The Power of Short-Form Video Content: How To Use It In Your Marketing Strategy

The Power of Short-Form Video Content: How To Use It In Your Marketing Strategy_

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in the direction of digital marketing. Brands need to be on their game regarding evolving trends and how best to reach their audience, and many forget about the power of short-form video content.

An Explosion of Growth

You’ve probably noticed the meteoric rise short-form video content has experienced in the last ten years, largely due to the popularity of apps that focus on this niche like TikTok (if not- where have you been?)

Chinese company Bytedance launched Douyin in 2016 and within just a year the app was renamed TikTok and sported over 100 million users.

After Bytedance purchased the popular lip-synching app in 2017, Western audiences were exposed to short-form video content in a way most never dreamed of. was quickly merged with TikTok and expanded beyond its music-based content to be the top dog platform for many genres of short-form video content, becoming the app you’re more familiar with today. Over 1 billion people currently use the app!

A Wealth of Choice

Post the explosive growth of TikTok, Instagram replaced its video-sharing system IGTV with Reels in 2021, and Facebook followed suit in 2022. YouTube’s solution to the short-form video craze (YouTube Shorts) saw incredible growth, catering to 6 billion users of the platform and blowing both TikTok and Reels views out of the water in August 2023.

Short-form video content and money, money, money

As monetisation of these short clips continues to become more easily available and the audience for them continues to grow, ignoring the marketing possibilities these platforms provide would just be silly. We’re creeping ever and ever closer to constant media bombardment but instead of fighting it, we should be using opportunities to reach customers in ways we never could before. These platforms are dominating the digital landscape and it’s time to embrace them.

Cheap and Cheerful Creation

From a business perspective, when you’re looking at where to spend your advertising budget, you should 100% be considering the production of short-form video content. It has the highest ROI (return on investment) of any SMM (social media marketing) strategy.

Instead of the high budget of TV advertisements or large-scale campaigns, a video designed for a social media platform like TikTok can be super cheap and due to how the platforms are designed, it is really accessible to create, allowing businesses to get stuck in with the creation themselves. So it’s a lot more hands on for many brands than traditional marketing used to be. With the videos being short (hence the name, duh!), it also allows you to make multiple posts, creating more content, and reaching a wider viewership.  Post, post, post.

Truly Digestible Content

This audience is perfectly primed to ads of this nature too. The way these apps are designed creates continuous stimulation as the videos auto play and the endless scroll feature encourages you to continue watching. Mix that with the dopamine rush you get from these videos and you have a generation with increasingly short attention spans, meaning traditional marketing may no longer be as engaging for them – and therefore just doesn’t work. These videos become addicting! Think about when you sit down to watch a video or two before bed. Two hours later and you’re still stuck there, scrolling through dogs in costumes. 

Don’t be a bore

Short-form video content allows you to convey key information quickly and efficiently while also allowing you to pull attention with visuals. Additionally, many algorithms favour posts that show people’s faces – something super easy with short-form video content, allowing you to share information without huge masses of text. It’s all about quick, digestible content now.

Crafting Virality

This all becomes clear when you analyse the behaviour of internet users. Short-form video content is twice as likely to be shared than long-form video content. Celebrities like Selena Gomez are flocking to TikTok and sharing content on the platform. Many high-profile musicians have even created videos talking about how they’re been encouraged or even contractually obliged to post videos on the platform to promote their upcoming releases. It’s wild stuff.

When it comes to virality, even the early notable successes were short videos like Charlie Bit My Finger. The very first video uploaded to YouTube was 19 seconds long and currently stands at 271 million views (watch it here). 

If you want your content to reach a large consumer base and possibly achieve the acclaimed height of virality, then you need to be using short-form videos in your digital marketing strategy.

The Face on Your Feed

If you’re looking for examples of companies that have embraced this evolution in the world of digital advertising, look no further than Duolingo. Using their iconic mascot Duo in a range of wacky scenarios, starring in videos with celebrities and other mascots, and interacting with the content after uploading through comments and replies has been able to widen brand awareness rapidly and reach a whole new, younger audience. 

If your brand doesn’t have a mascot that you can feature in your videos, it’s no problem. You can flawlessly integrate your influencer marketing strategy with short-form video content by working with creators who pull great numbers on the platforms. This allows you to take advantage of the power of influencers as tastemakers. Platforms like shorts, reels, and TikTok encourage viewer participation and build communities which leads to better engagement, customer retention, and an overall better positive feedback loop.

Get to Grips With The Platform

The key to success in using short-form video content lies in an understanding of how the platforms work. For example, on YouTube, the audience is familiar with receiving information and primarily uses YouTube Shorts for entertainment. Therefore, focusing videos on brand identity and awareness would work better on the platform both in viewership and engagement. It’s easy, you see? 

TikTok and Instagram however, have built-in shopping platforms and influencers are often very followed creators on the app. So users of the platform are used to product promotion. With the videos so accessible at the click of a button (or rather now – the tap of a screen) it makes services and products seem more accessible too. The closer they are to receiving gratification, the more a customer will reach out for it.

Across all platforms though, quality is key. If your video is poor quality it has very little chance of success. Ensure you’re following the community guidelines on any platform so your videos have a better chance of actually making it to your audience. Post consistently. With such short pieces of content, videos are viewed, shared, and forgotten about quicker than ever. Old news dies fast, so you want to be getting out new stuff as much as soon you can 

Delegate it Out

Short-form video content doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. If you’re trying to market a product or a service and you’re not currently looking at offering some form of short-form video content creation, you’ll soon be left in the dust. The skills are easily transferable and quick to learn, making it a simple role that most of the team could pick up. Use what’s at the tip of your fingers and get creating through your phone.

Whether you have an existing social media team or you’re a brand looking to raise your awareness and reach a new customer base, you need to jump onto the trend ASAP and make the most of it.

The best way to create content is to consume content. Take a look through Punch Creative’s Instagram account for examples of reel content and make sure to look out for other thought pieces that could improve your digital marketing strategy today.