Trending: How short-form video changed social media

Eight seconds is the amount of time an average viewer spends on a video before scrolling past it, a study done by Microsoft Canada discovered. Likewise, Meta has found that remembering an advertisement takes a mere 0.25 seconds of exposure. These numbers are key attributes of the popular social media platform TikTok. By allowing users to upload short-form video formats that last only 15 to 60 seconds long, it has amassed a huge following worldwide who enjoy the video content on it.

It’s here to stay. In Asia alone, not including China, the average number of TikTok users in Asia is well over 300 million in 2021. Substantial user numbers naturally translate into high engagement for the short-form video format.

As a business, promoting goods or services, often with influencer marketing, without paying top dollar for advertising is a dream marketing tool. And creating shareable short vertical format videos on TikTok, Instagram, or even YouTube will help arouse widespread curiosity in your business without spending on ads. In this article, we look at some of the ways companies have leveraged videos to reach out to their consumers.


TikTok offers businesses a way to create content online as part of their marketing campaigns. It’s no mean feat trying to stay on trend, but if a company can successfully tap on the latest trending track, dance, meme, or format, to find creative ways of presenting their products, the audience engagement rates can shoot through the roof.

And there are business-friendly features too. For example, the inbuilt ad creation platform, Tiktok Ads Manager, helps businesses plan their marketing initiatives and monitor their campaign. In addition, the social media platform has also actively engaged small-medium businesses that are Tiktok users to participate in various marketing campaigns.

Just look at Vietnam’s polo shirt maker, Poloman, which has cleverly leveraged Tiktok videos to showcase their clothes. Using a combination of modern upbeat music and comedic storylines, they’ve created relatable short films which keep audiences engaged. In addition, the business also taps on TikTok creators, and offers exclusive promotions for followers to raise their brand awareness.

Another key example is how OPPO, a camera phone brand, was looking for a way to drive mass awareness and deep engagement for its new smartphone F11 Pro in Malaysia.

In 2019, OPPO conducted its first branded campaign on TikTok – the Hashtag Challenge #LightUpF11Pro, targeting young Malaysians. OPPO offered prizes that included a brand-new OPPO F11 Pro and cash for users to put their unique spin on promoting the product. Two influencers and celebrities filmed official videos dancing while illustrating a “take a photo” gesture highlighting the phone’s camera function. Users were required to do the same dance making the same gesture and then repost it on the platform. The highest likes got the prizes. The TikTok campaign performed outstandingly well for OPPO, with the #LightUpF11Pro hashtag challenge receiving more than 6 million video views. It also led to over 7,000 user-published videos and 326,000 likes during the campaign period.

The popular language app, Duolingo, is another business on Tiktok that you can follow for more inspiration on how to create an online presence. It has a follower count of 4.8 million, which gives it plenty of reach without spending money on advertising. Most of the videos centre around the adventures of its adorable mascot owl, which resonates with viewers.

Instagram Reels

With short-form video format, Meta’s subsidiary Instagram has also gained supporters with their Instagram reels. Reels allow users to record 15-second multi-clip videos, editing them with audio, effects, and creative tools. With a public business account, Reels posted on Instagram are shown to the wider community.

Instagram Reels are another way to promote your business with short videos. They’re great for showing off the best parts of your company and product or telling a story about how your business started. At first glance, Reels may look like a direct competitor to Tiktok, but the visual appeal of Reels is quite different. In short, while videos on Tiktok tend to be more candid and raw, Instagram Reels generally look more visually polished, and have started to form a niche of their own.

That’s in part due to Instagram’s video capabilities. With the platform providing a template for users to sync videos and catchy sounds, Reels promoting products have taken off.

See the examples of how businesses like Lipton Tea company or clothing retail Pomelo use Instagram Reels. Lingering, dreamy shots of tea or a fashion model, paired with slow music gives the viewers a glimpse of a idealistic life made possible with their products. The effect is videos that are not overly polished like full-fledged advertisements but still inspirational enough for viewers to take action.

Fashion brand Calvin Klein has also been especially adept in leveraging user-generated content for Reels, which is when users take videos of themselves using the products to repost them on the brand’s social media.

If you’re a business owner wondering whether Instagram Reels is a longer form of Stories, the answer is no. Instagram Stories are akin to a temporary status updates – lasting for only 24 hours, and they’re meant for interaction with your audiences.

With multiple stickers that encourage your viewers to participate in polls or ask you a question, Instagram Stories are the best way on the platform to touchbase and consistently update your followers. You could even share a Reel to your Stories, drawing eyeballs to your latest short-form-vertical-video marketing masterpiece.

YouTube Shorts

Shorts is a short-form video feature that YouTube introduced in 2021 to compete with Reels and TikTok. Using this feature, content creators can record short videos of up to 60 seconds as well as adding sounds to the video. Shorts are another way to attract new viewers to your existing YouTube channel. Think of them as trailers to a movie.

While still relatively new, it’s only a matter of time before businesses come on board. After all, with Tiktok and Instagram Reels, the short form vertical video format is no longer foreign to many major brands. But on the other hand, small businesses need to tap into these platforms more to increase their reach.

The numbers already show that audiences love videos. Videos consistently received the highest average engagement rates in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, 54% of consumers want to see videos from brands – more than any other content format. This data proves that it’s time for you to harness the power of short-form videos for your business today.

Marketing 101 with Qashier

At Qashier, we want to see our clients succeed online and offline. So we’re all about helping our clients manage and streamline their business operations more efficiently while staying on top of the current trends. That means optimising our smart POS solutions with more functions, such as integrated QR code payment, and officially integrating GrabFood and FoodPanda as food delivery partners to the Qashier solution.

You might already be using our smart POS solutions, but did you know we’ve also got a growing resource bank where we share industry insights for your entrepreneurial journey?

Whether your business is in F&B, retail or the beauty industry, hop over to bookmark our blog to get inspired by the latest business trends.

And if you’re new to Qashier, consider Qashier’s multiple digital solutions in an all-in-one device for your startup.

The smart POS system can handle different operational aspects, from QR code table ordering to table management (F&B), employee management, customer relationship management (loyalty programs), inventory management, data analytics, and cashless payments.

Speak to us to see if Qashier’s Smart POS can meet your business needs. Schedule a meeting with us here, contact us at +63 927 087 2441 (Viber) or email at [email protected].



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