Are short-form videos the future of marketing?

6 min readOct 14, 2022


YouTube is part of the creator economy and enables next-generation media companies to make the innovative content people love. Over the past three years, YouTube has paid $50 billion to fuel the creator economy. It’s inspiring to see how these entrepreneurs are growing their audiences and businesses, while also experimenting with new tools and formats.

For example, Gloria Olorunto popularly known as Maraji, is a Nigerian comedian. The comedian began her career lip syncing and miming songs. She takes on various characters in her comedy skits and switches between accents and vocal pitches accordingly. Also, she shares funny relatable long form videos, and shorts. Maraji has over 400k subscribers on YouTube.

Maraji’s ability to creatively adopt new formats makes her content enjoyable. By adapting her work to be multi-format, she demonstrates a good understanding of how today’s consumers discover and consume videos.

People can seamlessly move between screens, immersing themselves in a beautiful universe of content created by creative experts in relevant trends and themes.

Indeed, streaming across many screens, video lengths, and artists is at an all-time high. Whether the content is long or short, mainstream, or personal, people watch it all on YouTube.

How can brands ensure that they are fully utilising a multi-format approach? Here are three critical steps to take.

Shorts are in, give it a go!

YouTube Shorts are vertical, short-form videos that can be uploaded or viewed on YouTube. Shorts can be enhanced with features like video segmentation, app-based recording, and musical overlays. Shorts must be 60 seconds or less in length and cannot be deleted like Instagram Reels or Snapchats.

You’ve probably been duped at least once by a “cake or fake?” challenge video. The cake or fake is a series of viral videos in which bakers create cakes that resemble various items and foods, only to cut them with a knife to show that they’re just cake. The concept gained popularity on YouTube and TikTok, where content creators posted reaction content to the cakes, attempting to predict which was cake or fake. In addition, in early 2022, Netflix introduced a game show called “Is It Cake”?

What do all those short videos have in common? Trends are constantly shaped and responded to by creators. The public can’t get enough of them.

Although Shorts is still in its infancy, The popularity of YouTube shorts has exploded, with over 30 billion daily views and 1.5 billion monthly logged-in users, ushering in a new era of creativity in every topic, vertical, and region of the world, since its global launch in 2021.

Although Shorts is mobile optimised, it also fosters discovery across formats and screens. Creators that submit both long-form video and short-form video to YouTube find increased total watch time and subscriber growth.

According to YouTube’s Culture & Trends Report 2022, 59% of Generation Z agree that they use short-form video apps to discover things before watching longer versions of them.

With shorter attention spans, consumers are choosing short-form video over other types of content. Hence video content is the now, but short-form video content is the future and when it comes to video marketing, less is more.

Multiple formats content

Multiple format content is a remarkable and diverse opportunity to communicate with people in a way that resonates with them, it is creating content that appeals to all types of communication and learning styles. As a result, having a consistent presence across all platforms increases your credibility and viewers’ trust in you. Furthermore, multiple formats allow you to reach new audiences, maximise your reach, and provide easy-to-access content that can bring out your personality and add flavour to your content.

Although consumers prefer mobile devices for short-form vertical video, they are increasingly flocking to another familiar medium for long-form online video from their favourite creators. Currently, Television is Youtube’s fastest-growing screen, with watch time continually increasing.

As of January 2022, consumers were watching over 700 million hours of YouTube material on their connected televisions daily. Also, with the increasing presence of connected devices, it appears that previous distinctions between television, digital video, streaming, and mobile video are becoming obsolete.

By optimising and experimenting with the lengths of videos, content creators have discovered a sweet spot for their audience, allowing them to identify what works.

Across the spectrum of popularity, creators use short-form videos to experiment with new approaches and engage viewers.

Sisi Yemmie, a Nigerian food, and lifestyle blogger, balances her long-form videos with shorts. Sisi Yemmie has over 800,000 YouTube subscribers and shares easy cooking tips and funny videos on shorts which inspires viewers to also watch her long-form cooking videos.

Tayo Aina is a youtuber that focuses mainly on travel and lifestyle. With over 300k subscribers, Tayo Aina uses his videos to promote tourism and real estate. With his content, he hopes to rediscover Africa. He has a distinct editing style and utilises effects that distinguishes him from other content creators.

Content creators use short-form video to capture content that’s emotional, entertaining and insightful.

Here are some of our favourite creator tips for building successful shorts :

Attract attention right away: The Korean Vegan, a cooking creator based in the United States with over 800,000 subscribers, emphasises the importance of immediately grabbing your audience. The first one to twelve seconds are crucial. They’re the long form equivalent of the thumbnail. Your content must be visually, audibly, and intellectually compelling.

Connect with Gen Z: Korty is a Nigerian filmmaker, graphic designer, and YouTuber. She is known for her short, engaging artistic series and interviews on her YouTube channel, Flow with Korty. Good content is no longer only found in three-hour movies. While such concepts remain popular, Gen Z and millennials tend to consume content that is quirky, quick, and of high quality.

Embrace action: It is critical to capture the viewer’s attention in the first second of a shorts by creating aesthetically appealing visuals. While taking inspiration from creators and experimenting with short-form vertical video, brands should keep other creative considerations in mind, as well as the availability of automated tools and templates that make video ad creation simple.

What Sets YouTube Shorts Apart From Its Competitors ?

As a marketer, it can be stressful to see all your competitors leaning towards short-form videos

YouTube Shorts is still in its early stages, it is too early to assess its influence. However, there are a few distinguishing features that set it apart from the crowd.

Shorts serve as a gateway to longer-form content.

People enjoy consuming different forms of content throughout the day. For example, someone may browse through TikTok during their lunch break but decide to watch a 2-hour lengthy video on YouTube when they get home.

Although TikTok and Snapchat are great for short-form videos, YouTube is presenting itself as a platform for both short and long-form content.

Youtube shorts can help content creators and marketers reach a new audience who may eventually become regular viewers of their longer content and this offers the best of both worlds.

Shorts do not have an expiration date or time

While Instagram Stories and Snapchats may disappear after 24 hours, Shorts are long lasting, which might help you expand your YouTube exposure over time.

For example, if someone is in a hurry and looking for a brief how-to video relating to anything you’ve filmed in the past, they may come across and view your shorts video on the subject — even if it has been uploaded a long time ago.

Introducing long and short form videos into the mix provides businesses and content creators with an innovative way to showcase their content and expand their multiformat strategy on YouTube.

The influx of digital content has shortened our attention span but short-form content can still offer you an edge over your competitors and engage your audience. Short form content provides the opportunity to partake in challenges and trendy activities.

TikTok is powered by dances, sounds, and social challenges. So, to appear on TikTok’s “For You” tab, which is equivalent to Instagram’s “Explore” page, marketers and content creators may choose to frequently participate in the fun.

As with every new trend or platform, always think about your audience first and it all boils down to a simple question: Which channels are your audiences using and for what purposes?

Typically, short-form video has a greater focus on entertainment, while long-form video places more emphasis on storytelling and entertainment, you can use both in tandem and tailor the content to fit your brand.




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