TikTok & Instagram Reels: 4 Clever Ways to Use Ephemeral Content To Promote Your Business

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Did you know that Instagram and TikTok are the fifth and sixth most-used social media platforms globally?

While TikTok may have started as a social networking platform for teens, it’s a critical marketing platform for businesses today. It’s become such a force to be reckoned with that Instagram released a new Reels feature in 2020 to compete with TikTok. 

Both TikTok and Instagram Reels allow users to post ephemeral video content. Short-form and short-lived, these seconds-long videos often include choreographed dances that go viral through imitation. 

With 1.8 billion users between the two platforms, TikTok and Instagram present a serious marketing opportunity.

From organic promotions to paid advertising, here are four strategies for using TikTok and Instagram Reels to promote your business:

  • Go viral on TikTok and Instagram Reels
  • Tap into trending content
  • Work with influencers to create content for TikTok and Reels
  • Create advertisements on Instagram and TikTok

1. Go Viral

Creating viral content is one of the best ways to promote your business on TikTok and Instagram Reels — but it’s easier said than done. 

Here’s the good news:

There are plenty of ways to increase your chances of going viral. 

TikTok is best known for choreographed dance routines. When TikTok users like a dance, they imitate it and share it with their followers. 

The best way to go viral on TikTok is to choreograph a dance that others will want to emulate. Experiment with similar content on Reels. Keep the choreography simple and memorable, so that people will have fun performing it. 

To boost brand awareness, you could create an original song for your TikTok dance that mentions your brand. Ask employees and friends to film themselves doing your brand’s dance and share it on TikTok and Instagram Reels to help your dance go viral.

2. Tap Into Trending Content 

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Ephemeral content platforms are all about imitating what others are doing and putting your spin on it. If you can’t make your dance go viral, partake in trends that have

Find something viral on Reels or TikTok and create a similar video — but put your brand’s spin on it. You could do product placement, film it in your office, or even hire a celebrity to be in your video.

Fashion brand Princess Polly has mastered the art of ephemeral content marketing for businesses. Their TikToks feature models wearing Princess Polly clothing while imitating the latest TikTok trends, like lip-syncing quotes from Keeping Up With the Kardashians or wearing outfits inspired by popular TV shows.

3. Engage Influencers 

If hiring celebrities doesn’t fit within your marketing budget, you can collaborate with influencers instead. Influencer marketing works well — whether you’re using it on TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, or any other social media channel.

Find TikTok and Instagram influencers whose interests and audience align with your company’s target market. Send the influencer free products or pay them to promote your brand. While you should control the collaboration enough to protect your brand, trust the content creators to create authentic videos that will resonate with their followers.

For inspiration, check out how Princess Polly collaborates with influencers for their TikTok shop.

4. Run Ad Campaigns

Both TikTok and Instagram allow businesses to advertise to their users. Take advantage of this opportunity to reach new customers.

While Instagram hasn’t unveiled advertising options for Reels yet, they will likely be similar to the advertisements between Instagram Stories.

TikTok’s advertising platform has several options, including branded lenses and in-feed TikTok ads. Initially found on Snapchat, branded lenses are augmented reality advertisements that enhance a TikTok user’s face or background. In-feed TikTok ads are like the advertisements you see between Stories on Instagram or Snaps on Snapchat.

With growing user bases, ephemeral social media content is here to stay. It makes sense to learn how to use Snapchat, Reels, and TikTok to promote your business. With a combination of organic and paid advertising techniques, you can reach a large, receptive, and young audience.
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Machielle Thomas
Machielle Thomas | Content Manager
Machielle Thomas writes and curates web and email content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.

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