The Short-Form Video Trends That Will Define 2021

The Short-Form Video Trends That Will Define 2021

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During the first quarter of 2020, short-form video streaming app TikTok surpassed 2 billion downloads worldwide. It was the best quarter of any app ever. Since then, it has been dogged by data governance issues, resulting in the threat of a ban in the US and an outright ban in India. These issues have resulted in a race to bring alternatives to the market, with new apps and alternatives like Instagram Reels, YouTube Short, and Facebook Short Videos competing for some of their market shares by the end of 2020.

 TikTok has demonstrated that short-form video is an incredibly popular format for consumers and marketers alike. Video consumption habits have changed considerably over the past decade. Early pioneers like Vine — with its six-second videos — perfectly serviced a Millennials and Gen Zs’ consumer base with short attention spans and a deep reliance on their smartphones. Vine was evidence of which format people preferred when engaging with content. Marketers were forced to sit up and take notice.

At Vidchops, we’ve seen this trend take over.  Traditional marketing and advertising just don’t resonate with this generation. They want brands to speak to them on their level, in a more authentic and less polished way. In response, brands are increasingly using influencers to advertise their products over the last few years. It’s clear that this generation responds best to marketing that doesn’t feel like traditional marketing. 

So, while paid ads that overlay content or play before or during a video are still popular, to better connect with audiences, video marketers are producing video in the formats that are relevant to the time. And this means short-video. Depending on the platform and demographics a brand is targeting, these clips can run for anything from 30 seconds to 2 and a half minutes.

Now it’s clear why short-form videos are so important for marketing content, let’s look at the particular trends defining the space in 2021.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

UGC is some of the most popular and beloved content on the internet. Modern consumers are the most heavily advertised to generations of all time. They’ve become skeptical and untrusting of traditional advertisements, so if you want to reach them, they need something a bit more personal, which is where UGC comes in.

While UGC has been around for a while in the form of images and videos shared over social media, brands that can tap into its potential can reach an unbelievable amount of users. While once upon a time, getting your brand in front of millions of people meant a monster productional budget and ad slot spend, these days, a successful marketing campaign can reach almost SuperBowl levels of users through great content made for peanuts.

Consumers are savvy; they want authentic, trustworthy content from people they trust. Which usually means the people they follow. So, for brands, this means partnering with content makers who have already cultivated audiences made up of desirable demographics. This content can be made at a low price and lives and dies on its virality.

Benefits of User Generated Content in Marketing Campaigns

Increased Trust and Reliability

Trust is the most crucial metric for influencing consumer spending. Users generated content is delivered and produced by the people that consumers trust, so for brands, this is a great way to get around this generation’s skepticism of traditional forms of advertisement. If someone they trust approves a product, service, or brand, this can work in the same way that word of mouth does.

A Way to Showcase Real Experiences of Real Customers

Many modern consumers are too sophisticated to be tricked by paid actors reading scripted lines about a product or service. They want something more personal and closer to the real experience of an actual customer as evidence of why they should buy something.

Two-way Engagement and Interaction

Instead of just beaming an advertisement to users, engagement fosters the building of a relationship with consumers. Encouraging users to share and contribute to media helps companies show they care and value their users.

Increase Conversions and Revenue

Engagement is a huge predictor of conversions. Brands that involve their user base with their campaigns build the relationships, trust, and virality that drives increased conversions and sales.

Putting It All Together

So, putting it all together, here is an example of a brilliant piece of UGC that Chipotle used for a marketing campaign in 2020. They teamed up with two content creators who made a video that is fun, shareable, and relatable — and is perfectly aligned with a big chunk of their target demographic.

TIKTOK Burrito In Space Video

TIKTOK Burrito In Space Video

This is just such a great piece of content because the creators are likable, and they are trying something that is really unusual but still achievable for most people. Something worth noting is the editing. On its face, it’s raw and not incredibly slick, but it’s effective in delivering huge chunks of important information and feels like a complete story.

Behind the Brand Content

How this generation relates to brands is really different. They want brands to have a voice that isn’t filtered through PR teams and marketing. They want CEOs to speak out on social issues to be sure they are giving their money to or supporting brands whose values align with their own. And similarly, in a world that is becoming increasingly connected globally, they want to feel more engaged with business owners.

Sharing behind-the-scenes footage is a great way for brands to showcase who they are and build trust among their consumers. This can take a wide range of forms, from using short-form videos to pitch the brand’s benefits to prospective users or footage that shows the company’s inner workings. Users don’t want faceless corporations cynically marketing at them. They want brands they know, like, and trust. And short-form behind the brand content is perfect at delivering this.

Benefits of Behind-The-Brand Marketing

Build Trust With Consumers

Showcasing a personality, values, and a message is essential to building a relationship with consumers, and short-form videos are an excellent way for brands to connect with followers.

Show Your Day-to-Day

Consumers want to feel connected to the day to day of brands. They want to do business with brands that are transparent and relatable. Short-form videos that show the reality of running a brand are great for trust and promotion.

Proving Updates

Behind-the-brand short-form videos are an excellent way of giving consumers an inside peek into a brand’s plans. This can be service updates or new ideas and products. Promotional buzz can be generated cheaply and quickly through social media.

Humanize Your Brand

Everyone has struggles. Anyone can relate to times when things just got too much, and it seemed as if the dream was over. Brands or CEOs that show vulnerability stand a greater chance of being seen as credible and trustworthy by consumers and, as a result, forge greater bonds.

Great Behind-the-Brand Content Example

JasmineRDH TikTok Video

JasmineRDH TikTok Video

JasmineRDH is a dentist. Typically, this is not an industry that really interests a lot of people. However, by mixing useful information like What To Do Before You Get Braces or When Should You Brush Your Teeth with music and dance routines, her short videos regularly get in front of around 1 million viewers. This is pretty remarkable.

The key here is using relatable content, dancing, confidence, and vulnerability. Granted, not all CEOs or brand owners will have the charisma to pull this type of video off, but there are many different ways to make videos that will get consumers’ attention.

Behind-the-scenes and behind-the-brands videos can connect with consumers and show brands in a more human light while still communicating the value of their product or service to consumers.

Educational or Explainer Videos

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Successful social media marketing is all about creating value for the consumer. This value can come in all sorts of forms like humor, insights, or education. 2021 will see more brands create educational or explainer videos about their product that show consumers what to do with their products or services.

One of the most significant benefits of all the digital information we have at our fingertips is the potential to learn and develop new skills. This can be DIY videos, makeup tutorials, or any number of tutorials. How-to videos are one the most viewed categories on YouTube. Now, while these videos are generally UGC done by independent consumers, over the past few years, brands are waking up to the benefits of reaching their audience in this way.

Benefits of Educational or Explainer Videos

Establish Your Authority

People love to hear from experts. They trust them. A great idea for brands is to demonstrate their knowledge in their specific niche by making content that teaches consumers about how their products and shows could be useful to them.

They Showcase Your Product

Great products happen because a business owner looks at a problem or pain point and tries to develop a solution to make things easier or better for the consumer. When consumers come looking for a solution to a problem they have, videos that demonstrate the answers is a great way to get them interested.

They Help Consumers Decide To Use Your Product

Consumers may have heard about a product, but they need that final push. Educational or explainer videos can give them that last piece of information or assurance they need before getting out the credit card.

Your Brand Defines How the Public Sees You

Instead of relying on consumers to generate how-to videos that mention a product or service, brands can take control of the conversation by developing the content. Explaining the reason being certain features or decisions can help consumers understand the brand.

Explainer Video Example

stitch fix explainer video

Stitch-Fix Explainer Video

Stitch-Fix’s Meet Your Personal Stylist video is an excellent example of explaining and demonstrating a product in a time of short attention spans. In 30 seconds, they manage to show precisely how their service works, how to use it, and why it’s valuable and easy to use. It does feel like an advertisement, but anyone who watches it will be in no doubt about how it works before they sign-up.

Making a Short-Form Video

There are so many advantages to using short-form video for marketing. But one of the most important aspects is to pack the most into the restricted time. A 30 second TikTok video needs to compress a lot of information, and the best way to do this is through skilled editing.

Brands going for an authentic and informal feel can shoot the raw footage themselves, but to present it effectively requires a good editor. This is where a service like Vidchops can help brands and marketers get the most out of their videos and produce cleaner, more focused content that will resonate with their followers.

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