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The uses for short videos are limitless!

Short videos can be used in many different ways for business, and many uses don’t need to have the highest production quality.

When I worked at Rochester Community Media Center, Rochester’s Public Access TV and Radio Station, most of the videos produced by the station were relatively high quality. We used HD cameras, high quality microphones and lighting kits in the studio and on video shoots in the community to capture interviews and b-roll (background footage) that might be used for public service announcements, at galas, or as informational pieces.

When I moved to a non-profit school, I seldom had the luxury of ensuring the highest production value, because much of what I needed to capture was done “on the run.” 

At the school, video let parents know what their students were up to. It kept donors engaged and aware of how their gifts were supporting the kids’ education. Sometimes I was in the parking lot, capturing kids exiting buses on the first day of school, or capturing students working on an art project. My favorite videos are probably those of the Executive Director leading the kids dressed in their finest, dancing in a conga line to the song “Locomotion,” at the prom. A parent favorite was seeing their 8th graders “moving up” to high school, parading through the halls to cheering teachers and friends. Still other videos–The Summer Tidings Series–gave teachers an opportunity to connect with students during the summer recess.

I filmed most of these on my phone, using only ambient lighting and the sound my phone was able to capture. I generally added music to camouflage mediocre audio quality.

At first the lower production value of these bothered me, but I soon discovered there’s a place for every type of video. When we included these pieces on social media or in the e-newsletter, they were very popular with parents and students alike. It would have been impossible to capture most of these precious moments if I’d paused for the perfect conditions or to set up the ideal equipment.

There, I also had a chance to do video work more akin to what I’d produced at the TV station. 

For my personal work, I used short clips to create public service campaigns during the pandemic, promotional messages about upcoming episodes of Conversations with Creatives, and to highlight travel experiences in my role as Editor of

No matter how you use short video clips, there are a number of important things to keep in mind:

  • The most effective videos for social media are relatively short. Three minutes or less works best.
  • Even if the production value is low, sound still matters. Viewers will accept less-than-stellar visuals, but if the sound is irksome, they’ll skip watching. If it turns out your sound is lousy, consider removing it and using subtitles if you need the words, or add music if you don’t.
  • Short videos can be used in many places and have many uses:
    • in social media
    • in e-newsletters
    • on websites
    • as links in donor thank you notes
    • as links in grant applications
    • in live and online presentations
    • at special events
    • to preserve historic moments
    • to promote a product or a piece of work
    • To interest a publisher in something you’ve created
    • To memorialize a show or exhibition

The uses for short videos are limitless!

If you would like assistance in developing a strategy for short video creation, or you would like assistance in creating short videos, contact us for a free consultation