Making up the overwhelming majority of consumer traffic, and only growing year after year, video has long been an important marketing channel, with 86% of businesses utilizing video marketing to help meet their goals.
Today, the new frontier of video marketing is short-form vertical video, ushered in by TikTok – the most downloaded app of 2021 for the third year in a row – and its immense popularity. And this popularity has led to imitation, with Instagram’s Reels and YouTube’s Shorts making an attempt to piggyback off of the success of the short vertical video format.
As a marketer, all of this leaves you with some questions, like:
This article will answer all of these questions and more to give you all of the information you need to get the best ROI – the best bang for your short video marketing buck. Let’s dive in.
|Instagram Reels||TikTok||YouTube Shorts|
|Monthly Active Users||2 billion||1.2 billion||2 billion|
|Target Demographic||18 – 34||18 – 24||18 – 49|
|Internet Search Ranking||6th||46th||2nd|
|Max. Video Length||90s||10 minutes||60s|
Released in 2016, TikTok is an app focused exclusively on short-form videos. Its maximum video length was recently increased from 15 seconds to 60 seconds to 10 minutes, but TikTok continues to be known for its short video length, appeal to Gen Z, ability to sell out products and skyrocket songs up the music charts, and “addictive” nature. In short, TikTok has proven to be incredibly popular and influential, especially for the younger generation.
In a nutshell: If you want to reach Gen Z and ride the wave of the fastest-growing new platform, TikTok is a great choice. You’ll also get good analytics while you’re at it.
Introduced in 2020, Instagram’s Reels is more or less a copy of the TikTok format that lives in the Instagram app. Reels lets users create and view videos of up to 90 seconds in length. They’re the Instagram platform’s fastest-growing feature and are favored by the Instagram algorithm over feed posts.
Youtube’s version of a TikTok competitor, hosting short-form vertical videos. YouTube markets shorts as an easy way to make, edit, and upload videos using only a smartphone, lowering the barrier to entry into the content creation space. YouTube users can either create a separate channel for their Shorts or upload them directly to their existing YouTube channel.
In a nutshell: With Shorts, you’ll get the widest reach of all the platforms, but the most limitations in terms of product links, video length, and analytics.
Regardless of which platform you choose as the one for you, here are some tips and best practices that will help you find success with the short-form, vertical video format.
Did you know that 92% of viewers view videos with the sound off on mobile? This means that having a video that can only be understood with the sound on significantly limits your reach. To combat this, it’s highly recommended to add captions to all of your short videos.
Promo tip: Promo’s easy-to-use online video editor makes it easy for you to add captions to your videos in only minutes.
Each online video platform has its own technical requirements that allow for videos to display properly and look as good as possible. This means that you can’t just reupload a horizontal YouTube video as a TikTok and expect it to look right. Instead, make sure you’re always checking and meeting the specs each platform suggests.
Promo tip: With just a few clicks, you can use Promo’s video maker to automatically adjust your video’s specs to the recommended ones for each platform.
While it’s nice that TikTok now allows for videos to be up to 10 minutes long, giving creators more flexibility, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all of your videos should be that long. One of the things that audiences love about the short-form video format is that it’s, well, short. So we recommend avoiding creating videos much longer than 60 to 90 seconds in length unless you have a really good reason to do so.
One unique feature about TikTok is that it allows viewers to download your videos to save them or externally share them. This means that people might be viewing your videos without realizing that they’re yours. To combat this, we recommend adding your business’s branding – including colors, name, and logo – to each of your TikTok videos so that they won’t lose their association with you and you’ll still benefit from them as a marketing tool.
Promo tip: Promo’s video maker easily allows you to add custom branding to your videos.
One of the things that these short video platforms are most known for is being all about relatability, authenticity, and humor. In order to thrive on TikTok, Reels, and/or Shorts, match this tone by sticking to a silly, light atmosphere. Creating videos that are too professional or stuffy will seem out of place and is unlikely to perform as well.
We hope that this article provided you with the information you need to pick the right short-form vertical video platform for your marketing efforts. There’s no reason you can’t post to all three and see which performs the best for your business. We’ll see you on our phone screens!
Daisy Rogozinsky loves to use the written word to educate, entertain, and tell stories. If she's not writing content, she's writing poetry, music, and screenplays.
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