Using short form video to massively increase organic growth (no ad spend)

Production & Music Industry
Updated on
February 20, 2023
Written by
Ryan Ferris
<10 mins
Breaking through organically is hard, so here's a solid strategy

So you have a beautifully, professionally produced track. What next? How can we make the music, and you as an artist grow?

Below is a strategy pioneered recently by youtube personality Damien Keyes in the youtube video below. He calls this his One Second Content Strategy, and he used this gain his artist Jordan Harvey over 1.3million views on Tiktok and Instagram in a month:

Below are our notes and extra insights into this strategy.

Plan your content making.

These guys were very clever.  They spend 1.5 hours in essentially one location and filmed an entire month's worth of content (~20 mini music videos).

The two key things here were:

  • Film in different settings

    They shot the videos at different settings, but all within a short walking distance of each other. This, combined with a variety of outfits made it appear that Jordan was in a variety of locations at different days.
  • Film at Golden Hour

    Golden Hour is around the time of Sunset - this time of day is perfect to get beautiful lighting.

Then it was a matter of colour grading to make the videos pop, and adding the details such as the subtitles, song story text and hashtags.

They used a DSLR - but an iphone (especially with good lighting) is 100% good enough to film a video with viral potential.

Other main key points for the filming side are laid out below:

  • Dont overthink the content

    You want multiple pieces of content that are 15-20 seconds long.  You might shoot 100-150 pieces of content and keep 20-30 pieces in the end.

  • Keep movement with the camera

    Keep movement backwards or forwards - static images are less engaging.

  • Hands and Eyes

    Videos get more views if the viewer can connect with the subject, and if they can see both their eyes and hands. Psychologists say this is related to trust.

  • You - Front and Center

    Main character needs to be front and centre, with the camera focused just above the main character's head.  Keep the bottom third free for subtitles.

Now let’s understand why Damien calls this his One Second Strategy.

The One Second Rule.

Among the massive sea of noise that is Tiktok and Reels, you have one second to grab your audiences attention before they will swipe you away.

This is VISUAL - so make sure the first frames count.  Be sure to include text in the video telling the story of the song, or of you as an artist.  

Here is Jordans text for example:

This is AUDIO - make sure you use the hook or chorus of your song to capture your audience and make them remember you.
The key thing here is to capture your audience in that first second.

Watch time and engagement

You may have seen this in your analytics - average watch time is a key metric for the algorithm, and hence is essential for gaining more views. People also want to get to know you as an artist. Damien emphasises this with the following points:

  • Watch time is important!

    Average watch time can be the difference between 3 thousand and 3 million views. Higher watch time = more views. It's that simple.

  • Half or more of viewers don’t know you

    50% + of people seeing your content are brand new to you as an artist - they don’t want to be seeing content they don’t understand - they want to know you.  

    This can be achieved with a simple introduction (hi, my name is ___  and then - SONG).
  • Text = engagement

    Use text in the bottom to create engagement - but don’t give away the punchline! Tell a story and use it to keep the watcher engaged.

We did some digging

We had a look into Jordan’s accounts and found some interesting points.


These guys made 20 pieces of content with the SAME SONG and for most of the pieces of content, they used the same chorus of that song (Alabama Girl).

The following really shows how multiple pieces of content can really stack up:


Jordan's first video (at the time of writing) has 33k views.

The views vary a lot between the 20 pieces of content with some getting 5k views, and one getting 600k views.

But here comes the interesting part - all the videos combined have over 1.1 million views.
And these were all put out with The Same Song.  And basically the same section of the song.

The only difference being the location and visual content of the video.


First video: 11k views

All 20 videos combined: 124k views.

I think by now you get the picture.

As Damien says - consistency is key.

Other platforms

We dove into Jordans Youtube, Facebook and Spotify and its clear that the main platforms that this strategy works best for are Tikok and Instagram.

The same strategy that worked well for these platforms didn’t translate into youtube shorts views - we’d be interested to hear Damiens take on what the point of difference is there.

Jordans Facebook is more on the quiet end as well.

Spotify - he seems to be doing well with 240k plays on Alabama girl, but with far less of a follower count than on his Tiktok.


For those that are interested in creating growth using shortform, and without a big budget for video production and ad spend, this could be a very useful strategy for both Tiktok and Instagram - as Damien said - consistency, average watch time and the story are key here.

For Youtube, Spotify and Facebook - we’ll keep you posted as we find more gold nuggets.

Much <3





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