Too scared (or stubborn) to try TikTok or make Instagram Reels for your business? We’ve been there. But we’re in a different and better place now. And we think you can be, too.
When Instagram Stories debuted, we didn’t think we’d ever use them. Now you’re probably using Stories just as much as posts, if not more. And for us elder millennials, we’ve come to realize that TikTok is actually valuable. At this point, it’s a cultural phenomenon you should accept. (You don’t have to love it, though.)
Platforms are always changing and updating. New trends emerge all the time. If you use content to market your business — as you should — you gotta try the current tools to make said content.
If you’re ready to try something new with your content, read on to find out how to get started.
What can short social media videos do for me?
“Short social media videos” basically refers to TikToks, Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and Instagram Reels since they’re the most popular. But there are other platforms for this type of content, like Facebook Watch and YouTube shorts.
Short-form video content, typically video 10 to 60 seconds long, are taking over social media. It’s getting really hard to ignore. Especially TikTok, which was:
- The most downloaded app of 2021
- Downloaded 656 million times in 2021
- Had over 100 million more downloads than its runner-up, Twitter
- The most downloaded app in three consecutive years
That’s bananas. But then again, TikTok itself is bananas. TikTok and other short-form video platforms make an impact on culture through hashtags, trends, and some of the strangest content around.
Short-form videos can expand your brand reach and allow you to connect with your audience in the farthest corners of the internet. And if you make great, relatable Reels and TikToks, you’re already bonding with your target audience.
Not sure if this strategy will “work” for your business? Convinced it’ll just be a waste of time? We can’t guarantee that TikToks and Reels will boost your metrics, sales, or number of clients. But we are saying that they’re worth a try. You might be surprised at the results.
Look at our fearless leader Latasha making all these fantastic Reels on our Instagram page. Some of them have thousands, even tens of thousands, of views. That was definitely not expected when she first started making Reels.
(But then again, that was around March 2020. Was anything expected in that year?)
How to start using TikTok and Reels for your business
Use your niche
There’s a lot of content on Instagram and TikTok. Like, a lot. Audio, challenges, topics — all of these trend in different ways. And these trends can change in an instant. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed about diving in, we don’t blame you.
You can avoid overwhelm and use these platforms to your biz’s benefit by using your niche.
Don’t try to reach everyone or make content for everyone. You’ll impact no one at all. Instead, create content based on one main idea related to your business. Make that content relatable, on-brand, and entertaining.
For us, it’s all about content and copy, of course. That main idea branches off into content pillars like working with clients, running a business, planning launch content, establishing brand voice, creating good content strategy, and so on.
Be spontaneous (kinda)
ICYMI, content planning is very important to us. The way we plan content is pretty simple.
We write out topics, themes, and pieces of content a few months in advance. Then we’ll outline said content and figure out the purpose for each piece — to hype up a launch, entertain audiences, build brand awareness, and so on.
Content planning ensures that every piece of content you create is aligned with your goals and audience. It helps prevent writer’s block and that panicky moment where you scramble to come up with something for your Instagram because you have to post something.
There are just some types of content you can’t plan too far ahead, and TikToks and Reels are one of them.
TikToks and Reels are big on trends. Trends that explode in popularity and die off within a day, even. If you’ve used either platform before, you might notice everyone using one audio or participating in one challenge for a few days before something else goes viral. For this purpose, we recommend planning your TikToks and Reels about a week in advance.
Keep a running document or note in your phone about topics you want to talk about, audios you want to try, or stories you want to tell. Then, when you notice an opportunity to make a Reel or TikTok on that topic, do it.
(Watch Latasha explain it all in this Reel.)
Have fun, and have a strategy
Of course, this blog post is gonna end with a caveat.
We encourage you to mix up your content strategy and try TikToks and Reels now because it’s a smart move for your biz, and because the platforms have such a huge impact.
We do not suggest trying out these videos because your competitor went viral or because you think it’ll fix any content issues you’re struggling with.
You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing to be successful. But it is important to understand what tools are available to you that can help your biz. If you end up hating TikToks and Reels or find that they don’t fit into your content strategy, ditch ‘em.
With that being said, if you do choose to try short-form social videos, have fun with it!
As a biz owner, your time is precious. We know you don’t have time to waste messing around with a content tool that you might end up hating or that won’t work out for your business. But give TikToks and Reels a chance, k? You might find yourself enjoying being creative for your business. And the results may surprise you.