TikTok – The rising potential of short-form video content in a changing PR landscape

By Alex Eve, Campaign Executive

Regular use of social media by businesses has become one of the most reliable ways to communicate with customers and clients quickly and easily. Public relations campaigns no longer rely solely on traditional forms of content such as print media, so it is crucial for businesses to keep up with evolving trends. While it has become increasingly common to see firms managing LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, a new contender is quickly making an impact in the market.

Through utilising short-form content, TikTok is proving highly popular with the younger generation in the form of snappy, humorous and easily shareable videos, but why? And is there a place for businesses to capitalise on its growing popularity?

If we look into the psychology behind short-form content, a case has been made that for Generation Z, attention spans have shortened. Content can now be accessed more quickly and more easily, creating greater levels of instant demand for multiple pieces of content, and TikTok has continued this trend by putting a 60 second limit on multiple clip uploads. And it’s not just video. Pop songs are now 1 minute and 13 seconds shorter than they were 20 years ago. Increased quantity of content in a shorter form is now the name of the game.

Much has been said on the benefit that video content can provide to organisations. It has shown to grab a customer or prospect’s attention in a way images can’t, so many are now taking advantage of original video creations in their social media campaigns. But there’s a case that it may be time to complement those 2-3 minute informational videos with short-form light-hearted content to add a new dynamic to customer relations, with TikTok potentially holding the key.

As the PR landscape continues to be driven by social media more and more, is it time for businesses to jump on the TikTok bandwagon? TikTok’s potential in the business world could well be fulfilled by Microsoft’s apparent interest in acquiring its US operations in the near future.

With LinkedIn already a part of the Microsoft portfolio, could we see TikTok video integration on the platform in the future? Some of the world’s biggest brands already use TikTok to communicate with customers, with NBA and Apple Music sharing unique short-form videos to their followers. The uptake of the platform with other major brands may well hinge on current investigations on how the firm currently handles sensitive data. Many global businesses are likely to be watching these developments with interest.

With the Covid-19 pandemic affecting many across the globe, organisations and industries have looked to bring a new light-hearted approach to their marketing and bring people together during these tough times. Many organisations could well find that by utilising TikTok and other social media platforms to share fun and engaging content, a whole new type of bond can be built between customer and business.