Has TikTok changed short-form video forever?

Welcome to Get In My Basket, the newsletter that will tell you everything you need to know about digital marketing for direct to consumer brands. 

In this newsletter, you will find insider knowledge, tips and tricks to get your brand into more baskets.

In this issue you will find:

  1. Subscription deodorant that’s protecting the planet
  2. Has TikTok changed short-form forever?
  3. How DTC brands will look at subscriptions
  4. The brand Dragon’s Den said no to

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What’s HOT?!?! This section of the newsletter showcases brands and businesses doing something innovative in their space. 

You might have spotted them on last week’s Dragons’ Den, but a brand that we’ve been inspired by in 2022 is Fussy. Fussy about protecting our planet and getting everyone smelling fresh throughout the day, the DTC sustainable deodorant brand is on a mission to banish single-use plastic from the bathroom and we think they’re well on their way.

Not only do they have a stellar subscription model (take a look at the tricks section to see the % of DTC brands that will follow this lead in the next year), an innovative email marketing strategy and an awesome social profile but it is clear that they have gone the extra mile to create a product that is backed by science and truly authentic to its purpose.

We love what you’re doing Fussy, and can’t wait to see what the future looks like post the Dragons.

Has TikTok changed short-form video forever?

Who remembers the days when the only form of content on Instagram was square images with questionable filters? Or when all you could watch on Youtube was home videos or music videos?

Platforms have evolved over time to house content that is totally different to how it started.

Platforms have taken a massive step forward in the type of content that they have on the platform. Instagram has gone from square images to IGTV, Reels, Stories and feed content. This evolution has been interesting to watch from the sidelines, but where do we find ourselves now when it comes to short-form video content, and how do brands use it effectively?

The big mover in this space came only a few years ago, TikTok burst onto the scene once it had reinvented itself from Musicly to serve people with short, engaging content. Something that up until then hadn’t really been thought about. At the time, Instagram was pushing hard on its main video offering, IGTV, allowing users to post up to 10 minute long videos (longer if you were verified) onto feeds for audiences to view. At the time we made the most of this and worked with clients to create long-form videos that had the time to push the brand’s messaging and products. Youtube also had its place at this time, mostly holding Vlog or Documentary style content that was pushed by the platform to be way over 10 minutes.

After TikTok started to hit the UK & US markets, you began to see a reaction from other platforms, across the board having a big disruptor enter the space meant that there was going to be a need for the other platforms to think about how they would respond. Only recently have most mainstream marketers started to recognise the platform as a viable option to market their products.

So where are we now? Well, as you are likely already aware, there have been a number of platform responses to TikTok’s growth from other platforms, including:

Instagram has been putting a focus on Reels. They have been pushing them more organically than any other piece of creative and offering incredible reach to users

– Youtube shorts has grown month on month in terms of views over the last 2 years, with some creators making channels purely to service shorts or “clips” content

– Pinterest has started to push more video within the platform and it’s all short, sharp and engaging

– Facebook has introduced the ability to post stories, either directly sharing from Instagram or unique to your Facebook profile

Where does that leave DTC brands when it comes to using short-form video? It’s even harder than it was before, and a challenge that we need to accept in order to keep up.

As previously mentioned, we used to be able to showcase our brands through long-form video content, communicating multiple areas of the brand, and you would have the audience’s attention for the duration of the creative. That is now mostly not the case. It is still possible, but not as effective when it comes to cold, hard conversions, but works well for brand building and community.

So the real challenge now is to communicate to an audience everything you would have done in a 5-minute video, in 30 seconds, and sometimes less. How do we do this effectively?

We find the biggest key is to focus on the strongest selling point of the product or brand. The one thing that makes you different, not the 7 things. Often the ads or creatives that don’t work are the ones trying to do too much, they confuse the audience and then the audience loses interest and stops caring. Remember you often only have 15 seconds to convince someone else to do something. It takes longer to convince your friend to go to the pub when they don’t want to, right? So think about how to get that message across fast and strong.

To be honest, we love working with short-form content when it comes to the work we do at 303, but it can be difficult, and from experience, the best success we have had with it has been when we have kept it simple. Simple, clear and strong. The pathway to success.

  1. By 2023, 75% of DTC brands will offer some sort of subscription service
  2. The UK Government hosts a virtual AR career fair with SnapchaT
  3.  Meta showcases new VR tools
  4. Revolve is opening a social club in LA that will be open to the general public
  5. TikTok increases max video length to 10 minutes in a bid to expand beyond short-form content and take on YouTube
  6. LinkedIn adds a new reaction emoji and previews new post analytics

To finish off our newsletter we want to highlight some of the best creatives that we have seen recently, and tell you why we think they are a slam dunk win.

✅  Clear subtitles highlighting USPs

✅  Unboxing which always performs well

✅  Clear CTAs throughout

✅  Clean, consistent branding throughout

✅  Varied angles to keep interest

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