Tick Tock: Maintaining relevance with an audience that gives you 30 seconds to build brand recall | The Financial Express

Tick Tock: Maintaining relevance with an audience that gives you 30 seconds to build brand recall

Short-form content is getting shorter each day. The new priority for brands is to stick with the trends, which currently are six-second reels and shorts.

Tick Tock: Maintaining relevance with an audience that gives you 30 seconds to build brand recall
From a marketer's perspective, you cannot really play favouritism with the type of content

By Jag Chima

The world runs on content. I think it’s safe to say that every decision taken this year has been influenced by some or the other content put on the internet. This is the reason why the creator economy is thriving. Creators, community builders as well as brands are eagerly trying to figure out what works best for them- Short form content or long-term content and this debate is never-ending. Several studies have been undertaken to prove which one works better. But, I believe there is no one correct answer that fits all and one’s approach should be determined by the variables in place. 

Especially from a marketer’s perspective, you cannot really play favouritism with the type of content. Social media is a game of constant evolution giving you no stable ground to stand on. Relevance becomes relative to each day. Even short-form content is getting shorter each day. The new priority for brands is to stick with the trends, which currently are six-second reels and shorts. 

But, does this mean that long-form content has lost its relevance? Absolutely not! YouTube generates the most amount of AdSense through such videos. Since their watch time is higher, long-form content keeps the viewer hooked to the screen longer. Hence, I believe that as a marketer, you cannot pick and choose but rather use both in a manner that effectively aids in building a brand for yourself. Then, the question arises: how can we strike a balance? Let’s dissect the two concepts and figure out how best to use them to drive a successful campaign. 

Long-form content: It gets the second glance 

Even though the demand for short-form content is increasing every day, nothing beats the way stories are narrated in long-form content. If storytelling is used in the most effective way possible, long-form content sticks with the audience and thus, significantly increases the chances of conversion. This is the reason behind the popularity of binge-watching culture and Netflix’s success. Some successful branded long-form content pieces that come to my mind are Dove Real Beauty Sketches, Paytm ‘The Divide’, Bumble Dating These Days, among others. 

Not only did these campaigns create a recall for the brand, but also left an ever-lasting impression on the audience. All of these factors point to one key observation – users will give you their attention if something piques their interest. Hence, to create effective long-form content, you need to understand your audience, their interests and their pain points deeply. 

Short-form content: It only needs a glance 

With the rising popularity of both short-form video platforms and mobile, the appetite for mobile-friendly SFC has never been bigger. It’s where the herd is headed. Not just in terms of creator preference but the platforms as well. A potential reason for this could be because almost every platform is trying to replicate what TikTok has achieved – a phenomenon called ‘TikTok addiction’. Google’s recent announcement on monetising YouTube Shorts proves that short-form content has become a platform preference as well. Amongst consumers, short-form content has been able to generate interest and brand awareness. 

Hence, we arrive at the question – As a marketer who is trying to build a shelf life for their brand, what should be the strategy here? 

Choose the right platform 

Along with understanding your audience, you need to align on the objectives that you are trying to achieve- whether it’s brand awareness, brand recall, or conversion. This will help you understand the content that will appeal to them and thus, help you choose the right platform. In a marketers’ guidebook, short-form content yields great results for brand awareness while on the other hand, long-form content works wonders for conversion. But, in no way does that imply that SFC cannot deliver conversions. At the end of the day, what really matters is how the story is told and how well it sits with the audience. 

This, in turn, gives you better clarity of the platform that you should target for your campaign. For instance, on YouTube, long-form content is all about storytelling and organic integration. While on the other hand, SFC on Instagram is all about golden nuggets of either education, entertainment or engagement (trending). If your content aligns with the vision of the platform, the algorithm pushes it to drive more engagement. 

Make your customers come back

A marketer’s job is to ensure that a consumer not only views the content but rather sticks to it. In short, a marketer has to ensure that the consumer is hooked to the content and that it engages with it. Several studies have been conducted to crack this code. One that has been proven to work effectively is ‘The Hook Model’ by Nir Eyal, a behavioural designer. It is made up of a cycle of a Trigger, Action, Reward, and Investment. The consumer develops habits as he moves through these stages. At the end of the cycle, a habit is formed which makes him value the product/content more and lures him to come back to it, hence, establishing brand loyalty. 

Build a brand purpose to sustain a long-term relationship with consumers

Brand purpose makes your consumers trust and relate to your brand. Hence, it inspires loyalty. Think Nike, for instance. The brand’s bold stance on Colin Kaepernick not only made headlines but helped them establish a deeper connection with their audience. According to Guardian, the brand witnessed a 31% increase in its sales after Colin Kaepernick’s ad. Hence, to beat the algorithm and build a long-term relationship with your consumer, take action for causes they believe in.

On social media be social 

Samriddh Dasgupta, chief marketing officer, Heads Up For Tails said in an interview that they use social media to listen to what the consumers are saying. “People are buying and speaking about it (them) because they love it. They come back to us if they don’t like it. For us, social is about listening to them”, he quoted. My advice is to use your digital presence to not just talk about your business but receive feedback on it. Gauge whether your consumers prefer long-form content or short form and accordingly design your strategy. For instance, The Whole Truth took a break from Instagram because it realised that it is not able to deliver value to its customers. The brand recently came back on Instagram with altered strategies. 

Every social media platform is built with intrinsic fundamentals – whether it is long or short-form content. YouTube is an intent-driven search engine while Instagram is all about ‘what’s trending.’ Both provide you with an opportunity to create a space for your brand. I firmly believe that regardless of the type of content that you put out there, at the end of the day what matters is if you are able to communicate what you intend to. As long as the messaging is appropriately placed, your consumer will connect with you. 

The author is the co-founder of IPLIX Media

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First published on: 29-10-2022 at 14:53 IST