TikTok and the Growth of Short-Form Video

By this point in 2021, we have all heard of TikTok. Even if you have not used it, you’ve probably heard it talked about around town, on the news and all over the internet. It’s one of the fastest-growing social media platforms ever, and it seems to occupy hours of its users’ time day after day. But why? The answer lies in the type of content: short-form video.

What are short-form videos?

Short-form videos are defined as videos up to two minutes and 30 seconds in length, however, this is no real universal number everyone has agreed upon. On TikTok, a video can be anywhere between three seconds and three minutes long, whereas Instagram Reels can only be up to one minute long.

The value of short-form videos

Short-form video pushes traditional media boundaries and provides people with a quick and easy way to consume information and entertainment. This format lends itself to a more creative way of communicating meant to excite and inspire others.

Campaigns and challenges can create a sense of community, where people are trying new things together, sharing insights and participating in global trends and competitions. A massive draw with these types of videos is that they are immersive, creating the feeling of a one-on-one connection with another user. 

When done well, branded efforts on short-form video platforms provide a new medium to reach audiences in ways that were not possible before. There is a world of possibility as far as how small businesses can participate to become part of today’s leading culture-shaping trends and join the conversation.

Types of content for short-form videos

The type of content you can use in a short-form video is endless. To compete for your consumer’s attention, you’ll have to be as creative as possible and follow current trends. Some of the most popular forms of content are:

  • How-to’s: You can show how to use a certain product or show a service being performed while using a voiceover to explain the process.
  • User generated content: Capturing content from your followers and brand fans and featuring it in your own short videos lets your customers have a voice and speak on your behalf.
  • Behind the scenes: These videos can describe how your product is made or what your office or warehouse looks like while using a safe distance.
  • Testimonials: Get others to describe their interactions with your company or products.
  • Teasers: Elevate your marketing promotions by releasing teasers of new product launches or your new location, etc.
  • Live streaming: This will capture activity in real-time, satiating Gen Z’s FOMO (fear of missing out) and allowing a more intimate experience with your followers.

Brands on TikTok

Although it seems like a jumbled mess of videos, TikTok’s popularity and video-focused layout opens brands up to a variety of unique marketing and brand awareness opportunities. In fact, it’s already becoming a tool that companies like Chipotle and Washington Post use to engage new audiences. 

Since TikTok doesn’t hyperlink posts to websites and only recently started allowing advertising, businesses seem to be focusing on boosting brand awareness rather than leads or traffic. 

To succeed on TikTok, marketers have to get creative. While entertainers and publishers might have an easier time transitioning content into a TikTok video, some brands will require more brainstorming. The most important thing is that ads or ad-centric content need to feel organic and non-salesy. The rough, unpolished content popular on this platform is one of the biggest differences from other ad platforms. If your content feels like you’re trying to sell something, consider yourself swiped away.

TikTok and other short-form video platforms will continue to grow. To stay on-trend and in front of another generation of consumers, invest time and energy into learning this platform. If you’re unsure how to incorporate TikTok in your marketing strategy, our dedicated marketing team at Rooted Web is here to help. Let’s chat!

Samantha Prost

Samantha Prost is a digital content writer with almost 10 years of experience who uses her upbeat and creative energy to write fresh, fun and custom content for our clients.

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