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All Hail (and Embrace!) the New King of Content: Short-Form Video

There was a time when a typical organic social media strategy focused on static images. But with the advent of TikTok, GIPHY, and Instagram Reels, there’s clearly a trend toward a balance of still images and short videos. The scales will certainly tip further—drastically, perhaps—toward short-form video as social platforms optimize for video content, animations, and GIFs.

From a brand perspective, it’s a trend that shouldn’t be ignored. Short-form video platforms are gobbling up more digital space by the second. TikTok, a video sharing social networking service, is influencing, if not conditioning, users to consume and create short-form video content almost daily. Consequently, consumers are increasingly hungry for more authentic video content and are quickly adapting to rapidly evolving creative styles.

Indeed, going viral is much easier on TikTok thanks to its influence on other social media platforms. Trending hashtags, hashtag challenges, and TikTok dances, songs, voice-overs, and face filters are bringing users of all ages together at a time when face-to-face interactions are limited. A top-trending song on TikTok typically turns into a top song on Spotify. Like Instagram, TikTok also uses GIPHY, stickers, and augmented reality (AR) lenses. But because of its unique algorithm, brands on TikTok reach a wider audience and enjoy a higher engagement rate. Determined to be a player, Instagram noticed and recently launched Reels, a new way to create and discover short and entertaining videos on its platform. Keep any eye out for Reels and other new short-video platforms that will no doubt be better known soon.

Source: “TikTok Statistics – Updated August 2020,” Wallaroo Media2

With highly engaging video apps comes a new wave of advertising opportunities, and they’re not just for reaching millennials: 37.4 percent of TikTok users are over the age of 30.1 With 800 million total users, TikTok has much broader demographics than other social channels, and the opportunities to get in front of your target audience are endless. Short-video platforms have another attractive attribute for marketers: brand influencers, who are highly accessible. TikTok has even established a $1 billion creator fund to further solidify influencer relationships.2

Source: Sensor Tower, https://sensortower.com/

It’s clear that TikTok is digging in for the long run as a social media powerhouse. If you plan to advertise on TikTok or other social platforms, consider evolving your strategy to include short-form video content.

How popular is TikTok? Consider the case of Jennifer Lopez and her 45 million Twitter followers and 5 million TikTok fans. J. Lo posted a recent video on both Twitter and TikTok. Twitter got 2 million views of the video compared to 71 million views on TikTok.2

Mic drop.


1.  Alex Gevers, “From Quirky to Mainstream: TikTok’s Time to Grow Up,” Comscore website, January 23, 2020, https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/From-quirky-to-mainstream-TikToks-Time-to-Grow-Up.
2.  “TikTok Statistics – Updated August 2020,” Wallaroo Media website, August 25, 2020, http://wallaroomedia.com/blog/social-media/tiktok-statistics/.