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We all know about the rise of TikTok in recent years and the proliferation of video content across social media platforms. It is now quick and easy for users to create and edit short videos on their mobile devices and upload them for all the world to see – or the few dozen followers they have. The introduction of Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts is a reaction from Meta and Google to take advantage of this trend, and many of us have fallen victim to the endless scrolling through content of an evening when we really should be getting on with our chores!

As digital marketers, we need to consider these when planning campaign activity, both in how creative assets are produced, as well as where we are placing ads. The nature of User Generated Content (UGC) is its homemade style, so when these reels are interrupted by a slickly produced ad, it can be jarring. The corporate feel of a traditional ad may appear insincere and disingenuous by contrast, and this is one of the reasons you should always tailor ads for each platform.

One of the routes to counter this is to partner with an influencer who already has a large following and is experienced in producing videos which have impact with your audience. However, there are simpler ways to create the content in-house.

The majority of staff within your company will have a smartphone, and you could ask them to record a short message on a topic or product you are looking to promote. Alternatively, during a planning day of promotional filming, ask the participants to chat off script to the camera. Outtakes and bloopers can also be ideal for these platforms, fitting into the informal and light-hearted tone of many of the popular videos.

The best plan is to have lots of shorter pieces of content, around 10 to 30 seconds long, rather than editing these together into a longer piece. These can then be uploaded as a series to your channel or promoted in a sequence as part of your campaign, as an additional way to increase engagement with your audience online.