Everything seems to be getting faster and shorter, and that includes social media videos. Very short videos is the newest form of social media, and they can be harnessed to benefit diverse businesses.

Getting people’s attention today is difficult, because they are usually on information overload, and this is true for business people as much as it is for consumers. So it is not surprising that videos have become shorter and shorter, into small bites of video presentations that quickly deliver a message in an entertaining way. The very short videos are really short – 15-60 seconds in most cases. These short videos may be longer, but they are still only minutes long. For diverse small businesses, this video length may not seem like enough time to present anything of importance, yet it can - through the careful choice of features that make them interesting and appear in the right user feeds. The short videos are ideal for capturing the attention of potential and current customers, and also busy corporate buyers looking for suppliers who can help them increase supply chain diversity. The major social media sites all offer short video programs for creators, including Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, Triller, and TikTok (which has always been a short video platform).


Short videos are designed for modern users who do not want to spend a long time watching a video. The attention span of most people is task dependent, and that is great news for businesses. Short videos can get someone’s attention and keep it, if the subject matter is of personal interest. A customer may watch the whole of a short video to get an introduction to a new product, or a corporate buyer can discover a diverse business that would fit well in the supply chain. The challenge is getting the videos in position to be viewed by the right people.

The various short video options have different features, depending on which social media program is used. Instagram Reels are videos that can be fromk a few seconds to up to 60 minutes long, and can be creatively put together simply using the Instagram app on a smartphone. Users can match edited video, photo clips, and music and share them in Instagram Stories, Feed, or the Reels explore page. Businesses can use the videos to demonstrate their creativity and engage viewers in a way that an image cannot. Instagram videos can benefit from brevity, as their algorithm favors videos that are watched through to the very end – which short videos are more likely to be.

TikTok has always been a short video platform, and interestingly, the social media platform has been increasing the permitted video length. In February 2022, TikTok announced it was increasing the maximum video length to 10 minutes. This seems to be a move to improve its ability to compete with YouTube. However, the shorter video options remain. The last video length increase went to three minutes, but creating a 60 second video remains an option.

YouTube Shorts is a platform first introduced in India and brought to the U.S. in March 2021. YouTube says it is a “short-form video experience for anyone who wants to create short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.” Videos are 60 seconds or less in length. The Shorts appear on the YouTube app’s Shorts tab and on the channel homepage. It is possible to add filters and captions, adjust recording speed, and string videos together. It can all be done using a smartphone.

Triller is yet another short video social media platform. This social media platform uses an artificial intelligence (AI) driven video editing tool. The use of AI enables the program to automatically add basic text, overlays, motion control and special effects. The other short video platforms have user-driven video editing and algorithms that identify user preferences and interests to personalize the videos that show up in feeds. Triller can produce a more sophisticated video by using AI.

Each of the social media platforms approaches the creation of short videos differently. For example, TikTok only allows the use of sounds that are in the TikTok Library. Triller allows the use of music or sounds from the Triller library, Apple Music, and Spotify. YouTube has a very large music library, but the short video creator can only choose music from the YouTube library. When selecting the short video social media platform, be sure to understand the options and limitations of each.


For diverse businesses, these short videos deliver opportunities for creative brand, product, and services promotion. Small businesses that have social media accounts can add the short videos to existing accounts. The videos can be used in a variety of ways to engage people and companies to the brand. For example, minority business enterprises can create videos that introduce the company’s CEO and other executives or innovative team members. Videos demonstrating the true culture of the organization, an environmental sustainability commitment, social justice efforts, or processes like the one the company uses to produce innovation can attract consumers and corporate buyers. The videos can also demonstrate industry expertise in a particular area.

Some guidelines for creating short videos include choosing a topic that fits the business brand, as random topic videos are not particularly useful to businesses. Think of short videos as a marketing tool that needs planning for creation, implementation, and accounting for results. Attracting potential customers or corporate buyers requires developing content that speaks to a particular audience. Video content should follow the marketing guidelines known to work. For example, business short videos can demonstrate how the company will solve a problem for potential customers or solve a problem for corporate customers in a specific industry. Videos can include customer-generated content to showcase brand success, product demonstrations, and livestreaming of people behind the brand.

SHORT ON TIME, LONG ON IMPACT Always create quality videos, even if they are short. A business short video that has an amateurish quality is not likely to be successful and can harm the brand. Choose the elements of content carefully, including what is videoed, the music chosen, and any text added. Short videos may be short in length, but they can be long on impact.