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The Rise of Short-Form Video Content: How Brands Can Leverage TikTok and Instagram Reels

July 5, 2024


In the fast-paced world of social media, short-form video content has taken centre stage. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels have skyrocketed in popularity, offering brands unique opportunities to engage with their audience in creative and impactful ways. In this blog, we'll explore the rise of these platforms and provide strategies for brands to create engaging content that captures attention.

The Popularity of Short-Form Video Content

Short-form video platforms have become a dominant force in social media. TikTok, with its addictive 15-second videos, has over a billion active users worldwide. Instagram Reels, introduced as a direct competitor, has quickly integrated into the Instagram ecosystem, leveraging the platform's massive user base. The appeal of short-form videos lies in their brevity and entertainment value, making them perfect for the modern viewer with a short attention span.

Understanding TikTok and Instagram Reels

TikTok is known for its highly engaging content, driven by trends, challenges, and a powerful algorithm that surfaces videos based on user preferences. Its features include an extensive library of music and sound effects, a variety of editing tools, and the ability to stitch and duet with other users' videos.

Instagram Reels offers a similar experience but integrates seamlessly with Instagram's existing features. Users can share Reels to their Stories, explore page, and profile grid, making it easier for brands already active on Instagram to adopt this new format. The Reels algorithm also pushes content based on user interactions, ensuring wide reach and engagement.

Strategies for Creating Engaging Short-Form Content

Know Your Audience

Understanding your audience is crucial. Analyse demographics, preferences, and behaviour to tailor your content accordingly. Use platform analytics to gain insights into what resonates with your viewers.

Keep It Short and Sweet

The beauty of short-form content is its brevity. Aim for videos that are between 15 to 30 seconds long. Focus on delivering your message quickly and clearly to maintain viewer interest.

Leverage Trends and Hashtags

Participate in trending challenges and use popular hashtags to increase visibility. Trends evolve rapidly, so stay updated and be quick to jump on relevant ones. This not only boosts your reach but also shows that your brand is in tune with current social media dynamics.

Use Creative Editing and Effects

Both TikTok and Instagram Reels offer robust editing tools. Utilise effects, transitions, and music to enhance your videos. Creative editing can make your content stand out and keep viewers engaged.

Include a Call to Action (CTA)

Every video should have a clear CTA. Whether it's encouraging viewers to like, share, comment, or visit your website, a strong CTA can drive engagement and conversions. For example, "Check out our latest collection by visiting the link in our bio!" is direct and effective.

Case Studies

Let’s take a look at some brands that have successfully leveraged TikTok and Instagram Reels:


The fast-food chain uses TikTok to share fun, behind-the-scenes content and participate in trending challenges. Their #GuacDance challenge was a huge success, generating millions of views and engagements.


On Instagram Reels, Sephora showcases quick makeup tutorials and product demos. Recently, they’ve even posted a reel that engaged their users via comedic takes on ASMR trends. Their content is visually appealing and provides value to their audience, leading to high engagement rates.

Formula 1

The F1 utilises both platforms to share highlights, player interviews, and fan interactions. They even post user-made teams from time to time and this heavily boosts their engagement. Their content strategy is to keep fans engaged with a mix of informative and entertaining videos.


What these brands have in common across the board, is their ability to craft content that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The current marketing landscape is calling for companies and brands to be more relatable and personal to their audience; these three social media pages do just that. 


Short-form video content is more than just a trend; it's a powerful tool that can be leveraged for brand engagement. By leveraging platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, brands can reach a wider audience and create memorable, impactful content. Start experimenting with these strategies today and see the difference it can make for your brand.

How We Think Digital Can Help

At WeThinkDigital, we specialise in content strategy and social media management. Our team of experts can help your brand navigate the dynamic world of TikTok and Instagram Reels. We offer:

  • Customised social media strategies
  • Trend analysis and content planning
  • Performance tracking and optimisation

Partner with us to elevate your brand’s social media presence and achieve your marketing goals. Contact us today to get started!

Article By
Janisha Ricardo

Janisha is a digital marketing specialist with a background in commercial production for TV. She loves creating engaging content for all kinds of businesses, and she leverages her expertise to drive impactful results. At We Think Digital, Janisha uses her skills to boost online presence and drive successful digital strategies for our clients.