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Telling an Engaging Story with 30-Second Short Videos on TikTok and Instagram Reels

Impressing your audience and making the algorithms work in your favor with high-quality short videos around 30 seconds long is tricky. But thousands have perfected the art of storytelling in short videos, which has helped them gain millions of followers in their niches. And, of course, it gets you money once brands start identifying you as a social media influencer on TikTok or Instagram Reels.

So how to make TikTok videos and Reels? And what does it take to master storytelling through Reels and TikTok short videos? Besides the technicalities it involves, which we will cover here, you need to have a passion for what you create and readiness to put in lots of hard work and show persistence.

Promoting your brand successfully or becoming an influencer on social media platforms like Reels and TikTok is a great way to make money online. And the thing that makes it happen is high-quality short videos.

Here’s how to make good TikTok videos and Insta Reels that capture your audience's attention from second 1.

Keep the short video content simple

Simplicity is very important when making short videos on TikTok and Instagram Reels. Creating an engaging 30-second story that’s simple and to the point is important. For this, work on your script, emphasize the core idea and focus on the main message you want to share with your social media audience. The idea is to sum up a story successfully within 30 seconds or so to make it easy for your followers and other viewers to understand.

Use creative visuals for your TikTok and Reels videos

No, you don’t need a short video-creating boot camp for this. Instagram Reels and TikTok viewers love videos that look ‘authentic’ and ‘natural.’ Do not bore the audience by making video content that lacks the beauty of visuals.

Use creative visuals to tell your 30-second story. Use different camera angles, filters (mostly in-app), and effects to make your Reels and TikTok videos catchy, likable and share-worthy.

Use the latest songs and trendy sound effects

Use cool music and sound effects that go well with the theme when making TikTok videos or Reels. Music and sound effects enhance the message of your video story by adding emotion and feel to it.

Coming across trendy beats or parts from the latest hit songs or chart-toppers gets the maximum views. It is not something you need to stick to if the theme of your video does not allow it. Still, be careful picking up the music or song that suits your video best.

Use captions and text in your short videos

Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and TikTok are global platforms. Unless you have a specific audience that speaks one language, making TikTok videos without captions or some text is fine. But to reach a wider audience that speaks different languages and with different accents, you must use captions. Make it understandable to everyone and try to maximize the reach of your 30-second short videos on these social media platforms.

Humor goes viral the fastest

Sharing knowledge, useful information, brand message, tips and tricks, etc., is all cool and trendy. Everything has a set of viewers on Reels on TikTok. But the factor that you can add to most of your videos to make them go viral instantly is humor. People do not come to the best short video platforms to get bored by watching bland videos.

The suggestion is not to create meme videos or make comedy videos. The idea is to make short videos that have a touch of humor and can add a smile to the viewer’s face. Humor always remains in trend as people want to have enjoyment through your short videos on Reels and TikTok.

Make the audience relate to the videos

The most important thing to win in short videos is the audience's attention. And that happens if they relate the video story to themselves. The more relatable your short-video story is, the more likely it will resonate with your Reels and TikTok audience. When making TikTok videos or Reels, connect with your viewers on an emotional level and let them feel that the short video is for them.

Have a clear call to action in your short videos

CTA in TikTok short videos make the difference. Do not make it overly promotional or pitch your sales idea too loud. Your TikTok and Reels audience will swipe fast to skip your video. Be subtle, clear and concise to make your call to action impactful.

Your 30-second video does not have enough room to freely accommodate everything you want. So be time-wise and know the exact timing to place your CTA and the message that will accommodate the CTA naturally. Sound natural, and use the CTA in your short video as organically as possible.

To conclude - Winning the short video game on social media

Making the best short videos that are just around 30 seconds long is no rocket science. The most successful micro and macro social media influencers on TikTok, YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels have proved that half-minute videos are as powerful as any other length of a video on social media or TV.

Once you master the art of making videos for TikTok and Reels, you will feel a new level of confidence after producing the first few. From there, you will see your social media likes and shares increasing rapidly.

Making TikTok Videos and Reels – FAQ

What’s better for making short videos – Instagram Reels or TikTok, or YouTube Shorts

All these short video platforms are highly popular, each with around 1 billion active users. The main difference is in the current popularity in different regions. After the ban on TikTok in India, Instagram Reels is seeing a high number of active users there. The most liked short video platform in the US is TikTok, but Instagram Reels is not too far behind. Worldwide, TikTok again has a better user base than Reels.

YouTube Shorts is not as fun and trending as the other two, but given the users on the main YouTube platform, Shorts get a decent number of views. So it depends more on where your audience is. Although with slight modifications, you can use the same videos on all the platforms. A slight modification is suggested to meet the demographic tastes of these different social media platforms. Making videos for TikTok will always be a bit different from making videos for Insta Reels.

How to make good TikTok videos with music?

Adding music to TikTok videos is simple. You can add music by tapping the button at the top of the screen. You will get various suggestions from TikTok depending on your short video content type. But that does not mean you can insert other music. In open search, you can find your favorite songs and sound effects to add. Add the effects you like, and choose stickers or text for your short video by tapping the options available on the right-hand menu.

How to make TikTok videos with words/text?

  • Tap Text. It is available at the bottom of the editing screen.

  • Select the font you like and choose the color and background that will make TikTok video good and engaging.

  • Tap Done.

  • Tap and drag the text to place it on your desired spot on the video.

How to do a voice over on TikTok?

Making TikTok videos with voiceovers is easy as pie. TikTok offers a tool available in the app's menu options after you record a video or upload a pre-recorded video. Select 'Audio editing' from the options on the right side. Click 'Record,' and the voice will start recording.

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