14th June 2024

Reels vs TikTok: Creating Native Content To Appeal To Both

By Harri Brown

Chief Operations Officer

One of the biggest misconceptions of social media is that content can just be created and posted on all platforms. This is certainly not the case.

What many fail to realise is that Instagram and TikTok’s rivalry affects the user more than it affects the platform's retention of users. There are dire consequences (in the form of poor reach and engagement) for those who create content for one and post it on the other. Let us explain!

Why you should NEVER repost Reels content on TikTok

Instagram and TikTok are competitor platforms. TikTok’s success has left Instagram scrambling to catch up, and TikTok continues to tease by launching similar features they think they can do better (TikTok Notes is a perfect example of this).

So, if users are creating content in TikTok, saving it and then posting it to Reels with a TikTok watermark (and vice versa) this can be detected within the platforms’ algorithms and a user will then have their content limited in reach, which affects the user engagement and means you’re left feeling annoyed and defeated.

There is also an argument to make about what content performs well on Reels vs TikTok.

TikTok is designed for longer sit-down information, speaking videos and humorous content. Reels is designed for five-second aesthetic content with trending audios that forces a user to read a caption, so you should really be developing content that is native and unique to each platform.

Tips for creating content that works for both platforms

Plan what you want your content to be about

Pick your topic, and note down some key points you want to get across, but don’t write a script. Remember: you want your thoughts to be genuine and feel unique

Film your content out of the platform

This is so you can have the original clip, with no watermarks, and it's free to be edited as needed

Edit your content within each platform

TikTok can only read content that has been edited within the platform. This means the text you include on-screen and captions should be added within the platform so TikTok can easily identify what your video is about.

Instagram works similarly, except this content should be much shorter - no more than 10 seconds - using trending audio, and most of the information should be in the caption, so consider this when editing your content on Instagram.

To excel on both platforms, it's essential to create and edit content specifically tailored for each. Utilise each platform's unique editing tools to enhance discoverability and engagement. By developing native content, you can effectively appeal to both TikTok and Reels audiences, maximising your reach and building a stronger online presence.