The rise of TikTok and short-form videos

The rise of TikTok and short-form videos

TikTok made me do it:

How short-form videos took over the digital content landscape

Selinr Varol, Global Social Insights Lead

By Selin Varol,
Global Social Insights Lead, MetrixLab

TikTok’s success in the realm of short-format videos cannot be denied. It has firmly established itself as a dynamic social platform for boosting engagement, fostering brand growth, and raising awareness. With a vast and diverse user base, predominantly consisting of Gen Z and Millennials, TikTok’s popularity continues to expand. What sets this platform apart is its interactive and ever-learning algorithm, which not only facilitates exploration but also increases the chances of reaching a wider audience. Relevance stands at the core of TikTok’s allure.

The fast pace of this video-centric social media platform has left many brands pondering how best to connect with users and content creators alike. TikTok offers an array of opportunities for video editing, with features like music, filters, stickers, challenges, and hashtags, which afford brands a unique chance to deepen their understanding of their audience. Through these videos, brands can convey their personality and values, forging a deeper connection with viewers.

Yet, it’s essential to acknowledge the challenges that marketers face in this dynamic landscape. The sheer volume of video clips, the multitude of creators, and the rapid evolution of social media trends, coupled with the need to adhere to GDPR guidelines can pose obstacles.

In this blog, we’re sharing a compartmentalized yet comprehensive overview based on our in-depth learnings on how shorter TikTok videos effectively resonate with Gen Z. Furthermore, we will delve into the best practices to consider when crafting compelling TikTok content.

A case for TikTok

Let’s first look at why TikTok’s short, video-based format is full of opportunities to engage with audiences. We have identified five key functions and features:

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1. Accessibility: Young audiences are constantly on the move and mobile devices are their universal companions. Short videos are perfectly tailored for on-the-go consumption, making them easily accessible and shareable.

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2. Analytics and performance: Short videos are not just about brevity; they’re data goldmines. TikTok’s analytics provide invaluable insights into viewer behavior and engagement, which marketers can use to fine-tune their communication and marketing strategies to ensure better results and ROI.

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3. Visual appeal: TikTok is a visual platform, and short videos are tailor-made for it. Visual content tends to outperform text, and these videos allow brands to convey messages swiftly, creatively, and memorably, increasing audience engagement.

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4. Consistency: Maintaining brand consistency is vital for building trust. Short videos provide a controlled environment where brands can showcase logos, messaging, and aesthetics consistently. This ensures a cohesive brand identity across all content.

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5. Storytelling: Storytelling is the cornerstone of effective marketing. Short videos on TikTok offer a unique opportunity to tell concise, impactful narratives. Brands can create mini stories that resonate with their audience and foster a deeper connection.

Thanks to these functions and features, TikTok’s short videos have quickly become a marketing force to be reckoned with. They’re more than just a passing fad. They offer a dynamic means of connecting with younger audiences, effectively engaging them, and building brand awareness.

We have compiled insights based on the list above to adeptly connect seemingly unrelated elements. We hope these will help you unlock the keys to success when targeting Gen Z with short-form videos:

  • Attention span: Gen Z has a shorter attention span than their predecessors, largely due to their exposure to information and entertainment on digital platforms from a young age. TikTok’s short videos, which typically last between 15 and 60 seconds, are well suited to the shorter attention spans of Gen Z, which opens doors for brands to engage with them through TikTok.
  • Fast-paced content consumption: TikTok’s “For You Page” (FYP) algorithm curates a continuous feed of short videos that automatically play one after the other. This encourages users to scroll through content quickly and consume a large amount of video content in a short period of time. You can grab their attention by engaging in trending challenges and hashtags.
  • Bite-sized information: TikTok videos are ideal for delivering bite-sized information, quick tips, and entertainment. Brands tapping into Gen Z’s desire for quick information consumption receive appreciation as they provide value while keeping it short and sweet. Both cleanfluencer @aurikatariina and makeup influencer @nikkietutorials provide details in a concise manner.
  • User-generated content: TikTok is driven by user-generated content, allowing anyone to become a content creator. Brands encouraging Gen Z to enjoy the participatory aspect of the platform with a call to action become more relatable and engaging. Two successful brands achieving this are Chipotle with its #chipotletastetest campaign and Zara with #ZaraBarbie.
  • Creativity and authenticity: TikTok encourages users to create authentic, relatable, and creative content. Gen Z values authenticity and is drawn to content that feels genuine. Short-form videos often convey this more effectively than highly produced, longer content. Vans with the tag #myvans, Spotify with #HowDuoYouListen, Starbucks with #starbuckscup, and Walmart with #WalmartSyncalong are just a few strong examples. Each brand tapped into the experiential building blocks of their brand and leveraged what makes it unique for consumers.

2 bonus tips

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Collaborate with TikTok creators. Partnering with popular influencers can help you reach a wider audience.

Engage with consumer feedback. Responding to questions, criticism, and positive feedback builds digital accountability with your brand’s audience.

Leverage smart solutions and rocket to TikTok success

When it comes to achieving success on TikTok, it’s essential to consider your target audience, goals, and the specific social media platform you’re using. The effectiveness of short video content may vary depending on your niche and the preferences of your audience. That’s why tailoring your content to your audience is key.

This starts with understanding who your audience is, what their needs and pain points are, what resonates with them, and what they expect from the brands they buy from. That’s where MetrixLab’s Social Insights solutions can help.

Social Insights is a range of solutions designed to unlock the power of social media analytics and revolutionize the way user-generated content is leveraged for digital success. The solutions use a combination of advanced analytics, human intelligence, and machine learning to provide actionable insights. Our data-based expertise helps set your goals, plan your content, and ultimately prepare for digital success.

Our solutions Brand Fame and Buzz are particularly relevant for brands wanting to measure and improve their digital brand and social media performance. Learn all about the solutions by visiting our Social Insights webpage.

Need a hand with making the most out of social media? Reach out to one of our experts today.

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