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TikTok and Reels – The New Generation of Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing Resources

by Lynsey Mendenhall | Aug 1, 2022

We all know that the world of Digital Marketing is always changing- from online trends, to engagement, and new platforms, social media is altering the way brands choose to market their products and services. It can be difficult to keep up with these fast-paced changes- it feels like just yesterday companies learned how to post a Facebook ad. Today we’ll take a deep dive into a new way brands are choosing to market themselves (and succeeding): short-form video content.

What is short-form video content?

Short-form video content differs from the longer-form entertainment on Youtube or Facebook. Ranging from 15 seconds to 3 minutes, creators are able to post videos in a shorter and vertical format. This feature can now be found on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and even Youtube. These apps curate a “feed” with videos similar to ones the viewer is interacting with and watching. It draws the viewers in and has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Viewers can interact by liking, commenting, and saving these videos for later. These videos range from comedy, to education, to lifestyle, and now, marketing for businesses.

The History of Tiktok and Instagram Reels

In 2018, Chinese tech brand ByteDance bought an app formerly known as Musical.ly, and soon after, Tiktok was born. On this app, creators could make 15 second videos that were easy to engage with. Since 2018, the app has grown and matured tremendously, with feeds that are so accurate to a viewers’ interests that it is hard to click off. It started with silly and fun content that could go viral within minutes- but soon after, brands began to catch on. Tiktok expanded to 1 and 3 minute videos, with new updates rolling out allowing certain creators 5 and 10 minutes as well. Companies used the creative freedom to their advantage, and marketing within the app took off. Search Engine Journal found that “79% of global TikTok users say content on TikTok is unique or different, and 68% find advertising content specifically to be unique or different from any competitive platform”. 

In August of 2020, Instagram Reels were introduced in the United States after being rolled out in many countries before. Within the Instagram app, creators could now post short videos up to 30 seconds long. A “feed” would also be curated for viewers revolving around their interests. There was a bit of backlash regarding the release, critics saying it was a direct copy of Tiktok. These criticisms did not last long, as Reels soon became widely popular. Now, short-form content has made its way to Facebook and Youtube as well.

Understanding Your Audience

If you want to start creating and posting short-form video content on Tiktok and Instagram Reels, you need to understand your audience and what you are trying to communicate. If you are trying to reach a younger audience, like Gen Z or Millennials, hop on a popular trend or try using a bit of humor in your video. If you are trying to be educational and more serious, keep the length as short as possible and only use essential words. There are many key factors in understanding who you are trying to reach.

The famous app Duolingo has mastered this technique on Tiktok. They understood that they could reach a wide audience of 18-24 year olds, by posting funny videos using their owl mascot. They hop on the most popular trends, and sometimes even start their own. They engage with comments, reply with videos, and interact with other brands to increase their engagement even more. Now, they have 4.5 million followers on TikTok and over 86 million likes.

Implementing Short Form Videos Into Your Marketing Strategy

Facebook and Instagram photos are still great ways to market over social media, but TikTok and Instagram Reels are becoming the new best way to market your business online. It can be scary at first, but taking this step is important to increasing your reach on social media. Here are a few tips that we’ve learned along the way: 

  1. Look for resources and tutorials on Tiktok and Instagram, including step-by-step videos on how to create your own.

      2. Take time to look at trends online and brainstorm ways your company can fit into that trend. We recommend using the “For You” page on Tiktok or the “Explore” page on Instagram.

     3. Optimize content on multiple platforms to save time, and increase your chances of gaining a wider audience. 

     4. Engage with comments, reply with videos, and interact with other creators to build online relationships.

     5. Keep the content short and sweet- don’t draw it out or use too many fancy words.

Well there you have it- now you know how to get started with TikTok and Reels and why they are both so important in your marketing strategy. We know it can be hard to get started, but you got this! For more inspiration and tips, feel free to follow us on Instagram @mymarketingnow and TikTok @marketingpartners.






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