The internet is buzzing with the idea that short form video content might not be serving our audiences anymore, but maybe we’re just not using it the right way. We aren’t leading our audience anywhere. We’re playing to algorithms, which is often what we need to do in this game. But in that, we tend to forget our end consumer.
Kate is joined in this episode by our Simple Pin social media manager, Tabby, an expert on ALL things Pinterest and a member of the Pinterest Pioneers program inside the Pinterest Business Community. They talk about their recent switch in how they create content for social media, and why they’re no longer creating for Instagram first.
Short form video saw a huge rise in 2020, when most of us were stuck at home. Instagram told us they were heavily prioritizing Reels, which was probably in reaction to the uptick in TikTok popularity.
In a recent podcast episode, Kate shared all about how we decided to reframe our content strategy. Instead of creating for Instagram first, and THEN repurposing for other platforms, we moved to creating for Pinterest first. Pinterest is by far, our number one traffic driver.
So it makes sense for us to focus on what works well for Pinterest, create around that, and then repurpose for other platforms that don’t drive as much traffic for us.
RELATED: How to Repurpose Content for Idea Pins (YouTube video)
How To Use SHORT FORM VIDEO
Kate asked how people are using short form video on LinkedIn, and whether they find it useful or think it will eventually fade in relevance. This really got us thinking about the purpose of video content. How are we using it? Does it still work for our audience?
What is our goal when creating this type of content?
First and foremost, we want to educate and build authority. Moving away from creating for Instagram first, we stopped trying to game the algorithm, stopped doing voice-overs and other silly content. Even though it was fun. 😉
Pinterest is, and always has been, our #1 traffic driver. By a LOT. So we recommitted to prioritizing Pinterest over Instagram.
what does this look like
Everything Kate and Tabby created was for Idea Pins first – super high value, educational, and more along the lines of quick tips and how-to content.
They meet once per month to record content and short form videos. They used to start creating for Instagram Reels first, and THEN if it worked for an Idea Pin, they would repurpose it for that.
When they started creating for Pinterest first, they found that content always did well on Instagram too. Tabby says Instagram is such a hodge-podge of what type of content resonates with your audience, but education and tips always work for our audience on Pinterest.
That switch brought them back to connecting with our Simple Pin audience and ideal consumer.
Prioritizing Instagram Reels wasn’t just a quick experiment. Tabby and Kate had been creating content for Instagram for about 15 months. But to them, it felt so hard. They felt like they needed to be entertaining to capture the attention of the IG audience.
But because we teach Pinterest here at Simple Pin all the time, creating for that platform always feels more natural.
It feels so much more authentic.
Kate said “it felt like we were wearing these weird uncomfortable jeans for 15 months, and creating this new way is like putting on the perfect pair of jeans”. We know you know.
This was such a good reminder to us that while playing to the algorithm is part of the “game”, it should not be a higher priority than creating for our audience.
A good balance of using stats and data to inform the content you’re creating for your audience is key. This also helps you attract your ideal person (aka a high quality lead).
For us, this means creating for Pinterest first, YouTube second, and Instagram third.
our content creation process
First, we come up with ideas for content. This is well before we start recording, creating or posting.
how to find content ideas
Primarily, our audience drives our ideas. What do our analytics tell us? What is our audience asking us or asking FOR? We watch our Instagram DMs and our comments on YouTube. We check common searches on YouTube – what are people looking for or asking when it comes to Pinterest?
We’ve also started doing free Pinterest town halls, where we give updates on what’s going on with the platform, and then let people ask questions. We love being able to help out our audience, but we often hear rumors or ideas that we hadn’t even heard before.
Simply put? We take the problems our audience has and the questions they’re asking, and we create content that provides a solution or an answer.
In your niche, what are your people asking?
People go to Pinterest to find a “solution”, whether that’s what color to paint their living room or how to get their baby to nap during the day. How can you help? How can you provide an answer or a solution?
Before we record, we take our ideas and we do our homework. What are some different angles we can approach on this topic? What are other people saying or doing? How can we provide something useful and unique to our audience?
It’s important to know how you work. Kate can take some loose notes, a question from our audience, and some general ideas and work with that. She feels more comfortable being slightly off the cuff, than sticking to a script. But this has taken a lot of practice for her!
If you need more of a script, that’s totally fine. Come in to your recording time with the homework and notes that YOU need.
Kate and Tabby batch record (aka record multiple videos at one time), and this really helps with their flow. Kate says it helps to have another person filming and in the room, because she can feed off Tabby’s energy. Maybe you prefer filming solo? Great! Do what works for you.
TIP: It can really help to record on your phone instead of inside one of the social media platform’s recording features. This way, you have raw video footage that you can edit and THEN upload into the different platforms.
planning for our content calendar
Tabby takes all the ideas for the videos they recorded, and adds them to the Simple Pin content calendar. She can usually plan out about a month’s worth of content/Idea Pins with what they record in one day (2-3 Idea Pins per week). She adds tasks into her Asana calendar for each content topic, and then on that day, does a quick edit of the raw footage. Depending on the footage for that topic, she may add a cover image to the Idea Pin, or a call to action slide at the end.
creating on mobile vs. desktop
If you’re only working on desktop, you’re missing out for sure. The mobile app has so many more features for creating Idea Pins than desktop, so ideally you’re creating inside the app. Second, the bulk of Pinterest users are scrolling Pinterest on their phone. It’s so important to use the mobile app, if only so you can see what your users are seeing.
You want to make sure your content is on point for your mobile user – can you read the text, does the image make sense or jump out at you?
Uploading your raw video footage into Pinterest using the mobile app is our best recommendation. But if you want to repurpose what you’re creating, Tabby recommends downloading the Idea Pin BEFORE you hit publish on the Pinterest platform. If it doesn’t have a cover image or a specific Pinterest tag, you can download at this step and easily repurpose the content for IG Reels.
How to Download Video Idea Pins Without the Watermark (YouTube video)
How to Upload Video to Pinterest (blog post)
We know that people will ask – how many slides is ideal when creating an Idea Pin?
Tabby says that this doesn’t matter a ton, but you should really pay attention to what speaks to your audience. Does your audience respond more to a static image with text, an animated cover image, video with a text overlay? This all depends on how your audience engages with your content.
Regardless of what you decide to do, Tabby does recommend having some text overlay on the first slide of the Idea Pin. This helps tell the Pinterest user what the Pin is about, and can help grab their attention.
when to post content
Our content is fairly evergreen, so timing between platforms doesn’t necessarily matter for us. But for easy workflow purposes, Tabby tries to upload an Instagram Reel the same day she creates the Idea Pin.
When should YOU post your content? Can you post on Pinterest and Instagram on the same day with similar content? Honestly, nobody truly cares. Pinterest content can be slow-moving and builds as time goes on. People most likely are NOT going to see your similar content on the same day on different platforms, and if they do, 9.9 out of 10 people won’t be annoyed.
is short form video going away?
As of right now, we don’t think so at all. One of the reasons people might be saying this is that Instagram is currently pulling back from fully pushing Reels. YouTube is still encouraging shorts, and the platform has been around FOREVER.
We see video content morphing and changing (as does everything on the internet), but we don’t think that removing it from your business plan is a smart move.
Short form video content is a great way to engage with your people and to bring in new users. We know not everyone loves it, but we truly don’t feel like it’s going anywhere.
We’d love to hear from you! Are you using short form video in your content plan? Are you repurposing content? How are you using it in a way that works for your business? Leave a comment on this blog post or send us a DM on Instagram.
Additional Resources Covered in Podcast:
Simple Pin Products and Resources:
- Idea Pin Content Planning Guide (free download)
- Summer Planning Guide (Simple Pin Shop)
- Pinterest Account Deep Clean or Build
- Pinterest Building Basics (free email series for Pinterest beginners)
- Pinterest Pioneers with Simple Pin (podcast/blog post)
Catherine Tatum says
Thank you so much for your podcast! I am a faithful listener and LOVE the tip about being able to edit Idea Pins and placing a link on those pins. I’m doing that now and can’t wait to have access to links in the future. Your tips are so valuable. Thank you again!
Thanks so much Catherine!! Its great to hear you’ve found our content helpful. 🙂