17 May How to Leverage TikTok and Instagram Reels for Business
How to Leverage TikTok and Instagram Reels for Business
Do you think TikTok is just an app showcasing lip-synching videos, and Instagram Reels highlighting fancy footwork to trending songs? Think again. If you’re not using TikTok and Reels for your business, you’re missing out.
These short-form video platforms can reach vast audiences, boost engagement, and build trust for your business. TikTok, which features 60-second video clips, has 1 billion active monthly users who spend 52 minutes a day on the app. Eighty percent of users are between the ages 16-34. (source: Wallaroo Media) Likewise, Instagram has more than 1 billion active users, with 90 percent of users following at least one business. (source: Hubspot) Similar to TikTok, Instagram Reels features 15-second multi-clip videos with the ability to add audio, filters, and video effects.
It’s likely your customers are already using these platforms, so it’s all about experimenting with ways to connect. Use these tips and best practices to build your brand via TikTok and Instagram Reels.
Be Authentic & Have Fun
Jumping on a trend like Instagram Reels or TikTok doesn’t mean you have to awkwardly veer off-brand when trying to reach your audience. In fact, we’ve explored how storytelling is vital to your marketing strategy. Therefore, providing on-brand, authentic content will continue to help you inform, inspire, and engage your customers. It’s ok to step out of the box on occasion to feature a TikTok of your staff lip-synching or a time-lapse video creating and packaging your product. Don’t be cool for cool’s sake, however; simply answer common questions or provide an inside look that’s relevant and interesting.
Leverage Both Platforms
“With different features, usage time, and audience demographics, the best strategy is a mixed approach…Different apps will serve different needs,” advise experts at Entrepreneur.com. While TikTok’s average user is younger (60 percent are Gen Zers), those users are trendsetters not to be overlooked; plus, the average age is ticking up. While a third of users are ages 10-19, the remaining two-thirds on TikTok are ages 20-plus.
You can repurpose your content for both TikTok and Reels, but it’s wise to create unique videos on each platform because the algorithm doesn’t like branded content from a competitor (i.e. posting TikTok-watermarked videos on your IG feed). The good news is, you can post Reels in your Instagram grid and on IG Stories for even more visibility.
Hashtag Strategy and Captions
Take some time to research competitors and see what hashtags they’re using. Utilize some trending industry hashtags (like #cleanmakeup), plus create your own so users can follow your company’s unique hashtag or campaign (#BrandABCcleanmakeup or #cleanmakeupmovement for example).
Don’t only use hashtags that are too broad, hoping they’ll gain more visibility; they’ll simply get buried. For example, in addition to using #cycling, use #cyclingdallas, #bikeshopdallas, #dallasbikes, #dallasbiketrails and more. The more niche, the better. Check out these hashtag generator tools to help you discover effective tags for your business.
Writing descriptive titles and clear in-video text is also key. It not only aids in accessibility, it boosts engagement. You can use automatic captioning tools (which acts like closed captioning on our TV) or manually add text.
“Videos with text are generally viewed for longer and get higher rates of engagement,” experts write at Shall We Social. “In addition, video captions have been shown to improve comprehension, brand and ad recall by viewers.”
Encouraging customers to use your company’s hashtag, then resharing their content also generates buzz around your brand. Additionally, you can sponsor a branded hashtag challenge that invites user-generated content (UGC) and increases your visibility. For example, if you have a dental office, create #smiledallas and encourage users to tag content of themselves showing their pearly whites in popular sites around the city. Offering incentives is another way to invite engagement (like coupons, freebies, and reshares to encourage influencers).
Content Ideas for TikTok and Reels
One benefit of these short-video platforms is that they don’t need to be professional, polished commercials. In fact, they shouldn’t be – users don’t want ads, they want to connect with real people and products in the real world. Small Business Trends offers these video ideas for TikTok and Reels:
- Hashtag challenges
- How-to videos
- Song parodies
- Team intros
- Product demos
- Case studies
- Before and afters
- Calming videos
- Unique stories
Need some inspiration? Check out these 24 inspiring brands for TikTok ads to get your creativity flowing.
Frequency and Interaction
LIke it or not, the platform’s algorithms favor accounts who post video content using the app’s latest features. Posting regularly equals greater visibility. Consider this stat: NFL teams’ Reels generate 67 percent more engagement than their regular video posts.
As far as interaction, no one likes a lurker. Social media is ideal for creating healthy two-way conversations with your audience if you put in the effort. Reshare content, highlight user-generated content, and reply to comments on your posts. It’s not just about gaining followers, but about building trust.
TikTok for Business was recently released, but don’t be too quick to post polished ads. Hubspot notes that Gen Z and regular TikTok users prefer the more behind-the-scenes, human side of your business. Use a variety of TikToks to reach your customer, recommends experts at The Tree, including in-feed native ads, hashtag challenge ads, and brand takeover ads.
Just last month, Instagram’s parent company Facebook announced testing for Reels Ads. While the Reels Ad videos mirror the format of traditional Reels, a “sponsored” tag and “shop now” CTA helps differentiate the ad. Including both TikTok and Instagram Reels into your marketing strategy is not just a good bet, but a needed investment to expand your reach.