5 Quick Ways to Make Your Short-Form Video More Dynamic

With the rise of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, it’s clear which way the industry is trending: shorter. 

Short-form video is king in 2024, and part of the reason is because our attention spans are shorter than ever before too. Humans have a growing need to be stimulated at every corner, so you have to keep your story concise, your messaging clear, and your video dynamic.

In this blog, we’ll break down 5 quick tips for adding dynamic action to your video used for social media ads. Let’s dive in!

The Importance of Dynamic Action in Short-Form Video

Between 2000 and 2015, research shows that our attention spans shrank by over 25%. From 2015 to 2024, with all the technological advances that took place over this time period, I can only imagine how much further that attention gap has spread.

This change in attention spans has actually influenced our agency’s Best Practices for video editing. We have an in-house rule that there needs to be a change in action every 1.5 seconds. Why? Because dynamic action in short-form video:

  • Keeps your audience engaged for longer
  • Influences your clickthrough rates
  • Helps you earn more desired actions for your dollar (higher-performing ads get better CPCs)
  • Provides more opportunity to educate on your product/service

We believe that considering ways to add dynamic elements to your video content is a surefire way to influence key metrics regarding your video performance. But where to start? 

In the following sections we’ll break down 5 basic ways that you can make your short-form video more dynamic.

#1 – Zooming in and Zooming out

This basic change in action is a great way to engage your audience. AND you don’t even need two cameras to accomplish it. Record in a wider frame, and choose key moments to zoom in on your subject, and then zoom back to the wider shot. 

You can either split clips and zoom in yourself, or utilize “zoom” features on CapCut or related video editing software. This zoom action is growing in popularity on social media and is a great way to add comedic (or dramatic) effect.

#2 – Adding Text Captions

Text captions are great ways to make call-outs that correspond to action in the video, or words in your script. With most users defaulting to not having audio on when they scroll through Instagram or Facebook, it’s also a great way to inspire someone to actually click into your content and start listening.

Note: we always encourage making your text captions look native to the platform – so utilizing some of the standard TikTok/Instagram captions is a great way to get your ad content to blend in.

#3 – Adding Overlay Graphics or Video

If you’re using an editing software like CapCut, it’s even easier to add in an Overlay, where you can pull up images or video clips and put them over the top of your existing video edit.

This is best used in spots where there’s minimal action happening on your main video (i.e. a talking head or interview), and you can add in a graphic or video that will contextualize your content, while also adding a dynamic element.

#4 – Using Scrolling Subtitles

This is similar to utilizing text captions, but actually will have your video show every word that is said in the script. There are even tools like Veed (as was used in this example) that make it even more dynamic by highlighting the word that’s being said as your video subject is saying it.

I first noticed this style of dynamic action occurring with podcast clips on TikTok, as it’s a great way to still have constant changing action on the screen, even if the clip itself is just a sedentary subject.

#5 – Tying in B-Roll Clips

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but also has its place in social media advertising. If you have a long script or scene to break up, consider tying in background videos or graphics that take up the full real estate of the screen, and help add more context to your video.

In the example I shared, I had 8 different b-roll scene changes in a 15-second span. Accompanied with text overlays and zoom-ins, there was a lot of dynamic action taking place to keep an audience engaged with the storytelling.

The 5 Quick Ways to Add Dynamic Action to Your Short-Form Video

As noted at the front of this blog, attention spans are growing shorter. I recognize that also applies to blogs! So, if you came to this blog and just wanted the main bullet points: here they are.

  1. Zooming in and zooming out. Splice up your video and pick key times to zoom in on your subject, and zoom out to a wider frame.
  2. Adding text captions. Choose native-style captions to show up at key times and call out action or main script points over the top of your video.
  3. Adding overlay graphics or video. Put a video (or image) on top of your existing video to contextualize what you’re talking about.
  4. Using scrolling subtitles. Automate some action over a talking subject by having scrolling subtitles that call out word-for-word what they are saying.
  5. Tying in b-roll clips. Use video or imagery to take up the full real estate of your screen and show important details that complement your script.

If you’re looking for more guidance on all things social media advertising, we’d love to help! Feel free to contact our team and we’d be happy to provide even more examples of how you can make your short-form video content dynamic. You can also continue to follow this blog (and our socials) for more relevant posts.

Thanks for reading, and good luck making your social video ad an engaging one with dynamic action!

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