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Short Form Video: The Most Powerful Marketing Tool Today

Back in the year 2000, the human attention span was measured at 12 seconds.  Fast forward to today, two decades later, and our attention span has markedly decreased! As a consequence, short form video is now more popular than before.

Short Form Video and the Goldfish Effect

The average human attention span is now shorter than a goldfish’s!  As of 2022, it is estimated to be at just around 8 seconds, one second below that of a goldfish.
Part of this is now being increasingly attributed to technological conveniences and the ever-so-distracting social media.  TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels among many other similar applications are now trending and showing no plans to slow down.

For marketers, this has opened up new avenues to reach the consumer. As a result, short-form videos are one of the most in-demand social media marketing tools in 2022.

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Less is More in Video Marketing Today

Back in 2021 Google was the most popular website worldwide. However, towards the tail end of 2021, TikTok surpassed Google in popularity. By the start of 2022, TikTok grew to over 1 billion active users; a resounding success! This shows that there is a huge demand for short-form videos. 

While short-form video has been around for quite some time, it is only now that its cost-effectiveness and its connection to the consumer have truly been unraveled.

The ever-growing social media craze has partly impacted this too as users are scrolling quickly with a vast array of information at their fingertips and limited time. These videos have higher retention rates, making them more likely to capture the viewer’s attention and for longer in comparison to long-form videos, notes and graphics. 

It is difficult to define how short a short form video is, as this will vary from platform to platform. Many viral TikTok videos are 15 seconds long. On Facebook, a short-form video could mean anything from 60 seconds to 3 minutes. On YouTube, it can be a video of around 5-10 minutes. That said, research suggests the sweet spot, that is to say the length at which engagement is highest, is just under the 60 seconds mark

Short Form Video Background Statistics

  • In 2022, people were watching an average of 18 hours’ worth of video every single week
  • 73% of customers prefer learning about a product or service by watching short-form videos. This is according to Wyzol
  • About 68% of users surveyed by myuse.com in the USA will happily watch a business video with a duration of less than one minute
  • HubSpot research indicates that about 51% of marketers who used short-form videos last year are willing to invest more in this medium, with 38% planning to invest the same amount
  • Insivia research shows viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in a text
  • Research by WordStream shows that marketers who used short videos grew revenue 49% faster than non-video users

Short Form Video Platforms Worth Knowing

  • TikTok

In 2022, TikTok has rolled out first, the possibility to upload 3-minute videos and secondly, 10-minute videos. However, all indicators show that shorter videos are still dominant in the ‘for you page’ which is very easily accessible for the consumer. For the all-important home page dashboard, TikTok’s’ algorithms compute the average watch time and percentage of users completing video. 

  • Facebook

September 2021 is when Facebook first introduced Reels to its American consumers. In 2022, Facebook launched the same in 150 countries. Consequently, Facebook, which has been predominantly known as a sharing platform rather than a place to build original content, is now competing with Instagram, YouTube shorts and TikTok. 

Facebook Reels allows creators to make and share original 30 second videos while also allowing for the possibility for the content creators to earn money from whatever has been posted. This has resulted in a growth in following and popularity for the content creators. With the possibility of interacting with the websites’ up to 1.9 billion daily users, this has been seen as a viable medium for marketers to reach the consumers.

  • YouTube Shorts

YouTube has been keen to entice both viewers and creators to its own short-form video competitor, YouTube Shorts. The new addition to the original titan of online video comes with YouTube’s “Shorts Fund,” a fund of $100 million to pay creators for making YouTube Shorts content throughout the year. YouTube has a major advantage over other platforms: an extremely wide target group.

The popularity of YouTube Shorts has generated fertile ground for video advertising. As of 2022, YouTube Shorts has received 5 trillion views worldwide. Shorts’ content has already yielded success in commercial advertising, with brands receiving a high volume in reach and engagement with their intended audiences. 

  • Instagram Reels

Instagram, originally image focused, has now changed tact. Following the success of TikTok and YouTube, the app has since invested in moving more towards video. It has reformatted IGTV and in-feed video into the combined “Instagram Video,” essentially increasing the length available for video clips in stories from 15 seconds to 60. Mosseri does confirm that Instagram plans to focus primarily on growing Reels, ultimately consolidating video content around the short-form product. 

Since the product debuted, reels have quickly become central to the social media platform. The short-form video format has had a prominent spot on the Instagram home screen menu since reels have been frequently displayed in Instagram feeds. In 2022, Instagram announced that all video uploads will now become Reels, whether you want them to or not.

Short Form Video Content Trends

User Generated Content

Capturing content from followers and fans in the form of videos lets your customers and audience have a voice and speak on behalf of the brand which is valuable in marketing content as more and more people are looking at user reviews before acquiring the products.

Behind the Scenes 

Consumers are seeking personalization and authenticity from brands. A short clip of the normal day of a company’s CEO could be attractive to the customer in providing insights that would otherwise more often be overlooked about the company and the values it represents.

Educational and Informational Pieces 

Tutorials and DIY videos are the key things to consider when passing out educational videos. Short form videos provide a good opportunity to be helpful to the consumer by offering quick and doable solutions to normal day-to-day situations and problems.


By doing a short video on commonly asked questions and various commonly misunderstood industry related issues, a brand can help in building its reputation and credibility.

New Products Teaser 

By announcing and showing short videos of anticipated new products and services a brand can help pull more traffic presenting an opportunity to sell the products and or services.

Starting a Challenge 

Short-form videos are the perfect tools for viral challenges. They can be fun and engaging while at the same time providing a platform to market and engage with the consumers at a personal level.


Short form videos are all about quick, snackable, digestible content. This is what many people are after with the wide accessibility of information and limited attention span and time to gather it all. It is clear that social media companies have seen the growing demand for short-form content. In trying to reach and sell to consumers, marketers need to tap into the wide variety of short-form video platforms available with a clear strategy on which is most desirable to get ahead of the competition and sustain gains. Click To Tweet

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Gladys is a marketing pro with years of experience in content marketing management. She enjoys strategic thinking to make sure all proposed marketing efforts are in line with company objectives and meet the desired success metrics. Her forte includes copywriting, art direction, and social media management. Specializing in brand activations and event promotion events, she approaches each campaign with an entrepreneurial mindset and a passion for growth. Outside of work, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and trying out new recipes.

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