A moose cooling off with someone’s sprinklers. An ice bucket challenge. The latest dance moves. Or my personal favorite: cats versus an invisible wall. Watching videos online has become an everyday norm. A quick glance at our device turns into a two-hour expedition down an infamous rabbit hole. Videos simply have a dynamic way of drawing us in. So who are the online culprits behind this revolving door of video content, and why should your business be interested in them? Well, if you've paid attention to the news lately, Reels or Tik Tok are two of them.
Now, these bad guys do lure many of us into a time warp and take up a lot of our time. However, these social media beasts can be essential allies for any business. For instance, we know their powerful influence from social media marketing. Plus, let's face it. When over 1 million minutes of video are shared per second, content marketers mouthes water at the opportunity.
Marketing via social media videos isn't anything new. Nevertheless, with the rise in shorter length videos, we now have more to talk about.
What Are Short-Form Videos?
According to Google, a short-form video is less than 10 minutes. Moreover, ReelnReel defines them as content created with the sole purpose of pulling in and engaging, not selling.
How Long Are Short Videos?
Based on this infographic, we can see the big picture of video lengths on social media. Overall, videos can vary from hours long to mere seconds. The question is, what can we produce in such a short time frame?
To answer this, let's relax with some coffee and go back to our mentionable antiheroes Tik Tok and Reels.
What Is Tik Tok?
Tik Tok is a short-form video app where you can make videos up to one minute long. Also, the videos replay on a loop. According to one Forbes article, the app allows brands to inspire their fans in authentic, entertaining ways. Co-founder of the Shorty Awards Gregory Galant comments, "It offers a fun twist that lends itself to new trends, memes, and challenges and with a steady stream of new songs constantly being released."
According to Business Insider, Tik Tok regularly outperforms US-based apps that have attracted younger audiences – including Instagram. With more than 2.3 billion downloads and over 100 million American users, it is an app to pay attention to.
What Is Reels?
Reels is a new feature in Instagram comparable – and almost identical – to Tik Tok. It lives inside Instagram stories. You can record a 15-second video and add it to your profile.
Several video options include:
- Visual effects
- Audio effects
- Augmented reality effects
- Music from Instagram's library
- Uploaded sounds
You can find out more about how the app basically works here.
7 Reasons Business Owners Should Look at Using Reels and Tik Tok Videos
Let's be real: 15 seconds isn't a lot of time. Many business owners may be intimidated by such a short message window. If you're shaking in your boots – or flip flops – and are intimidated by this medium, don't be. In fact, to get your creative juices flowing, watch some of these Tik Tok campaigns by big brands such as Walmart and Calvin Klein.
If you've watched them, then you can see a variety of simple ways to engage your target audience.
Here's a recent example from Jasmine Star for how to use Reels.
Need more convincing? Let's look at several powerful points as to why you should use short-form videos like in Tik Tok and Reels.
4 Basic reasons to use short-form video
- Fast to do - Hold up your phone and boom you're done.
- Great for SEO - A video done well can generate a large number of links and promote your brand organically.
- Great for non-verbal communication - Ninety-three percent of communication is nonverbal, 55% of which is body language.
- Perfect for brand awareness - Years ago DollarShaveClub.com made a one minute and 30-second video that went viral shortly after. You can do it too.
3 Statistical reasons to use short-form video
Rawshorts published a very informative post called 20 video marketing stats for 2020. In it were statistics from brands like Instagram, Linkedin, Forbes and Cisco. In particular, three areas had high percentages:
- Completion rate - Linkedin video ads 30-sec length saw a 200% increase in completion.
- Retention rate - Customers retain 95% of messages they watch in video and only 10% of messages they read.
- Engagement - Videos under two minutes get the most engagement. According to one study, consumers who saw a product in a Facebook story video were 62% more interested after seeing the promotion.
Based on these findings, numbers don't lie. Video marketing – especially with only a few seconds of video – is very effective.
Bestselling author and keynote speaker, Ramon Ray adds several points of advice:
- Creative videos that use images, stats, words and infographics can go a long way in delivering your message. No un-muting required.
- Leverage video. Use it to build your community. Speak to your fans and share real facts about your day-to-day life.
- Explore ways to get more exposure for your personal brand. Also, don't be afraid to try newer forms of content too.
To summarize, video is an essential piece for your content marketing strategy. The stats confirm this, shouting their numbers from the mountain tops. This includes the use of short-form videos, a growing heavyweight in gaining the attention of the masses. As the usage of video – or constraint – continues to evolve, we should be motivated to accept the challenge.
So what will be your next step? Which will you choose, Tik Tok or Reels?