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How to Batch Instagram Reels and TikToks

Short form videos are taking over the internet. If you aren't making them, you're falling behind. TikToks can be up to 60 seconds long, and Reels can be up to 30 seconds long. Many of the most viral videos on both platforms only last about 15 seconds. So you want to make a 15 second video to post? Alright. Think of a concept, write out the shots you need to capture, pick out an outfit, put on your makeup (if it supports your brand/image online - there is no make up requirement!), set up your filming area, film the Reel, edit it together, write a caption, curate hashtags, and post it. This will all take a couple hours, and at the end of it - you only have one 15 second video. Batching video content is the way to make all your prep work worth it, and turn one 15 second video into at least 5 - 10. We have the best tips for how to batch your video content.

Generate Ideas

The best place to look for content ideas for your Reels and TikToks are the apps those videos live on. When you are leisurely scrolling through videos, be sure to save videos and sounds that inspire you to create. You can hop on trends or give your take on a tip or idea that you've seen another creator share. This running list will be your best friend when you sit down to generate ideas.

Now pick 5 - 10 video ideas you want to make. For each video, list the different video clips you'll need to capture to achieve the final video. For example, if you want to create a reel as two characters having a conversation, make sure you have each part of that conversation listed out in separate shots. Writing out the shots you want to capture will majorly streamline your filming process.

Pick Out Outfits

Look at your shot sheets and see which video ideas need to have a video of you in them. Remember that content with an actual human being in it always performs better. If you don't want to be in the whole video, you can always have a short clip of yourself at the beginning explaining what your reel is about before you head to a screen recording or a different kind of video.

After you know the amount of videos you need to appear in, pick out different outfits for each. Many reels will only need your top half in them - so pick different tops, but leave your comfy leggings on the whole time you're shooting. Lay out your looks in order of how you will shoot.

BONUS TIP 🔥: Use a layer to easily change up your looks without switching your full outfit. Jacket on in one video - jacket off in the next. Whole different vibe with minimal work.

Set Up Your Recording Area

Reels and TikToks do not have to be high quality professional videos, but good lighting is important because we want to be able to see your face well. If you have a ring light, this will allow you to shoot in pretty much any location you want. If you don't - no worries, but make sure you shoot with plenty of natural light on your face, either outdoors or near a window.

If your video is for Instagram Reels, make sure the background and surrounding of your video support your aesthetic and brand. This step is much less important on TikTok. If you need your whole body in the shot, try using a tripod. If the shot is just your face, holding your phone to record is totally acceptable - remember, the videos don't need to be professional quality. These Reels all have similar backgrounds because they were made during a batching session (and also because that mirror is super cute, lbs).

Filming the TikTok

You can film and edit your Reels and TikToks in whatever app fits your style the best. Instagram has incredible filters, but TikTok has better editing features. Your phone's camera does a great job, but it doesn't have as many filter capabilities. If you like the filters on one app but the editing features on another, you can always film, save your footage, and edit in the other app. There are so many options for these steps, so experiment and see which one works the best for you.

Film all of the shots on your shot sheet in one filming session. Keep your shot sheet near by so you know exactly what you're capturing and what outfits to change into next. Do not worry about editing during this stage. You'll do that later. This is all about creating the content in one, focused session.

Final Steps

After all your footage is collected, start the editing process. Again, there are so many editing options. Check out this list of apps that have gained popularity for Reels/TikTok editing. Find the option that makes the work the easiest and most efficient for your work style. Remember that captions are a non negotiable on Reels and TikToks. You'll need to add those in to your video if you want to be rewarded by the algorithms.

After you've finished editing your videos, start generating captions and hashtag clouds for your videos. Remember that Instagram and TikTok have extremely different character allotments for their captions. Instagram allows 2,200 characters while TikTok only allows 100 characters. Use a social media scheduler like Planoly to schedule your Instagram Reels. You'll still have to push through the final publishing steps for you Instagram Reels, but getting the notification will keep you on track for posting. For your TikToks, check out our blog post about how to use TikTok's scheduler to get your TikToks scheduled to automatically post - no push through required.

After they're scheduled, you're all done! Remember that you don't need to do all of these steps in one day. You could break them up into 3 days. On day one set aside a couple of hours to generate ideas and write out your shot list, do all of your filming and editing the next day, and on the third day write all of your captions/hashtags and schedule your videos. Doing all of this work in batches is much more efficient than doing all of that work separately for each video. If you want more information on why batching content for social media is the superior way of content creation, check out this article from our blog.


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