How to utilise short-form video content

It is no news that consumer-brand relationships have been incredibly transformed by social media. In fact, this relationship continues to evolve as consumption behaviour evolves. The truth is nothing stays the same for too long in our digital world. What worked for your content strategy last month might be  needing a little upgrade already. That holds especially true if video is not yet a priority for your brand.  

There are currently 4.62 billion people worldwide using social media (that’s nearly 60% of the world’s population!), spending on average two and a half hours of their days on social platforms. This data must leave you wondering: where exactly are all these people spending their time and how can I reach them? Data shows us that YouTube, Instagram and TikTok share an audience of over 5 and a half billion monthly active users on their platforms. In fact, this audience spends on average 18 hours a month between these apps.  

Now, it can be quite overwhelming trying to keep up with ever-changing social media trends across so many platforms, all with different functionalities and audiences. The good news is that these social platforms have given businesses a tool that traditional marketing efforts never could: immediacy. Wherever it is you find that your audience is, you can reach them now.  

Video content’s popularity has been growing massively in the past few years, but it was during the pandemic that it really gained momentum. Today, it represents the most effective and engaging content format. It builds a bridge between the story your brand needs to tell and the heart of your consumers, creating an immediate and powerful connection with your audience. What’s more, videos give brands an opportunity to communicate with their audience in a way that is very easily digestible. This is no different when it comes to paid social, with video ads continuously outperforming static images. That is because moving content engages viewers with constant interaction as opposed to static visuals, which means they are more likely to pay attention. So much so that the very cognitive impact of this form of content is now being studied as users report that video content “makes them feel happy”.  

The Data Speaks For Itself  

The rise of TikTok comes then as no surprise. This is not just about mindless scrolling, and social apps no longer reflect only a medium for entertainment. People are actually going to these platforms for information, so it is important to ensure that the content you are producing is offering them just that: valuable information. That can come in the form of educational content (such as how-to videos) as well as emotional and/or entertaining content.  

As a Google exec reports almost 40% of young people to prefer using TikTok and Instagram when trying to find a restaurant, for example, rather than Google Maps or Search, we begin to perceive these social networks as more than a space where people build communities, but also as a search engine. The opportunity this offers to businesses is immeasurable, and you want to be there with a strong presence when this audience comes searching for you.  

The Battle of The Socials  

TikTok’s success presented giants like YouTube and Meta with a threat they were very quick to react to, launching their own versions of short-form video content platform: Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. As for their features, the differences between the three are perhaps insignificant. What really matters here is that you have a separate content strategy for each app. That is because of the nature of these two platforms: we often find younger, more casual content on TikTok, whereas Reels still favours more refined and professional videos.  

Duolingo, an educational app for language-learning, is a great example of a brand doing video content right.

With 4.5 million followers on TikTok, the business has become a sensation on the platform. We can observe that Duolingo’s content strategy is incredibly creative, diverse, relatable and reactive. They often jump on trends (e.g. TikTok’s viral point-of-view videos), they create educational content that acts almost as a “sneak-peek” of their product, and most importantly they communicate their fun, personable brand identity through this content.  

@duolingo you can take the owl out of the emo but u cant take the emo out of the owl #teenagedirtbag #rawrxd #mcr #duolingo #dualipa #comedy #trending #emo #emobird ♬ teenage dirtbag. wheetus – jj

@duolingo me and dua are like this 🤞#dualipa #duolingo #weddingvideo #proposal #familyvlog #comedy ♬ original sound – spedupcaribbean

@duolingo all interns must wear green 🫡🟢 #comedy #trend #workplace #intern #duolingo #dualipa #nationalinternday ♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

All this effort pays off: the level of engagement on Duo’s account is every social media marketer’s dream, and this generates real impact on their business. Since going viral on TikTok, Duolingo has become nothing less than the number one education app on Apple Store. 

So, what can your business learn from them when thinking about your video content strategy on social media? For one, personable content is attractive. TikTok users want to see real people behind brands and short-form videos are a great tool to help you humanise your business.

Whether you are a cereal brand or a fintech company, there is a market for you on these ever-growing platforms and short-form video content is what they are craving. If you would like to find out how we can help you build an engaging and successful video content strategy for your social media channels, click here to read more.  

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