Why most brands fail to adopt reels, Shorts & TikTok.

This short article will answer the question: “Why most brands fail to adopt reels, shorts & TikTok?”. To get the most out of this article some prior knowledge of short form content is recommended. We will go into depth in answering the question at hand and will assume the reader is up-to-date on current trends for video content served in a 9:16 format on a social media platform.

What is optimal performance

With our clients and clients of our competitors we can establish a baseline of optimal performance on short format content providers. We will take a look at this baseline first. This way you the reader can see how your current social media short format content strategy is keeping up.

Almost all Social Media channels like Youtube, TikTok and Instagram. Are currently pushing their short format content delivery. However, the enormous amount of current content and uploaders are still keen to take up some screen time. We see the best performing clients publish between 1-3 pieces of short format content every single day.

However, Simple posting quantity does not cut is. We also see the best results for clients who have an active engagement in the comment section and who seek out a response from viewers with their creative copy. This needs to be organic engagement and can (in most cases) not be stimulated by paid-promotion of the content or, (the worst thing for reach) fake engagement.

Lastly, we see that the content itself since all short form content is video content, is highly influential of the reach. Where almost all platforms base their rate of recommendation on the watch time. Which can be measured in time or in percentage watched. In both cases it is of utmost importance to structure your content in order to achieve a maximum watch time. This may differ from how you would traditionally structure ads to get the message across as fast as possible.

In our experience average when following these steps a brand should experience stints of large growth and virality.

How to keep up?

Let’s jump into the most common reasons why why most brands fail to adopt reels, Shorts & TikTok.

“I cannot produce this amount of content on a regular basis.”

We get this a lot! An active digital strategy requires such a large amount of content and posting management that it can be hard to keep up!
Especially for companies with a smaller budget, production costs of large amounts of content can add up quick.
For this issue there are three solutions; you can hire someone solely responsible for production, you could find a freelancer who is capable of producing content or you can find an agency that is specialized in online content production. The drawbacks and advantages of each of these options has been discussed in our previous article. (When is an Agency the right choice?)

What is often misunderstood is how well short form video content can be re-utilized. Unlike before, most platforms require the exact same media details in order to perform. Which in other words means: when before you had to create 4:5 for Facebook and 16:9 for Youtube. Now you can prodce in 9:16 and perform well on all these platforms.

Furthermore we can provide you with the following advice: When shooting content! Maximize the ability to re-use or re-cut footage in different aspect ratios.
Also, with the power of animation and voice over a lot can be achieved by creating video’s from stills, images or website listings.

Do I have the wrong content?

“My current catalog is shot in 16:9 or other traditional Aspect Ratios and does not perform well”

Ah, yes! The “I have the wrong content” situation. You tried reposting the traditional formats on the vertical short format platforms and found your results to be lacking or simply insufficient for your brand.

This can be especially true for somewhat larger companies that try to keep up with modern media however failed to see or adapt quickly enough to new trends. Don’t worry! You content backlog is not worthless! In-fact, it can provide you with a massive catalog of footage ready to be translated into well performing creative assets.

If you have recently spent the budget on the creation of a large amount of media. Or if you have a media partner/team that regularly creates your marketing creatives you have a multitude of options available. Option A: ask if your media partner/team can alter the content for you! This might cost some extra budget, however it is almost always worth it considering the extra reach you can achieve.

Option B: Have your content translated/altered to perform as 9:16 short form by another agency/partner. This can be especially interesting if you choose an agency more experienced in short form content. Editing costs will be lower and performance should increase on the account of their experience.

The largest risk Option A may pose is the large amount of editing costs and small amount of content you get in return. More traditional media production agencies often do not understand the rigorous posting schedule that is required for short-form content to perform at it’s best.

Option B tends to work best, however might be limited due to what content has been shot. The best practice would be to create content for Short Form video independently or have you strategic partner involved in the production process.

When it’s an attitude problem

“I don’t know how to convince management we can benefit from TikTok, Shorts & Reels.”

Let’s face it. If you are a innovative marketing manager at a more traditional company you will face backlash when proposing a TikTok Strategy.
We see this a lot in older multi-national companies that have had their marketing management in place for maybe a decade.

It may be hard to convince management of the results that can be had by engaging on these platforms the right way. It might be hard to convice a Sr. Brand Manager that you need to conform to current TikTok trends with your content in order for it to gain good traction.

Don’t be afraid! Ask and convince them by giving short form content a try! In most cases the companies where this reasoning is blocking progress there is enough budget to try out a short form content strategy. Try it out for a few months and compare results.

Make sure to give it a go for at least 2-3 months. An average Short Format Content campaign takes about 1 month to get started bringing in steady results. Also this will give you and your team adequate time to adapt based on analytics and results.

We regularly see more traditional management completely change their views on modern methods of short format content marketing when the first results start showing. Currently it is almost, unbeatable in terms of massive sustainable organic reach & social media page growth.

New Age Media provides our customers when needed with mockups, strong KPI’s and even a results guarantee. We believe in short form content that much and have seen the results with strong client cases.

This leads us into my last reason why most brands fail to adopt reels, Shorts & TikTok.

Do not be a quitter!

“I tried posting shorts however I did not get any results.”

In most almost all cases, this is hardly possible if you follow the above advice. However, sometimes a content strategy does not work or it does not fit a brand.
Do not give up! All platforms offer a great amount of analytical data to see who, where, when and how your content reaches it’s audience.

Take a good look at the performance analytics and you can find out where the improvement lies that is needed to make it perform! With every piece of content you publish you should aim to capture attention longer and better.

In general these are some indicators you can watch out for:

  1. Your viewcount or reach is very low. – Try updating your thumbnails and make use of hashtags fitting your content.
  2. Your views stops growing – Your content is not being recommended, see if you can increase engagement and watch time.
  3. No engagement – See if you can ask questions, Inform more and check the cohesion of the subject matter and you audience.
  4. Low sharing – The content you are showing does not provide enough value or entertainment to the audience.
  5. Low/No follower gain – Give more reasons for a viewer to stay on your page. Maintain frequent postings.

Lastly, as stated in the chapter above. Take your time! Most content strategies take about 1 month to get started and 2-3 months to optimally perform. Keep learning from your analytics and improving your content/postings! (This is one more reason why a good content creation partner/team is usefull.)
Adapt to analytics and you will see your results grow!


Now you know why most brands fail to adopt reels, Shorts & TikTok and what you can do to succeed! Want to start making your short form content work? Take a look at New Age Media and it’s services! Thank you for reading.

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