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From Scroll to Stop: Winning Strategies for Short Form Content

February 2024

In the last Direct Hit, we talked constant need for newness as not just a passing phase but as a deeply engrained human expectation defining marketing top-down.  

We’re back with another Direct Hit to dive in further.


The short-form surge started with Vine, a social platform focused on 6-second looping videos, becoming the fastest-growing platform in 2013. Soon after, popular content creators known as ‘viners’ began to emerge and monetize their content. 

In 2023, short-form video ad revenue exceeded $10 billion, so, it’s no surprise marketers are investing more and prioritizing short-form content as a primary focus of their social media strategies. Recognizing the importance of this format, marketers are strategically planning to invest more in short-form video than any other social media strategy.


Creating effective short-form content involves paying attention to trends, starting with a captivating hook, producing relevant content, and repurposing long-form videos.

Short-form content, when integrated into a broader content strategy, proves to be a valuable tool for building brand awareness and engaging audiences. Some key elements to keep in mind while creating your digital strategy: 

  • Keep videos under 180 seconds 
  • Use visual storytelling 
  • Post consistently and often 
  • Cross-platform promotion 
  • Different cuts/trends for different platforms 
  • Use vertical format for mobile browsing 
  • Strategic use of captions and headline 


While short-form video content has gained immense popularity, it comes with its set of challenges. Oversimplification of long-form videos, different trends on different platforms – meaning what works on Instagram Reels would not necessarily work on TikTok, the potential threat of misinterpretation due to its short nature, and limitations in conveying complex ideas are concerns that need addressing. To navigate these challenges effectively, brands must approach short-form content with caution.

Case Study: Nationwide Insurance

Nationwide Insurance has strategically embraced the short-form video trend, adapting its marketing approach to align with the surging popularity of platforms like TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels. The company underwent a significant shift by establishing an in-house video team to work alongside agency partners to come up with a new production method to capitalize on this trend, emphasizing swift and dynamic content creation.

With a diverse content strategy focused on short-form video content, Nationwide engages its audience through educational content, comedic skits, and interactive challenges. The company maintains an agile platform strategy, actively participating on TikTok, Meta, X, Pinterest, and Threads, ensuring adaptability to the ever-changing social media landscape.

Nationwide’s success in short-form videos showcases its commitment to innovation and responsiveness, providing a blueprint for brands navigating the dynamic digital marketing landscape.

Case Study: LadBible

LadBible Group recently witnessed growth by strategically investing in short-form video across its extensive social platforms, capitalizing on its scale to drive meaningful revenue in an environment where other publishers might face challenges due to lower CPMs.

In the fiscal half-year ending in July, the youth focused publisher experienced a 13% increase in indirect social revenues to $18.8 million by expanding its viewership on Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat. LadBible adjusted its content strategy on Facebook, transitioning to shorter-form videos as the platform’s algorithm shifted preferences. This shift resulted in increased CPMs and distribution rates for 60-second videos, contributing to a substantial rise in LadBible’s total follower count and video views across its portfolio.

The success on these established platforms facilitated further investment in emerging platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, with LadBible now boasting nearly 13 million followers on TikTok, surpassing other news brands.


In a time when overstimulation and the need for instant gratification are on the rise, it is no surprise that the growing trend of bite-sized content proves its effectiveness in capturing audience attention. As brands delve into this dynamic space, it is crucial to balance the advantages of engaging content with the potential pitfalls. By staying mindful of trends and navigating challenges responsibly, brands can leverage the power of this type of content to build brand awareness, engage audiences, and stay relevant in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

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