You might be wondering… does every video I create have to be a short form video? Well, let us be the ones to break it down for you. Short form videos are the best-performing video types on both TikTok and Instagram. This means each platform is heavily investing in creating better experiences for viewers surrounding these video types, while also pushing short-form video content forward in people’s feeds.
Last month in August 2022, Instagram removed “Instagram video”, and announced all videos posted to the app will be Reels (which means videos will be displayed full screen). This is good news for small businesses as Reels has a ton of editing features that allow you to film and build a professional-looking video without ever logging out of the Instagram app!
What this tells us is that viewers prefer watching videos on their phones, and the platforms are recognizing this by optimizing videos for mobile devices. Reels show up in a full-screen view on a phone, maximizing the screen size and not letting the viewer’s eye wander anywhere else.
TikTok had initially used this strategy years ago, and exclusively hosted short form and full-screen videos for years before Instagram realized it was time to harness the power of quick-to-consume videos.
I want to let you in on some of the latest short form video strategies to get the most out of the seconds you have on screen!
Here are 7 TikTok and Reels best practices for retailers:
1. Reels and TikTok: Post consistently. Posting consistently on each platform lets the algorithm know that it can rely on you to deliver video content to your viewers day after day. We recommend posting daily Reels and TikToks if you’re able to, and if not, try posting as often as possible until it becomes an easy habit!
Need help coming up with ideas? Save These 5 TikTok Content Ideas.
2. Reels: Upload a cover image of a person, and add in a headline on the image that summarizes the video. Including a headline invites a viewer to watch the video, but even if your video doesn’t feature a person, you can still upload your own cover photo that includes a person. People like seeing people! Also, be sure to adjust your cover photo on Reels before posting, so the person’s face is centered in the feed display.
3. TikTok: Select a cover photo from your video with a person and add in a headline using a TikTok text frame. Use the TikTok text frames to add in a title that summarizes the theme of your video, such as “ Unboxing New Arrivals!”, or “3 Tips on How To…”. If your video includes a person, select the portion of the video that has a clear view of their face!
4: Reels and TikTok: Use extremely relevant hashtags in the captions. The hashtags you use should relate to your products, your business category and your location. The more niche you can get with your hashtags, the better! The more general your hashtags are, the more competition your post has, and the algorithm also has a harder time connecting your content with the correct audience.
5. Reels and TikTok: Add trending audio to the background of your videos. Trending audios help expose your videos to a wider audience than those who are already following you. If an audio is trending, that means that it’s quickly becoming more popular and many creators and viewers are watching and using this audio.
Find more information about using audio as a business account in this blog post.
6. TikTok: Add a CTA (call to action) to follow your TikTok account in your video. Add text toward the end of your video to invite viewers to follow your page and see similar content in the future. The TikTok algorithm prioritizes video content that nudges users to follow the page and, in turn, view more future TikToks (keeping viewers on their platform for longer).
7. Reels and TikTok: Make your videos as short as possible. With attention spans decreasing and competition rising, there’s always a new video in the queue ready to be watched. Crystal always says, “Make your videos as long as they need to be and not a second longer”. If you remove any unnecessary clips from your video and try to keep them under 1 minute to 30 seconds in length, you’re right on track to leaning into the short form video movement!
What I Want You To Take Away From This Blog:
- Optimize your video for full-screen viewing.
- The shorter the video length, the better
- People like seeing people! Add cover images and content that include people as often as possible.
Okay, over to you…
Have you found a best-performing video strategy? Let us know in the comments below!