Short-form video is the latest addition to the social-media marketing playbook, with TikTok and Instagram Reels leading the way. This snack-size content is highly effective for building brand awareness and educating viewers with less chance of losing their attention.
“TikTok and Instagram Reels can be used to educate potential patients on practice mission, practitioner passions, best practices in medical aesthetics and common misconceptions,” says Max Krzyzaniak, Media Manager at Beauty Within Wellness & Anti-Aging Center in Boynton Beach, FL. “Social media is a visibility outlet for practices that allows practitioners to showcase their unique abilities and what differentiates them from others. Trust and rapport build before a patient even comes in for a consultation.”
Instagram Reels was introduced by Meta after TikTok became a runaway sensation, and although these platforms may appear similar there are a few key differences. While TikTok tends to be more off-the-cuff, playful and loud, Reels feel more like “traditional” video content and allow you to enhance your videos with text and tags. TikTok is also trend-driven, and its primary demographic skews younger (as in Generation Z). This is an important consideration for any aesthetic provider since it may be harder to reach your target audience there.
On the other hand, Reels serve as an extension of your (hopefully) already-established Instagram account and give you an additional way to announce new services, introduce your staff, give viewers a “behind-the-scenes” look at treatments you provide, showcase before-and-afters and more.
“For creating videography content for Instagram Reels and TikTok, I recommend taking longer recordings rather than short videos to ensure you capture everything intended,” says Krzyzaniak. “You can always go back later to cut/edit the video. I also recommend including text graphics within your Reels/TikTok as your reach and impression count will likely increase, resulting in a higher overall visibility.”
Yes, you can repurpose Reel content for TikTok, but think twice before reposting a TikTok to your Reels because the Instagram algorithm deprioritizes content with the TikTok watermark. There are upsides associated with taking a Reels-first approach to short-form video content.
- You appear in the Discover tab. Unlike Instagram Stories, viewers don’t have to be followers or visit your profile to see your Reels. This significantly increases your potential reach.
- You can tag products. This is especially useful for practices that sell products. Even if these products are available at stores or other aesthetic practices, a captivating video can prompt viewers to purchase on the spot with just a few taps. (Note: This requires set-up through Instagram Shopping.)
Tips for creating Reels
- It’s takes practice to get comfortable in front of the camera and perfect your filming set-up, but don’t strive for perfection before you start posting. Your technique and presentation will improve with time.
- To build your audience, it’s imperative to stay active. When you spend more time creating content and viewers spend more time viewing it, this can improve the performance of your ads. (More on this below.)
- Use an iPhone or other high-quality camera phone—and make sure you record vertically. It’s worth purchasing an inexpensive stand to ensure a steady shot.
- Lighting can make or break your video. Use natural light when possible, or supplement with stand lights.
- Have an outline of what you’d like to share and focus on capturing viewers’ attention in the first three seconds.
- Limit your videos to 60 seconds. This should be more than enough time to get your points across.
- Direct viewers to your website and try to capture their email address with a pop-up upon their arrival.
- Look at what your competitors are doing for inspiration—then try to do better!
- Follow Instagram’s @creator account for trends and ideas.
The 3 “E”s of Reel content
When using Reels to bolster your business, there are three “E”s to keep in mind.
- Educational content can drive traffic to your practice.
- Entertaining content helps engage your audience and encourages shares.
- Emotional content resonates. Share recognition from patients and colleagues, milestones and success stories so you are associated with the solution.
Take advantage of ads on Reels
Like other social media platforms, Reels ads allow you to reach more people in less time. Instagram allows you to choose from these goals:
- Brand awareness: Increase your visibility and get more followers.
- Reach: Maximize the number of people who view your content.
- Traffic: Send people to your website or online store.
- Video views: Get the most eyeballs on your video.
Tip: You can use CTA buttons on Instagram ads that link to a specific Reel. This is a great way to further enhance the reach of well-performing content.
Don’t think of Instagram Reels as yet another box on your social-media checklist. Instead, take advantage of the potential it has for attracting followers, bringing IRL patients to your practice and enhancing your visibility—while allowing you to embrace your creativity!