Video Marketing

How To Make A 30-Second Video: Step-by-Step Guide

Michael Pirone
March 23, 2020

The State of Video in 2024

The modern internet is all about visual content. You’re supposed to instantly attract attention and keep the viewer glued to your content as long as possible.

This is best done with a 30-second video.

But do you know how to make a 30-second video that will resonate with the target audience and give a clear message? We will teach you how and leave out some tips, so keep reading.


    Why a 30-Second Video?

    Different audiences have different expectations. Depending on your target audience, your video will have a different impact based on video length.

    When made for an expert audience, the length of video clips should be long, elaborate, and packed with information, or they will appear patronizing.

    When made for a layman’s audience, a video should be short, at least 30 seconds, straightforward, and packed with just enough information to keep the viewer engaged, or it will appear overbearing.

    Giving a long video to a layperson audience or a short video to an expert audience would make viewers quickly lose interest in the video you will create as they will start feeling it needs to be on their level.

    Making a 30-second video is about understanding the audience and providing what it expects, wants, and needs.

    5 Steps on How To Make a 30-Second Video

    1. Grab Attention to the Title

    A typical layman is constantly distracted, with dozens or hundreds of open tabs in the browser and several chat apps running simultaneously.

    To grab their attention, the video you will create needs to have the right title that gives off what’s known as “information scent,” making viewers drop everything to click on and watch your video to the end with undivided attention.

    Jakob Nielsen, a usability expert, compared how users hunt for information online to how animals forage for food in the jungle—by trying to sniff out the information scent, as it were. When it comes to video titles, this means your title should be:

    • Scannable
    • Understandable at a glance
    • Informative
    • Honest in setting expectations

    A title that provides an overwhelmingly strong information scent can turn the audience away.

    This is known as “clickbait” and may fail catastrophically when the audience catches on that the video titled “THE PRANK THAT NEARLY KILLED ME” neither shows the prank nor that the video creator was in mortal danger.

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    2. Write A Script For The Video

    Movies and shows have scripts, and your 30-second video should, too. It’s not an ego boost but a simple and easy trick to make video-making efforts much more efficient.

    video script lets you plan and organize your video before you’ve even started making it. If you start making amazing videos, your story and scripts will serve as a great portfolio and a launchpad to success.

    A typical English speaker will say around 150 words per minute, so a 30-second video should have a script of around 75-80 words.

    The script should include the description as well as all the narration. If you find yourself over the word limit, keep writing and split the script in two; now you’ve got the script for the sequel, too!

    3. Make A Storyboard

    Now that you have a script, it’s time to visualize the scenes that will keep your viewers engaged. This step will ask you for drawing skills, but you don’t have to create your storyboard professionally; a scribble will do.

    The storyboard serves as a general guideline on the order of your scenes during your video.

    You should understand how objects in your video project stand in relation to one another and, if there’s movement, in what direction it’s happening.

    4. Optimize The Video For The Target Social Media Platforms

    Social media platforms allow for sharing short, easily consumable content, such as 30-second videos.

    You can create your own social media accounts with just a few clicks. However, each platform has quirks you should exploit to create your video to have as much spread as possible.

    For example, YouTube allows for the setting of thumbnails, while Twitter and 9gag, by default, autoplay videos are muted.

    Platforms are increasingly adopting muted autoplay as a default because video content makers abused the autoplay feature by creating a blaring soundtrack that irritated and repelled the audience.

    No problem, go visual in your 30-second videos.

    Remember that most videos are viewed without sound, so record subtitles to keep every audience engaged when watching your explainer videos, especially with videos of 30-second lengths.

    5. Use Visual Conventions in Animated Video Production Process

    When you start making a 30-second video, you’re supposed to invent only some things from scratch. Trying to be completely original is likely to confuse your audience.

    Instead, it would help if you drew from the pool of visual conventions other video creators have already drawn from.

    For example, if you want to show that something happened in the early 20th century or before, you can create your 30-second video monochrome instead of writing out the year.

    You’ll start noticing these conventions as you watch videos from content creators. Here are a few examples and expert tips that showcase how Vidico makes use of critical visual conventions to maximize the impact of video marketing:

    Background Elements

    In this 30-second explainer video for mattress brand Koala, the audience can quickly tell that the second part of the 30-second video is happening in the kitchen because of the pan rack in the background.

    The first part can immediately be placed as happening in the bedroom, again because of the background, which is pristine white.

    By understanding how the layperson viewer picks up visual cues seen in the background, you can place your story wherever you want without being overbearing about it.

    We can make a 30-second video for your company. Use our VidiFit Quiz and get transparent pricing.


    In this Square Terminal video, you can see how the clothes make the layperson viewer understand the person’s standing in the world.

    As the explainer video starts, we see fast food servers wearing uniforms. The owner of the restaurant, Tim, wears the same uniform but is then shown wearing different clothes, though still with an apron.

    The layperson viewer can immediately understand that Tim has grown his business, seeing how his clothes are now more intricate but still do the same job.

    The message is clear for the record—this service helps you move up in the world.

    Facial Expressions

    Our brand commercial for Wisr shows the power of facial expressions. The 30-second explainer video opens with a man in plain clothes sitting over a stack of papers with an anguished expression.

    The papers worry him. The camera shows five people in business suits opposite him with satisfied, smiling, and intent expressions. One of the business people hands the man a pen, and the man signs. The business people cackle and burst out laughing.

    The story seen in the camera is straightforward without any dialogue and can be shown worldwide without any translation—it’s a business contract that goes against the man’s best interests and works for the business people.

    Don’t Underestimate the Power of 30 Seconds

    You can accomplish a lot in a 30-second video. These examples prove the power of a short video to build a brand or sell a product or solution.

    Want to see what we can do for your brand in 30 seconds? Reach out to Vidico today!

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    With our new VidiFit quiz you can find the right type of video to meet your marketing goals along with a high-level estimation on how much it would cost to produce it.
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    What is the purpose of creating a 30-second video?

    A 30-second video is typically used for quick and engaging storytelling, conveying a concise message, promoting a product or service, or sharing information in a brief format.

    Vidico can create a 30-second video animation with a clear understanding that will spark potential customers’ interest.

    You can upload the explainer video clips on different platforms, especially when creating a social media presence. Additionally, understanding the 30-second commercial cost ensures efficient budget allocation for targeted marketing efforts.

    What should be the main focus of 30-second video clips?

    In a short video, it’s essential to have a clear and singular focus, whether introducing a product, delivering a short message, or highlighting a key moment.

    In a 30-second video, the visual effects and sound effects are key elements to keep the audience’s attention.

    Whether live action or animation, your narration should be clear in a short time, and the visuals should be outstanding so the viewers can understand you. We have an entire stock library that you can use.

    What are the common mistakes to avoid in short videos?

    When making videos, especially a 30-second or one-minute video, avoid cramming too much information, using unnecessary transitions or effects, neglecting the importance of music or audio quality, and focusing on video quality only.

    Imagine explaining how your products or services work in 30-second videos. Awesome right?

    Pro Tips: Ensure you have a clear CTA. Simplify the main idea in your 30-second video file.

    It’s a good thing our production team has the right tools and impressive experience in making explainer videos with 30-second length.

    Get a free video marketing plan crafted by video pros.

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