TikTok’s new long-form content feature, Series, offers a new monetization tool for publishers as well as an opportunity to deepen audience engagement. However, this does not mean that creators should drastically change how they operate. Victor Potrel, VP of Content Distribution at TheSoul Publishing explains more…
Since 2019, major social media platforms have increasingly offered their audiences short-form content options. Subsequently, this led to more tools for creators to further build their presence on this format. TikTok’s recent introduction of their long-form Series feature is a recent example of a new monetization tool allowing eligible creators to share collections of exclusive, paywalled content that followers can access at a price set by the creator.
Over time, social media platforms have evolved to offer creators and audiences a diverse range of content formats, spanning from short-form to long-form content and even livestreams. Short-form content in particular, like YouTube Shorts, TikTok videos and Instagram Reels, delivers quick, digestible, and often trend-driven content that capture audience’s attention and drives discoverability. On the other hand, long-form content, such as Facebook and YouTube videos or TikTok’s new Series feature, allows creators to delve deeper, establish meaningful connections with their fans, and secure more stable revenue streams.
Creators must manage their expectations
The launch of TikTok Series is another exciting development in the evolution of content monetization, but this does not mean that creators should drastically change how they operate. While it is great to see more focus on monetizing tools from platforms, creators must still manage their expectations.
At TheSoul Publishing, we regularly explore and embrace new features and programmes but don’t overhaul our entire strategy each time one is released. The development of new programmes is a great moment of opportunity for creators to adjust and trial new ideas, but it is crucial that at the same time, they maintain their long-term goals amidst the excitement of evolving platform roadmaps.
To succeed, a creator’s content strategy must look beyond to achieve meaningful growth, with reach and discoverability being also critical factors. At TheSoul, we make sure to work with multiple platforms and formats in order to be discovered by new audiences, re-engage existing ones, and welcome additional fans.
Grab attention and get discovered with short-form content
Today’s audience expectations have changed, with some viewers spending a growing amount of time watching a succession of short-form videos. Getting visibility in short-form video feeds is something that creators should not ignore. The best short-form content can enable creators to cut through the noise, attract new audiences, and also drive viewers to their longer-form content.
This is because short-form content supports a faster production model, with content being produced, shared, and potentially discovered at a rapid pace. The power of this approach is that it enables creators to keep up with audience interests and remain relevant, as well as participate in the trends that make sense for them, which further helps their discovery by new audiences that wouldn’t get to know them otherwise.
At TheSoul, we’ve embraced this approach, aiming to maximise our brands’ exposure in short-form formats by tailoring and adapting for YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media platforms offering the format.
Build connections and drive to long-form content
Having built brand awareness and re-engaged existing audiences, using both short-form content and longer-form content offers creators the chance to develop deeper relationships with fans and followers.
Think of short-form content like a movie trailer – it should be great to watch by itself, but it will also make a certain amount of viewers go and want to see the main movie.
By applying a similar approach to creating our short and long-form videos, we maintain a consistent voice across our brands. Once the audience interest has been captured through our “snackable” content, we take them on a journey to also become fans of our longer-form content.
Not only is this where deeper engagement opportunities come in, it also offers creators better revenue opportunities. Compared to short-form content, long-form content has a more extended history of monetisation. For example, YouTube’s partner program, which shares ad revenue with creators, has existed since 2007. As such, the model is far more established, and the strategies creators can use are more refined.
Even though the new TikTok Series will work differently, with viewers paying to see content behind a paywall instead of advertisers, it gives creators another way to make money from their longer-form content across platforms and is a step in the right direction to support short-form creators.
Become a content-creation chameleon
Ultimately, these platform innovations offer exciting opportunities for the creator economy — each new feature or programme challenges creators to adopt new content creation and distribution approaches.
To be successful, it’s clear that creators must learn to adapt and be willing to test different platforms, formats, and approaches.
VP of Content Distribution at TheSoul Publishing
TheSoul Publishing is an award-winning digital studio that produces entertaining, positive, and original content for a global audience. Reaching more than one billion social followers across social media, TheSoul’s channels include 5-Minute Crafts, Bright Side, 123 GO!, Avocado Couple, La La Life, Teen-Z, Baby Zoo, Slick Slime Sam and Polar. TheSoul Publishing has won numerous awards including ‘Digital Studio of the Year’ at the 2021 Digiday Video & TV Awards, ‘Best use of Pinterest’ at the 2021 Drum Awards, and is also a 2022 Webby Honoree for ‘Best Overall Social Presence in Media/Entertainment.