As we discussed in our last blog, people are increasingly using Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts for business purposes due to their potential to reach a wider audience, increase engagement, and leverage the power of visual content marketing.
In this blog we are going to discuss the differences between short form videos that are made by professionals and self-made.
But first, let’s recap why these platforms are beneficial for businesses:
Increased Visibility: Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts provide businesses with an opportunity to expand their online visibility. By optimizing content with relevant keywords and hashtags, businesses can increase the chances of their videos appearing in search results and gaining exposure.
Social Media Marketing: Instagram and YouTube are popular social media platforms with billions of active users. Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts allows businesses to tap into the vast user bases of these platforms, enhancing their social media marketing efforts and increasing brand awareness.
Engaging Visual Content: Both Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are focused on short-form video content, which is highly engaging and easily consumable. Businesses can leverage this format to create visually appealing and informative videos that capture the attention of their target audience and communicate their brand message effectively.
Opportunity for Virality: Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts have features that promote discoverability and shareability. Well-crafted videos that resonate with viewers can quickly gain traction, go viral, and attract a significant number of views, likes, and shares. This can lead to increased brand exposure and potential business opportunities.
Storytelling and Branding: Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts provide businesses with a platform to showcase their brand and tell compelling stories. By incorporating creating engaging videos, businesses can establish an emotional connection with their audience, fostering brand loyalty and customer engagement.
Now, that we have revised what we learnt in our previous blog, let us delve deeper into the differences of Professional Shorts and Reels and Self-Made ones. We will assess the pros and cons of each and find out which is more suitable for different types of businesses. It will help you decide which approach you should take for your business.
Professional reels and shorts and self-made reels and shorts are basically two different approaches to creating short videos for various purposes, such as showcasing an individual’s work in the entertainment industry or promoting a product or service.
Production Quality: Professional Reels and Shorts are typically created with the help of experienced videographers, editors, and production teams who have access to high-quality equipment and resources. As a result, these reels and shorts tend to have superior production values, including professional lighting, sound design, visual effects, and overall polish. Self-made reels and shorts, on the other hand, are created by individuals themselves, often using consumer-grade equipment and limited resources. The production quality may vary, depending on the individual’s skills and available tools.
Industry Standards: Professional reels and shorts are often created adhering to industry standards and expectations. They showcase an individual’s best work and highlight their talents, products and services in a manner that aligns with the standards and requirements of the specific industry they are targeting (e.g., film, television, advertising). Self-made reels and shorts, while still aiming to showcase skills, products and services, may not always meet the same industry standards due to the limitations of resources, expertise, or access to professional networks.
Collaboration and Networking: Professional reels and shorts often involve collaboration with other industry professionals, such as writers, directors, cinematographers, and actors. This collaboration helps create high-quality content and demonstrates an individual’s ability to work effectively within a team. Self-made reels and shorts usually lack this collaborative element and rely solely on the individual’s skills and creativity.
Time and Investment: Professional reels and shorts, more often than not require significant time, effort, and financial investment. They involve various stages, such as pre-production, production, and post-production, each of which requires specialized skills and resources. Self-made reels and shorts, while they can be time-consuming, allow individuals to have more control over the process and often involve less financial investment, as they can leverage their own equipment and resources.
Perception and Opportunities: Professional reels and shorts are generally perceived as more reliable and credible within the industry. They carry the weight of professional expertise, which can enhance an individual’s or brand’s chances of securing opportunities, such as auditions, job offers, business partnerships or investors. Self-made reels and shorts, while they can still demonstrate talent and creativity, may not be as well-regarded by industry professionals due to the lack of professional production values and collaboration.
Above are the surface level differences between the two approaches, but their usage is entirely dependent on the resources and needs of different people and companies. Each approach comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let us examine them together, starting with Professional Videos.
High Production Value: Professional reels and shorts are created using industry-standard equipment and resources, resulting in high production value. This includes elements such as professional lighting, sound design, visual effects, and overall polish, which can make the reel visually appealing and engaging.
Credibility and Perception: Professional reels and shorts are often perceived as more reliable and credible within the industry. The association with professional production values and collaboration with industry experts who work together to visually portray various aspects of an individual or firm, thereby, enhancing their professional image and increase their chances of securing various opportunities within the industry.
Industry Standards: Professional reels and shorts are typically created adhering to industry standards and expectations. They showcase the individual’s work in a way that aligns with the specific industry they are targeting, increasing the likelihood of their reel or short being well-received by industry professionals.
Collaboration Opportunities: Creating a professional reel or short often involves collaborating with other industry professionals, such as writers, directors, cinematographers, and actors. This collaboration demonstrates the individual’s or firm’s ability to work effectively within a team, which can be valuable in industries that rely heavily on collaboration.
Cost and Time: Creating a professional reel or short can be a significant investment in terms of time and money. Hiring professionals, renting equipment, and accessing production resources can be expensive. Additionally, the production process, which includes pre-production, production, and post-production stages, can be time-consuming.
Dependency on External Resources: Professional reels and shorts often rely on the availability and expertise of external resources, such as production teams and equipment. This dependency can introduce logistical challenges, especially if there are scheduling conflicts or limited access to resources.
Limited Personalization: While professional reels and shorts can showcase an individual’s talent and skills or a firm’s story and services, they may sometimes lack a personal touch. The involvement of a production team can result in a more standardized approach, potentially diminishing the individual’s unique style and creativity.
Accessibility and Flexibility: Creating a professional reel or short may not be feasible for everyone due to financial constraints or limited access to professional networks and resources. This can limit opportunities for individuals who cannot afford professional production services.
Now that we have surmised the pros and cons of Professional short form videos, let us move on to Self- made videos
Cost-Effective: Self-made reels and shorts can be more affordable compared to professional ones. Individuals can leverage their existing equipment and resources, such as cameras, editing software, and personal networks, reducing the need for expensive production services.
Control and Personalization: Creating a self-made reel or short allows individuals to have complete creative control over the content, style, and presentation. They can showcase their unique skills, creativity, and personal brand in a way that aligns with their vision and goals.
Flexibility and Timeliness: Self-made reels and shorts offer flexibility in terms of timing and production process. Individuals can work at their own pace and make updates or revisions as needed. This flexibility can be beneficial when deadlines are tight or when adjustments need to be made quickly.
Learning Opportunity: Producing a self-made reel or short provides individuals with an opportunity to learn new skills in videography, editing, and storytelling. It allows them to gain hands-on experience in the production process, which can be valuable for personal growth and future projects.
Production Quality Limitations: Self-made reels and shorts may not always match the production value and polished finishing of professional reels and shorts. Limited access to high-end equipment, technical expertise, and production resources can result in lower production values, including issues with lighting, sound, or overall visual quality.
Skill and Time Requirements: Creating a high-quality self-made reel or short requires proficiency in videography, editing, and storytelling. Individuals need to invest time and effort in learning and honing these skills. This can be challenging, especially for those who are new to video production or have limited experience.
Perceived Credibility: Self-made reels and shorts may not carry the same level of credibility as professional reels or shorts. Industry professionals may view them as less reliable or less aligned with industry standards, particularly if the production quality or presentation falls short.
Limited Collaboration Opportunities: Self-made reels and shorts typically lack the collaborative element that comes with professional reels. Working alone may limit the ability to showcase teamwork, collaboration skills, or the ability to work with other industry professionals.
With this we have surmised the pros and cons of both reels and shorts. What’s left is to find out which approach suits which business and why?
Certain businesses and industries can benefit more from professional reels and shorts due to the nature of their products or services and the expectations of their target audience.
Here are some examples of businesses that may opt for professional reels & shorts:
Film and Television Production Companies: Companies involved in film and television production often rely on professional reels and shorts to showcase their previous work and highlight their expertise. Professional reels can help attract investors, secure funding, and attract potential clients or collaborators.
Advertising and Marketing Agencies: Agencies that specialize in creating commercials, promotional videos, or branded content can benefit from professional reels and shorts. These reels and shorts demonstrate their ability to produce high-quality, visually appealing, and impactful videos, which can help them win new clients and showcase their capabilities to a wider audience.
Event Management and Production Companies: Companies involved in organizing and producing events, conferences, or live performances can utilize professional reels and shorts to showcase their previous events. These reels highlight their expertise in event production, stage design, lighting, and audiovisual effects, helping them secure new clients and impress potential sponsors.
Hospitality and Tourism Industry: Hotels, resorts, and tourism companies can use professional reels and shorts to showcase their properties, amenities, and services. These reels and shorts can create a visual experience that captures the attention of potential guests and provides a glimpse into the quality and ambience of the establishment.
Creative Agencies and Design Studios: Businesses that offer creative services, such as graphic design, animation, or visual effects, can showcase their portfolio and capabilities through professional reels and shorts. These videos demonstrate the quality and creativity of their work, helping them stand out and attract clients looking for creative solutions.
Real Estate Agencies: Real estate agencies can use professional reels and shorts to showcase properties for sale or rent. These reels and shorts provide an immersive experience, highlighting the features, layout, and visual appeal of the properties, which can attract potential buyers or tenants.
Educational Institutions: Universities, colleges, and schools can benefit from professional reels and shorts to promote their academic programs, campus facilities, and student life. These reels and shorts can help attract prospective students and provide an engaging visual representation of the educational experience offered.
What one has to note here is that while professional reels and shorts can be beneficial for the above-mentioned businesses, the final decision depends on the specific goals, target audience, and available resources of each company. Smaller businesses or startups, especially those with limited budgets or a need for more personalized and authentic content have to consider the alternative approach of self-made reels, to showcase their products or services effectively.
Here are some examples of businesses that may opt for self-made short form videos
Small Businesses and Startups: Smaller businesses or startups with limited financial resources may choose self-made reels or shorts as a cost-effective way to showcase their products, services, or brand. They can leverage their own equipment and resources to create engaging and informative videos that highlight their unique value proposition.
Personal Brands and Influencers: Individuals building personal brands or working as influencers often create self-made reels and shorts to showcase their skills, expertise, or content. These reels allow them to have full creative control and create a personal connection with their audience by sharing authentic and relatable content.
Freelancers and Independent Professionals: Freelancers or independent professionals in various fields, such as photographers, artists, writers, or consultants, can benefit from self-made reels and shorts to showcase their portfolio, skills, and previous work. These reels and shorts can demonstrate their unique style and capabilities, attracting potential clients or collaborators.
Online Content Creators: Businesses focused on creating online content, such as YouTube channels, podcasts, or social media influencers, often rely on self-made reels and shorts. They can create engaging highlight reels and shorts or showreels that capture the essence of their content, helping attract a larger audience and potential sponsors.
E-commerce Businesses: Businesses operating in the e-commerce sector can use self-made reels and shorts to showcase their products in action. These reels and shorts can provide a more dynamic and engaging way to demonstrate product features, functionality, and benefits, helping to increase conversions and drive sales.
Local Service Providers: Local businesses offering services like home improvement, personal training, beauty services, or event planning can create self-made reels and shorts to showcase their work and skills. These reels can include testimonials, before-and-after shots, or glimpses into the service process, helping to build trust and attract local customers.
Non-Profit Organizations: Non-profit organizations with limited resources can utilize self-made reels and shorts, to raise awareness about their cause, showcase their activities, and engage their supporters. These reels and shorts can be effective in conveying the organization’s mission and impact, inspiring others to get involved or donate.
It’s important to note that self-made reels can be effective for businesses that prioritize authenticity, personalization, and storytelling. While they may not have the same production value as professional reels, they can still be impactful and resonate with the target audience when executed well. But one should always remember that while self-made reels offer flexibility and cost-effectiveness, individuals should carefully consider the production quality, their own skills, and the industry’s expectations when deciding whether a self-made reel is the best approach for their needs.
With this we come to the conclusion that the distinction between professional and self-made reels and shorts is not always absolute. With advancements in technology, it is now possible for individuals to create high-quality self-made reels and shorts. But at the same time, some industries or contexts may place more emphasis on the production value along with the content and skills demonstrated in the reel or short. Ultimately, the choice between a professional or self-made reel depends on the individual’s goals, resources, and the specific requirements and expectations of their target audience or industry.