Left to right: Maggie Long, Director of Global PR and Communications at Kuaishou Technology and Daryl Chung, Project Director at e27 speak about short videos at the ORIGIN conference.
Left to right: Maggie Long, Director of Global PR and Communications at Kuaishou Technology and Daryl Chung, Project Director at e27 speak at the ORIGIN conference on June 21, 2019. [Image credit: TechNode]

Authenticity is the key to success on short video platforms, Kuaishou’s Maggie Long told the audience at TechNode’s ORIGINs conference, held during Malaysia Tech Week 2019. Short videos are emerging as the cutting edge of marketing as TechCrunch reports that users spend a shocking total of nearly 600 million hours per day watching short-form videos on their mobile devices in April 2019.

“Short video is a growing phenomenon in China and it is slowly spreading across the world. It is definitely not just a new wave of marketing for those in China, but it is applicable for all,” said Maggie Long, director of Global Public Relations & Communications of short video platform Kuaishou Technology. Kuaishou passed 200 million daily active users in May.

Long spoke at a fireside chat on short videos, grassroots influencers, and their impact on businesses with Daryl Chung, projector director of tech media outlet e27.

The short video boom

Long said that the growth of short video is driven by the development of China’s technology infrastructure, which allows easy access to strong 4G or wifi networks; the simplicity of short video applications; and the format’s openness to everyone from the countryside to China’s biggest cities.

“Everyone’s lives can be seen and will be seen by everyone in the world. It creates a nation-wide community,” said Long.

A mine for businesses

Long said that short video platforms are an undiscovered mine for businesses. Short video platforms, she said, are equipped to help businesses in identifying their target audience quickly. This would benefit marketers as it would help them to craft their campaign to have a greater and more effective reach, added Chung.

Long added that short video platforms are a good way to reach consumers for both the business-to-business or business-to-consumer sectors.

“The key to capturing user’s attention would be the authenticity of the video and the uniqueness of the content,” said Long. She advises businesses not to do advertisements directly ion a short video feature, suggesting that they first create educational content to accumulate a strong, stable fanbase before marketing their product. “The conversion rate tends to be higher,” said Long.

Grassroot influencers

Long said that her platform’s stars are ordinary people—the sort of people many in first and second-tier cities see as losers. “They used to be commoners,” said Long.

Geng Shuai, who’s known for short videos of unique and interesting inventions, has gained the attention of 3 million people and earns more than RMB 10,000 (about $1,450) a month solely through live streaming, Long told TechNode.

Long also said that short videos help Chinese people find safe food: people follow and reach out to content creators who film the rearing process of their animals to buy meat.

How to do it

  1.       Have a clear branding position

Long advises would-be short video stars to stick to a common theme. This allows the platform’s algorithms to better promote and distribute the content to relevant viewers. If streamers change the theme of their content every day, Long said, it confuses the algorithm, causing it to be unable to effectively promote the videos.

  1.       Produce real and authentic content

Long said that users of short-video platforms are looking for videos that are truly authentic. “Videos that are not so professionally produced tend to fare better, as they have an element that makes them more relatable to viewers,” said Long.

  1.       Engage closely with your followers

Long emphasised that interaction with the followers is crucial—it helps users develop a sense of trust in the content creator. This is crucial for business owners hoping to market products. “Once trust is established, people will be more likely to buy the product from you,” said Long.

Wrapping up, Chung said that this new form of marketing requires businesses to take on a new mindset. It is important for business owners and startups to realise that it is about making an impact and scaling their business along the way. Making money and new interesting products, he said, should not be the business’s only focus.