A Simple Guide to Making Instagram Reels and TikToks

If you're not advertising your business with Reels and TikToks, you're missing out on big exposure. Don't know how to get started? Read our simple guide for everything you need to know!

Short-form video content is taking the social media space by storm. 

Established platforms like Youtube and Instagram have rolled out short video creation options to compete with the fast growing platform,TikTok. 

Instagram’s algorithm in particular rewards users who create content using their Reels feature. 

If you’re looking for more brand exposure for your business or need a fresh take on your social media content, creating Reels or TikToks is a great place to start. 

Because these features and platforms are relatively new, the space isn’t saturated just yet. This means it’s the perfect time to leverage them to put out content for your business! 

Read on to learn exactly how to create Instagram Reels and TikTok videos for your business. 

1. How to make an Instagram Reel

The first thing to note is that there are two ways to start creating your Reel once you’re logged into your account on the Instagram app: 

  1. Click the Reel button at the bottom of your home feed or profile, then go to the camera icon that appears in the top right of your screen 
  2. From your home feed, swipe right to open the Story creator then navigate to the Reels option from the carousel at the bottom of your screen 

Once you’re in the Reel creator, you can either upload a previously recorded video from your phone or start recording one by pressing the Reels button. 

When you have your video, you can add a host of effects including: 

  • Sound effects
  • Songs 
  • Voiceovers 
  • Stickers
  • Text 
  • Aesthetic and fun filters

You can also edit your video to include more clips or cut some out of your final product. 

When all of your effects are in order and the video is just right, click next and you can choose the thumbnail and post your Reel! 

Two quick notes about Reels: 

  • Unlike Instagram Stories which disappear after 24 hours, Reels are permanent and live under the Reel icon on your profile 
  • Reels can only be 30 seconds in length 

Once your Reel is live, you’ll be able to view analytics data such as likes, comments and shares under the Insights tab on your profile. You can use this data to improve your Reels and continually make engaging and high performing content! 

Again, mastering Reels on Instagram will give every kind of content you post on the platform a boost; So don’t forget to keep making regular Posts and Stories! 

2. How to make TikToks

If you’ve heard of TikTok dances, don’t worry, that’s not the only kind of content that performs well on this platform! 

Creating TikToks is similar to creating Instagram Reels, but there are a few important differences to note: 

  • TikToks can be up to 3 minutes in length 
  • Audio is a very important algorithm factor 
  • TikTok is it’s own app that you’ll need to download from the App Store 
  • Recording the video in the TikTok app is more strategic than uploading a prerecorded video from your phone 

Once you’ve downloaded the TikTok app onto your phone and made your account, it’s time to get creating! 

First, there’s a clear “plus” button at the bottom of the Feed. Clicking it will bring you into the Video Creator. 

The app gives you three different time lengths to record your video. Keep in mind, if your video will be longer than these options, this is when it would be a better idea to upload a prerecorded video from your phone. 

After you’ve recorded your video you can edit it to add the following elements and more: 

  • Voiceover 
  • Music 
  • Captions 
  • Filters 
  • Humorous distorting and warping effects 

When your video is complete, you can post! Similar to Instagram Reels, you can track your video’s analytics on the platform to continually improve your content. 

If you want to get started with these short-form videos but are stumped for a good idea, here are a few Reel and TikTok ideas for small businesses: 

  • Product reveal
  • Promotion hype video
  • Grand opening documentation 
  • Virtual tour of your store 
  • Screen recording of your online shop & sales 
  • Humorous and witty ways to use your products or services
  • Jump on trending video styles and audio 
  • Day in the life documentation
  • Sharing fun facts about you, your business or products 
  • Sharing your niche expertise like fitness tips, how-tos or trusted resources

Another way to get ideas is to follow similar businesses and see what they are doing and what performs well for them! 

To help your videos go viral and get more exposure, don’t forget to use trending audio and hashtags whenever you can!  

TikTok is currently the world’s third largest social media platform. However, its growth is booming so we expect that it won’t stay there long. It’s the perfect time to get your business on this platform to take advantage of its massive growth!

Final thoughts… 

Posting short-form video content on Instragram and TikTok is an important advertising tool for small businesses. Now is the best time to start since these avenues aren’t overly saturated yet and the Instagram algorithms reward accounts that post Reels. 

If you want to learn more ways to advertise your small or medium business online, check out RevLocal’s other resources or contact us to learn how we can handle your digital marketing! 

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