Short-form video content is taking off, and with it will be a whole host of new marketing opportunities. Read on to understand how to navigate the new content genre that is reaching millions worldwide.
Why short-form content?
Not since the tragic loss of entertainment app Vine has short-form video content been so popular among the masses. When the app was shut down in 2016, internet users were going through a lot of heavy losses, leading to the running joke that it was the worst year – until 2020.
But the main difference between the two examples is that 2016 was said to have killed short-form video content, and 2020 caused it to have a revival. TikTok, once named Musical.ly and aimed exclusively at dancing pre-teens, was now in every isolated home, sharing hair tips, funny baby moments, recipes, political opinions, and everything in between, all in under 30 seconds. Meanwhile, the audience exploded from pre-teens to all ages and backgrounds, and soon marketing companies were realizing there was a massive gap in the market to fill.
Today, TikTok has expanded their record time from 30 seconds to 3 minutes, allowing for more detailed content, TikTok has introduced the Creator Fund to pay creators by the views of their content, and industry giants like Facebook and Instagram is incorporating short-form content into their social media apps.
Marketing in short-form content
Since the explosion of TikTok’s popularity in 2020, the app has implemented a variety of marketing tools like in-feed ads, branded hashtags, Top View ads, branded effects, and brand takeover events.
The thing to note is that TikTok is the jumping-off point for other platforms featuring short-form content. They don’t offer the same features as yet, so creators and influencers are making their content on TikTok and sharing it across any available platform. This means that you are actually reaching a lot bigger audience than you initially thought.
As we all know, users are impatient. Short-form content appeals to their need to get information quickly. In 30 seconds, you should be able to showcase your item or service and how to access it in an engaging way. Another perk is that the short time limit doesn’t leave a lot of room for error.
Short-form content has also revolutionised the idea of “going viral”. Although what actually gets content onto TikTok’s “For You Page” is still a mystery, due to the quick nature of the content, if the audience grabs onto it, it will spread at speeds that long-form content and traditional media simply can’t keep up with.
In the last 12 months alone, a number of trends have come and gone with a brief but explosive impact on users. And with these trends have come marketing opportunities. For example, up and coming punk band The Tramp Stamps went through the wringer as users went back through their social media to determine if they were an “industry plant”. However, even after the virality of the story died down, their TikTok account still gains 30k+ views and hosts 372k followers. And to expand to music in general, 2020 saw the introduction of various artists into mainstream media, having had their songs go viral on TikTok. Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, and Wellerman were among them.
The “Balloon Wars” featured a creator who sold balloon party decorations getting criticism for the price of her creations. Other party decorator companies and private creators went out of their way to demonstrate how you could do it for a lower price. Balloon companies all gained as the number of necessary balloons went from a few dozen at a birthday party to 5-8ft sculptures made of hundreds.
And in general, there are clips of TV shows, films, and reviews of books all with their own genre for users to scroll through and see what they like. There is even #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt where influencers can showcase products that they have bought and tried to their audience.
What content should you make?
However, these examples grew out of an organic discussion, but the number of them and their lasting effect on the user is not something to scoff at. B2B marketers have usually been wary of using TikTok, as the platform itself relies on emotional appeal, as do all the trends listed above. But according to a LinkedIn study, B2B strategies that appeal to emotion are seven times more effective than rational messaging. If your marketing campaign can tap into a strong emotion, it will be held in the minds of millions.
A lot of the usual methods of digital marketing can be implemented into short-form video content. Offer your affiliates a product to review, ask for a mention, or an outright showcase moment or demonstrate the use of your item or product.
The main difference between TikTok and other apps is their use of sounds. Skits are a big part of the culture of TikTok. People perform a skit to a particular sound usually cut from another media source. Follow the current trends, look at the most used sounds on the app and incorporate them into your content. Take advantage of the marketing tools offered by the app. Take a look at the “Discover” tab on the app to understand what the users are talking about that day.
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