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All you need to know about short-form video content

Short-form video content is well on its way to becoming one of the most popular formats of social media content. The short, often funny, and engaging videos connect people all over the world and are a great way to introduce your brand. The popularity of short-form videos will in all likelihood only increase in 2023. As a marketing tool, short-form videos are therefore indispensable. In this article we’ve highlighted everything you need to know about short-form video content.

Women on a set
Women on a set

Key Takeaways

  • People are preferring video content over written content;
  • Short-form video platforms Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts projected to grow, taking (part of) TikTok’s market share;
  • Advantages of short-form video content are high engagement, memorable content, sense of community, virality, high ROI;
  • UCG, influencer ads, product teasers, behind the scenes, and FAQ’s videos are trends to watch in 2023.

What is short-form video content?

Short-form videos range between 15 seconds and 3 minutes, depending on the platform they’re posted on. However, usually a short-form video lasts less than 60 seconds. Unlike long-form videos that are typically around 10 minutes long, short-form videos present content that is interactive, fun, and, most importantly, easy to digest.

Due to their short nature, the content of these videos engages viewers, without losing their attention. This makes them a great tool for advertising, marketing, and making the consumers engage with your brand. Perfect in a world where people are always on the move, and attention spans are getting shorter.

What are the main short-form video platforms?

If you are looking to promote your brand through short-form video, there are 3 main platforms to use: TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Youtube Shorts.

Launched in 2016, TikTok was one of the pioneers in providing a platform exclusively for short-form content. With over 1 billion monthly users in 2022, TikTok currently holds the title of largest short-form video platform. TikTok allows you to upload videos that last up to three minutes. On the app users can switch between “For You”, which shows videos based on an algorithm, and “Following” where they can view the videos of people they follow.

After TikTok’s success, Meta decided to launch its own short-form video platform Instagram Reels in 2020, available to all Facebook and Instagram users. Although it got off to a somewhat rough start, Reels now has over a billion active users monthly. Instagram Reels supports videos between 15-30 seconds including sound. The Reels algorithm looks for videos you are expected to like, partly determined by your previous viewing behavior.

As a reaction to TikTok and Instagram Reels, and to play into the short-form video craze, Google released the tool YouTube Shorts in September 2020. Although Shorts was the last of the three platforms to join the arena, it currently receives 30 billion views a day and has 1.5 billion monthly users. The videos on YouTube Shorts have a maximum length of 60 seconds. Users are suggested videos based on their viewing history and engagement with previous accounts.

Although TikTok is currently the leading platform for short-form videos, competitors and rivals Meta and Google are quickly catching up. It is projected that in 2023, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts will increase in popularity and take some or maybe even all of TikTok’s market share.  

Why does it work?

In the past couple of years, marketing through short-form videos has become increasingly popular. According to this research, 86% of businesses have used video as a marketing tool in 2022. In 2023, this number will increase to 91%. So what are the secrets behind the success of these types of videos?

High engagement

These days, written text must make way for video. Research shows that 80% of the people prefer videos over written text. Another survey shows 91% of the respondents indicated that they want to see more online brand video’s in 2023. Short-form video content can target these specific audiences, creating a higher engagement. In addition, the algorithms behind the short-form video tools make sure that their audiences get to see videos that they can relate to.

Memorable content

The content of short-form videos is bite-sized and easy to remember. Because the videos have a short time limit, there’s no room for extra or unnecessary information. Although users tend to switch from video to video, starting with a nice hook and creating short memorable content draws viewers right in.  

Sense of community

It is important for people to have a sense of belonging and to be part of a group. Short-form video content can be shared on various social media platforms, reaching a broad audience. The content doesn’t have to include words or sound, reducing any language barriers. This enables people to connect, interact and share their passions with others all over the globe.


The short-form video format is the perfect way to participate in trends and make content go viral. Short-form videos are relatively easy to produce and to upload, and their content can be quickly created. This allows creators and brands to experiment with different ideas, embrace current trends, and respond to the cultural and social needs of their audience.

An example of a successful short-form video is this TikTok video by Connor Chant, promoting Taco Bell.

High ROI

Out of all social media strategies, short-form videos have the highest ROI. Amongst other things, the Google algorithm takes the amount of time that users spend on websites into account. Since the short-form videos are designed to hold the attention of their viewer, and keep them scrolling on the website, they can benefit your SEO.

Trends to watch in 2023

The rise of short-form videos is sure to continue in 2023. Do you want to create successful short-form video content? These are the trends to watch in 2023:

User Generated Content

User Generated Content is content that is not created by brands, but by the users of the product or service. Because the content is created by users, UGC creates a feeling of authenticity and trustworthiness. It allows people to be part of the brand, and is a great way to engage your audience. A trend that is sure to continue in 2023.

Influencer Ads

In addition to UGC, influencer marketing is a great way to promote a product or service and reach a bigger audience. Influencers create a bond with their followers. When they share their stories and promote a brand online, their followers are more likely to buy the products. Influencer ads have been proven to be very effective, and are definitely a trend to catch on to in 2023.

Product Demos or Teasers

Product teasers are a good way to develop and spread excitement about your product. Customers can give feedback on your products, creating customer interaction and engagement. Because of their ever-growing popularity, short-form video platforms are the place to post your product demos or teasers.

Behind the Scenes

Behind-the-scenes videos give customers a sneak peek into your business. These videos can be used to show the, often funny, human side of operating a business. They demonstrate the dedication and passion of the individuals creating the products. This conveys a certain authenticity and makes your brand look more genuine. A must-have video in 2023!


The number of products and services people can choose from nowadays can be very overwhelming. Creating a video with Frequently Asked Questions makes it easier for the audience to learn about the product. These videos summarize the most important information about a product and present it clearly. This eliminates the need to go on an elaborate google search. An ideal video for a fast-paced world.

In short, short-form videos are essential to businesses in today’s society.  They engage a broad audience and make your brand relatable and memorable. Last but not least, they create a high ROI. So if you’re not already making short-form videos, 2023 is definitely the year to start creating them.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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