is something that's important for all audiences, but especially as we're trying to engage younger audiences and get them more involved in our cars, and engaged with the things that we're doing in our communities. So to talk to us about this awesome topic is Ben Hendricks.

Ben is a video editor with 12 years of production experience in a variety of industries. But its current focus is on creating short form videos for social media platforms. He works with personal brands and consultants helping them effectively communicate their message through video. Throughout his career, Ben has developed a reputation for his creativity, technical expertise, and ability to work collaboratively with clients to achieve their goals. Outside of video, Ben is an accomplished musician songwriter, and has traveled the world playing guitar and alternative rock bands. He lives in Akron, Ohio, with his wife and two Australian shepherds, you're going to hear a lot of tips, a lot of ideas, you might feel a little bit overwhelmed, but it's okay.

You can get started with short form video really easily without a lot of tools without a major photography or videography background. But the point is to just get started, and Ben is going to give you some things to think about and ways to tackle short form content, so you can get in front of new audiences and stay engaged with your existing one. So you do not need to be on tick tock in order to take advantage of short form content. So I hope you enjoy this episode. But before we get into it, it is brought to you by our digital marketing therapy workshops. Our next one coming up in June is all about creating your content strategy, and really getting started with executing it. Whether you're revamping your existing strategy or starting from scratch, this two day workshop will walk you through all of the strategies that you need to have a great content marketing strategy. So if you've loved the episodes that you've heard over this month, and you really want to take advantage and and make this a priority for you.

Join me in June for these workshops, you can find more information at https://thefirstclickk.net/workshops space is extremely limited because we want to work with you in a small setting to ensure that you get the dedicated help that you need to make this happen. So again, thttps://thefirstclick.net/workshops. I can't wait to see you there. Let's get into the episode.

[Intro] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. Each month we dive deep into a digital marketing or fundraising strategy that you can implement in your organization. Each week, you'll hear from guest experts, nonprofits, and myself on best practices, tips and resources to help you raise more money online and reach your organizational goals.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Hey there, I'd love to welcome my guest for today. Ben Hendricks. Ben, thanks for being here today.

[Ben Hendricks] Absolutely happy to be here.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So you're helping us wrap up our whole month on content creation. And I'm super excited about this topic, because we haven't really talked about it on this podcast before. But we're talking kind of short form video content that can be used everywhere and created from content you already have. So before we kind of jump into some strategies, why is video and video content, something you're passionate about?

[Ben Hendricks] I love I love the storytelling aspect of it. I mean, every piece of content kind of tells a story helps you learn something. You know, I've been editing video for 15 years kind of doing lots of different things, lots of different formats, and always comes down to telling a story of some kind. Even if it's a minute long, even if it's 30 seconds. You know, I love the craft of it. There's a component, a component that's kind of like puzzle piecing finding elements that fit together as a whole. So yeah, I mean, I've found that there's a there's a lot you can learn from from video. And yeah, there's just so many good stories that it's important to tell in whatever way that you tell them.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah. Well, in short form content. For people that don't know. Could you maybe explain what that is and kind of why it's risen to popularity, it risen in popularity a lot over the last few years.

[Ben Hendricks] Sure. I mean, sure, for sure from video is just the 30 to 92nd videos you see on social media and the vertical form as opposed to horizontal that's kind of YouTube. Vertical is what you see on Tik Tok and you Instagram reels and YouTube shorts. And it's really become popular because it's the most direct way to communicate with an audience, and anyone can do it. You can just record on your phone and upload it to social media platforms as easy. So you're able to, you know, speak speak directly to your audience. I also think people kind of tired of the more formal corporate style video. And these just feel more authentic, and you get to see person's personality more.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah. So I'm, like short form content, you said 30 to 60 seconds. But you really only have still even with that, like a few seconds to grab people's attention. So you talked about, like storytelling and how you love that video tells the story? Like how might we want to think about coming up with content, like how we kind of organize the information that we're sharing?

[Ben Hendricks] I think that the first thing that I think of whenever I make something is, why would people care about this. So really, is just figuring out why someone would want to watch something, because you do have three seconds to get people's attention, they're just gonna be scrolling. So just putting yourself in the mind of someone else. And figuring out what someone would care about. I mean, the one of the key words is empathy, just kind of putting yourself in someone else's perspective, and then figuring out, you know, how to build a video around that. Because the the, you know, the, the content of the video itself can be amazing. But if we don't catch their attention, and lead with something that's powerful, then they're not going to, you know, watch the rest of the video. So get get on them right off the bat is also crucial. So it's important to figure out what what your hooks are going to be. Because the hooks are what people keep people there.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, well, and so how do you know if because I feel like when it comes to reels or tick tock or whatever, how are there some ways that people can create video because I think, for a lot of them are like, well, I don't want to be on camera, or we don't want to, you know, have to be like talking direct to camera that makes them nervous. And sometimes getting started with just graphics and things is easier. So are there kind of like different categories, or different ways that we can approach kind of coming up with our short form content to get our message across without having that fear of having our face in front of everybody?

[Ben Hendricks] Sure, I mean, videos, anything that has some sort of motion, it could be as simple as putting images to music. Or you could, you know, maybe record your voiceover, put that with some images, or B roll, there's another format called audiogram, which is just kind of the audio, kind of with a waveform showing the show a visualization of person talking and then putting captions in there. Or you can do things like photos with a slideshow, that sort of thing. And there's lots, there's lots of, there's lots of ways that you can do that. Now, there's lots of free sites that you can use to get started on that. And also, I don't know how much you've done this, but AI is making this a lot easier with a lot of tools that are coming out now, to do this sort of thing. I mean, especially with things like voiceovers, and, you know, any sort of visualization. You know, it's it's, it's, there are ways to make videos where you don't even have to be in it. You know, there's there's also sort of AI, talking heads that you can kind of create and generate and that sort of way. A lot of people have I know it's kind of a polarizing topic, but there are there are ways around being in the video yourself.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, okay, so let's talk about tools real quick, because we have talked about AI this month a little bit as with regards to like text copy, and like how to create content ideas, and how to maybe like create your drafts or outlines for your blog. But we didn't talk about AI for graphics and things like that. So like, what are some of your favorite AI tools for video? And what are some of your favorite kinds of editing or tools that people can also use to to create because I think it's way easier than people have in their heads that it is?

[Ben Hendricks] Yeah, well, I mean, Cynthia is a great one for creative generating a talking head. I also like runway, that's really, it's really more of like, background effects. You can kind of take out your background and put some other green screen elements in. There's lots of they're more more so enhancing like it Uh huh. You know, cleaning up audio, like Adobe has a great software that where you can clean up your audio and make it sound as polished as possible. For graphics, you know, there's, there's, there's obviously the photo generations like mid journey. And Dolly, where you kind of text to text to image, where you can kind of just type in whatever you want, and it'll generate it. But yeah, a lot of these video ones, like, they're not gonna be able to do the the storytelling aspect, but there are definitely things that make things make the process easier.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah. I know in it's a, you know, a little bit trickier to but with Canva Pro, since nonprofits have access to that for free, there is some AI image stuff you can do in there. Little scary sometimes. But then there's also some video editing, but you can also just edit natively in the app that you're going to publish your content to, right?

[Ben Hendricks] Yeah, um, you can, you can do that. And no Tiktok has their own app called cap cut. That makes editing pretty easy, pretty straightforward. And Canva. Canva is a great tool if you're a beginner to. To be honest, I mean, I don't I'm loosely familiar with those because I use like the professional. Sure. We've been using for a long time, like Adobe Premiere, and After Effects. But there are there are so many great tools now that make it easy to do basic video editing. storyblocks is another one that is like a free or not free, but it's a paid service for stock footage, stock images, stack, video, and sound effects and music. They have their own built in editor too. So you can kind of put all those elements together inside their their platform. But yeah, Canva is a great one, too, if you're looking to just get started. And

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] yeah, well, let's talk about repurposing our existing content and turning it into short form because I don't think we have to come up with new ideas. I think it's just about sharing stuff we already have. So one of the things that I wanted to ask you about was a lot of times we create these videos for our galas or like for, we'll create like a longer form promotional video. Do you have any tips for how you know we can kind of cut that up? Is there ways to approach maybe some of like the creation of that long form content in like knowing that we are going to chunk it up? Like is that something we should talk to our editor about ahead of time? Like how can we kind of make that process easier?

[Ben Hendricks] Yeah, I mean, being aware of of what you're going to be doing with, with a long form. Form is definitely helpful. Because you can kind of edit on the go or just sort of in your mind, kind of knowing where things might come out and being aware of it while you're, you know, creating that. So you can be like, Oh, that's a good spot. Just kind of make a mental note of things. Yeah, when you get all that stuff out, it's really just picking finding what points in that in that long form content will stick out. It's it's, you know, finding the right quotes, the right sound bites that will stand on its own. Because the important thing with repurposing stuff is understanding context. You know, most people watching a short form video don't have the full context of the full conversation or for long foreign thing. So it's important to keep that keep a piece of that in each piece of content. So that's just establishing context is key to repurposing things. Because, you know, you have to assume no one, the person watching it isn't going to know exactly what the whole conversation was, all they're going to see is 30 to 62nd video that that comes out on their feet.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I think that's a really good point. Yeah, because sometimes you need people to understand something in order to get the impact of that video. And then I think you already mentioned on a couple of these things, but you know, if we have written content, creating video around it, some of the things like you talked about, like having, you know, a talking head or even just an audiogram like having somebody record it, but there's it's super easy to just kind of repurpose that as a way to kind of engage with your audience in a different way. Also.

[Ben Hendricks] Sure, I mean, even text on screen is better than nothing. I mean, music is so important. It's kind of underrated, but music really drives me Have any sort of piece of video, it kind of carries the emotion of the thing. So even if you just have text popping on screen with a music background track, that will keep people more engaged than if they were just reading something. Because you know that people are drawn to music in some way, they're going to keep watching, just subconsciously even just for a little bit. So yeah, any sort of any sort of visual element that includes an audio element. That's, that's, that's the way to do it.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, and how important is video when, especially when it comes to if you're targeting a younger audience, right? Like, that's almost like if you're trying to hit millennials, and Gen Z, like, would you say video is a must in your marketing,

[Ben Hendricks] you have to have video for that generation, that's just how they consume media. It's very native to them. And they're there. You know, the younger generation, they, they don't like BS, they want it straight, they want authenticity, they want, they don't want to be sold something necessarily, they just want something that's real. And videos, is the way to express that the best. Because they can see the face, they can see the voice, they can see the personality. You know, a lot of videos that do really well don't necessarily have anything to do with what it is you're selling. That's what they're just, it's just about building trust, basically. So once they trust you, then you'll be able to maybe, you know, get more branding in there. But video really just helps build trust, especially with with the younger generation who it's who that's what they're, they're really looking for.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, I have younger Gen Z children. And I remember when they think when they first got their phones and the power went out, or the Wi Fi went out or something anyway, she couldn't FaceTime her friends. It wasn't working. And I was like, well then just call them. And she's like, how do you make a phone call, like, she only like, I literally had to walk her through the pictures, like I didn't even know you could do that. Because everything even in there just day to day communication is FaceTime, they're always on video, or they're doing videos now like everything is video. So yeah, I'm glad that you kind of hit on that as well. Um, and I think it is, is the reality. And I think to like, to your point, I'm creating fun videos and having personality with it. Like everything doesn't have to be so polished and professional. People are engaging more with kind of the silly like your personality, like just having fun and showcasing and sharing the impact that your organization makes versus having a polished here at organization x we do you know, like, make it fun and kind of live it up a bit.

[Ben Hendricks] Yeah, I mean, I mean, it's terribly good to experiment and find your voice and be different than, you know, what your brand is, as a whole. But finding a way to communicate online is different than, you know, finding a way to communicate in other ways. So it's really just finding what works, trying trying stuff out, seeing what types of videos do better on, you know, following the metrics of how things are performing, based on the way that it is. So it's a lot of trial and error. But, you know, just doing it is the most important thing and just getting out there and finding your voice over time. I mean, it's that you're not going to have you're not going to make one video and have it. You know, give you everything that you ever wanted. It's a process and but it's a fun process, to find what works and to be creative. And you know, tell your story.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, I'm sure as a video, as a videographer as an editor as a creator, I'm sure you've been asked several times by clients will can you create a viral video for me? And I mean, like I I'm sure you I don't I shouldn't speak for you. But creating viral content intentionally is almost more inauthentic than just creating content that's telling your story correctly. That then happens to go viral, right?

[Ben Hendricks] Yeah, yeah. I mean, you never know what's going to hit. You know, I tell people the three main tenants are entertain, educate and inspire. Those are the things that are The ingredients to virality. If you can do more of the like more, more than one of those things in a video, that gives you a better chance. So it's there ways to, you know, create things with those things in mind that are the ingredients to creating virality. But you can't force it, it's just a thing that happens. There are ways to get in front of more views with like, paid ads or boosting posts. And that definitely helps it helps helps get in front of more people. But to go like viral like millions, that's just sort of a natural thing that just like you touches a nerve, it goes from there. But there was, you know, it's all about just giving yourself the best chance. So give yourself the chance to go viral. And then, you know, maybe we'll

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, well, and then, you know, if you're nervous about creating short form content, or you think that your platform doesn't have it, like all the platforms have an algorithm that favors video content, right? Regardless, like whether it's real or Tik Tok, or YouTube or even Pinterest. Like, I mean, the opportunity to reuse that content is gotten even more widespread, making it more of a cost saving that cost savings, but making more of your investment. Makes sense? Because you can put it everywhere.

[Ben Hendricks] Yeah, exactly. I mean, all these platforms are really ramping up, their video presents, I mean, tick tock took off. And now you know, YouTube shorts is doing something similar, and their ads really favorable to creators. Because it pushes you in front of your, you know, your, your target audience, you know, with the use of hashtags, or it just finds its audience based on its natural aggregate algorithm. So it's important to be everywhere, you know, you can make a video for one platform, but put it on all the platforms, you don't know, you know, different different platforms have different reaches different audiences, that might hit at different times. So it's just getting out there and making something that you're going to be proud of, and hoping it finds its, its viewership.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, so I guess, if you are going to give, like three tips on how to just get started with short form content, like Where should people kind of start their planning process so that they can kind of add this into their content mix.

[Ben Hendricks] Um, I mean, it's, it's easy to just say, just start recording. But yeah, there's a lot more planning that goes into it, you know, coming up with a couple of scripts, you know, kind of just getting a general idea of what you want to touch on. I'd say, put, get, you know, come up with with a couple of scripts and record on one sitting, you don't have to record a video every day, you can do it. I do batch editing. So you chord, like, just take an hour, come up with a couple of key points you want to touch on, record it, and then go back and cut those up into different pieces of video. So you're kind of repurposing your own your own stuff. You know, I tell people that you know, daily, a daily presence is good for growing a platform, but as a minimum two to three a week, just to get the ball rolling

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] video specific pieces of content or just content in general.

[Ben Hendricks] Video, I mean video specifically for video strategy. If you're really trying to grow a platform that way. You know, there are definitely tools to make coming up with ideas easier, I mean, just go on chat GPT. And give me give me five video prompts that I can talk about in my niche. And, you know, that's the best way to start is to just get some ideas, start recording and put them up and you'll get better at it over time. And you'll get a sense of of what works and what doesn't. But the key is just get started.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, I and I think to like because if you're nervous about creating the video, even like I know for for me with my kids, we've been looking for volunteer opportunities for them and ways to get more engaged. Reach out to your, your state your volunteers that have kids that are teenagers, or like you know, in high school, and you know, maybe might have to do a service project or something and giving them just the ideas and having them go and create the video content will is a great use of their efforts because it's so easy and natural for them. That would be my pro tip.

[Ben Hendricks] Yeah, yeah. People love kids. Well until

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] you really do develop your strategy, like let them create the content for you and test it. For sure. But I just think it's important to to touch on just the sheer ability of video, like people are much more likely to share video content with each other to than, like your static your image posts and things like that.

[Ben Hendricks] Yeah, for sure. Yeah, it's like, it's the best way to connect with people when it because it just lends itself to more more creativity and more. You know, it's just a better way to communicate. Yeah, because you can get all get all the info in and a short, short amount of time, it doesn't take too long to consume, you know, right away, whether you like something or not.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yep. Yeah. Well, and I would say to like, when you're scrolling, like, think about your own behavior, when you're scrolling either tick tock or reels or whatever, like, what are you passing on? What are you and not like, the, like, maybe not the topic, but like, you know, sometimes you scroll past something, because it takes them too long to get to the point or you scroll past because they didn't have captions. And you're you're not listening or that, you know, like, start to pay attention to those reasons why you're skipping content, and why you're consuming it to kind of help you really figure out how you want to craft your brand story.

[Ben Hendricks] Yeah, I mean, there's so many elements that help enhance, to make, you know, people can just put a video online, but you know, this, the editing, there really helps Polish things up and makes things pop. So things that you probably wouldn't even notice. But like, you know, a lot of videos start with a zoom, as, as well as they go into their hook, you know, adding in other visual elements, like pop up graphics, or sound effects, or B roll or, you know, music another is another thing that is important to have in any sort of video. So there's lots of a lot of lots of elements to help make your video stand out. Because, you know, yeah, I mean, it's important to be authentic, and, you know, just have something out. But it's also after, after you do the basics, what's going to be standout. And really, it's the the post production sort of editing that kind of helps enhance all that.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Love it. Any other last kind of quick tips or advice that you'd love to kind of wrap this up with?

[Ben Hendricks] I'd say I mean, I just think it's important to to know, the power of video, I mean, especially how far it's come along, you know, 10 years ago, it used to be, you know, a nice to have people didn't really consider that now in today's landscape like it's needed, it's a necessary thing. Which is crazy, because, you know, how my video journey has been, from what I was working on 10 years ago, to now where it's like, it's so in demand. It's it's a crucial part of every every business's plan.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Love that? Before we kind of let people know how to find you. Could you repeat again, the three elements that you said, are important to consider when kind of putting your content and your scripts together.

[Ben Hendricks] educate, educate, entertain, and inspire.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Okay, awesome. I just wanted people to hear that one more time, then this is awesome. I think that hopefully everybody's inspired to add video to their repertoire now. But if people want to connect with you more and learn more from you, how can they do that?

[Ben Hendricks] My website is www.newenergymedia.org . And you could find me on all the handles Numenor New Energy media.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Love that. Well, we will link all of that up in the show notes as well as some of the tools that Ben shared. You can find that at https://thefirstclilck.net/206. But Ben, thank you so much for being here today.

[Ben Hendricks] Yeah, thanks for having me. This was a blast.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So are you excited to jump into short form content, I really hope so. It can be really helpful in again, getting new eyeballs on your stuff, and engage with the younger audience, which we know is critical. I know a lot of us are not really worried about reaching millennials and Gen Z yet, but it is an untapped resource and in a generation that we want to make sure we're engaging with today. So I hope that you will subscribe wherever you listen, grab the show notes for all of the resources and tools at https://thefirstclick.net/206 All the ways to connect with Ben will also be listed there as well. Search for us on YouTube if you want to check out the video versions of these episodes. And I just thank you for being a listener and for letting me spend some time with each and every week for now I'll see you in the next one


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