TL;DW - The trend for short videos

TL;DW - The trend for short videos



TL;DR is an abbreviation of “Too Long, Didn’t Read” and is used to say that something would require too much time to read. The internet long-form blog or news article are examples. People are time poor nowadays and simply not interested in reading long-form articles.

The title of this blog has a lesser-used abbreviation TL;DW, or “Too Long, Didn’t Watch”.

The trend for online videos is for short form videos; as people consume more and varied information they want it quick, informative, and engaging. They simply won’t sit through long form videos in the same way they won’t sift through long articles. This should be good news for video creators across the board. 

The internet meme is the ultimate short-form to get your message across, and Brands are using them to engage with customers, like the Nokia release shown below.



Twitter, with its character limit, is forcing people to say a lot with very few words, and, generally, people replying on any social media are likely doing it on their phones and offer succinct, often terse and pithy, replies.

Video? Short form video for selling has been the staple of the advertising and film industry for decades. Most television adverts are 15-30 seconds long, and film trailers are short and punchy. An actor has a short showreel. All need to grab attention immediately, and then engage the audience with the message: buy this product; watch this film; call-in this actor etc.

Online video is set to grow, with brands using them to engage, inform, and convert prospects into paying consumers of their product across all social media platforms, with YouTube, TikTok, FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram the battlegrounds.

Amongst all the noise as we navigate information overload, videos are the most desirable and sought after, with 69% preferring video content according to research. Videos offer a brand the opportunity to engage with sight, sound, emotion, humour etc., in one medium, and can offer bite-sized segments to allow the consumer to go on a journey and hopefully convert to a customer.

Importantly, video mixed with graphics or, at the very least, subtitles/titles are important. A whopping 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound! 

If making videos is your thing, then short videos for marketing are a great way to test your story writing skills. To engage, keep attention, and get a story across in a short time is an essential skill to even movie making: ask Guy Ritchie.

As a result of online content, typical commercials aside, the trends for videos across different areas of a corporation include:

Product or service demo videos

Over 90% of people say they search for “How to” ideas when doing a task.

People prefer to see rather than read how the product or service works and what the benefits of functions are.

A product or service demo video answers questions and overcomes any hesitations people have before nudging them to purchase. Research shows that a prospect is nearly twice as likely to buy after watching a product demo.

Video Testimonials

89% of marketers find customer testimonials to be the most effective form of content marketing. The Pandemic made commercials very difficult to shoot, and many companies resorted to remote shooting to get testimonials from real customers, by Zoom, or by video kit drops to customers to shoot better quality.

Regardless, the trend looks here to stay. Why? Video testimonials are authentic content that act as a powerful form of social proof. They are credible and tell a complete story from start to finish, showing the customer’s original problem that they were facing before the product or service provided a solution.

Customers relate and see it as a personal endorsement: psychologically we connect with people in videos as we invite them into our personal space, which is why people get emotionally invested in people they see regularly on TV.

Linkedin and b2b engagement

Businesses are using Linkedin videos to engage directly with their potential customers. They often include not just product demo videos, but also staff/customer testimonials to “personalise” the brand, and references to community or other areas of work that enhance the image of the brand.

If a video gets likes or comments, it’s amplified across the business network as a marketing tool to reach more potential customers and employees.

Social Media influencers and viral videos


Every corporate marketing department, and any influencer, is looking for the next viral video that enhances their brand.

Social media influencers are dominating audience engagement, and seeking out up and coming influencers with whom to create content is a definite trend. As influencers grow their engagement, they can earn greater advertising revenue and, importantly, command higher prices to endorse or mention a product or service 

Creating their own TikTok, Instagram, or Snapchat video is becoming popular as a form of brand engagement.


For videographers

There is a huge market for video professionals, and the good news is that the customer base ranges from high budget corporations, who often have their own in-house teams, to start-ups and local businesses who require a total-service solution from idea to finished product; although even corporations will outsource some work.

A builder speaking to camera as he highlights a start-to-finish house extension is a powerful tool to humanise his business. A baker demonstrating their in-house baking, a wedding planner talking about their process with shots from planning to a stunning example with happy testimonials from couples. There are many growing local businesses that are already using Facebook and Google, but are not aware yet of the power of video as a marketing and conversion tool.

Skillshare offer an overview of how to market for a small business, and this is a starting point not just for the videographer, but as an overview of what’s required and why it’s useful. To get customers, you need to learn how to pitch your video services to them with statistics and goals. 

Social Media on iPhone

Image from Stacey MacNaught

Learning the different requirements of each distribution channel such as portrait, landscape, time limits, captions/titles, content policies, and more, are an essential part of the process to speed up production from concept to delivery.

Given that many social media influencers use the selfie camera on a smartphone, it’s clear that Hollywood movie production is not required, and that a videography business can be started with a smartphone and third party apps, and grow from there.

As with any business, researching the market, learning the skills and terminology to pitch to a customer, practice, hard work, and determination are required to make it a success.

Videography is a growing market with a low bar for entry that can be taken advantage of now by any creative willing to put in the work.

It may not be as satisfying as creating a movie masterpiece, but it’s still creating, and Guy Ritchie is not the first director, or the last, to cut his teeth and use commercials and advertising work as practice and to finance his personal goals.

We’d be interested to hear of any short form social media videos you’ve created, for yourself or others, and any positive feedback you got.



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