7 min read

Short-Form Video: The 2024 Essential Marketing Tool for Hotels

Discover TikTok's shifting demographics, key social media trends, Instagram Reels insights, and content tips to elevate your hotel's marketing strategy.
Short-Form Video: The 2024 Essential Marketing Tool for Hotels

Welcome to this week's edition of Smart Hotel Marketing. Dive into the latest trends and insights that can help elevate your hotel's marketing strategy and stay ahead in the competitive hospitality landscape.

In today's newsletter:

  • 📊 Uncover the key findings from the 2024 Social Media Marketing Industry Report and what they mean for your marketing strategies.
  • 🚨 Discover why TikTok is no longer just for teens and how its shifting demographics can benefit your hotel.
  • ⏱️ Instagram is Recommending to keep your Reels under 90 seconds
  • 🔥 There is a comical new trend perfect for a hotel that has some outgoing hotel associates
  • 💡 Get inspired by our Tip of the Week: "They Ask, You Answer," a strategy to generate engaging content from common guest questions.


46% of TikTok users in the U.S. are over the age of 34. Proving TikTok is no longer just a platform for teens. (source: YouGov's US TikTok report 2024)


Social Media Examiner released their 16th annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report. This comprehensive report, surveying over 1,900 marketers, provides invaluable insights into the ever-evolving world of social media marketing. 

As the landscape shifts, understanding these trends is crucial for hotels and resorts looking to stay competitive and effectively engage their audiences. 

While we encourage you to read the 43-page study on your own, we took the liberty of highlighting our top five takeaways and how they can enhance your marketing strategies.

Top 5 Takeaways from the Report

  1. Video Marketing Dominance:
    Video marketing remains a powerhouse, with 87% of marketers using video content. Nearly half consider it the most important form of content. For hotels and resorts, this means creating engaging video content showcasing your property, amenities, and guest experiences is more vital than ever.
  2. Shift Away from Facebook:
    The report highlights a steady decline in Facebook's prominence. Only 44% of marketers deem it their most important platform, down from 67% in 2018. Hotels and resorts should diversify their social media efforts, focusing on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, which continue to grow in importance. 
  3. Growing Importance of TikTok:
    TikTok's adoption among marketers rose from 22% in 2023 to 28% in 2024, with 37% planning to increase their activity. Known for its short, engaging videos, TikTok presents an excellent opportunity for hotels and resorts to showcase unique aspects of their properties and local attractions.
  4. Increased Focus on YouTube:
    YouTube remains a key player, with 59% of marketers planning to boost their use of the platform. Additionally, 63% of marketers are eager to learn more about organic video marketing on YouTube. Hotels and resorts can benefit from maintaining an active YouTube channel, offering virtual tours, travel tips and recommendations, and destination highlights to attract potential guests.
  5. AI as an Opportunity:
    A staggering 87% of marketers view artificial intelligence (AI) as an opportunity rather than a threat. For hotels and resorts, integrating AI can personalize marketing efforts, automate customer service, analyze data for better decision-making, and streamline content creation. Embracing AI technology can enhance operational efficiency and elevate the guest experience, giving your property a competitive edge.


TikTok's Shifting Demographics

  • A recent study by YouGov reveals that TikTok's user base is aging, with a significant increase in users aged 25 and older.
  • Engagement remains high across all age groups, with older users showing strong interest in educational and informative content.
  • Brands must adapt their content strategies to cater to a more diverse and mature audience on TikTok. It's no longer just silly dancing videos.

Impact on Hotels & Resorts — The changing demographics of TikTok offer hotels and resorts a chance to appeal to a desired demographic on a new platform. While Instagram has been a staple for most hotels, TikTok was often seen as too young. This new report proves otherwise. With more users aged 25 and older, hotels can capitalize on TikTok by showcasing their amenities, local attractions, and travel tips in a fun and creative way.

Meta Reveals: Longer Instagram Reels May Lower Reach

  • At a recent creator event, the Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, and his team addressed a room full of creators on various platform-related topics.
  • Among the tips and suggestions shared, one notable insight was that posting Reels over 90 seconds can negatively impact your distribution and reach.
  • Another tip revealed was that posting content simultaneously on other platforms can help distribute it. We assume they're referring to Facebook on that one. 😉

Impact on Hotels and Resorts — While it's unlikely that many hotels were creating videos longer than 90 seconds, this serves as a reminder to keep your short-form content concise to maximize distribution. Additionally, the news about posting content simultaneously across platforms is refreshing. Years ago, this was considered inauthentic, but with today's minimal organic reach, audiences are unlikely to notice when the same content is shared on both platforms.

photo credit: aishabeau

Reels and Short-Form Videos: Key Drivers of Social Media Growth for Hotels

  • The CF team recently attended "The Social Media Benchmarks That Matter Today" webinar hosted by Dash Hudson and Ad Week.
  • Ongoing Trend Takeaway: One of the biggest takeaways was that short-form video impacts users' time on social platforms. So much so, that Instagram has shifted to a video-first approach.
  • Cross Channel Trend: TikTok remains the most engaging platform, while Instagram continues to offer the greatest reach.
  • Follower growth across brands has remained stagnant at 0.7% with the prioritization of algorithm-driven content versus follow-focused content.

Impact on Hotels & Resorts — The dominance of short-form video on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube offers hotels and resorts a prime opportunity to enhance engagement and visibility. By focusing on high-quality video content that showcases their property and local attractions, hotels can reach new audiences while driving direct bookings and revenue. Additionally, understanding and catering to existing followers' preferences while maintaining a mix of content types will help maximize impact across these platforms.

This week, let's dive into a clever and humorous TikTok trend that highlights the duality of professional life in the era of remote work. The trend involves showing a highly professional image of oneself, followed by a playful reveal of what life actually looks like behind the scenes.

What's the Trend?

In this trend, creators start with a clip titled "Who you think you're emailing," showcasing themselves in a highly professional light. This is then contrasted with a second clip, "who you're actually emailing," revealing a more casual, and often humorous, reality – like lounging by the pool or relaxing at a beach. Check out the trend here: TikTok Video.

Why It Works?

This trend resonates because it taps into the shared experience of remote work, where professional interactions hide the relaxed and comfortable environments many people are actually working from. It's relatable, fun, and perfect for injecting personality into social content.

How Can Hotels + Resorts Leverage This?

Hotels can creatively adopt this trend to humanize guest-facing employees (i.e., General Managers, DOSMs, F&B directors, etc). Imagine starting a video with "who they think they're emailing," featuring an employee dressed professionally. The reveal, "who they're actually emailing," can show the same employee doing some personal things (working out, working the grill, spending time with friends or family). This approach not only taps into the trend but also humanizes your team members in a relatable manner to hotel guests. 

Act Quickly on Instagram

With Instagram’s penchant for following TikTok trends, integrating this content style into your Instagram Reels promptly can set your hotel brand apart. By doing so, you’ll be one of the first to bring this trend to Instagram, positioning your content as both timely and innovative.

💡 TIP OF THE WEEK - "They Ask, You Answer."

It's no secret that the best social media content is usually entertaining, educational, informative, or inspiring. 

When it comes to filling out content calendars, many hotels and resorts want to focus on the inspiring content bucket. That's why we see so many hotels with Instagram feeds filled with high-end photography showing the hotel's architecture, rooms, decor, amenities, and local destination. 

Where many hotels lack in content creation, is the educational and informative piece. That's where the "they ask, you answer" formula comes into play. 

Go around and ask your front desk associates to make a list of the top 10 most frequently asked questions. Ask your sales team the most common questions from potential group customers. Ask your GM the most commonly asked questions hotel guests ask them. Combine all these questions, and you will have tons of content ideas. 

If it's a frequently asked question, many other hotel guests will have that same question, and addressing those questions in short-form video content could be a huge opportunity to gain expanded reach and awareness for your hotel. 


  • The CF team was recently on-location in Brooklyn, capturing social media-friendly assets for our clients.
  • We're developing alternative offerings for our hotel partners to showcase their properties' groups/meetings capabilities. With the right assets, LinkedIn has a huge opportunity, specifically targeting meeting planners. Here is a sneak peek at one of the creatives.