Short-form videos have taken over social media in recent years, and they aren’t going away any time soon. According to HubSpot’s latest marketing strategy and trends report, short-form video content’s popularity will continue to rise in 2023, with 90% of global marketers increasing or maintaining their investment in short-form videos this year.
For brands and content creators alike, here are the short-form video trends you need to know for 2023. Read on for the best practices, as well as the top short-form video platforms you should be using to boost your engagement.
What is short-form video content?
Generally speaking, any video that is under 60 seconds long is a short-form video. While the exact length of short-form video content varies depending on the platform you’re using, the optimum length for a short-form video is between 30 to 60 seconds.
YouTube Shorts are limited to just 60 seconds, while short-form video giant TikTok features videos ranging from 15 seconds up to 10 minutes long. Meanwhile, Instagram Reels range from 15 seconds to 90 seconds long — and as of June 2022, any Instagram video posts shorter than 15 minutes are shared as Reels. So, it really depends on who you ask.
What are the benefits of including short-form videos in your content strategy?
There are a lot of reasons to love short-form videos, both as the viewer or the creator. Here are some of the reasons why short-form videos are so popular nowadays, and why they should be a part of your content or marketing strategy:
They grab and hold your attention.
Short-form videos are known for keeping viewers’ attention. Anyone who’s ever opened the TikTok app, only to find themselves still watching the videos 3 hours later, will know just how addictive short-form videos can be.
In fact, TikTok users are so hooked on short-form videos that almost 50% of TikTokers agreed that they found videos longer than a minute “stressful.” And as of July 2022, videos that are under 60 seconds made up 57% of YouTube views, compared to just 11% two years ago.
As global attention span becomes shorter and video content gets bigger, short-form videos are quickly becoming the most popular content type for attracting viewers and keeping them engaged.
They’re bite-sized and easily digestible.
Short-form videos are concise and more snackable than longer videos. That means they can be easily watched on the go.
Rather than requiring viewers to sit down and pay attention for 10 minutes or longer, short-form videos give them the information they need quickly. You can learn and be entertained in a fraction of the time it takes for long-form videos to achieve the same goal.
Short-form videos cut to the chase and deliver the nugget of any topic right away, so you don’t have to wait around to get the answer or result you’re looking for. They are an ideal format for creators and brands that want to bring real value to their time-strapped audience, wherever they are.
They’re super shareable.
What makes short-form videos so fun is that they can be shared quickly and easily with your network. It takes just a few seconds to share a reaction via a short-form video, and it’s this social element that’s part of what makes them so popular.
This is also what brands love about short-form videos — they can start a conversation and quickly spread to raise brand awareness much faster than other types of content. Invite your community to interact with your business by posting their own short-form videos while tagging you or using a branded hashtag, and watch your engagement grow and grow.
They’re often spontaneous.
Although the editing process can still be painstaking for some creators, it’s quicker and easier to make short-form videos than long-form videos simply because there’s less content to film and edit.
While many brands pour just as much time into short-form content as they do for full-length videos, for the average user, short-form videos are just that — they’re a few seconds of video that’s filmed fast and spontaneously. This makes them an ideal format for spreading viral trends and sharing unfiltered opinions.
Key short-form video statistics you need to know
Still need convincing about the value of short-form video content? Take a look at these statistics:
- 73% of consumers prefer to watch a short-form video to learn about a product or service.
- 59% of short-form videos are watched for 41-80% of their length, while 30% of them have an average watch rate of over 81%.
- Short-form video will see the most growth among different marketing strategies in 2023, with marketers planning to invest more in it than any other formats or tactics. In particular, 21% of marketers plan to tap into short-form video for the first time in 2023.
The verdict? Consumers want more short-form videos, meaning brands and creators who provide them stand to win more followers and customers.
7 short-form video trends to watch in 2023
So what type of short-form video content should you be creating? For some inspiration, take a look at the top short-form video trends for 2023 below.
2022 saw the rise of microlearning as one of the top online learning formats, and the trend will continue into the new year.
As the name suggests, microlearning videos offer short, succinct lessons in a bite-sized format. Unlike traditional video-based lessons, microlearning sessions are typically only 2-5 minutes long. They break big topics up into tiny bursts of intense and highly engaging training clips, packed with information for keen learners.
How to capitalize on this trend
- Identify key topics connected to your brand/niche that your audience will want to learn about.
- Break your content down into quick, simple steps.
- Start your video by presenting the problem, and conclude it with the solution. Viewers should have learned something by the end of every video.
- Add graphics to help illustrate key points.
- Get the help of experts and thought leaders to explain key concepts.
Short-form video example – Miss Excel
Kat Norton (AKA Miss Excel) is a short-form video aficionado, who creates fun and engaging microlearning content of Excel spreadsheet tips for her TikTok and online course. She creates short-form videos that serve as simple lessons showing viewers how to use Excel shortcuts in seconds.
This particular video, which shows you how to sort messy data in Excel, is a great example of how you can create an informative microlearning video even if it’s only 16 seconds long.
2. Product teasers
The attention-grabbing format of short-form videos makes them ideal for product teasers — and this is a key trend we’ll see in 2023.
As more and more brands recognize the power of short-form videos to engage viewers and educate them on new products, you can bet they’re going to create more short-form content this year. Expect to see more surprise product drops, unboxing videos, and sneak peeks hitting your Discover page.
One of the great things about short-form videos is that users can watch more videos in less time than it takes to watch one long-form video. This gives brands more insights into consumer needs that can then be used to shape future campaigns. All that data makes it easier to target your ideal audience, and put the products they’re most likely to buy in front of them.
How to capitalize on this trend
- Make sure your product teaser is eye-catching.
- Build a sense of mystery and anticipation by not revealing too much.
- Add links to your launch page and online store.
- Consider offering early-bird offers or coupons.
- Segment your content to target specific audiences.
Short-form video example – Avon
This teaser video from cosmetics brand Avon is a great example of a short product teaser that leaves viewers hungry for more. The colorful visuals make this short-form video attention-grabbing and engaging, despite it being under 10 seconds long.
3. User-generated content
If you want to get your audience hooked on short-form video content, get them to create their own! Encourage your audience to make short-form videos featuring your products. Social media advertising can be much more effective when it features user-generated content (UGC), whether it be product reviews or DIY tutorials.
User-generated content is an ideal way to generate buzz around your brand. This type of short-form video content can help you reach a wider audience, and foster a closer relationship with your followers or customers.
How to capitalize on this trend
- Invite your followers to create short-form videos featuring your product or brand.
- Create a theme around your campaign, which can be something seasonal or trend-related.
- Repost and showcase the best user-generated videos.
- Interact with your followers. Respond to videos, comments, shares and more.
- Encourage influencers and celebrities to get in on the campaign as well.
Short-form video example – Dove
Dove’s 2021 #NoDigitalDistortion campaign, which celebrates realistic, healthy beauty standards and self-love, encouraged users to post videos without using digital, beauty-enhancing effects and to share them with Dove’s hashtag. The campaign helped raise awareness around an important topic on social media, while connecting more people with the brand’s core values.
4. Influencer ads
In 2022, 70% of U.S. consumers followed at least one influencer on social media, and one-third of them reported being influenced into making purchases by online personalities.
While influencer collaborations are nothing new, more brands are using short-form video content to create engaging influencer campaigns online. This trend is going to grow even bigger in 2023.
Short-form videos give influencer campaigns more edge. These punchier ads can create a greater impact, while still delivering elements of authenticity and relatability that make influencer ads so effective.
How to capitalize on this trend
- Find influencers relevant to your niche and target audience.
- Check to see if they align with your brand values.
- Work with micro-influencers for more targeted campaigns.
- Collaborate with influencers on content ideas for short-form videos.
- Make sure your influencer ads feel authentic, not forced.
Short-form video example – BRITA
BRITA collaborated with influencer Hope Watson to promote its reusable water bottle in a short-form tutorial about how to stay hydrated. This example shows how products can be seamlessly slotted into influencer campaigns, making ads feel natural. The video has racked up over 44 million views on TikTok, gaining a huge amount of attention for BRITA’s product.
5. Behind-the-scenes content
Offer your audience an opportunity to see what goes on behind-the-scenes. Whether you’re a content creator or a brand, sharing behind-the-scenes clips can help create a stronger sense of connection with your audience and spark their curiosity. They give viewers an inside look into the world behind the products, services, or content that they love.
Behind-the-scenes videos can also highlight the hard work and creativity that go into making your content and building your business. And thanks to the shareable format of short-form videos, you can transform more viewers into your brand advocates.
How to capitalize on this trend
- Show your personality and passion in the videos.
- Focus on making the content feel natural, not staged.
- Introduce your team in the videos.
- Include images of the final product or result.
Short-form video example – Chanel
Chanel offered viewers a look behind the scenes at the process of designing its High Jewelry collection at the brand’s Parisian studio. This short-form video example is an artistic look into the designers’ creative process, including initial sketches and samples for a necklace from the jewelry collection. The video is an elegant and engaging way to show off Chanel’s luxury products to both its existing customers and new audiences.
It’s no secret that the internet loves a challenge. Challenges make up some of the most viral video trends around. And for brands, challenges are a huge opportunity to welcome user-generated content from your audience and get people talking about your products. Expect to see many more social media challenges coming in 2023, with branded hashtags to match.
How to capitalize on this trend
- Come up with an easy challenge that anyone can participate in.
- Create a hashtag that highlights a key message of your brand.
- Repost and feature top examples of challenges.
- Get influencers involved to boost awareness.
- Give away prizes for the top entries to incentivize entries.
Short-form video example – Nissan
Nissan Australia launched its new JUKE sports car with its #ImprovisewithJUKE challenge, featuring a new TikTok sound and visual that users could Duet with. The brand challenged its followers to create a voiceover for a new car commercial, with the winning entry being featured in its real TV commercial.
The original video for the Duet got over 100 million views, and the campaign resulted in over 90% increase in brand awareness for Nissan.
7. Customer testimonials
Forget about text testimonials, short-form video testimonials are in for 2023.
If you can get your customers in front of the camera, you can bring testimonials to life on your social media profile. This short-form video trend is a great way to boost your brand’s social proof in 2023.
You can use short-form video testimonials to entice your audience to make a purchase. These testimonial clips can come in the form of short interviews, compilations of multiple testimonials, reposts, and more.
How to capitalize on this trend
- Invite customers who reflect your target audience to share testimonials.
- Keep testimonials quick and upbeat.
- Make sure it’s unscripted. Let your customers use their own words or ideas in the videos.
- Edit multiple testimonials into one compilation video.
- Get creative with different formats and themes.
Short-form video example – Wix
Wix experimented with the customer testimonial format with this video showing three of its customers packing stacks of Black Friday orders from their online stores. The short-form video compilation doesn’t feature any word. Instead, it features a series of fun, short clips that give viewers a taste of what their experience could be like if they used Wix.
Short-form video best practices
Ready to incorporate these short-form video trends into your 2023 content strategy? Here are some tips to help you produce the best possible content delivering the results you’re looking for:
1. Know your objective
Before you create any short-form video content, make sure you know why you’re doing it.
Whether you’re trying to increase brand awareness, showcase a new product, or expand your thought leadership on a particular topic, knowing your intention before you start creating short-form videos can help you be more focused.
Having a clear objective will help you make videos that are concise, clear, and deliver on your goals, while providing content of real value for your audience.
2. Engage viewers in seconds
When it comes to short-form video content, you have a tiny window to catch your viewers’ attention before they scroll on. That means the first few seconds of your video need to feature a strong hook.
Identifying the aim of your video is key. For example, if it’s a tutorial or microlearning video, start the video with a question or problem that needs to be solved. If you’re creating a branded challenge or a funny video, start the video with a surprising statement or a preview of the funniest moment of the clip. This helps you get your viewers’ attention faster, as it gives them an idea of why they should keep watching.
3. Quality content only
If you want people to watch your videos, you need to post high quality content. That means no shaky or blurry camera shots, good lighting, and tight editing for all your short-form videos.
Like any content you make, your short-form videos are a reflection of your brand, so only post top quality content that’s going to leave a good first impression on new viewers and potential customers.
4. Use quick cuts
You can keep your videos exciting with snappy cuts between different clips. Trim out as much as you can, while still maintaining a coherent storyline throughout your video.
This is especially important for tutorials, interviews, and Q&A-style videos where it can easily get too lengthy. Viewers are more likely to stay with you if they feel that your video has momentum. To achieve this, be sure to use quick cuts in your editing process.
5. Optimize for mute viewing
Remember that not all your viewers will have their sound on while watching videos, so make sure your content works in mute viewing, too. This might be as simple as adding subtitles, or including key instructions in text in tutorial videos. It’s important to ensure that anyone can enjoy your videos, whether they’re consuming the content with audio or in silence.
6. Keep it fun
The short-form video format isn’t made for dry or serious content. To achieve the best results possible, your content should be lighthearted, engaging, and entertaining.
This isn’t to say you have to make your videos silly — remember that anything you create should align with your brand values and aesthetic. If you’re wondering how you can make your content more relevant, a great tip is to look out for viral trends, music, and sounds that you can use in your videos.
7. Include a CTA
Any video you produce should include a straightforward call to action (CTA) at the end that directs viewers on what to do next. On social media, that could mean hitting follow or subscribe, or heading to your website to find out more.
Depending on the platform, you can also make your short-form videos shoppable, so viewers can make a purchase directly after watching your video content. This is an ideal opportunity to capitalize on each and every view to increase sales.
8. Cross-promote between platforms
The best way to reach the biggest possible audience with your content is to post across multiple short-form video platforms. If you are launching a new service or product, you should be shouting about it across all your marketing channels.
If you have a limited marketing budget, you can repurpose content across different platforms. That could mean re-shooting the videos for different formats, while keeping the essential concepts and content the same.
Best platforms for short-form video content in 2023
Now you know the biggest short-form video trends for 2023 and how to create high-quality content, but what platforms should you be posting on?
Here are the top short-form video platforms you need to know about this year:
TikTok appeared on the world stage in 2018 and since then, its popularity has been on the rise. A pioneer of short-form video content, TikTok doesn’t show any signs of slowing down in 2023. The platform is now home to viral trends, dances, life hacks, tutorials, and much more.
While the app is known for its young audience, TikTok is attracting an ever-expanding range of demographics — it’s not just for Gen Z anymore.
What are the benefits of posting on TikTok?
- 60% of TikTok users are aged between 11 and 26 years old, making the platform ideal for hitting this target demographic.
- TikTok’s For You page (FYP) uses an algorithm to suggest new content, which helps increase organic discovery and engagement.
- The platform is built around quick, short-form content.
- Powerful in-app editing tools that allow you to create videos fast
- Extensive library of music and original sounds for videos.
Want to increase your reach on TikTok? Download our free TikTok SEO Cheat Sheet to learn how to get more views in 7 easy steps.
Originally launched as a photo-sharing app, Instagram is now putting a huge emphasis on short-form video content. Over 90% of Instagram users watch videos on the platform every week, and Instagram is constantly doing more to make video content its key focus.
Instagram Reels launched officially in the summer of 2020, allowing users to create videos of 60 seconds or less (later updated to 90 seconds or less).
What are the benefits of posting Instagram Reels?
- In-app editing tools including filters, audio, and AR (augmented reality) effects make it easy to create Reels.
- You can tag products in Reels to make sales directly within Instagram.
- Reels have a wider reach than other Instagram content. They show up as recommended videos in users’ feeds, and can help increase brand awareness.
While YouTube is known for longer-form video content, views of videos shorter than 1 minute saw a 135% jump on YouTube between 2021 and 2022. This coincided with the release of YouTube Shorts, YouTube’s challenge to TikTok’s bite-sized video content that initially launched in 2020.
YouTube Shorts are limited to just 60 seconds per video, so it’s all about extra concise content. With over 2.5 billion active users on YouTube, you can put your short-form content in front of a huge audience by posting Shorts.
What are the benefits of posting YouTube Shorts?
- As of June 2022, YouTube Shorts already had 1.5 billion monthly users.
- You can use Shorts to drive viewers to your longer-form content on your YouTube channel.
- No clicks needed — YouTube Shorts automatically play in users’ feeds.
- Starting 2023, YouTube Shorts creators who have 1,000 subscribers and 10 million views in the last 90 days will be eligible to apply for the YouTube Partner Program to earn ad revenue.
Ready to get strategic with short-form videos?
Short-form video content is king in 2023. The ultra-popular social media trend will remain intact in the new year, as TikTok, Instagram Reels, and more platforms take over our screens with bite-sized content.
For creators and brands, there’s never been a better time to start investing in short-form video content to engage your audience and boost brand awareness. Get discovered online with fun, informative content and gain new followers.
Want to get more views on TikTok? Download our free TikTok SEO Cheat Sheet for tips to get more eyes on your content.
Follow The Leap on TikTok and Instagram for more content creation tips. We also make a newsletter.