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Read this proven short form video playbook for fitness studio owners 

short form video content

2022 was the year short form video content really took off and fitness studio owners need to make sure they have a foolproof short form video strategy so they can reach a bigger audience than their competitors. 

Video has increasingly become a “need to have” when it comes to marketing. The problem is that a lot of companies see it as a box-ticking exercise rather than a strategy that needs proper thought and investment. 

“We need to start doing video. Can we get that going?” is the usual request from a studio owner to a confused member of staff or marketing intern. 

The real questions you should be asking is: 

  • Why you want to do video 
  • What impact do you want it to have on your business
  • How you are going to do it 

And part of the answer to that last question is short form video content. 

Why this topic matters: Short form video content will explode in popularity over the next year on every major social media platform and most marketers are building their strategies around it – it’s crucial that you are thinking about short form video the same way. 

What you’re going to learn: In this article, you will learn what short form video content is, hear from Barry and Shay Kostabi from Fitness Career Mastery, look at the must have tools you need for short form video and lay out a playbook for short form video success.

Here’s what’s coming up:


What is short form video content? 

According to marketing automation giants Hubspot, short form video is anything under 60 seconds. In an excellent social media marketing report overviewing the key stats and  trends around social media in 2023, they’ve hit on some insights on short form video content.

Here’s 3 key points from this research: 

  • Funny content is the most popular among video marketers: 33% of the respondents surveyed said they would focus on funny content the most as this gets the best results. 
  • Short form video is the most engaging: The report found that short form video ranks for No.1 for lead generation and engagement 
  • Short form video content leads the way on social media: 85% of marketers say that video is the most effective format on social media

Other prominent experts agree with the clear effectiveness of short form video, especially when it comes to things like podcasting. Renowned marketing expert Eric Siu recently posted on Linkedin about this very topic. In a post you can find here, Eric explains how short form video will be crucial for growing your businesses podcast in 2023 and beyond. 

Eric says that you should “have interesting conversations with people, highlight the most interesting sections and post produce for short form video and watch the awareness of your podcast grow exponentially.”  

Now we’ve looked at the ins and outs of short form video content, let’s look at the technical elements of what makes great short form video. 

What the experts say: Barry and Shay Kostabi 

“You’ve really got to develop your talent on camera, and you have to recognize that in the past, this is something that’s been cultivated over time. It’s not going to happen overnight. But you do need to invest in it”

Barry and Shay Kostabi are LA based fitness business experts who specialize in helping businesses grow their online presence and other aspects of their business. They host the Fitness Career Mastery podcast and have been welcome guests on our own podcast and the last two editions of our fitness conference. 

In their podcast interview with us, the two go into detail about the best ways to film video content. While the focus is more on filming classes and instructional videos, they share some great tips that can be applied to your short form video content. 

Here are three important insights from that interview: 

  • Make sure you’ve a clean set and good lighting: Your content doesn’t have to be shot on  the latest 4k cinema camera, but it does help to have a good quality camera on your phone. Make sure the video is lit well so you and your background can be clearly seen – a simple light ring should be enough. 
  • Look at others for inspiration: The best way to learn how to be the best is to look at the best. Follow a range of different fitness operators and experts who have large followings and see what they are doing on TikTok, Instagram Reels and Youtube Shorts. Look at how the video is shot, what they are saying and the copy and hashtags they use. 
  • Pretend you are talking to just one person: It can be daunting thinking that you are talking to loads of people.  Barry and Shay recommend that you imagine you are just speaking to one person, like a best friend, and this will calm your nerves and make you more focused. 

In the next part of this article we are going to go through the must have tools you need to succeed with short form video. 

5 short form video tools you need to have

When creating short form videos there’s a couple of basic things you need to have in your armory to be successful. It’s not as simple as putting on a camera and shouting action – there’s a few more pieces to the puzzle. Let’s go through them below. 

Camera set-up

The camera is obviously the most important part of your set-up. However as we’ve said before there’s no point in investing in a digital camera unless you’re really experienced already. Most of the latest Android and Apple phones have pretty good cameras on them. Invest in a camera phone stand for stationary shots and a selfie stick for moving shots. 

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Read more: The 8 best cameras for filming sports and exercise

Editor and/or editing software

A lot of your short form videos might be specific moments from a longer podcast or instructional videos. You or the person in charge of your social media will probably take on the role of editor, as it would be a waste of money to hire someone initially for such simple edits. Free editing software like PowerDirector or iMovie usually work best – check out this list of the best editing softwares here.


As mentioned before by Barry and Shay, goog lighting is very important when shooting video. As with the camera and editing you don’t need to break the bank with lighting. Most content creators use a lighting ring like this. Natural light from a window can be used also to good effect if your camera phone is good quality. 

Podcast mic

As we’ve mentioned a lot of your short form videos may be cuts of your longer podcast videos. Good, clear audio is so important. People will be forgiving if the video quality isn’t 100% but won’t stick around long if the audio is poor. The Snowball by Logitech is the most widely used podcast mic by creators

Social media management platform

Once you’ve created your video and uploaded it, you need to track how your content is performing. The reason for this is that you can see what type of content performs best and what doesn’t perform. This helps you make better short form content going forward. Sprout Social and Hootsuite are two typical examples of the better social media management platforms.

The fitness studio operators short form video playbook

As we’ve seen from Hubspot’s 2022 social media report, short form video content will be the most effective type of social media content over the next couple of months and into the future. However, it’s one thing to say it will be effective and another to actually make it effective. 

In this part of the article we are going to run through a step by step playbook to ensure you get  the best out of your short form video strategy. Let’s dive in. 

Pick a person to front your short form content 

The most important aspect of your video content is the person who fronts it. They are the star, the focal point and the face of the information you are giving out to the audience. As a fitness business owner, you are the person with all the knowledge, all the authority and the direction of your fitness studio ultimately lies with you. 

So it makes sense that you front your content. You should be the podcast host and the face of your instructional videos. Ultimately you are the person people will likely trust the most as it’s you who knows how to help them achieve their goals. As your content grows you can then start to integrate members of your team. 

Build a bank of long form content 

What stops a lot of operators from fully getting on board with short form video content is the volume of content they think they have to produce every day/week/month. And while you should plan out single pieces of content to create, the better and more efficient strategy is to mostly create long form video content you can then cut up in short form pieces. 

Here’s a couple of examples of some long form content you can cut up into smaller pieces. 

  • A podcast/video interview series:  A long form podcast series where you interview experts or just talk about a topic yourself is a great source of short form content. Structure episodes to produce headline grabbing moments that will have a lot of impact. 
  • Instructional/advice videos: Unfortunately the fitness industry is full of bad information and people trying to make quick cash selling products, plans and workout programs that don’t work. Make long form videos on key topics around nutrition, exercise science and workout tips that are clear, factual and dispel industry myths and misconceptions. 
  • Online classes: Online classes exploded during the pandemic and while they are less popular now among brick and mortar studios they are still useful pieces of content. Go back over your old online classes and cut out sections where you demonstrate workouts, turning them into short, snappy workout tutorials. 

Focus on these three types of content

When you’re starting out the first thing you’re probably thinking is “where do I start??” – this is a common fear a lot of fitness business owners struggle with at the start. Think of it this way though, you need to deliver information that will entertain, educate and engage your audience. Here are three types of content you should largely focus on when starting out. 

  • Motivational content: The biggest issue your members run into is typically around motivation. Getting up and getting to the gym to do a workout isn’t always easy so make content around giving people a “why” to encourage them to workout. 
  • Instructional content: The fitness industry can be a minefield of information so make clear, simple to follow instructional content around fitness and nutrition. Content like this also helps build up your authority in the fitness space. 
  • Humorous content: As we’ve seen in Hubspot’s report, 33% of marketers believe funny content will be the most effective short form video content going forward. People are on social media to be entertained at the end of the day so try not overload your video content with just instructional information.

A top tip for humorous content – make a list of typical problems people encounter in the gym (people taking over the machines, looking at themselves in the mirror) and use this as the basis to make your short form content funny and relatable. 

Repurpose your content across different platforms

Your audience won’t just be on one platform typically and will be across a couple of different social media platforms. Therefore you shouldn’t focus on just one platform for your content. When creating a piece of short from content think about these points: 

  • Focus on the three most popular platforms: TikTok, Youtube Shorts and Instagram Reels are the most widely used short form platforms. Adjust your hashtags, copy and length depending on the platform
  • Use organic as a testing ground for paid: If you find a piece of short form organic content that is very successful, this could be a good indication it could do well on your paid advertising. 

Always have a CTA at the end of your video

A key part of your video content is to have a call to action(CTA) at the end of your video. Remember that the main purpose of your video content is to get the attention of the person and get them to take action. Without the person taking an action, your content will fall into the ether. 

When it comes to your CTA you’re not trying to sign up the person straight away. Short form video content falls under the category of top of funnel awareness content so the person who sees your video probably isn’t ready to sign up for a membership yet. So for now your CTA should be “If you want to see more of this helpful content, drop us a follow”

A top tip for CTAs – you should still always have a link to a lead capture form in your homepage bio to capture people who are ready to sign up now. 

In summary

Short form video content has exploded in popularity and offers fitness studio owners an incredible opportunity to grow their social media pages organically. 

Here’s an overview of what we covered today:

  • What exactly short form video content is 
  • Expert advice from Barry and Shay Kostabi
  • The tools you need for short form video
  • A short form video playbook

What’s next? 

  • For more information on how to grow your business, download our expert guide below on the barriers slowing your fitness business growth.
  • Check out how this Glofox customer converted 2.7x more leads across their 5 locations over a 6 month period while using Glofox Amplify.
  • Speak to a member of our team if you’d like to know more about how Glofox can drive your lead management and conversions – simply click on the Demo & Pricing button at the top of this page.

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Owner at Carpe Diem BJJ

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