December 4, 2013

2013: The Year of Short-Form Content

As new platforms emerged and consumer attention span continued to dwindle in 2013, we witnessed a golden year for short-form content. In an age when we are attached to our mobile devices which are themselves constantly inundated with messaging, brands learned to connect with consumers during in-between moments with connections that could break through the clutter.

Here’s a look back at the year of short-form content:


In January, Twitter introduced Vine and with it six second video clips palatable for frequent mobile use. Brands soon took advantage of this new medium for short-and-sweet storytelling.

From the informative…

…to the entertaining.

Dunkin’ Donuts notably made a giant leap onto the platform, airing the first-ever TV spot created entirely from a Vine during ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown this fall.

Five tweets per second now contain a Vine link, and studies show that a branded Vine is four times more likely to be viewed than a branded video.


The veteran social network continued to shine as focus more firmly centered on being a part of real-time conversation. From the tweet heard round the world to royal baby frenzy, we saw brands hone their ability to create content that truly resonated with their audiences.


As the platform became more and more popular among young consumers, Snapchat sparked interest from brands. Sure, snaps are fleeting, but considering brands only have a few seconds to capture consumers’ attention on social, 10 seconds for content is more than enough. Plus, no other platform can deliver messages that seem so personal.

The first brand to use Snapchat for marketing purposes was frozen yogurt company 16 Handles which sent a self-destructing coupon to users who took a snap at one of its locations. Taco Bell jumped on board in May, introducing its Beefy Crunch Burrito to followers via snap. Then in September, during New York Fashion Week, designer Rebecca Minkoff previewed her new collection with a fleeting sneak-peek.

Instagram Video

In July, Instagram took on Vine, adding 15 second videos to the network capabilities. Brands with an already robust presence, suddenly gained greater creative opportunities. And if anyone thought 15 seconds wasn’t long enough for valuable video content, they were proven wrong by the fact that one Instagram was able to share:

A news story:


A TV promo:


Behind-the-scenes at an entire event:


A product launch:

With Facebook video ads expected to (finally) launch in 2014, the ability to tell a relevant story in a tight time-frame will be all the more important.

Instagram Ads

In early November, fashion designer Michael Kors launched the first Instagram ad, pushing a photo into the feeds of non-followers. The @michaelkors account then gained 34,000 additional followers within 18 hours, proving to be 16% more effective than non-sponsored content. But it’s Ben & Jerry’s that is seeing the sweetest results: the brand’s first Instagram ad garnered 386,877 likes, a more than 2,000 percent increase from its average post.

In fact, Instagram ads have so far been relatively successful, with 5% leading to likes. The jury is still out, but in the coming year we should expect a sound verdict on whether the platform is a viable for cost-effective ad-buying.

The focus on creating connections with short-form content will certainly carry into 2014. So as we approach the new year, remember:

What are your predictions for short-form content in 2014?

Tags: Content Marketing, Instagram, Niche Networks, Paid Media, Snapchat, Strategy, Twitter, Vine

Stay in the know.

Social smarts delivered to your inbox every week.
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Want to Work With Us?

Let’s Talk