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The Rise Of Short-Form Video – Why TikTok & Reels Are Changing The Game

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love videos?

Cute animals, fun facts, recipes, you name it – there’s a video of it. Video content is without question one of the most influential mediums in the digital space and it’s only growing.

Consider the last time you used your phone — you’re probably reading this on it right now. How many times has a funny video, or video taken your attention away from what you were doing at the time?

Most of us nowadays feel like we’re being pulled in a million different directions, but it’s especially powerful among the younger generations. Gen Z has an attention span of about 8 seconds, which is a few seconds less than millennials, who have an attention span of about 12 seconds. It’s no surprise, then, that short-form video has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years, with these generations leading the charge in terms of consumption.

What Is Short-Form Video?

Short-form videos are a quick way to create, share, and motivate people. For brands, the format provides a new and exciting approach to reach people they may not have previously been able to reach by engaging them with short, impactful video messaging that consumers can relate to.

Short-form video gives individuals and brands the opportunity to break down traditional barriers and enter a fun, creative environment that appeals to a wide spectrum of users – crucial for capturing consumers’ imaginations, generating engagement, and increasing brand affinity.

Platforms like TikTok let companies to achieve their marketing objectives by forming new connections and building consumer advocacy among a constantly growing audience in a brand-safe environment.

Benefits For Brands

Various big brands, and even smaller business owners are recognising the value of short-form video and incorporating it into their marketing plans, especially those aiming to reach out to diverse, engaged, and younger audiences, who are notoriously tough to reach.

Short-form videos, when done correctly, can appeal to viewers’ increasingly short attention spans while removing the question of whether or not to continue viewing. However, in order to truly capture an audience’s imagination and drive results, brand content must have creativity and authenticity at its core. The cornerstone of short-form video is imaginative, fun content that people enjoy creating and watching. Brands can spend a lot of money in this area, but until they genuinely understand their target audience, the authenticity will be lacking, and the prospect for growth will be limited.

The Role Of Audio Clips & Music

Sound and music are important components of short-form video, and because of their importance, all videos on our platform have a soundtrack. As a result, music discovery is a natural byproduct of TikTok’s short-form video content, which piques people’s interest in a song, prompting them to seek it out and include it in their creations. For example, Doja Cat became famous after her song “Say So” became viral in short-form videos. ‘Say So’ inspired a generation to create a distinctive dance routine that has since been replicated by millions of others. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on the track.

Power of TikTok

TikTok has become the fastest-growing social media network of the decade, with over a billion monthly active users worldwide – but with 63% of its members under the age of 30, some brands and business owners are quick to dismiss it.

TikTok has perfected captivating, short-form video as a service in a way that legacy platforms like YouTube and Instagram have not, thanks to its suggestive algorithm, musical navigation, and superb editing capabilities. For the time being, the latter may have gotten a higher priority in marketing spending, but TikTok’s status as a viable new content platform is forcing businesses to reconsider their engagement strategies.

Power of Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels and TikTok have the same goal: to provide users with a creative place where they can make and share short movies with others. They include creative features that help users to generate the greatest clips possible.

Because the algorithm has made reels more visible on people’s feeds, they get 3-4x more views than posts on Instagram. For businesses, there is a shop feature that links directly to any products from that reel post, meaning they can use this tool to promote their products while also increasing traffic to their website and social media accounts.

For example, Sephora links the products for every makeup tutorial posted. When you click on view products, it directly pops up with the items used in the reel. You have the option to save, send, add to cart, or buy with just one click!

Short-Form Video Trends to Look Out For

1. Brand Challenges

When short-form videos first gained popularity, it was through viral content based on dances, songs, and sounds. Brand challenges are a great way to gain a burst of traffic, build community and engage your audience.

Short-Form Video Example: #TechTokTips by @currys

Currys PC World launched their first ever TikTok campaign last year which challenged users to create and share their top tech tips. They were able to work with influencers for this campaign along with running TikTok ads to boost performance. As a result, the brand hashtag has over 5.1 billion views which is incredible reach for their first ever brand challenge. 

brand tiktok challenges

2. Influencer Ads

Brands have been leveraging influencer marketing for years, that’s nothing new. However, we’re seeing more brands use them in short-form video content.

For instance, we have worked with numerous NI based influencers across Instagram and TikTok to create short form video for brands including Dromona and Dale Farm. We feel that the reach on these short-form videos are exceptional and great for brand awareness! 

influencer ads

3. Product Teasers

Think about the average commercial you see: It’s usually anywhere between six seconds to 60 seconds. This also happens to be the average length of a short-form video. Because of this, brands can leverage short-form video platforms to promote their products organically. It can be incredibly effective because it doesn’t require a large budget, it has the potential to go viral, and it builds anticipation around your brand.

4. User-Generated Content (UGC)

Consumers generally love UGC. In fact, it influences their purchasing decisions more than brand- or influencer-generated content. Without using up too many resources, brands can publish videos that evoke emotion. Another benefit? It’s budget-friendly.

Short-Form Video Example: Chipotle hacks. Chipotle is a huge brand in America, and tends to get an awful lot of user generated content including ‘mukbang’ videos and food hacks. 

user generated content

5. Behind-the-Brand Videos

Consumers seek out authenticity and transparency in brands. With short-form video, you only have a few seconds to connect with your audience. So, how do you do that? Well, there’s no exact science to it, but consumers tend to feel more connected to brands that show the people behind the brand. In one Sprout Social study, 70% of consumers said they felt more connected to brands whose CEO is active on social media platforms. So, going into 2022, brands should pull back the curtain and engage with their audiences on a more personal level.

Short-Form Video Example: Shnuggle TikTok – we are currently working on a wider digital marketing strategy for global brand, Shnuggle. With video content becoming a prominent pillar for them. Digital 24 are currently creating and editing behind the scene content for the brand including pack an order and meet the team videos. 

behind the brand

6. Explainer or Educational Videos

In 2022, brands will likely focus on educational content in their short-form videos. Think how-to’s, DIYs, and explainer videos. Educational videos are great added-value content because they help audiences in their day-to-day lives. Brands that make education a priority in their marketing strategy can improve lead generation and build stronger brand loyalty. Similarly, explainer videos target users who are at the decision-making stage of the buyer’s journey and, if done right, they can turn decision-makers into customers.

It’s a win-win situation!

Short-form video is here to stay.

In a challenging year for us all, the pandemic has seen a rise in the consumption of short-form video, which has risen further in popularity as most of us spend more time at home during lockdown and are looking for a distraction from the world around us. Undoubtedly short-for video is keeping people, especially young people, entertained, informed and engaged. In short, short-form video is here to stay. We look forward to seeing it fully cement itself as a permanent, effective and important way for brands to reach consumers for years to come!

Picture of Chloe Boyle

Chloe Boyle