10 Tips To Create Better Videos, Reels And Stories for Your Small Business

Today I want to share some frameworks and parameters  I’ve given to my Reels and videos in order to keep up with all the algorithm changes. I’m sharing them because I’ve found that they allow me to consistently create videos without feeling overwhelmed.

I know producing video and now Reels can feel daunting. I get it.

But I also know that if you want to get engagement and have a fighting chance of having your content earn revenue, it means you have to accept the fact that all the social media platforms are currently betting on video.

I know. Still!

So let’s let’s talk video and Reels shall we? What I’ve come to realise is that there are two camps around building out a video strategy for social media.

Camp 1. If you’re here then you’re all for video! Nothing stops you from hitting that record button and your Instagram feed is just one big, giant Reel and you don’t consider it overkill!

 Camp 2. If you’re in this camp, the thought of doing video petrifies you so much that all you do is watch other people’s videos and forget that you too have an audience to inform, inspire and entertain.

Ok, so let me know in the comment section which camp you belong to; I only want the deets because I’m curious about what you feel comfortable doing on your platforms.

Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone With Reels and Video

Still,  I have to tell you something. We’re not here of the comfort zone, right? Nothing big and significant gets built there, at least not with entrepreneurship.

What’s more, if you figure you can be on social media and do what you’ve always been doing, then you will be left behind. I’m sorry but I can’t sugarcoat it. The algorithm shifts all the time.

Here are the facts. On a Social Media Hub survey 85% of survey respondents said they prefer to see more videos from businesses they trust and follow.

83% said videos increase the time they spend on a page.

In another survey it was reported that Instagram app downloads increased by 11.4% in the most populous country in the world after reels was launched there (from 7 million to 7.8 million)

Ok. But forget the stats for a quick second. Let’s get personal.

My bet is that if I asked you what causes you to stop scrolling on social media, chances are you’ll tell me that it is video. Am I right or am I right?

Video Impacts Your Engagement

So if your own behavior is indicating that video prompts you to engage more with content, stop your scroll and consume more, then you really don’t have  a choice but to embrace video because isn’t it true you’d want the same impact for your business?

So whether video inspires and gets you pumped you, or terrifies and overwhelms you (or perhaps there are bit and bobs of all of it  mixed up in your feelings)… it’s something you’ll need to learn how to do.

Now, I don’t want you to be nervous. All the social media platforms have made video recording/ editing intuitive, fun and easy even for the technically and confidence challenged.

Still with me? Good! Because today I want to focus on Stories and Reels. I want to show you how I use them both, and the tips and tricks I utilise to capture the attention and increase views without the overwhelm.

Hopefully, this will take the guesswork out of your video marketing game.

4 Tips to Help you Share Better Stories (Instagram, Facebook Too)

You can share stories every single day.

1.  Typically I share Stories on my Facebook page  5 days a week, IG too.  I’ve found them to be  a great way to take my followers behind the scenes of my digital business and reinforce my WHY. Both of these storytelling tactics allow me to build a continuous bond with the people who form my community.

2. Now when it comes to your own Stories I want you to think like your audience while you are sharing your day or something else.  Ask yourself: “Will my followers find this story interesting?”

This is such a BIG question because if they don’t, then why tell it? There is simply no reason to create anything but relatable and shareable content that your people will find educational, entertaining, inspiring and /or empowering. 

Even if it is pedestrian, I feel it is critical it falls into one of these four frameworks.

Know Your Purpose

3. I don’t make my Stories complicated, in fact, they are my least complicated form of video. It always the point, shoot and tell for me.

That’s because my focus is on long-form content: my blog, newsletters and over 5-minute videos.  I am clear about why I use Stories. You need to be clear about your purpose as well and produce accordingly.

4. One of the things I love about the Stories’ feature is that they allow for better engagement with my profiles.

So if you want people talking back to you then stories are perfect for that once you make full use of the caption stickers, polls, questions. Oh and  don’t forget to reply to the feedback you get.

This will increase the likelihood of your followers seeing your content the next time you post which will keep driving those numbers up.

My Fifth Tip. I know, I know. I  said 4 in the headline but I want to squeeze this one in because it’s a pet peeve of mine. I dislike incomplete Stories. I want to encourage you to make sure yours always has a beginning, middle an end, no matter how short the clips are.

Make It Complete

Let me break this down some more.

Let’s say you’re doing a story about opening your online shop, then your first clip could be about how excited you are about your shop and how long you took to build it. Use it to introduce or launch your shop to your followers.

The second clip can take viewers around your online shop, showing them how to navigate the page and talking to them about your products.

Subsequent stories can show followers the checkout process. Finally, you can come back to camera and tell everyone how excited you are, hope they will take time to  browse and of course, shop specific products (if you’re having a launch/ sale for instance)

See!  That’s a full story and  it leaves folks with a sense of completion. Best of all, it can be executed over eight to ten, 15 -second stories.

Now let’s talk about Reels next.

5 Tips to Help you Share Better Reels (Instagram)

IG Reels is  Instagram content format that allows users to create and post short-form video content. If it looks like TikTok and feels like TikTok, well, then it is…. (you finish the sentence).

Reels  was inspired by the popularity of TikTok, and like that platform you can shoot short videos and use them to boost your follower count and engagement rates.

There are some unique differences between Reels and Stories but for now I really want to keep focus on  the production side so it becomes easy for you to create Reels.

Planning Is Best

1. Check out this Reel. Did you take a look at it? Ok good. Cute right? Now it may have looked spontaneous but I actually spent all of 5 minutes  planning it.

I knew I wanted to tell the story of an easy Sunday morning. In my head, I thought out five scenes: waking up, feeling god about the day, breakfast, a book scape and settling in to have breakfast and a read.

I didn’t wing it, I didn’t invent things as I was going along. It took me all of 17 minutes to think and prop the scenes, shoot and edit.

The lesson for you here is  that a little bit of planning goes a long way. Once I planned it out I simply used the Reels feature on my phone to record, trim and edit my clips.

2.  With Reels you want to have a catchy beginning. So use the first three seconds to hook your audience and pull them in. Much like fishing, you want to make sure your Reel is will baited.

I use trending songs, that’s my jam, and I typically use my long-form captions to round off the storytelling. Instagram also allows you to use caption sticker, engaging transitions to make sure you get eyeballs to your Reels.

As With Your Stories, Short Is Best With Reels

3.  If you want to tell a full story with your Reel, make sure each video is short. Keep it between 7-15 seconds. Until then use the trim function relentlessly. Shorter clips allow your Reels to be more engaging and yet still feel like you’re delivering your viewers a complete story.

4.  With Reels, you’ve got to drink water and mind your business. By that I mean, while you want to think about the content your audience will find useful as a small business owner. You also want to make sure you’re not cookie cutting up your personality.

5. This is where I need you to be bold, forget what people think and be Y-O-U. That’s why I love Reels so much.

You can share bits of yourself and your small business in a way that authentic to who you are or even I dare say, who you hope to be but that’s a whole other blog.

Video Takes Practice

Yes, telling stories on video takes practice but so did learning to walk when you were a baby and so did pivoting when the pandemic rocked our world. And yet you did both.

All you need to keep at the back of your mind is that:

  • If you want to be social and grow on Facebook, Instagram, etc. you have to adapt to what the platforms want.
  • You’re an entrepreneur, you’ve already proven you can do hard things.
  • Never forget that your followers want to see you and that’s regardless of if you have 500 or 5 million of them.  They followed you for a reason.  You have a commitment to them and you must   show up in a way that keeps them engaged
  • Done is better than perfect, never allow the elusive  idea of perfection to keep you from posting
  • Everything gets better with practice.

All right, please feel free to say hello down in the comments below. Ask me any questions about videos, if you have them! Thanks so much for getting to the end. As usual, I am always cheering you on.

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Judette Coward

Judette Coward

xo xo xo Judette
Sharp Mind. Big Heart.
Heart-to-heart, I help female entrepreneurs like you create profitable content to grow your ideas, audience & small business, and feel free to have a life you love.

Free Coaching? I'd Love It.
Judette Coward

Judette Coward

xo xo xo Judette
Sharp Mind. Big Heart.
Heart-to-heart, I help female entrepreneurs like you create profitable content to grow your ideas, audience & small business, and feel free to have a life you love.

Free Coaching? I'd Love It.

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