Connecting with Gen Z means thinking small – at least in terms of length of content. Leo Fernandez, Senior Director of Creative Development at Team Whistle, explains how to make short form content resonate.
Why should brands and publishers be focused on crafting and implementing a short form content strategy?
The popularity of short-form videos on platforms like TikTok, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Reels is surging, especially among Gen Z and Millennials. To truly resonate with these generations, it’s key to engage with them directly on these platforms, rather than just using social media as a redirecting tool. According to a recent study by our analytics division, Whistle Insights, 87% of respondents are avid consumers of short-form content, and a whopping 92% place a high value on relatable content. It’s critical for brands and publishers to apply the same intensity and commitment to native short-form, vertical video strategies as they do for longer productions.
We see you just launched a slate including titles reimagined from mid form IP. What is the biggest challenge in adapting these formats to original short form ones? What are your lessons for other publishers?
The main hurdle lies in evaluating the storytelling techniques of a series and adapting it into another format. For instance, spinning a narrative in 30-45 seconds demands a distinct skillset compared to doing the same in a 5-7 minute stretch. Illustratively, we successfully transformed Whistles’ signature ‘No Days Off’ series, featuring rising athletes and their training methods, into a captivating snapshot that engages viewers instantly.
How are creators becoming more mainstream and how is your relationship with them continuing to evolve?
Social media creators are now key influencers for Gen Z and Millennial groups, as they connect with audiences through shared viewpoints and familiarity. This ‘creator boom’ democratizes content creation, making it accessible to anyone with a camera. The 2022 HubSpot Consumer Trends report revealed a fast-growing creator economy, with 30% of 18-24 year-olds and 40% of 25-34 year-olds identifying as content creators. For genuine engagement with your desired audience, teaming up with a creator who already has rapport with that group is vital.