TikTok and Instagram Reels: the Rise of Short-Form Marketing

2020 has been the year of uncertainties and sweeping changes. The world of short-form video is not untouched by it. Short-form video content and its audiences have experienced a roller-coaster ride in the last couple of months and have even gulped down the possibility of losing a key platform. Now that it seems like the latest handshakes with Oracle and Walmart have enabled TikTok to continue operating in the United States, Instagram has premiered their direct competitor, Reel, at the right moment.

Instagram Reels allows users to record, edit, and share 15-second video clips, and it is equipped with easy-to-use audio and special effects. Users can post these clips to Stories, on the new Reels tab, and on the Instagram Explore Feed, that curate these 15-second videos from popular and trending accounts on the platform. Drawing parallels to TikTok’s ‘For You’ page, Reels offers content based on who you follow, where you are, and what kind of content you generally consume. This translates into getting a new avenue to expand your audience and brand reach organically. As with any new feature on the platform, Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes new features. So, your content is shown on many users’ Explore pages, and these users can add themselves to your audience by merely tapping the follow button.

Benefits to Your Brand

Instagram Reels comes across as an avenue that allows content creators and companies to make a strong brand statement through succinct story-telling that projects them as unique, fashionable, or desirable.

The ease-of-use is a game changer feature of Reels. Any creator can quickly move their existing TikTok content by simply repurposing it for Instagram Reels. Similarly, you can repurpose previously posted Instagram Stories as well.

Fashion companies and influencers have already demonstrated the versatility of Reels. From travel snippets to cooking recipes to lifestyle content, Reels can be tweaked easily for your purposes. Plus, you can enhance your reach and promote engagement using the new Explore feature. Reels also makes it easier for new content creators and businesses to enter the world of short-form video in a familiar setting (Instagram) for Instagram marketing.

Once you start with Reels and other Instagram features such as Stories and posts, you can quickly understand its impact through Instagram analytics. These analytics let you track, study, and customize your Instagram marketing by showing insights into your audiences, posts, hashtags, locations, and comments. Websites such as sharemyinsights.com go even further and offer insights on your competitors’ Instagram statistics. 

Act Quickly and Experiment

Instagram Stories began as an answer to Snapchat, and four years later, it has found its base with 500 million daily users. Considering Instagram’s track record and the booming short-form video content popularity across age-groups, Instagram Reels is here to stay, irrespective of TikTok’s future in the U.S. 

Establish a presence as early as possible before competition increases and saturates the market. Instagram is already pushing popular creators from TikTok to transit to Reels. Since influencers and companies have started to use Reels promotionally, cross-promotions partnered branding and branded Instagram Reels will become the mainstay with time.

Thanks to social media technologies’ evolution, audiovisual content from video to AR has become a standard feature.  If you’re already using video in some form for marketing or branding online, start experimenting with short-form content. Develop your Reels strategy around sharing micro-stories that focus on the humane aspect of your brand. You can have short videos of your product line in action, casual mini-vlogs that show positive customer connection, or unboxing videos. Of course, you can rely on humor as it is always in fashion. By embracing such content in your overall strategy, you will be able to unleash the potential of Reels to extend your online presence, especially as Instagram garners greater attention and resources to this feature in the coming months.