There are few tactics that beat video when it comes to effectively communicating a brand’s messages to existing and potential customers. But social media has greatly impacted the evolution of video marketing, encouraging brands to be authentic in a short clip rather than polished in a much longer one.
According to SproutSocial, an overwhelming majority (92%) of marketers can attribute landing customers to social media videos, and over half (54%) say that video is the best type of content for achieving social media goals.
As always, it’s important to consider how audiences are spending time online and strive to create video content optimal for mobile devices. According to GlobalWebIndex, mobile phones now account for more than half (50.1%) of all the time spent online, and Statcounter reports roughly 53% of all web page requests now come from mobile phones.
No doubt, audiences’ desire for brand authenticity plus increased mobile usage has led to the popularity of short-form, vertical videos, a trend that is predicted to continue throughout 2023 (and likely beyond). Below we cover the 5Ws (+H) to success in utilizing this marketing tactic.
Where and Why? TikTok was the trendsetting platform with a focus on shorter videos that are particularly digestible – especially as attention spans continue to shrink to less than those of goldfish (Wyzowl). By late 2020, existing platforms Instagram and YouTube launched Reels and Shorts respectively to offer a similar experience to its users (SocialPilot). ‘Short-form’ means something different, depending to which platform you’re posting:
- TikTok allows up to a 10-minute video to be uploaded, or a 60-second video to be recorded in-app;
- Instagram allows up to a 15-minute Reel to be uploaded, or a 90-second Reel to be recorded in-app;
- and YouTube allows up to a 1-minute Short to be uploaded, or a 15-second Short to be recorded in-app (SproutSocial, Instagram, SocialPilot).
But what is the ideal length? Amine Rahal, CEO of IronMonk Solutions, says “creating short, vertical video content in the 30-second to 3-minute range is ideal…The more [of these] you produce, the greater the chances of going viral and having your content shared widely.”
Who? Choosing to which platform you’ll post to could be as easy as determining the age group you’d like to target. The majority (more than 60%) of TikTok users are ages 29 or younger, while the majority of Instagram users are between ages 25 and 34 (SocialPilot). If you’re looking to reach an older audience, Pew Research Center reports that 95% of individuals ages 30-49 and 49% of individuals ages 65+ use YouTube.
What? Kate Kenner Archibald, CMO of Dash Hudson, declares that we’ve entered a new social media era focused on this specific content category where entertainment is king. She notes that the industry with top engagement on TikTok has gone from beauty in 2021 to media and publishing in 2022 with “catchy headlines, entertainment-themed news and pop culture content.” There is ample opportunity for brands to lead in the short-form video space by shifting content strategy to entertainment value.
Additionally, authenticity is still a driver of success and Kenner Archibald reminds brands to speak to their audiences as friends instead of customers, striving to be as relatable as possible with the video content to encourage engagement.
When? Alexis Whitener, paid social strategist at Vericast, says it’s important to pay attention to social video trends to understand what’s important to your audience. Tap into trends by publishing relevant content with your own unique spin – and quickly, before a new trend takes over. Paying attention to trends also helps in identifying hashtags that will increase the reach of your content and fosters better engagement with your audience.
How? TikTok videos, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts all have an aspect ratio of 9:16, a resolution of 1920×1080 px, and each platform allows users to upload pre-recorded MOV or MP4 files, or record one from scratch within the mobile app (SocialPilot).
This means that brands can create video content easily on an iPhone or Android, allowing even those without video editing skills or tools to test creative ideas and iterate quickly to hone in on what performs best with a particular audience. “Music and filters [on TikTok and Instagram] make it easy for anyone to produce and share content — and even add special effects — so that technology is not setting the creator’s limit anymore,” says Victor Potrel, Vice President of Platform Partnerships at TheSoul Publishing. Plus, there’s no need to invest in expensive professional equipment or software so video marketing is low-cost.
Video has become an essential part of brands’ social media marketing strategy, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming undertaking. If you watch for trends you can piggyback on with entertaining and authentic content, you’ll be on the right track with your video marketing.