Advertisements come in all shapes and sizes. They are built on different mediums, each with a style that reflects the qualities of the brand being promoted. Video ads are ever more popular. They create engagement through entertainment and are very easy to digest – something that makes them very appealing in the information-laden age of social media.
We are used to seeing highly-polished and well-edited video content in many online advertising campaigns. Many businesses found this type of video ad appealing as they have a long shelf life and work well across different platforms. However, we have recently seen a steady rise in informal video ads. Insider Intelligence notes that this trend is likely due to the past year’s spike in TikTok’s popularity.
Formal Vs. Informal Video Content: What’s the Difference?
An article from the digital marketing agency Four Tens Digital makes a style-based distinction between formal and informal video content in the marketing context. According to this piece, the former includes the likes of branding, marketing and how-to videos. They are typically created with a set budget, paid actors, proper post-processing and direction that deliberately follows a certain marketing and distribution strategy.
Meanwhile, informal video content, those akin to user-generated videos in social media, are generally created to connect with social media users and create spontaneous, informal engagement. They typically don’t have the polish and budget of formal videos and tend to be relevant to the times, often relating to current events and trends. Examples of such content are product reviews done by influencers and informal product demos.
Is Your Brand Ready for Informal Video Content?
Informal videos create engagement by mimicking native user-generated content and relating to topics that resonate with social media users. They are typically useful for small and medium businesses that do not have the budget of corporations and their larger peers. With TikTok and short videos on YouTube becoming more popular, your business – regardless of its size – should now be ready to adopt this form of video advertisement.
How Your Business Can Leverage TikTok-like Video Content
Taking advantage of informal video content may be a challenge for brands used to producing formal video content. Here are some useful practices that brands should follow:
- Consider your audience.
Look into your audience’s preferences and consider the type of platform that they are in. If you are going for TikTok, be sure to create short and playful content; for YouTube, you can go a bit more formal but keep your content casual. In any case, be sure that your ad reflects your brand’s values and engages your audience.
- Be authentic.
You may need a script, but do not be too formal or stress yourself about following it down to the last detail. You do not need to have a complicated video set up, too – you might only need a good phone in most cases. As for your topic, be sure that it gives a human face to your business. Have someone in your product department casually talk about the ongoing product development process or demo a new product. You will fare better with social media audiences the more authentic your videos are.
- Be relevant.
Informal videos need relevance to gain traction and blow up. As such, be mindful of the latest popular hashtags, trends and challenges. Don’t be afraid to hop onto the bandwagon, but be sure to add your brand’s flair to your content if you wish to stand out. Playfully include your brand in every video, or use your product in a clever, relevant way. There are endless possibilities and plenty of content that can inspire you, so go out there and explore.
The steady rise of TikTok poses a new trend that challenges the conventions of video advertising. We will not see that reverse any time soon. So, the least a brand can do is adapt and use short informal videos to its advantage.