Creative Juice Vol 18

Instagram and TikTok are two of the leading social media spaces that businesses can leverage to connect with existing and potential customers. With over 3 billion combined accounts, Instagram and TikTok are the most frequented platforms on the web, making them fertile grounds for building a loyal base of consumers [1].

However, with over one million collective hours of online video streamed every single minute, there’s a cavalcade of competition for contemporary content creators [2]. In order to stand out in this boundless sea of video, you’ll need to create clips that are smart, snappy and shareable.

Luckily, the lightning-fast format of Instagram Reels and TikTok gives savvy brands the opportunity to show off their style with quick and compelling content. To get the most out of this pair of platforms, we’re explaining the essentials of editing short clips for TikTok and Instagram Reels that show off your brand and help build your customer base.


The Fundamentals of Instagram Reels and TikTok

Let’s begin with the basics. Instagram Reels and TikTok are both tailor-made for sharing quick, captivating clips. However, their permitted lengths vary:

  • Instagram Reels – Reels allow you to record (or upload) videos up to 90 seconds in length [3].
  • TikTok – TikTok videos are split into three distinct categories: videos up to 60 seconds in length, clips that are exactly 15 seconds and uploaded videos, which can be as long as three minutes or, for some users, up to 10 minutes [4].

Beyond these different time limitations, both Reels and TikTok provide users with various tools such as filters, backing audio and graphic effects to enhance their videos. To see what each platform offers specifically, let’s break them down separately.

Resources For Revamping Reels

After tapping the record button and capturing a Reel on an Android or Apple device, you’ll be given some options for making quick edits. Prior to going live with your clip, you’ll be able to add in:

  • Audio – You can select from Insta’s vast, varied library of available music or select an original track from your device to patch into your clip [5]. Aim to choose tunes that speak to your target demographic and reflect your brand’s intended message.
  • Text – You can add text and customize its color, font and size. Then, after creating a text block, you can select when, where and for how long it appears on screen [6]. Take advantage of this tool to add context to your content and remind viewers of your brand’s name and tone.
  • Stickers and other flashy features – Beyond the basic emoticons and GIFs, Insta also allows you to tack on a plethora of advanced, interactive add-ins. With the Stickers option, you can add in features such as captions, countdowns, weather information, donation pages, locations, external links, quizzes, questions, mentions and more [6]. Including at least one of these features encourages users to share and engage with your video, potentially spreading it to new audiences. 
  • Effects – From imbuing everything with a sepia tone to turning yourself into the sun, there’s a plethora of fun effects at your disposal with Reels. Use them to personalize your content and give your videos an unmistakably on-brand touch.

Alongside these flashy add-ins, Insta also empowers you to perform basic edits on your videos, such as cutting and splicing multiple clips together or trimming off superfluous segments. 


Tools For Tuning Up TikToks

Like Reels, TikTok also allows you to splice and stitch together multiple videos to create one post. Additionally, you can enhance your content by adding:

  • Sounds – On top of zany sound effects, you’ll have access to TikTok’s wealth of free-to-use songs, as well as the option to record your own voiceover [7]. To optimize a video’s potential reach, consider adding a trending tune that may draw more viewers onto your page [15].
  • Effects – From stickers to emojis and filters for your video, TikTok offers a variety of ways to gussy up your clips [4]. Like with Reels, adding these aesthetic accouterments can give your videos the personal touch that your base expects from your content.
  • Covers – Covers, colloquially called thumbnails, allow you to pick a still image to represent your video to users browsing their feeds [4]. Select something interesting and evocative that entices scrollers to click on your clip.

Both TikTok and Instagram Reels offer comparable, yet unique features for users to customize their clips and make them more engaging. Likewise, there are similar strategies you can use to optimize your brand’s reach on both platforms. 


Best Practices for Editing Reels and TikToks

There’s a plethora of different approaches when it comes to posting TikToks and Reels. Your brand’s image, offerings and marketing strategy can all dictate your clips’ content and editing style. Nonetheless, we’ve hashed out some basic guidelines for businesses and individuals alike hoping to use these two video titans as a means of expanding their bases:


Mull Over The Metrics 

Whether it’s Creator Tools on TikTok or Insights on Instagram, valuable demographic details await users of either app. These essential analytics tell you where your videos are popular and provide key gender and age information that can help you shape how you write and edit your content [8] [9]. 

Millennial and Gen Z viewers, for instance, crave clips that foster connection and communication with other app users [10]. Older demographics, however, want videos that defy their age stereotypes and help them feel young again [11]. 

So, when choosing what tunes, polls or text to include with your clip, carefully consider who’s most likely to view your content and edit accordingly.


Encourage Interaction 

Shareability is the cornerstone of modern digital marketing. Patching in an Add Yours sticker to your Reels allows users to respond to your prompts and link back to your post [12]. 

Similarly, TikTok’s Duets allow you to put your video side-by-side with other creators and permit your fans to do the same with your clips [13]. Make frequent use of both features to optimize interaction with your videos and extend your reach to new users and audiences.


Tap Into Trends

Keeping a keen eye on the latest trends in your brand’s market allows you to stay on top of what’s hot in your industry. Furthermore, riding the popularity wave of ongoing trends prompts new users to discover your brand and its offerings.

To find the latest trending hashtags and topics on Instagram, use the Explore page to see what other users in your space are turning out. Determine what’s hot, then edit your clips to contain the latest video and textual content lighting up Insta’s algorithm to get in on the fun [14].

Similarly, TikTok’s Trends page allows you to explore the hashtags, songs and creators currently making their rounds on the platform [15]. Get a sense of what’s popular and relevant for your brand, then piggyback off these trends to boost discoverability and engagement. 


Employ External Edits

Instagram and TikTok both have fairly decent editing capabilities built into their interfaces. If you want to take your videos to the next level, however, consider using an external app, like CapCut, to enhance and manage your videos prior to posting them to your accounts.

With the right program, you can enhance color, add in a wider array of special effects and post to multiple sites—all without having to open either Instagram or TikTok [16].

And, if you want to elevate your clips even further, consider consulting Coal’s poignant and proven video editing services.


Envision, Edit and Enhance Your TikToks and Reels by Collaborating With Coal Creative

Coal Creative stays on top of Instagram and TikTok trends to deliver engaging, on-brand videos to our cherished collaborators. From exploring what’s hot to envisioning a narrative and fine-tuning a perfect final product, we specialize in every step of clip and content creation. If you want to build your social media presence and fanbase, our expert editors can craft the clips that fuel your expansion.

Whether you’re a successful brand trying to optimize your online reputation or a small startup using social media as the cornerstone of your marketing strategy, Coal can help you create more salient, shareable content. Request a proposal today to learn more.






[1] “Most popular social networks worldwide as of January 2023, ranked by number of monthly active users.” Statista. January 2023. [Online] Available: Accessed September 28, 2023.

[2] “Media usage in an internet minute as of April 2022.” Statista. April 2022. [Online] Available: Accessed September 28, 2023.

[3] “Record a reel on Instagram.” Instagram.[Online] Available: Accessed September 30, 2023. 

[4] “Camera Tools.” TikTok. [Online] Available: Accessed September 30, 2023. 

[5] “Adding Music or Original Audio to Instagram Reels.” Instagram. April 27, 2023.  Available: Accessed September 30, 2023. 

[6] “Reels.” Instagram. [Online] Available: Accessed September 30, 2023. 

[7] “How To Add Sounds to your TikTok creations.” TikTok. 30 June 2020. [Online] Available: Accessed September 30, 2023. 

[8] “Creator tools on TikTok.” TikTok. [Online] Available: Accessed September 30, 2023. 

[9] “About Instagram Insights.” Instagram. [Online] Available: Accessed September 30, 2023. 

[10] “What Gen Z and Millennials Want on Instagram vs. TikTok.” North Carolina State University. September 22, 2022. [Online] Available: Accessed October 1, 2023. 

[11] “Older people using TikTok to defy ageist stereotypes, research finds.” The Guardian. May 18, 2022. [Online] Available : Accessed October 1, 2023. 

[12] “Add Yours sticker on Instagram.” Instagram. [Online] Available: Accessed September 30, 2023. 

[13] “Duets.” TikTok. [Online] Available: Accessed September 30, 2023. 

[14[ “Instagram Reels: The ultimate guide for businesses.” Adobe. September 12, 2023. [Online] Available: Accessed September 30, 2023. 

[15] “Trends.” TikTok. [Online] Available: Accessed October 1, 2023.[16] “8 Tips and Tricks for Making a Great TikTok Video.” Colorado State University. February 20. 2023.  [Online] Available: Accessed October 1, 2023.

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