Short videos, the key to capturing the user’s attention

Short videos, the key to capturing the user’s attention
Short videos, the key to capturing the user’s attention

A recent study by WARC and TikTok reveals the keys that make short videos the star of brands’ strategies.

In a landscape marked by the fragmentation of media consumption and the increase in advertising costs, brands find the task of reaching audiences and connecting with these users effectively more and more difficult. It is because of that short videos, which are positioned as one of the most popular formats todaymay be the key to achieving it.

Increasingly, advertisers are harnessing the power of short videos to generate greater reach and impact. According to the study «Short-form video – How to supercharge your media mix and drive full funnel impact» From WARC, in collaboration with TikTok, adding short videos to the media mix can improve brand awareness by 20% and drive impact across all phases of the buyer journey.

This study thus analyzes the rise of short-form video and how you can increase reach, attention and amplify other channels in the media mix to boost brand recognition, and reveals to sector professionals the keys to the format to apply it within their campaigns.

Short videos: a growing format

The rapid growth of short-form video is due to the popularity of social networks such as TikTok, a platform that brings together more than 1 billion users month after month. In the words of Stuart Flint, Director of Global Business Solutions for Europe and Israel at TikTok, he commented that short-form video is an especially valuable format for advertisers because it has changed the way people consume content. «Entertainment is now intrinsically woven into our daily lives, providing inspiration, creating joy and authentic connections, and short-form video is quickly becoming the go-to place for brand discovery and purchase,” he says.

While linear television viewership continues to trend downward, advertisers are seeking greater reach through video on demand (VOD) and online videos. As the WARC report details, consumption is increasingly shifting towards short content, and proof of this is the growth of TikTok platforms, and formats such as YouTube Shorts or Instagram Reels.

The popularity of short video is largely due to three trends:

  • High mobile consumption: According to WARC, more than half of users of social networks and video platforms consume short videos daily, and more than three quarters watch them on smartphones. An average TikTok user consumes an average of more than an hour of content per day on the platform.
  • Changes in media tastes: Audiences consume more short-form content than ever, driven by the desire for a balance between choice and selection of the content they consume, facilitated by predictive algorithms and ‘skippeable’ content.
  • Growth of Social Commerce: Social networks have become a space to discover and buy brands. According to WARC Media, 70% of advertisers already sell their products on social platforms.

According Markus Speiker, Director of Digital Commerce & Marketing at The Estée Lauder Inc., short-form video is central to the company’s media strategy. «With the decrease in attention spans in recent years and the increase in entertainment formats, “Short-form video helps us directly target core audiences across earned, owned and paid media,” he assures.

A battle for user attention

Beyond audience fragmentation, attention has become a critically important metric for evaluating media quality, improving the effectiveness of reach-based planning, and driving better business results for brands. In this sense, shorter ads can generate higher recall compared to longer ads.

The three characteristics that promote short video to be understood as an effective format to attract consumers are:

  • The immediacy: The brevity of brief content stimulates the neural networks associated with intuitive, fast and automatic processing, generating attention in a less effortful and analytical way.
  • The immersion: Short, full-screen content with sound creates an immersive visual experience that engages audiences and keeps them engaged through predictive algorithms that deliver content that reflects the user’s personal interests and tastes.
  • Multisensory: Short videos can capture multiple senses simultaneously, incorporating visual, auditory, and sometimes textual elements. This multisensory approach can enrich information processing by appealing to different cognitive channels.

In combination with television, TikTok generates a 5.5% increase in sales, demonstrating the potential that the commitment to this format presents for brands. For Marcin Samek, Chief Innovation Officer, McCann Poland, nowadays you can’t depend on just one medium. “You have to introduce a mix of different channels, different tools, different media, because it is impossible to reach a very broad target audience and reach them effectively using only one type of communication or one type of media,” he says.

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