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Why automotive marketers should leverage short-form video content + 5 practical strategies

In the modern world of marketing, short and long-form video are highly effective ways to communicate your message. With the presence of Facebook and Instagram reels and the rise of TikTok, videos are an important way to communicate with customers in a form they trust and understand. We’ll discuss short-form video content and how you can use it to connect with current and potential future customers.  

The Power of Short-Form Video Content

Nearly half the planet watches some form of short-form video content at least once per month, so to say that short videos are popular is a bit of an understatement. With more than 3 billion people actively watching a video at some point for education, information, or education, short-form videos have become an excellent way to connect to your audiences in a way that feels like “home” to them.  

People also watch a lot of videos. Per a survey at the same source, people claim to watch over an hour – 80 minutes of video every day in some form and capacity while millennials watch between 10 to 20 hours of video per week. Put simply: We watch videos for lots of reasons, from fixing our washing machine to watching TV or figuring out which vehicle to buy.

1. Crafting a narrative 

One of the most important elements of making an effective video is to choose a topic that people care about and use it to tell a story. Information about how to do something, and the reasons why you should are good examples of practical storytelling. To be honest, there are lots of stories you could tell, both informative and practical, or something unique that happens in your dealership that you want to tell people about. The ability to craft a positive narrative about your store is the most important part, the rest is up to your imagination. 

2. Optimizing for mobile platforms 

Where do you plan to post your videos? If you plan to put them on social media like TikTok and Instagram, you might want to do something that photographers have been complaining about for years: shoot vertically. YouTube is among the only social platforms that, and this is our opinion, looks better when recording a horizontal video simply because its meant to be full screen. 

Other social media platforms rely on vertical scrolling, so you are encouraged to record your videos vertically in an effort to not make the video look weird. 

3. User Generated Content 

Websites like YouTube, Vimeo, and other social media platforms like TikTok are the kings of user-generated content. If not for user-generated content, these sites literally wouldn’t exist. So how does user-generated content matter to a car dealership? 

Your current and future customers might want to hear a little about your place – but not from you directly. They also want to see other people shop there, in part just to know that other people have positive feelings about your place too.  

The challenge here is getting people to make content. You could make a contest and offer people who are willing to make a video something – like a discount. Another option is to reach out to local influencers and see what they would like in exchange for a video about your dealership. 

4. Calls to Action 

A short-form video generally asks the watcher to do something. You’ve probably heard people in various social media platforms ask you to touch the like or subscribe button a million times by now. Calls to action can range from having a link to your website or just asking for something! 

5. Social Media Platforms 

Each social media platform is somewhat unique in its approach to content and who its primary audience has become. We strongly suggest researching platforms to understand who they cater to, and best mate your choice of social media platforms with those that fit best with your brand. You don’t need to be on all platforms – though you certainly can be. 


Getting into short-form video starts with identifying which platforms to use. You’ll then want to start creating videos that offer a positive narrative about your dealership and the experience within. You may also want to reach out to customers and influencers who feel good about your business to gain additional trust from people watching your videos. Short-form video is very influential and can help build an audience from people who might not otherwise know much about you. 

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Ben Stewart
Ben Stewart
Ben is a contributing writer and reporter for CBT News with 10 years of dealership experience in automotive marketing. Ben loves all things cars and putting together strategies that help dealerships succeed.

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