Apr 22, 2022Read of the week: long-form content reigns supreme

At a time where the current media landscape can feel overwhelming, people are turning towards social media and their favourite content creators for tips and advice on what to buy. But what platform is ticking the most boxes for prospective buyers? The answer may surprise you.

Veronica TroyVeronica Troy is Insights Editor at Canvas8 and oversees the Signals content stream. With an MA in anthropology, she tracks human behaviour across markets and sectors, helping brands uncover patterns and shifts to better understand people's wants and needs. Outside of work, you’ll find her on the lookout for the best dumplings, the weirdest craft beer, and the sort of folk gigs your grandparents like.

Despite TikTok being a popular place for beauty recommendations and the ubiquity of ‘TikTok made me buy it’ posts and listicles, long-form content reigns supreme when it comes to finding and learning more about products. YouTube is people’s preferred platform for product discovery and education, flying in the face of what many of us may have assumed.

While our collective attention spans may be getting shorter, these findings highlight the fact that people are still being smart about how they spend their money and want to explore deep-dive explainers and reviews before shelling out – which makes sense in the context of being money-mindful amid the rising cost of living, going digital due to an absence of IRL touchpoints during the pandemic, and as a general shift toward consumers becoming more informed shoppers.

With more people saying they’ve purchased something they saw on social media - 49% of TikTok users have purchased an item having seen it advertised, promoted, or reviewed on the app in contrast to the 70% of shoppers that have purchased a product having seen it on YouTube - it’s clear that there’s value in the human element of recommending products instead of outsourcing to an algorithm. There’s also something infectious about the enthusiasm an influencer or creator may have for a product which can translate into increased buyer confidence and spend.

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