How to create awesome TikTok and Reels content
New kid on the block TikTok and the similar offering from Instagram called Reels, may seem like they are basically the same. They are both brilliant ways of reaching new audiences and building a connection between your business and your customers. However, there are crucial differences in how to use them, especially for business, which means you may be better suited to focusing on one, depending on your audience. Let Katherine George, Founder of Oh So Social Marketing take you through the differences and how to create awesome content.
TikTok vs. Reels
TikTok is a place for entertainment. It is a video-sharing platform where you can find videos about literally anything – you name it, you can probably find a video about it on TikTok. It quickly grew to its level of popularity in 2020 with the Covid-19 lockdown, primarily because it is a place to entertain and makes everyone the centre of their own story. However, now its audience is diversifying to use it as a search engine, and as a place to get knowledge and inform. All of this makes it a really interesting place for business.
Instagram is the place for your daily inspiration. Primarily a beautiful photo-sharing platform, Instagram launched Reels in 2020 as a response to the rising popularity of TikTok. Meta introduced this new feature as “a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram,” and it does it really well. I like to think of it as a new way to ‘sizzle’ on Instagram – adding the layer of music really helps your content stand out, build a relationship with your followers and pull them further down the sales funnel.
Although Reels were created as a response to TikTok, it is crucial to remember that they ARE different. TikTok’s audience is looking to be entertained, videos are short, snappy and fun, and its main audience is aged 14-20 year olds. It’s so important to remember why people come to Instagram: it is to be inspired and feel connected. Creating a Reel of a funny dance routine that’s trending on TikTok is not going to generate any sales; it’s not why your followers are coming to Instagram.
So how do you create successful TikTok and Reels content?
Let’s start with Reels
Let’s start with Reels and some key tips. You can now create Reels that are up to a minute long; however, I don’t recommend doing a 60-second video. Similar to TikTok, users have a short attention span on Instagram Reels – you need to keep videos short and sweet and, most importantly, engaging. Always, always, always remember to add music to your Reels (it adds the sizzle I mentioned earlier) and don’t forget to save it to your grid so it doesn’t disappear after 24 hours and all your hard work is wasted.
When it comes to content, you need to keep it simple. Always design your Reels with a single message and goal in mind. I have mentioned it a few times, but remember that people come to Instagram to be inspired – so your content should be able to inspire action from your customer. Another thing to consider is why people follow your business – is it because you are adding value, or are you building a connection with them? Your usual content pillars for social media should be incorporated as well; it’s all too easy to go off on a tangent with Reels, but remember who you are and what you are selling.
What about TikTok?
Moving on to TikTok, the first thing to do is to head over to TikTok and look for inspiration. See what’s trending, see what your competitors are doing, see what music is popular currently. Think about how you can use these ideas for your business. The questions to ask yourself when on TikTok are: How can I entertain my customers? What will spark their interest? How do I engage with my followers?
The next step is to think of something you want to highlight – do you want to promote a new product or service, your location, or yourself as a brand? Another key thing to remember is, rather than trying to find as many hashtags as possible like other social media networks, you need to hashtag with purpose on TikTok – you’re looking for between 5 and 7 relevant hashtags for your videos.
Coming up with TikTok and Reels content ideas
Coming up with content ideas is not as scary as it sounds as your Reels and TikToks can be about absolutely everything! I know that sounds overwhelming, so here are a few top ideas to try.
Showcase where you live, share what’s inside your office or shop, and highlight all the places that stock your product.
The next is to tell your business and brand story. This is unique to you! Share how you started, why you do what you do, your services, and your products. There are so many possibilities.
Creating content could be as simple as taking your phone for a walk. Take short videos and photos while out and about and see how you can use them to tell a story.
Why not showcase your products through tutorials? You can give people ideas on how to use them and show how good your products are. Whether you have a skincare brand or a foodie business, demonstrating how to use your product will show people how it can fit into their lives.
Use existing videos
If you’re lucky enough to already have video content, repurpose it! You can use tools like Canva to crop and splice existing video or image content together into a mobile-friendly Reel or TikTok video.
You can bring something into focus. It could be a new product, a new location, or a new way of using your products. It can really be that simple.
Behind the scenes
Behind-the-scenes content is always popular. Sharing glimpses of how your business works, whether it’s packing products ready to ship, how your products are made or the team behind the brand, will offer your customers a different perspective on your business, share your personality and showcase the hard work and care you put into your products.
The final idea is to add value. How you value add is different for every business, but it will be something that will make your customers’ lives or experience of your business easier and better.
When it comes to TikTok and Instagram Reels, as well as with all social media, the key is to remember it is all a test. Be brave, try new ideas out and see if they work for your business.