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Why Reels and Short Video Content are Taking Over Social Media

You’ve probably noticed that TikTok, Instagram Reels and Youtube Shorts are taking over social media, and creating shorter videos seems to be the new method for brands to gain social exposure. In fact, 84% of people say they are more compelled to buy a product by watching a video. 

With that in mind, what makes shorter videos so appealing and which platforms and methods for implementing short form videos are the best?

Read on to find out!

Why are short videos so popular? 

It comes down to time and repeat engagements. 

When users open apps like TikTok and Instagram, they’re more likely to spend time watching shorter videos that grab their attention…and to scroll past those that don’t.

In addition, short form videos are great for brands because they generate more opportunities for repetitive consumption by viewers. If a video is only 8 seconds long it is very easy for someone to consume more than once. However, if a video is 4 minutes long, the chance of someone watching it over again is low. For brands especially, repeat viewers are key as it really gets your message ingrained into the viewer’s mind. 

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What are the best platforms for short form video?

TikTok is the leader in short form videos. TikTok has over 1 billion active users. Just for reference, Twitter only has 397 million users. 

After TikTok comes Instagram Reels, or “Stories” as they are popularly known, which allow users to post quick photos and videos that are only available for 24 hours. Users can swipe through content they aren’t interested in seeing. Brands can use Stories to advertise their products in users’ Reels, and it’s easier to engage with direct messaging responding to the content. You can also post longer videos on Instagram, up to 60 minutes, which then become available on someone’s profile (as opposed to the former IGTV feature that’s been discontinued).

Finally, the other top short form video player is YouTube Shorts, which allows creators to engage with their audience with videos that are under 60 seconds. Brands can promote their video content with YouTube TrueView, YouTube’s advertising technology that may be familiar from the videos that appear prior or during viewing and that are usually skippable after five seconds.

Which types of short form video are most successful for marketing?

It really depends on the platform, but here are some of the leading types of short form video content that brands get good results with:

  1. Stop Motion Video: stitching at least 12 pictures into a video
  2. Quick Video Montage: 8-15 second videos that are tight on messaging
  3. GIFs: a collection of photos that play together in a loop
  4. Boomerangs: similar to a GIF, but plays forwards and then backwards. Available on Instagram.

So why are short form videos the next big thing?

Short form videos will drive traffic from new users and keep them coming back for more. That doesn’t mean the death, however, of long-form videos because those are important too for building brand loyalty through content like webinars and explainer videos. 

That said, short form videos are successful because the messaging is nicely and tightly packaged so that they are easy for viewers to digest within a matter of seconds.