2024 is here, and I want to look back on some of the previous year‘s short-form videos with the creatives behind The Hustle’s YouTube team. Why, you may ask? Short-form videos will remain key to many marketing campaigns this year.
In fact, 31% of the 1,400 marketers in our most recent survey say short-form videos yield the highest ROI, and most respondents (26%) say they will invest in short-from videos the most in 2024.
Furthermore, I wanted to pick The Hustle team‘s brains and learn their favorite because who better to consult than the pros? So, without further ado, here’s The Hustle‘s YouTube team’s favorite short-form videos and what we can learn from them.
4 Best Short-Form Videos, According to The Hustle’s YouTube Team
1. “Edge Hated the Rated R Spinner Belt!”
“This is a very niche topic, so shoutout to my algorithm,” says Jon Weigell, senior host and multimedia producer for The Hustle.
The video is titled Edge Hated the Rated R Spinner Belt! and tells a fun behind-the-scenes story about a piece of wrestling history from the perspective of professional wrestler Edge.
“Topic aside, this short grabs you from the start with a strong opening quote,” Weigell says. “It begins with an opinionated declaration that gets attention, and the rest of the video mixes VO with sound effects and a large catalog of video and still imagery to keep your attention.”
The video also features authentic quotes from Edge, giving viewers a small glimpse into the performer behind the iconic wrestler.
This aligns with a finding in our most recent Social Media Marketing Report, in which 59% of marketers say videos with authentic, behind-the-scenes content yield the best results on social media.
So, when creating short-form videos for social media, think of ways to convey authentic storytelling and how to enhance the story with compelling quotes, sounds, and imagery.
“The ending loop is also a very impressive cherry on top,” Weigell says.
And I agree that ending loops is smooth as butter.
2. “Simple Cheat Code for Making Music”
Content creator and host for The Hustle, Noelle Medina, told me she stumbled upon her favorite short-form video while searching for music-mixing equipment.
“A few things I love about it are the creator component, the how-to component, and the audio component,” she explains. “I love that this creator brings us into her personal recording space and opens with a claim that she quickly explains and supports with visual evidence.”
By taking viewers into her at-home studio, the video’s creator, music producer So Wylie, comes off as authentic and establishes trust and authority with her audience. And believe me, trust goes a long way.
A recent study found that 71% of Gen Z consumers will stay loyal to brands they trust.
After letting us into her studio, Wylie goes into a how-to tutorial showing her process for layering tracks and vocals.
“All of this – the VO and the visual context – is underscored by her use of audio storytelling,” Medina. “The way the music unfolds gives the short even more substance and entices the viewer to watch and listen again and again.”
Medina is right; I watched the video multiple times and even subscribed to So Wylie’s page. It was just that good of a video.
Consider giving your audience a step-by-step tutorial in your short-form videos and film yourself going through the process. And, if appropriate, enhance the experience of your video with some relaxing or fun music.
3. “Bubble Tea is Brewing Up Serious Profits in the US”
“This is one of my favorite shorts on YouTube,” says Shadé Olasimbo, senior producer for The Hustle. “Yeah, I’m biased because it comes from The Hustle YouTube Channel, but it was also the start of an experiment we did as a team for content that worked for our channel.”
Olasimbo says the task was simply to go out and create a fun video without a script or production plan, which is what HubSpot host Medina did.
“It feels like I was on FaceTime with her as she was running errands, and I learned something interesting along the way,” Olasimbo says.
She continues, “And what makes that so great is that’s exactly what our channel is trying to accomplish: content that is entertaining and informative but delivered in an easily digestible way. Plus, who doesn’t love bubble tea?”
Are you noticing a theme so far? Like the previous videos, this video also comes off as authentic while sharing interesting and educational content.
Furthermore, this video proves you don’t need a huge budget or fancy production to create valuable content.
4. “I put 20 extension tubes on my camera …”
“This short has three things I love that also work well on YouTube – a compelling hook that tells you what to expect in the video, stakes, and a satisfying ending,” says Taryn Varricchio, editorial manager for The Hustle YouTube Channel.
Audiences immediately learn at the start of the video that the host, Nicolas Grant, is testing whether extension tubes can turn any normal camera into a macro lens.
Grant does something he’s never done before to make things interesting and to captivate viewers. He stacks 20 tubes on one camera.
“He makes it hard to look away by showing us each step he takes to set up the camera and his test subject,” Varricchio says.
She explains, “I’m ultimately satisfied at the end of the video because he delivers on his promise, and I get a glimpse at what the individual threads of a microfiber towel look like – something I never imagined I’d see.”
In short, the video was compelling enough to keep viewers engaged but also informative enough that audiences left having seen and learned something new.
Tips on Making the Best Short-Form Videos
So, here‘s what I learned from The Hustle’s YouTube team about making excellent short-form videos:
1. Authenticity is key.
Authenticity is definitely the buzzword for this post, and for good reason. Each video presented by The Hustle’s YouTube team features a host telling an authentic story.
Edge is a real former pro wrestler giving a genuine account of the story behind his championship belt.
So Wylie is an experienced music producer who gave a play-by-play walkthrough of how she used a tool to create new music.
Nioclas Grant is a professional content creator and videographer who used his video to creatively share the importance of extension tubes on cameras.
Noelle Medina loves boba enough to walk almost an hour across town to her favorite spot and, being the boba connoisseur she is, told us some fun marketing facts while on her journey.
Each host shared information from a genuine and authentic place, creating unique perspectives and building trust with the audience.
2. Education and Information Create Value.
Audiences love learning something new, whether it’s an anecdote from their favorite wrestler, fun marketing facts about a beloved drink, the perks of a piece of equipment, or a tutorial from a well-known musician.
So, when creating your own short-form video, think about the kind of information your audience would find valuable and how you can educate them in a creative way.
3. Quick cuts, interesting imagery, and music can keep your audience watching.
Cutting quickly between scenes and images in your video will keep your audience interested. Keeping your video focused on one image for too long can make your video feel slow and stale.
Furthermore, imagery can enhance the dialogue in your video. For example, b-roll showing Edge holding his spinner belt and images of Edge‘s original design allow viewers to visualize the host’s story.
And the music in So Wylie’s video created a relaxing atmosphere that made me want to watch the video again and again.
4. You don’t need a big budget production.
Medina‘s boba video shows that sometimes all you need is a camera, a story, and a mission. The content creator’s mission was to get to her favorite boba spot on time, but she used her phone to tell an informative story along the way,
Footage from her walk through the park and the cute dogs she spotted along the way served as b-roll.
Aside from the camera on her phone, there wasn’t really any fancy equipment or big-budget tools to bring her video to life. Yet, her video was still entertaining and kept me and Olasimbo hooked.
So, if you‘re worried that your budget isn’t big enough to create a high quality video — don’t sweat it! The camera on your smartphone could be the only ticket you need to create excellent content.
You can learn a lot from your favorite videos. What are some of your favorite videos from the past year, and what lessons did you learn from them?