‘The rules of long-form’
TikTok has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years due to its frenetic, high-energy videos, a format that aligned well with the platform’s original focus on dancing and lip-syncing videos. And, seeing the success TikTok found with its short-form videos, rival platforms such as Instagram and YouTube aimed to copy TikTok’s bread and butter by introducing their own short-form video capabilities.
As TikTok has evolved, however, the platform has gradually extended the maximum length of its videos from a mere 15 seconds to its current 10-minute cap, and TikTok users seem to be increasingly captivated by videos that tell engaging and entertaining stories, regardless of their production value or length, Parks said. A simple TikTok video of a person sitting in the front seat of their car and recounting a funny interaction they had while out shopping in a three-minute-long “storytime” video, for example, can attract thousands or even millions of views.
“Long-form content has always worked when there's something interesting to say,” Parks said. “We’ve seen this across other platforms—on YouTube, in particular. And on TikTok, the rules of long-form remain the same: you can make long-form content when you have an amazing story to tell.”
But brands should also consider incorporating influencers into long-form videos to communicate that story, as “partnering with creators is a non-negotiable if you want to resonate on a platform like TikTok,” she said.
The star-studded cast of creators that Hilton partnered with for the video was undoubtedly a major element of what held so many TikTok users’ attention, said Mae Karwowski, CEO and founder of influencer marketing agency Obviously. Those creators also helped Hilton better capture the type of language and humor that performs well on TikTok, such as the snarky, self-referential jokes the influencers made throughout the video, she said. She pointed to the segment where Robyn DelMonte, or GirlBossTown, begins talking about how working with brands can help a brand’s content better resonate with consumers, as an example.