How Short-Form Video Content is Taking Over Social Media

What is the value of short form video?

The rise of short-form video content has been huge in recent years. As short-form video platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts continue to expand their short-form content offerings, automotive businesses and brands are utilising the medium more and more.

The popularity of short-form video can’t be ignored. It continues to push traditional media boundaries, providing audiences with a fast and simple way of consuming information. The format offers users a much more creative and exciting way of showcasing their talents, passions or just general information.

The catalyst for this trend was the video sharing app ‘TikTok’. This platform spearheaded this exploding trend, with the app boasting over 2 billion downloads and over 100 million monthly active users. The app offers short, 15 second to 3 minute videos, which have proven particularly appealing to a younger audience. Not surprisingly, automotive brands across the industry are racing to be a part of the short form video trend and get in on what is currently one of the most-used platforms in the world today. 

 

What are the top platforms?

While TikTok is still miles ahead of its competitors, other big-name social media platforms are getting on board with this format too, by creating their own platforms.

TikTok

As previously mentioned, TikTok has become one of today’s most popular social media apps and is the go-to platform for short-video content. The app’s endless feed of videos to scroll through called the ‘For You’ page is highly addictive, meaning users can easily spend hours and hours on the app. This is thanks to an algorithm created by the app developers that seems to know exactly what you want to watch.

TikTok’s structure is very simple and has given way to a new generation of online creators. The video creation interface allows creators to film their short-form videos and then add in music, sounds, and AR effects. While TikTok is going up against new competition from social media giants such as Facebook and Google, the growth of the platform continues to astound people and should definitely be a platform that your automotive business considers.

Youtube Shorts

YouTube has long been known as a platform that hosts longer-form, user-created videos since the early days of the Internet video content. Not surprisingly, in 2021 the platform revealed their own short-form content platform called ‘YouTube Shorts’. This platform limits it’s content to be between 15 – 60 seconds in length. 

While the platform is still in its early stages and has even received some criticism of its usability since its launch, YouTube Shorts has accumulated a staggering 5 trillion views in total (at the time of writing). It’s safe to say that, as ‘Shorts’ branches off the already globally successful YouTube platform and operates under Google, it’s safe to assume that in the future the short-form content platform will become more refined and gain even higher engagement levels. Looking at it from an automotive business/brand’s point of view, now could actually be the perfect opportunity to be one of the first brands to experiment with the platform ahead of the competition.

Snapchat Spotlight

Launched in late 2020, Snapchat Spotlight showcases users’ viral videos, known as ‘snaps’ on the platform. These videos are randomly selected and shown to users based on various factors such as interests, watch time, number of shares and more.

Snapchat has had its fair share of successes recently, as it announced that its revenue increased by 66% from the previous year and has had over 280 million daily average users. Originally, Snapchat Spotlight was created to directly compete with TikTok and was added as a new section in the app. To try and boost the feature’s popularity, Snapchat introduced a challenges section, which requires users to create content related to specific trends such as #LifeHacks, #Food and #10SecondTalents. The users with the highest views then win monetary prizes. This clearly paid off, as in the first month after it’s launch over 125 million users watched Spotlight videos.

Unfortunately for automotive brands/businesses, Spotlight is currently only open for creators, meaning brands are not allowed to post content. However, if Snapchat wants the platform to continue to grow, it seems inevitable that Spotlight will follow platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels in offering a host of advertising opportunities.

Instagram Reels

If people weren’t already constantly scrolling through Instagram, the new Reels feature has now made sure of it. While the feature was again created to keep up with the TikTok revolution, Instagram Reels is arguably TikTok’s biggest competitor with 87% of Gen Z users agreeing the Reels section of Instagram is virtually the same as TikTok. In addition to this, 61% of users stated that they plan to spend more time on Instagram Reels over TikTok (SM Perth).

This is good news for automotive business and brand owners, due to the fact that Instagram’s capabilities for marketing and advertising are far superior to TikTok. Also, Instagram is arguably a much more established platform with more overall features that allows your business to reach more users.

Quick Short-Form Video Statistics

  • People share videos at twice the rate of any other form of content (Wyzowl)
  • 84% of people were convinced to buy a product or service based on the brands’ video (Wyzowl)
  • With at least 47% of its users between 10 and 29 years old, TikTok is definitely the platform of the Millennial and Gen Z population. (Statista)
  • 71% of Gen Z spends more than 3 hours every day watching online videos (Think with Google)
  • 68% of people will happily watch a business video if it’s under a minute (Vidyard)
  • 72% of consumers prefer videos to text marketing (Retail Dive)
  • 66% of video ads are less than 30 seconds (Extreme Reach)

 

What should your short form video strategy look like?

You may be asking, ‘why should my automotive business invest in a short-form video strategy?’. Well, a study by Wyzowl found that people share videos at twice the rate of all other content forms. Also, 84% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service based on a short-form brand video. That is a huge percentage of consumers. One of the things that sets short-form video apart from other content forms is the trend culture.

Platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels and others are filled with dances, skits, sounds and social challenges, all trying to match up with the latest trends. If the video that you post as a brand is popular enough, it will appear on the likes of TikTok’s ‘For You’ page and Instagram’s ‘Explore’ page. This setup gives businesses and brands a new and innovative way to showcase their content.

As an automotive business, you should look at short-form video as a fast, fun way to provide content. Using the medium has the potential to strengthen your online following by attracting new types of people and boost engagement levels. Here are some potential options for your businesses short-form strategy:

User Generated Content

As the vast majority of video content that is published to short-form social media platforms is produced by users/creators, it only makes sense that your business/brand should adopt this authentic approach to your own content. By allowing your followers and fans of the brand to create their own content on your behalf you give your audience a voice to promote your brand on your behalf. To new customers this gives off a much more positive impression than just promoting your business/product yourself.

A behind-the-scenes look

Authenticity is becoming more and more important to consumers. In fact, 90% of consumers say that authenticity is important to them when it comes to which brands they like, support and trust.

Whether you use TikTok, Youtube Shorts, Instagram Reels or another platform, short-form video is the perfect place for your automotive business to show a behind the scenes look at different aspects of your business/brand, whether its a video showing how a product is made, a glimpse behind the scenes of an event that your business is attending or hosting or even a simple Q&A with employees. Showing off this raw, human side of your brand/business produces content that is highly engaging and authentic.

Informative and educational videos

If you are struggling with where to start your short-form video strategy, informative/ educational video content is a great place to start. Whether it’s a product unboxing/fitting video, a deep dive into your businesses services or a promotional video for an event you may be running. When you offer your audience helpful and informative short-form content, it can help create new business enquiries or push consumers to buy your product. This type of content also builds brand trust and loyalty as you are offering solutions to people who may not even be customers yet.

FAQs

A short, snappy FAQ video is another excellent way to boost your brand’s credibility. It could be questions that are posed to your business specifically or maybe it could include questions that are more generic to the automotive industry. Short, FAQ videos are often a good way to attract new customers as they usually answer questions that people regularly seek answers to before purchasing a product or service.

FAQ videos should include text elements that can be overlaid over your short-form videos. The use of text is not only informative and more accessible to people who watch your videos without sound, but it also helps to position your automotive brand/business as an industry authority.

New Product Announcement or Teaser

If you are a B2C automotive business, you know that the world of ecommerce is constantly changing, with short-form social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels using shoppable videos.

Shoppable content is one of the easiest and most effective ways to turn your brand’s followers into customers. When you post a short-form video, teasing/promoting new products, you can tag these products directly in your posts. Then, these products are either linked to a shop catalogue integrated into the platform like on Instagram Reels, or you are simply relocated to your own ecommerce store or website.

As these platforms allow shoppable content to continuously grow, there is a huge amount of opportunity for your business to drive more traffic and sales.

 

In Conclusion

In a Hubspot survey, it was found that more than half of marketers (51%) have plans to increase their investment into short form video in 2022. With 38% of the same study keeping their investment at the same amount. Furthermore, Short-form video now has the highest ROI of any social content strategy, with 30% of marketers planning to invest more into it than any other content type in 2022.

Short-form video is constantly on the rise. And, as platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts continue to expand their features, now is the perfect time to utilise short-form video in your content strategy to help widen your audience and receive higher engagement.

 

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