How to Tap into the Short-Form Video Renaissance

It’s no secret that many social platforms are switching their emphasis to short-form video. Beyond a snappy way for brands to attract more possible customers, this content is promised (and proven) to perform well against its textual counterparts.

How to Tap into the Short-Form Video Renaissance

It’s no secret that many social platforms are switching their emphasis to short-form video. Beyond a snappy way for brands to attract more possible customers, this content is promised (and proven) to perform well against its textual counterparts.

According to this Marketing Brew article, “In total, social video will account for more than a tenth of all US time spent with digital media in 2024, eMarketer found.” With this statistic comes a major change in tune from social media giants. Several now-video-reliant platforms like Instagram and Facebook have centered video over their previous hallmark photo and multimedia formats. Even LinkedIn is getting into the game, with TikTok-style videos showing up on people's feeds as of late. It appears that there is no limit to what platforms will attempt to harvest their share of the short-form video crop.

But more on that later. First, it’s crucial to understand what the main players in the short-form social video are, how they’re taking the internet by storm, and how your company can get in on the action.


This is the hotspot of short-form content. TikTok found what worked by helping to define the parameters of a short-form video as a 15 to 60-second audition for the world stage (a longer and more content-filled format than its predecessor Vine). While this type of video didn’t originate with TikTok by any means, the platform has turned the art of the engaging clip mainstream so effectively that it might as well have. This is the can’t-be-beat formula that all its successors are trying to cash in on, whether they admit it or not.

What did TikTok do right?

The creation of the For You Page, an automatic explore feed that shows all users algorithm-determined videos based on assessments of their previous engagement, has revolutionized the way TikTokkers engage with short-form videos. By making this page the hub and focus of the app, TikTok began a culture of basing its social media on creators finding their audience organically. The For You Page gives everyone a fair shot, allowing far more reach for any given video released into the wild than most other platforms are built for, and letting the raw reception from its users determine the avenue that content should go down.

As a consequence, TikTok has high reach and high reward. Due to the nature of the TikTok algorithm showing you people you don't know (over your contacts or mutuals), it's no secret that its reach is large. However, where TikTok stands out is its unique ability to drive engagement. The communities fostered on TikTok are unrivaled, and it's likely due to the layout of the app and its algorithm. Likes and comments are over double the average Reels user scrapes up.

How can you take advantage of this?

Here are some hard and fast rules to get that sweet engagement.

  • Post often and genuinely. The algorithm is shown to reward consistency, but don't sacrifice content quality to achieve this. Many brands have found a middle ground with posting only 3-5 times a week as long as it's around the same days and times.
  • Employ some personality. Promotional, corporate content won't fly with TikTok's entertainment-seeking user base. Consumers want to see people like them, which leads to...
  • Use influencers to patch up your blind spots! With TikTok incentivizing influencers with hordes of different promotional and monetizing schemes, the culture has grown and thrived on its platform. Furthermore, your influencers will already have established a community with demonstrable reach and engagement, and you have the chance to make your brand a part of that story.
  • The short-form video should be just that, short-form. Even with TikTok monetizing and expanding long-form content, the style of your output should stay close to the short-form formula to achieve success. Tried and true methods, like breaking down complex topics your brand is an expert in for the average scroller, do well. For more ideas, read this helpful list of short-form video frameworks.
  • Consider doing Lives to extend your short-form content. According to this Tech Report roundup, one in five users watch TikTok Live--62% of them daily--and TikTok users are 50% more interested in branded Live content vs. non-users. Additionally, 50% of TikTok users have bought something after viewing a Live.


While they may be late to the game, Meta is no joke in the short-form video field. In fact, in that same comparison article that reaffirmed TikTok's monopoly on engagement, Instagram Reels was actually beating out the video giant when it came to reach. Having a presence on both platform's reels functions can be beneficial for your brand exposure. Let's break it down.

How do Meta Reels work and how have they jumped so far ahead in such a short time?

The joke that any content on TikTok will shamefully trudge itself out on Instagram Reels a week--or month--later, may have some truth, but smart brands know how to maximize the differences between the platforms.

In fact, a lot of its success has to do with Meta itself rewarding creators who prioritize Reels. After users flocked to their platforms to participate in the gold rush, they slowly phased this monetizing out. As a consequence, they were able to get a large amount of creators and users hooked.

Reels performs most of the same functions as TikTok, and has its own tab in a user's profile.

How to take advantage of the Reels revolution:

Still don't know where to start? Here are some tips.

  • All that being said, don't be afraid to recycle TikTok content for Reels and vice versa. It's likely a waste of time and resources to post a short-form video to only one platform and put all your eggs in one basket, and after all, there's a reason why the stereotype of recycled content is so popular. Because it works, when done effectively. Just make sure to craft your content in a separate platform before posting to any social account as to avoid messy watermark transfers.
  • Meta has been seriously trying to push its Reels function, and as a result, creators on Facebook Reels are making money. If the monetization culture begins to swell, as promised by Facebook and Instagram, expect an influx of creators and their audiences. By cashing in and developing on the platforms now, you may be setting yourself up for success in the long run, especially with the prospect of a TikTok ban.
  • However, for now, the audiences on Instagram and Facebook reels are older than their TikTok counterparts. Evaluate your buyer persona and consider which platform is more worth your time. Want to make entertaining, informative videos? Maybe focus on TikTok. Looking to release more professional content? Reels might be your space.
  • Another Meta Reels plus is that Instagram and Facebook are grounded in other posting formats. Unlike TikTok, Instagram and Facebook can take users from reach-grabbing reel to evergreen profile content easily. This is a huge bonus for businesses, as short-term videos tend to capitalize on trends (or, at the very least, drawing in travelers from the algorithm path with a first impression). Anchoring video content to your landing page that includes your carefully crafted feed of photos, carousels, text posts, and more will help convert scrollers to customers.
  • It's also important to stay updated on what these platforms reveal about their algorithms. Instagram Reels has been notably contradicting about this, so follow reputable social experts and Meta themselves to keep up to date.


YouTube is a cavern. It's one of the oldest natural land masses on the internet, and often there's gold to be found. Before Vine or TikTok, YouTube was the pioneering video service. Now that it's parsing off a feed for short-form videos (as opposed to its hallmark longer ones), a whole new audience has found the platform.

What's the deal with YouTube Shorts?

While YouTube has carved its legacy through long videos, around 40% of YouTube watch time is on mobile, so there's more than an incentive for the platform regulars to find a home on Shorts. And with around (daily) 3.5 billion users, it seems they have. However, it hasn't quite captured TikTok's enviable Gen Z audience---we're still in millennial territory. This might be great for your brand, however, as you will likely be reaching a higher professional/working demographic through Shorts. This audience may be more receptive to your brand's story.

While yes, YouTube Shorts is one in a long line of short-form algorithms to capitalize off the TikTok phenomenon, there's a lot that separates this platform from Reels and TikTok. Namely, that connection to an existing video platform. Users can see a preview of what you do on Shorts, and with a tap of a finger, watch your webinar or video series. This immediately becomes more of a personal experience than Reels, because there's a higher chance of users spending a lot of time with a human face. This can really bolster your marketing efforts because, after all, people like engaging with people when all is said and done.

How to get in on the action:

  • Post entertaining content. Statistics show that time and time again, Shorts watchers like funny and/or entertaining videos. This seems to be a good rule of thumb for most short-form video content, as users prefer to engage with content that hooks them.
  • Search is the name of the game. Remember, YouTube is one of the most searchable social platforms via Google. Whenever you Google something, there's a tab of YouTube results waiting for you. As a result, SEO that cooperates with Google search will help your content find an entirely new avenue of reach. For a great residence on results pages, create Shorts that contain researched keywords.
  • Remember, you may be reaching a lot younger audience than YouTube lets on. It appears that the "iPad kid" trope across Gen Alpha (facilitated by their millennial parents) holds some truth. Kids are spending a huge amount of time on YouTube. While it's not a great idea to advertise directly to children, be aware of the parent population surfing Shorts alongside them. According to one source, family and parenting content ranks number 6 on most view-drawing Shorts. Can your brand speak to this demographic?
  • Don't forget to make the most of your thumbnails. YouTube was a pioneer in the art of the thumbnail-as-a-branding-technique, and this extends to shorts. Think about how thumbnails will work together in your feed to create visual cues for branding. Want your page to appear clean and minimalist? Employ relevant color schemes in your thumbnails. Want to bait users like they did in the YouTube golden days? Zero in on a particularly expressive or question-generating part of your video.
  • Have your CTAs push viewers to stream more of your video content. A great way to achieve brand exposure, reputation, and trust is by building a series. These are often educational but can range in topics. By involving bite-sized snippets of your series content on Shorts and wrapping up with an encouragement to see more in your series, you can turn Shorts into a propellor for evergreen content viewership and eventual leads.


Don't dread the short-form video. Turns out, with the rise of its popularity comes the rise of tools to make video crafting accessible for anyone.

AI makes video creation easy.

AI can help you edit clips effectively with software like Opus. Syllaby creates a literal clone to speak to a camera for you. Generate videos formatted for short-form feeds with Fliki. Even Canva has video AI!

Low effort, hordes of content

Many content creators have shown that merely including a small clip of some scenery with text over, letting the video loop as it automatically replays and thus generating higher rewatch counts, reaps generous algorithm rewards.

Ready for more?

Increase control over your content with more complex tools. You can edit footage on apps and sites like:

What should I post?

Originality is key with content. But this doesn't mean there aren't proven formats. Take a look at this Medium article for some ideas.

There are many ways to approach the short-form video beast, and always new information to learn about these unique platforms. To stay updated, follow us on LinkedIn.