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Stay Ahead of the Curve with Your Short-form Video Marketing Efforts

Video content makes up 65% of all internet traffic, making it the most favored ad format among consumers. With a growing number of online platforms catering to video preferences, global brands are increasingly relying on short-form video advertising as their primary promotional strategy.

However, achieving success in this rapidly evolving market necessitates a deeper understanding of trends and preferences across various markets, as well as the ability to create high-quality videos that effectively engage viewers.

Drawing on their extensive experience in short-form video marketing, TopWorks Creative Studios by Nativex has developed a comprehensive set of “three fundamental pillars” for creating impactful short video ads.

In this article, we delve into the latest trends and offer practical advice for short-form video marketing. Our insights are based on the aforementioned principles and are designed to help you increase your brand’s visibility and ROI not only in 2023 but well into the future.

  • Thoughtful Localization: Take into account the intended purpose of your content, consider the cultural preferences of your audience, and avoid sensitive topics that could potentially be inappropriate or offensive.
  • Captivating Viewer Attention: Skillfully manage the pace and rhythm of your content to create an engaging and dynamic experience that captures the viewer’s attention from beginning to end.
  • Emotional Connection: Comprehend the emotional desires and preferences of your audience and craft content that resonates with and satisfies their psychological expectations.

Localize Creatives by Understanding Regional Traits

The world is home to diverse cultures, and gaining a deeper understanding of local audiences and effectively allocating video production resources can significantly impact marketing success. Our team at TopWorks has extensive experience in creative innovation and production, enabling us to identify market preferences and trends for 2023.

US and European Markets

As younger consumers in Europe and America increasingly prioritize environmental protection, sustainability, and social responsibility, brands can foster greater engagement by providing personalized shopping experiences through digital technology and social media. Furthermore, advancements in AI and VR offer innovative advertising opportunities, such as interactive virtual shopping and brand promotions on smart home devices.

European and American users are more inclined towards professionally produced, high-quality videos such as music videos, movie or documentary trailers. Short news snippets and funny clips are also popular.

Japan and Korea

Mobile games are a popular daily form of entertainment for users in the Japanese and Korean markets, creating opportunities for brands and developers to increase brand awareness through in-game advertising. These markets are also enthusiastic about emerging technologies like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), enabling brands to create imaginative and interactive promotional content. Additionally, due to the enormous success of the Korean entertainment industry, influencer and K-pop star marketing are proving to be powerful tools for boosting sales. Collaborating with local influencers and celebrities can help brands generate awareness and reach a massive fan base.

Japanese and Korean users gravitate toward short-form videos featuring anime, games, music, fashion, and beauty content. These videos are increasingly incorporating modern and innovative creative techniques like video mashups, audio-mixing and duet challenges to enhance the viewing experience.

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s diverse cultures and languages necessitate brands and developers to tailor their marketing strategies, content, advertising, and promotional activities to appeal to local consumers. With around 30% of countries in the region (e.g., Malaysia, Singapore, and Philippines) having over 60% social media penetration rate, Southeast Asian users heavily rely on social media to gather information and engage with brands. Therefore, it is crucial for brands to actively respond to user comments, feedback, and messages to foster a strong relationship with them.

The ubiquity of mobile devices has made them an essential aspect of consumers’ daily lives. The rise of mobile applications, including social media, navigation, and e-commerce, has made it possible for brands to incorporate short-form videos and user-generated content (UGC) into their advertising strategies. In Southeast Asia, consumers prefer entertaining and engaging content embedded with local culture and trends that can be accessed across various platforms. Therefore, it is crucial for brands to produce content that aligns with this preference to effectively connect with their target audience.

Southeast Asian users tend to enjoy short-form videos that feature travel, food, and entertainment. Examples include food explorations, travel vlogs, and movie trailers. Additionally, variety shows and celebrity dramas are also popular among users in this region. Social short videos, such as selfies, live streams, and interactive clips, are becoming increasingly popular as well.

The Middle East

Social media is becoming an influential tool in the MENA region as they have a high social media penetration rate. While traditional values, family, and community themes continue to be popular in the Middle Eastern market, younger generations who heavily use social media and mobile devices can be appealed to through creative, emotional, and social content. Therefore, brands can prioritize these types of content to reach this demographic.

In the Middle East, videos showcasing religion, culture, and traditional clothing, such as religious ceremonies, historical buildings, and cultural attire, are favored by users. Additionally, food, travel, and music videos are highly popular. Short videos that incorporate special effects and filters are increasingly being published. When it comes to video style, warm tones and bright colors like gold and red are preferred by Middle Eastern users.


In 2022, music videos were the most popular online video content genre among Indian users, followed by entertainment videos (e.g., comedy, viral, and educational content). Aside from those top 2 genres, influencer videos are also becoming significantly more popular, along with health, beauty, fashion, and travel.

Brands can effectively capture users’ attention and convey their brand message and product information through innovative forms of creative content, such as original content, influencer collaborations, and live streaming.

Regulate User Engagement by Controlling the Pace of Video Ads

To capture users’ interest and leave a lasting impression within a brief time frame, it’s crucial to master the tempo and rhythm of ads. Short-form videos require a tight and engaging tempo to retain users’ attention, as a pace that is too slow or too fast can lead to fatigue and discomfort, ultimately reducing the effectiveness of the video. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a well-crafted tempo when creating short videos that captivate the user, evoke emotional resonance, and increase the video’s potential for virality.

  • The 1st second: The first second of a video is critical for capturing and maintaining user attention. Careful consideration must be given to the type of content that will engage users, such as a pleasant voice, a familiar face, an attractive appearance, or an inquiring expression to attract curiosity.

  • The 3rd second: Establishing the video’s unique theme is essential at this point. Each video should have a unique theme, such as humor, romance, game recommendations, etc., and it’s essential to establish this theme by the 3rd second of the video to inform the user about the type of content they can expect.

  • The 5th second: This is the golden moment where the video should reach its climax. Techniques such as altering tone, presenting thought-provoking questions, introducing conflicts, or utilizing different shots can pique the viewer’s curiosity and leave them eager for more.

  • The 9th second: By this point, viewers’ patience may be wearing thin, so it’s critical to effectively communicate your message and brand selling points.

Although there may be more key moments to consider after the 9 seconds, such as the 15th second, it’s essential to employ techniques like plot twists and suspense to sustain the viewer’s interest throughout the rest of the video.

Retain User Engagement and Drive Conversions with Creatives

To effectively attract and engage users, it’s essential to understand their needs and objectives when visiting your platform. Drawing on user psychology and platform characteristics, we’ve developed four principles: Engaging, Visually Captivating, Stimulating, and Tips and Tricks. By applying these principles, you can create ad content that resonates with users, leading to increased engagement and higher conversion rates.


Certain users are drawn to engaging and entertaining content that encourages them to participate actively. This can include videos that utilize filters, incorporate plot twists, feature dancing, or invite viewers to take part in hashtag challenges. These elements not only provide great entertainment value, but also create a strong sense of involvement and participation for the audience.

EngagingEyes Closed Duet Challenge launched by famous singer Ed Sheeran        (Source: TikTok)


Appealing visuals have become crucial in capturing the attention of users. An attractive appearance or an aesthetic design can create a positive first impression.

A beauty TikTok influencer sharing makeup tutorials.
(Source: TikTok)


Certain users crave knowledge and are interested in news, suspense, and other intriguing topics that satisfy their thirst for information.

Short-form videos reveal interesting facts
(Source: @listo_theory)

Tips and Tricks

Certain users aspire to increase their knowledge and skillset, and they seek out content that provides expert tips and tricks for mastering their craft, such as cooking techniques, photography tips, home fitness ideas, time-saving techniques, and others.

Tips and Tricks
Fitness influencers sharing tips on how to optimize your workouts
(Source: @batesfit)

About Nativex

Nativex is a leading digital marketing agency covering traffic resources across all major markets in the world. By providing high-quality user acquisition automation tools, KOL marketing services, and a wide range of creative customization capabilities, Nativex helps brands and apps around the world boost their cross-regional growth.

Contact the Nativex team today to start your journey to success!

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