Is Instagram turning into TikTok?

Since the introduction of Stories a few years ago, Instagram has made it clear that video is a genuine part of its path toward social media platform domination (RIP Snapchat and any platform that gets in the way of Meta). With Instagram testing a full-screen display, they have doubled down on video by putting Reels in the main feed. (Update: As of 7/26/22 – Instagram is halting testing of a full-screen feed – check out their video update here.)

For businesses, content creators, and social media strategists who use Instagram as a marketing tool, does this mean Instagram is turning into TikTok? No, not quite yet. But, if video is not already a part of your content mix, it’s time to get in the game because video is NOT going anywhere.

Can I still include static posts in my content strategy?

Yes, for now. While Reels receive higher engagement than static posts, Carousel posts perform better than traditional video or individual graphic/photo posts. So, there is still an opportunity to include static posts in your mix. 

Is all-video inevitable?

Yes, I think it is a genuine possibility that Meta will phase out static posts on Instagram in the future. I find it sad because Instagram has developed a real niche in the social media game in the last ten years, being image-based. When looking at market share, Meta has taken the path of destroying or purchasing any platform that gets in its way versus trying to carve its niche. Again, look at the Stories vs. Snapchat, their acquisitions of GIPHY, What’s App, and Instagram, among many others.

What can I do to integrate more Reels into my content strategy?

While most people think they have to be on camera for Reels posts, there are plenty of workarounds to satisfy the Reels beast. 

  1. GIFS and Memes – GIFS and memes have become quite popular over the last year with Millennials and Gen X in feed posts, but with a simple change to your graphic size and music, you can turn these into Reels. Another trick, add a video background behind your GIF or meme image for a more dynamic Reel.
  2. Text to caption – Instead of just writing out your post, record a voice memo and add it as original audio. With Instagram adding captions to Reels, you can include dynamic text and be accessibility-friendly.
  3. Show product – For product-based businesses, you have it a little easier because a product can substitute for a face. 
  4. Find a face for your company – if you hate to be on camera, find a staff member or influencer to speak on behalf of the company. 

If I’m on Reels, do I need to be on TikTok?

Maybe, that depends on who you are trying to reach. Each platform draws in different demographics, so look at your ideal client and figure out if they are regularly engaging on one or both platforms. If you have the time to upload to both platforms, go ahead and do so. However, keep in mind that Instagram is very anti-TikTok and will deprioritize your content if the TikTok watermark is visible on your Reel. How can you work around this? First, pre-record your video and have it ready to upload to both platforms. Then, upload to each platform with the same music. To speed up the process more, use an app like Canva or Temply to add text beforehand, so you don’t have to add it within the platform. 

The world of social media continues to get more complicated, so we can’t blame you for not wanting to deal with it in your business. If you’re looking for a partner to come alongside you to guide and/or implement a video strategy for you, contact us today. We would love to help you create social content that converts your audience into customers.

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