From a marketing perspective, short-form video has many benefits, however, over the past few years short-form video is still not a channel that is used in all digital marketing strategies or campaigns. Short-form video marketing lends itself to light-hearted and comedic content, which will suit some businesses more than others; it all depends on the company image, personality and branding.
TikTok is currently the major platform for short-form video marketing, however it is found elsewhere in the form of Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. Vine is widely regarded as the original short-form video app where users could create video content to be shared with the rest of the world. Here we’ll discuss how short-form video marketing has grown and evolved over recent years.
What are short-form videos?
Short-form video marketing is the use of short video clips that provide users with fast-paced information or entertainment. The length of short-form videos is usually no longer than 60 seconds, often being much shorter. Short-form video applications like TikTok provide users with incredible amounts of freedom to be creative from a technical perspective.
There are countless effects available for either recording the video, or editing it after. Filters that change the subject, different backgrounds, sound effects and music loops – the list goes on. This creativity and sheer volume of entertaining content that can be watched in easily accessible format has made TikTok and short-form video in general a worldwide phenomenon.
Marketing using short-form videos
TikTok is one of the most popular social media applications in the world, so it’s no surprise that TikTok is becoming a powerful tool in social media marketing. Creating engaging content that is entertaining yet simultaneously representing the business or promoting products and services is how digital marketers are making use of platforms such as TikTok. It can be done in a variety of ways; the simplest and least expensive is by creating the videos and posting them directly from a company TikTok account, aiming to gain shares and impressions via organic views and trends. Other methods include paid advertising, where short-form videos are created and appear on people’s feeds while they scroll at set intervals, as well as paying influencers to promote your products and services.
If focusing on organic views, rather than paid advertising, identifying trends will be key. Short-form video trends can suddenly be seen by millions of people then disappear within a few days. It’s extremely fast-paced and reactive, which presents possibly the major challenge for digital marketers creating short-form video content. The popular trends need to be identified early, and the content needs to be produced instantly in order to capitalise. Successfully creating high-quality content based on a current trend will see your metrics rocket.
Lessons learned from Vine
The popularity of short-form video content began with Vine, which had an interesting life cycle that many of the current short-form video platforms have learned from. Vine was founded in 2012 but didn’t fully launch to the public until early 2013, after its founders sold the company to Twitter for a substantial $30 million. It then suddenly became the most downloaded video-sharing app, with over 200 million users.
However, the success didn’t last forever, and Vine was eventually discontinued in October, 2016. It wasn’t before long until the success of Vine was identified by other platforms, with social media giants Facebook and Instagram introducing Stories. These functioned similarly to Vine, allowing users to create short-form videos with filters, effects and sound effects. This competition was the cause of Vine’s eventual demise, as the platform struggled to keep up with the likes of Facebook and Instagram. Their major advantage was having a similar functionality to Vine, built in within their already hugely popular applications.
Another issue with Vine was its lack of support for content creators and failure to address market needs. There were no marketing tools available to businesses and influencers, which had detrimental effects on user count and retention in the long run. Platforms such as TikTok now have extensive support for content creators, influencers and businesses. They provide the opportunity for paid advertising which businesses can use to promote their products and services, as well as a Creator Fund for content creators and influencers who gain large followings.
Short-form video marketing in 2022
These days, there are billions of users across various short-form video platforms, creating unique, engaging content and sharing it with others all over the world. People want easily accessible content at their fingertips, and short-term videos are excellent at providing it. Businesses are recognising how powerful it can be, and casually scrolling through TikTok will bring up many influencers being paid to promote their products or services. It’s a lucrative opportunity for businesses and digital marketers are using the likes of TikTok to generate leads and conversions.
Users have so many options for creating their content, being able to use all kinds of sounds and music, a huge variety of visual effects and now innovative features such as Stitch, Duet and Live. TikTok is comfortably sitting at over 1 billion active users, with the app being downloaded over 3 billion times since launching in 2017 and has established itself as the king of short-form video content. With the sheer volume of users brings challenges with competition for businesses. Reaching a specific target audience, or even having your content seen at all can be tricky. It takes a lot of creativity and skill by social media marketers to produce high-quality content that’ll be seen by the correct people.
Short-form video marketing is a channel that when done well, can yield great results for businesses. It is a fact-paced and demanding channel, requiring quick thinking and lots of creativity. Certain industries and businesses will lend themselves to short-form video more than others. The most successful videos are often humorous and entertaining, following popular and current trends. Vine was the start and set the foundation for the likes of Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and TikTok, however the problems Vine faced have been learnt from and now short-form video platforms are more popular than ever.
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