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Viability of Short Videos as a Marketing Strategy for Brands in China

China’s short video apps, comprehensive and recommendation

Like their Western counterparts (e.g. Viddy and Instagram), there are numerous platforms and apps in China that allow users to record real-time short videos and share them with friends. There are actually two types of short video platforms in China; comprehensive platforms and content recommendation.


  • Comprehensive platforms, also known as professional short video platforms, provide a one-stop user experience. Users are able to use various shooting tools, effect settings, and formats while filming or editing a video.
  • Examples of comprehensive platforms include Meipai, Miaopai and Xiaokaxiu.


  • Content recommendation differs heavily by focusing on suggesting popular or professional short videos instead.
  • These platforms are typically news-based and mass communication oriented, and as such, tend to have millions of viewers — causing short videos that are recommended on these platforms to commonly get huge amounts of traffic.
  • Examples of content recommendation platforms include: Toutiao, NetEase, Tencent News, and Yidian Zixun.



Benefits of short videos over long ones

The usefulness of short videos are ever expanding and among being able to be used for various types of promotional materials, short videos have one thing that they do better than longer videos; the ability to deliver specific brand messages to a target audiences.


  • Short videos can deliver a quick and concise, yet still interesting message, while altogether avoiding inconveniences that longer videos often cause to the busier demographics.
  • This is immensely helpful as longer videos tend to drag on and much of the time have fluff or sections that don’t actually have to be there. Short videos overcome this by compacting the message into a nice length that expresses the necessary information quickly and effectively.
  • Further on this note, due to the compact nature of short videos, the production cycle brands go through while creating them is very quick with great flexibility, working well with marketing plans and budgets.


Through audience interactions with short videos, brands can better understand their preferences, rapidly improve their user experience, and come up with effective marketing plans quickly — something that longer videos simply cannot come close to replicating.


Successfully implementing short videos

For most brands, promoting online traffic and sales is the main task. After all, having a digital presence is only as valuable as how a brand can make use of that attention. One brand that successfully exemplifies how short videos can be used for success, is Shanghai Disneyland.


During the park’s official opening in June 2016, their biggest challenge was to attract new visitors.


  • In October, they launched a short video campaign on Meipai, where users were encouraged to upload short videos of happy moments at the park using the hashtag #The Most Beautiful Moment in Disney Shanghai#.
  • The company randomly chose participants and sent them gifts and free tickets.


This integration of short videos with O2O marketing was a resounding success, with the campaign attracting attention from families and young consumers, helping increase park visitor numbers, and promoting sales drastically.