How to tell a story through short form video

Short form videos are great ways for businesses to build reach and tell a story. Source:
Short form videos are great ways for businesses to build reach and tell a story. Source:

One area with which businesses in Trinidad and Tobago tend to struggle is the use of social media and going beyond just posting their products with a caption that says, “Here is our product…DM for price.”

Businesses tend to forget that social media is meant to be social and is one of the best channels to build community through the stories of how their products or services can help their audience.

Right now short-form video through TikTok, Instagram reels and YouTube shorts is a great way to build reach and tell a story.

We need to start seeing more stories being told, other than social media reps walking through the store showing goods and prices, or staff dancing or making funny videos.

None of that helps your audience and isn’t going to give you the conversion you want or build the community you want. You will foster a lot of connections that are only concerned with your prices if that’s all you can show them.

So for this article, I got one of my favourite video storytellers, Shurdelle Jennings, to give us tips on how businesses can craft content through short-form videos.

Here’s what Jennings had to say on the topic:

Many of us have counted ourselves out of the reel game because the thought is, you have to be a videographer or have the aura of an influencer. But as businesses and brands, all we need to know is our story, how to tell it and it all flows from there.

Content creation isn’t as complicated as we imagine it to be. In primary school, I remember being given a brief and being reminded that a story had a beginning, a middle and an end. Let’s take that same format and put it into our reels/short form video landscape.

1. What’s your topic? As businesses and brands, all our content should point back to who we are, why we exist and what problem we solve.

2. What type of story are you going to tell? Descriptive? Narrative? In a reel’s case, is it entertaining, educational, inspirational, conversational or connectional? Choosing the road we’re about to go down helps us choose the best pieces needed to tell our story.

3. What are the words you’re going to use to tell this story? We were told to use nouns, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns to make a sentence that captivates our readers and that rule remains. In a reel’s case, these are now short video clips, pictures and yes, text.

4.How do we lay this out? In a story we have paragraphs but with reels, we can choose trending audio (or create your own audio) that guides how we lay out our videos, pictures and text. You must now curate the right pieces (videos, pictures, text) to tell this story. Intentionally choose what comes first. Introductions should be short and capture your readers in the first two to three sentences. In the world of the reels, you have under five seconds to capture your viewer, so wow them first and give the meat (the detailed information) in the middle.

5.Lastly but most importantly, our conclusion. If the story we’re telling doesn’t have a proper end then it automatically brings down the entire body of work. So end strong – have a call to action, invite persons into the conversation, ask them to buy the product, and guide them to do exactly what it is you would now like them to do after being engaged in the piece of content they’ve just consumed.

This essay approach gives you a nostalgic step-by-step guide to help you tell your story.

Whether you are a franchise or a new start-up, you can tell your brand story through short-form video and you can do it easily and within the 90 seconds that reels allow you. Storytelling has existed longer than we have been here and it is one of the most effective ways to help your audience remember you, so do ensure that it is a part of your online resource kit.

I hope that you found it useful and if you want to learn more from Jennings, check her out on Instagram at @Shurdelle.

Following those tips will help you stop thinking about creating ads or just showing your products on social media. Have some fun, and show us how your products or services can help out your audience. This will separate you from your competitors and allow your community to view you as a resource, rather than a billboard.

Keron Rose is a digital strategist who helps businesses build their digital presence. Visit or check out the Digipreneur FM Podcast to learn more about building your digital presence and e-commerce strategies.


"How to tell a story through short form video"

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