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Marketing Tango

The Rhythm of Integrated Marketing

Telling Your Story in 15 Seconds or Less: Short Video Strategy


Nov 13, 2019

Video MarketingSnappy video content is an integrated marketer’s best friend: adding video to a landing page can increase conversions by more than 80%, and just the mention of the word ‘video’ in an email subject line increases open rates by almost 20%. Plus, there’s no shortage of highly-targeted, cost-effective marketing opportunities for video on social media.

However, these opportunities pose a unique challenge. Unlike the traditional 30-second TV spot, we’re dealing with 15 seconds or less. Instagram Stories are 15 seconds; 10 – 15 seconds is the ideal, unskippable length for YouTube pre-roll; and even traditional broadcast has embraced the 15-second commercial (and flirted with the 6-second spot).

So, how do you create a compelling, branded narrative in 15 seconds or less?

Think in Clusters

Research by the media insight experts at WARC shows that 6-second spots did well when up to four spots from the same brand ran in the same program.

  • When you’re planning and writing, you might think of a serialized’ way to tell a larger story or find another angle to make all of your video content feel like it’s part of a bigger idea.
  • “How-to” videos fall nicely into this structure, though you’ll need to use them on a platform where you can control the sequence.
Make It Authentic

As consumers are increasingly drawn to businesses and brands that share their values, putting your ideals and your people on display can help you build a deeper connection with your audience. Younger viewers, especially, will respond to authenticity.

  • If you make a consumer product, unboxing videos are always popular and can demonstrate surprise and delight with your offerings.
  • “Behind the scenes” videos with employees put a human face on your brand and company and allow you to share your company’s culture.
Focus on a Traditional Story Arc

There’s a reason why the three-act story structure has been around since ancient Greece: it works! Integrated marketers should break each video down into a beginning, middle, and end – or set-up/introduction then conflict/confrontation and finally resolution of a business problem.

To make it effective and memorable, stick to one story or message per video.

  • Testimonial videos can easily be framed in three acts: the customer problem or need, the introduction of your product, then finally, a satisfying resolution.
Make it work without words. 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound – so your story and your visuals have got to grab your audience!

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