Why short-form video is here to stay (even if TikTok isn’t)

27 Mar 2023 Social Media Videos

As TikTok’s fate hangs in the balance, one thing is certain – short-form video isn’t going anywhere. Since the lockdown-induced rise of snappy video content on an endlessly scrolling feed, 73% of consumers now prefer to watch a short form video to learn about a product or service, and videos under 60 seconds now make up over 57% of YouTube views – a 5x increase in just two years.

TikTok’s success has swiftly prompted other social channels to reinvent themselves and integrate short-form video into their experience, bringing us Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, Snapchat Spotlight, Pinterest Watch and even Netflix Fast Laughs.

But is short-form video right for your business? We answer some frequently-asked questions here…

How do we define short-form video?

While the exact length varies depending on the platform, the optimum length for a short-form video is 30 to 60 seconds. For context, YouTube Shorts are limited to 60 seconds, Instagram Reels to 90 seconds, and TikTok videos can be up to 10 minutes long.

Why are short-form videos so popular?

Short-form videos are known for grabbing attention. If you’ve ever experienced the phenomenon of lost time in a black hole of Reels, TikToks or YouTube videos, you’ll know how addictive short-form video can be. In fact, TikTok users are so hooked on short-form that almost 50% now find videos longer than a minute “stressful.”

As global attention spans become shorter, short-form videos are a more digestible option to feed our insatiable appetite for content; rather than requiring viewers to sit down and pay attention for 10 minutes or longer, short-form videos mean we can be entertained, educated and engaged in mere seconds.

This makes the format ideal for brands that want to bring real value to a time-strapped audience.

Is short-form video worth investing in?

Two-thirds of consumers now say that they pay the most attention to short-form videos; that’s 2.5x more than long-form videos! If you’re on the fence about creating short-form video for your business, now is probably the time to start.

Short-form videos are also currently a relatively cost-effective way to advertise on social media. Since users spend more time watching video, this means less time scrolling, so less time seeing the ads in their feed that make the social channels their money; making Reels, YouTube and TikTok currently cheaper to advertise on than main feed ads, as auctions are less competitive.

Since video is more time-consuming to create than a static image ad, it makes sense that smaller advertisers are more inclined to run a quick and easy feed ad, leaving video to the larger advertisers – but this creates a great opportunity for small to medium sized businesses to leverage the power of video while the ad costs are still lower.

Shorter content also naturally feels like a more informal medium, allowing brands to bring more spontaneity and personality to the content. Whether you’re looking to start a conversation, raise brand awareness or invite your community to interact with your business, short form videos are a great way to watch your engagement grow.

So yes, short-form video is absolutely worth investing in, especially if you’re looking to increase your organic reach or run ad campaigns.

What if TikTok gets banned?

The lesson from the TikTok fiasco is to avoid overreliance on one platform – hedge your bets and create branded accounts across each of the main social channels, and populate them with content that suits each audience. This protects you from any blackouts if a social media channel were to go bust, and also ensures you’re reaching a much wider audience that you ever could relying on one channel alone.

It’s also important to remember that if a channel did get banned, the attention will just flow to elsewhere – while we’d love to imagine that we’d all be prompted to put our phones down and go outside, that’s probably not the case. In the event that TikTok got banned, users would like turn back to Instagram, YouTube, or a new emerging platform to fill the void.

How to create short-form videos

While the idea of creating short-form video content for multiple channels can seem overwhelming, it can be made simple. If you’ve got existing long-form video content, it can be repurposes into TikToks, Reels or YouTube Shorts fairly easily.

Our video marketing retainers are designed to provide you with a steady flow of video content for multiple channels, meaning less time briefing agencies and more time watching your social engagement rise.

If you’d like to see how a video marketing retainer could help you crack the short-form video algorithm, book a call today.