Short-form content’s popularity is rapidly rising. Many people, especially younger generations, are watching videos that are less than one minute long. Major social media platforms are now offering opportunities to create short content. This can make video content more accessible for viewers and content creators. In this episode, we’ll talk about some of these popular short video formats and how you can use them to your advantage.
The rise of short-form video formats
Bernard San Juan: In 2013, Vine was launched to the public and it was a company that was acquired by Twitter, even before its public launch. And, you know, sadly it met its demise in 2016. Now, for those of you that are old enough, right? So I’m talking to millennials and older, you probably know what Vine is and it was the granddaddy of all short-form content and sadly, it didn’t work. And I think that’s partial because the audience that short-form was going to talk to had not come of age yet.
Enter Byte Dance a couple of years later and now, we’re all stuck on TikTok and everybody is talking about short-form content. And without argument, its popularity is rising. A lot of people, specifically younger generations, watch videos that are a minute long or less. A lot of social media platforms start gaining momentum, and so they put up their own. You’ve got YouTube shorts, you’ve got Instagram, Facebook, all playing the short-form video formats and it just makes content, I think, more accessible, more bite-sized. The term we use in marketing is snackable. So it makes the content more snackable. So in this episode, we thought, let’s give the short-form video its own episode.
Welcome to another episode of the Truelogic DX Podcast. And today, we’re going to talk about the rise in the popularity of short-form video content and how it should impact your marketing, your strategy, and your digital in 2023. There are about 90% of global marketers increasing or maintaining their investments in short-form vid. In fact, if you have been listening to the DX podcast sessions, I raised the topic of TikTok with Laszlo and I think they gave some really good answers. So take, for example, I asked Vince, if should brands be on TikTok. And his answer was absolute. Like, absolutely without missing a beat. And for Laszlo, his answer was a little more than once. He said it depends. Is your audience on TikTok? Does your audience watch short-form videos? And I completely agree. If your brand talks to Gen Z and let’s say you’re a sexy brand and again when I say sexy, I mean visually appealing. If you’re a sexy brand and you talk to Gen Z, I don’t think there is any way you can formulate a complete 2023 marketing plan without short-form somewhere being in the formula.
What are short-form videos?
Is 60 seconds a short-form video? Is 90 seconds a short-form video? Is 2 seconds a short-form video the answer is it varies? There’s really no fixed minute count that says when something is a standard way than when something is a short-form video. So take, for example, Facebook, anything from less than a minute to three minutes is technically short-form. YouTube shorts are limited to about 60 seconds. TikTok can have videos that range anywhere from like 15 seconds all the way to ten minutes. So ten minutes is still short-form content. And then Instagram reels are about 15 seconds to 90 seconds long. For the sake of this conversation, let’s say the short-form videos are videos that are typically three minutes or less. That’s a safe number to go on.
What’s the influence of short-form videos in marketing?
Our marketers are ready for short-form videos. What I will argue is yes. And I think we can credit YouTube unskippable videos for this, right? Like back in the day when videos for YouTube were being made, when it was becoming a mainstream platform, like especially in the Philippines, you saw different media agencies try to compress storytelling, brand storytelling in five-minute snips, and ten-second snips. But it was the birth of the unskippable.
Today, about 93% of businesses have landed customers through some form of short-form social media video. Plus, you know, short forms get shared twice as frequently as any other type of media online. Now, based on the data that we research, some 73% of consumers do prefer to watch short-form videos about a product or a service, which again, sort of makes sense, right? We don’t want to get marketed to for like ten minutes straight. So short-form sort of makes sense. 59% of short-form videos are watched for over, I’d say, 41% to 80% of their length and a full 30% of them have an average watch rate all the way to 81% of the video. So again, if you’re running something for like a minute, then you get 80% of that that people watch through. I think short-form videos are probably going to make a steady rise in different marketing strategies.
Take for example, if you are in consumer products if you’ve got products that appeal to Gen Z, if you’ve got products that appeal to students, then it’s probably going to see a rise in brands that appeal to that market segment. There are… I think in a survey there were 21% of marketers that said they plan to integrate short-form vids in their marketing strategy. In fact, I’m going to tell an anecdote warning, this is not evidence, this is an anecdote. Anecdote warning. We used to try short-form videos at Truelogic, like on and off, on and off. You would have seen some of my webinars have short-form vids and you would have seen some of the podcasts have short-form vids. In fact, you might be getting an introduction to this podcast through a short-form video and the goal is to lead you to the full podcast, right?
And that’s sort of how we treat the short-form vid. Its sort of like a starting conversation where you can start to reach people that wouldn’t normally talk to you or that might not necessarily where you’re not necessarily in their radar, invite them to your higher caliber, higher quality content through your short-form and then engage with them once they engage with your content. So even Truelogic is seeing this and the results, I think the metrics for our short-form videos speak for themselves. We are easily getting four times the viewership on our short-form vids than we do on our full podcasts on our full webinars. And yet since doing teaser, short-forms, and extra short-forms for our full content, we’ve seen our full contents consumption rise steadily as we introduce more short-form videos to bring people to consume that kind of content.
Short Form Video Trends in 2023
So let’s talk about some of the applications that we’re doing. And I think the leader here is TikTok. I’m not sure, have you guys seen that recent TikTok ad? I think it made some search professionals a bit uncomfortable. The TikTok vid where it looked like TikTok was trying to take Google’s place as an information resource, right? And that’s what you call microlearning. It can be simple, how to do it yourself or how to DIY videos. It can be reviewed to a certain location, but in short, short succinct lessons, short succinct videos that people can follow, like a quick cook recipe, how to get pancakes to rise to the perfect height. Like all that can be done in two minutes or less. And so micro learning sessions are a way for TikTok to be able to gain some market share in terms of Google’s market share for informationally motivated searches.
Behind the brand videos
Another thing that you guys could use it for, is there are already some brands that use it for behind-the-brand videos. So uploading videos that show how something works behind the scenes, the inner workings of a mechanism, an office environment. And I think that speaks to the same kind of content that has been effective on Facebook and on Instagram where one of the things I think that marketers try to tell people is if you’re going to be on Facebook if you’re going to be on Instagram, is there any authenticity that you can publish? Can you make authentic content? And I think that’s why behind-the-brand videos are popular. It’s because they are a statement of authenticity.
Again, you might be watching this from a short before you listen to the whole podcast. And this is a great example of a product teaser. In fact, one in four of you will listen to the full podcast after you watch this short. So product teasers are great. A
Whenever I talk to e-commerce brands, I always tell them the granddaddy of all e-commerce is Amazon. And for one reason, because if you take a look at everybody else’s e-commerce page and then you take a look at Amazon’s e-commerce page, what you’ll realize is that easily 50% of the real estate on an Amazon product page is user-generated content. It’s an incredible trust signal, right? So where it works on Amazon, it still works everywhere else. We still trust badges, we still trust testimonials, we still trust comments that people put in that people leave on blogs and whatnot. We still go to forums. So your content is probably going to get trusted somewhere at the magnitude of two, two, and a half times more when users generate the content because it is more authentic than anything that a brand produces.
Popular Platforms for Short-Form Videos
Now let’s talk about some of the more popular platforms. Okay, so right now the king of the hill is TikTok and it appeared on the world stage in 2018. A full two years after Vine was closed. And its popularity has been growing ever since, even in the Philippines alone, from a million to 10 million to 17 million to 40 million users. That’s an incredible growth rate in terms of TikTok’s reach. And clearly, I think part of the reason short forms have taken on such popularity is that Gen Z has really come of age. This is their format and so I think they are leading the pack in terms of adoption in a way where it influences millennials to adopt TikTok and so on and so forth. Don’t ask me about Gen X-ers, we might be hopeless.
I would argue probably the second most popular short-form video purveyor out there, right? Instagram is originally a photo-sharing app and they have put a huge emphasis on short-form video content. Over 90% of Instagram users watch videos on the platform every week. So ignore that number over 90%. And Instagram is constantly doing more to make video the key focus.
The next one, the one I am most familiar with, is YouTube shorts, the Gen X-friendly short-form video channel. So YouTube is known for all forms of content, but in order to compete in the short-form video space, they launched YouTube shorts. By the way, if you’re watching the short-form… if you’re watching the short-form format of this vid, you might be watching this on YouTube shorts. And these are videos with a minute or less in terms of duration. And YouTube saw a jump of about 135 views of these videos between 2021 and 2022. So they hit on something. They also coincided with the release of… so this is where they formally released YouTube shorts, which is the challenge to TikTok’s bite-size videos that initially launched in 2020. And again, if you’ve seen the teaser video for this, you might have seen it on YouTube shorts. They’re limited to about 60 seconds per vid. So it’s all about extra concise content. Super meaty, super jam-packed, high-density information, as much as you can pack it in 60 seconds or less. And if you’ve listened to any of the content I’ve produced before, I’m not a 60-second kind of guy. So profitable marketing for finding 60 seconds of meat in whatever I say.
Short Form Video Best Practices
Know your target audience
Let’s talk about some best practices or are you considering shorts? Are you considering short-form videos as part of your arsenal for 2023? The first question is, who’s your target audience? Are you talking to Gen Z? Remember, they are leading the pack in terms of adopters to TikTok in terms of adopters to short-form vids. Are you talking to Gen Z? If you are, great. Might be a good idea for you. The next thing is are you in a sexy vertical? Are you in a sexy vertical? Meaning, do you have visually appealing products? If you’re not in a sexy vertical, might not be for you.
Identify your objective
Don’t do shorts because everybody’s doing shorts. One of the things that can and Lazlo always say is to try not to just mirror what your competition is doing. The worst idea to get into shorts is because your competitor does short-form videos. You want to get into short-form because it makes sense for your brand and it will make sense to your brand because you execute it for a reason. So you have to have an objective tied to it. Are you using it to get your content consumed so that the content consumption eventually leads to a prospecting or lead conversation? Is that why you’re using it? I have to admit, as a B2B business, shorts are a little hard for me to apply to our business, but I cannot deny that it starts conversations.
Engage viewers in seconds
How are you going to concretely engage users? And my advice is you sort of have to find a way to make your content emotionally compelling in those ten to 60 seconds, right? I urge brands to use short-form, as I would say, consideration content, not awareness content. Awareness content is when you do brand, brand, brand, brand, brand, people know, right? And it’s like a date. They don’t care about you until you care about them. So I would urge you to treat your short-form videos as consideration content. Meaning it needs to be the piece of content that is the most emotionally resonant with the audience that you’re talking to.
Use snappy cuts between different clips
Again, I’m not great at video editing, but my marketing team is great at snappy cuts. So when you see the short version of this, it’s probably going to be pretty snappy. That has nothing to do with me. Everything to do with them.
Optimize for mute viewing
Up next, if there is a way you can manage to optimize for mute viewings, like meaning where the audio is on mute by default and still be memorable, do that. That includes adding captions or subtitles to your videos.
Keep it fun.
Of course, keep it short. You don’t have a choice. Have a call to action, either verbal in the snippet, in the caption, or in the audio, and then cross-promote between platforms.
This is one of those things where I don’t want to say, okay, should I use YouTube shorts or TikTok or Facebook or Instagram? And our answer to that is to use whichever one your audience is in. If they’re on YouTube, be there. If they’re on TikTok, be there. If they’re on Instagram, be there. If they’re on Facebook, be there. But be where your audience is. Truelogic doesn’t have a TikTok audience. So I’m not on TikTok, but we have audiences on YouTube. And so these short videos are on YouTube.
So with that, I’m going to say thank you very much for listening to another episode of the Truelogic DX podcast. I hope this was a helpful episode. It’s still early in the year. A lot of you are still fermenting the idea of a short-form for you in 2023 or not. I hope listening to this somewhat helps.
If you’ve got any comments on topics that we should talk about, anybody that we should have on the program, give us a holler on social media. Check out our website if there is more digital marketing content you’re looking for. Subscribe to our Spotify, Google, and Apple accounts so that you can get alerts whenever we publish a new one. New episodes come up usually every Tuesday.
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