Videos for Instagram Reels

8 Ways to Spice up Your Videos for Reels, TikToks and Shorts

May 26, 2023
Kyra Goodman

Is your video content in a creative rut? Time to spice things up!

Are you getting tired of seeing and creating the same TikTok or Instagram videos over and over? While it’s great to pick a style of short-form video content that works for you, your brand and your audience, sometimes we need to mix things up to keep people engaged.

So next time you’re in a creative rut with your videos, spice things up with some of my favourite surprise elements.

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#1 Transitions

Transitions are a great way to keep your audience engaged. And they work for any industry - fashion influencers showing off different outfits, chefs showing the process of making a dish, social media managers sharing tips for their industry. Anything!

What are some easy transitions I can try to get started?

Any transition where you cover the camera or leave the frame is going to be the easiest way to start your transition journey.

#1 Cover the camera:

Tap, punch, swipe, stomp like this one.      

#2 Close the door:

Start in one outfit, close the door and open wearing something different like this one:

#3 Leave the frame:

Walk out in one outfit and return in another like we did here:

#4 Use the apps' built-in transitions

The apps are making it easier than ever to create transitions. Here's a quick tutorial for using Instagram's build-in transitions:

How do I make my transitions better?

The perfect transition means that you can barely tell where the first clip starts and the second begins. We want a seamless switch to make it look like magic. Here are four things you can do to make your transitions better.

Tip 1: Make them fast

The quicker you transition from one clip to the next, the less noticeable the cut is. Try to time it so it looks like one continuous action.

Tip 2: Add movement

The blur from movement helps it look more seamless. It’s a lot harder to get the perfect transition when you’re just standing there because it has to be PERFECTLY aligned.

Tip 3: Keep the camera in the same spot

If you're doing a transition in a stationary spot, make sure you DO NOT move the camera.

Tip 4: Cut on the beat drop

Timing the transition so it lines up with the music will make the transition more dramatic and impactful.

#2 Clones

Don't you wish there were more of you to go around sometimes? Especially working in social media, I wish I could be doing multiple things at the same time. Well with some easy video editing, I can!

Here's a quick tutorial to teach you how to clone yourself using Videoleap:

#3 Effects and filters

Whether you're using a green screen effect to show screenshots of customer testimonials or using a "which character are you" filter for relatable content, effects and filters are an easy way to show some creativity. Plus the apps like it when you use their built-in features and trends often include the use of effects and filters. Like this one:

#4 Props

Props can be used in a variety of different ways - to play different characters, to show off products you offer, to show personality. If you follow us on Instagram, you know that we LOVE props.

#5 Change of scenery

If your videos always take place in your office, it might be time to switch things up. We see a major increase in engagement when we take our videos outside.

You could have the video take place entirely outside:

Or incorporate the change of scenery into a transition like this one:

#6 Multiple characters

Sometimes to get your point across, you need to showcase multiple POVs.

If you've got a team that's willing to play along. Try a skit like this:

Even if you're a solo social media team, you can still fill the role of two (or more) characters. Simply set yourself up facing off to one direction in your first clip. Then change outfits and set yourself up facing the other direction in the next clip.

PRO TIP: Record all the lines for one character then all the lines for the second character. That way you can seamlessly cut back and forth throughout the conversation and don't have to change outfits over and over.

This style of video works for lip-syncing over already-existing audio AND with your own dialogue.

#7 Sound effects

Really get your point across with the use of sound effects in your videos. You can incorporate sound effects into your videos either natively through the apps' editing tools, or by using a third-party video editor. Depending on what I'm looking for, I use both methods.

How to add sound effects to your videos on Instagram:

  • Create your Reel like normal
  • Click through to the editing page
  • Click the music icon from the top
  • Click sound effects
  • Choose from their list
  • Change the duration of the sound effects to start and finish where you want it

How to add sound effects to your videos on TikTok:

  • Start your TikTok like normal
  • Click the edit clip button
  • Select Sound then Sound Effect
  • Choose from mechanical, daily life or human voices - click on the sound you want then click the red "use" button
  • Now you can control where the sound effect appears in the video, trim it to your needs, copy it, adjust the volume or delete it

How to add sound effects using a third-part app:

Videoleap has been my tool of choice lately and they have a huge sound effect library to choose from.

  • Start a project by clicking the plus sign and adding in your video clips
  • Click Audio then Sound FX
  • Search for your desired sound and when you find one you like, click the download arrow and it will be inserted into the video
  • Now you can make any adjustments you need

#8 Collaborations

This is probably my favorite way to mix things up. Plus collaborating with other creators gets you in front of a whole new audience. Check out these transitions you can do with people even if you're not in the same location.

How do I find people to collaborate with?

Time to put the social in SOCIAL media. Building relationships on social is the first step in future collaborations. Before reaching out to someone to pitch a collaboration, ask yourself:

  • Would both of our accounts benefit from this collab?
  • Would this collab be relevant to both of our audiences?
  • Do our accounts have similar styles, personalities, and values?
  • Do I have a relationship with this person?

When you're ready, simply reach out via DM outlining what kind of collaboration you have in mind. Who knows, you might even get to meet up with other people in your area for a collab IRL like we did!

Ready to get to posting?

Video should be an important part of your social media strategy. And with Sked Social you can easily schedule your video content across all of your major platforms. Start streamlining your social media management and try Sked Social for free today!


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