EVERYWHERE, ANYWHERE, ALL AT ONCE?

An Incomplete Taxonomy of Short-Form Video Syndication

Fohr
Parish Hayes
February 1, 2024
Updated Feb 09, 2024
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We get it—a lot of brand execs have only recently warmed up to the idea that influencer-generated [short-form video] Content actually works. But prepare yourself, because I’m about to throw you for another loop.

Contrary to what some may believe, short-form video is not the same across platforms. A few years ago, social strategists were able to tell brands and creators that posting the same video content on TikTok and Instagram Reels was enough to make a splash on both platforms. There was a short-lived era where having the TikTok watermark on your Reel didn’t actually matter and was even likely to direct IG viewers to your TikTok. “Platform diversity,” we called it, and Social Media Managers ate it up.

In the last year, these short-form video platforms have become even more drastically different in terms of their algorithms and aesthetics than before. Beginning with what we were told would be the demise of TikTok, Meta implemented creator-focused updates to their subsidiary brand, Instagram, as Google did the same with YouTube–both with their very own content and aesthetic differences. The increase in the bespoke and niche nature of the algorithms on respective platforms means that they now each cultivate completely different experiences for users.

It may feel like you're saving yourself time, energy, and resources by copying and pasting content across the platforms, but we've since found that this leads to uneven performance. As much as we want it to, the short-term benefit of reusing and repurposing content just won’t lead to the long-term results we’re looking for.

The takeaways from Parish’s Platform Playbook:

Instagram Reels has emerged as a dynamic visual portfolio for its users. Quality and curation are paramount here; fostering a space for meticulously crafted, aesthetically-driven content. Reels content should tread the line of aspirational and attainable. The seamless blend of promotional and product-centered language sets its content apart, making it a perfect platform for brands and creators to artfully communicate their message while maintaining a visually captivating, lifestyle-centered experience for their audience.

TikTok's algorithm is unique in that it favors unfiltered, off-the-cuff, (and somewhat unhinged) lo-fi content. It is a very fast-paced platform whose algorithm caters to hyper-specific subcultures. Brand and creator content that performs well here speaks to niche audience sensibilities and hops on trending moments or popular sounds, fostering genuine connections in this thriving, diverse community. Users seek spontaneous, “edu-taining” content that's purpose-driven and/or offers insights or relatable takeaways.

Short-form video on YouTube, much like Instagram, favors content with high production value and a clear aesthetic throughline. The platform is great for community building and reaching new brand lovers. Niche product and promotion are key here for brands whose target audience favors fitness, wellness, family lifestyle, news, education, and popular culture. It is also a great strategy to aim towards longer video content with a short teaser.

In the current era of social media, relying on platform syndication is ineffective. Due to the unique algorithms of each platform, sharing the same video content across platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube is impractical. While we can recognize that as Social Media Managers, we are often constrained by time and resources, this short-cut only makes more work in the long run when we’re playing catch-up to the numbers. Creating intentional content tailored to the specific needs of each platform adds significant value for your audience, fostering a more engaged and loyal community.

Parish Hayes is a Creative Strategist at Fohr as well as a men’s lifestyle creator @pareagonia. If you want to chat men’s style or creative strategy with him, email him at parish@fohr.co.

Influencer Marketing Strategy
Social Media
YouTube
TikTok
Instagram
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