5 Jan 2023 How to Social media Video

TikTok and Instagram Reel Ideas when you don’t want to be on camera

Two people are filmed by a mobile phone

With 91% of active Instagram users watching Instagram videos every week, and TikTok officially bringing in over 1 billion monthly active users, you really can’t afford not to be using short-form vertical video.

This can be challenging, even daunting, for many people. The thought of your face on camera can frighten the life out of you, and the last thing you want to do are TikTok dances in your dressing gown. But trust me, it’s so much more than that now.

We know there are many reasons you don’t want to be on camera. You may think it’s embarrassing, that your acting skills need polishing, or you simply don’t want the fame that will no doubt follow from your social stardom. Whatever it is, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways you can create engaging content without showing your face, and we’ll be going through them in this blog.

From a photo slideshow through to just making someone else doing it, here are the ideas that are going to keep your face out of the limelight:

Photo Slideshow

My first video idea is a photo slideshow. You’ll no doubt have a folder full of images relating to your business, product, staff, anything. You can reuse these to create a slideshow to some trending music, even adding transitions and effects to make those images pop.

Finding the right audio can be difficult but scrolling through your Instagram Reels feed or TikTok For You page, you will begin to hear sounds that are coming up time and time again.

Click on the sound to check the number of videos that have already been made using that sound. Catching a sound at the start of its virality, ideally in the low thousands, even hundreds, will mean you can ride the wave longer than using it when there are hundreds of thousands of videos.

When there are that number of videos, the feed becomes saturated and too competitive for your video to make any real impact. Therefore, use sounds early in their trending life to make the most of a strong trending audio algorithm.

However, be aware: trending audios are very time sensitive. If you find a piece of audio that you want to use, use it then and there. Making the video and waiting a week to post it is only going to hinder your performance. The longer you wait, the more videos there will be, and the less chance of your video being pushed out.

Editing clips so the scene transitions to the beat of the music is a great way to create impact. You can do that manually from within the platform you’re using or, if you are using Instagram, you may be able to find a template on an existing reel so that you can upload to pre-timed slots.

If you are worried about making reels, then this is a really great way to get started. Find yourself the right pictures and get creating, it really is that simple.

If you’re feeling adventurous, add some effects and transitions to make it that little bit extra eye-catching. It’s not essential, just more of a creative decision.

Text on screen and the caption are going to be key here, as you are only offering visual value through images. Use the text to explain what you have to say. Hook them in by using the on-screen text and add more information to the caption if need be. Don’t use the same words on both. This is virtual real estate that can be used to add more value to your customers.

Product Videos

If you are selling a product, this one is for you. Your product is the star of the show and stylised videos are a winner. More so on Instagram than on TikTok, but they will still work on both.

When I say stylised videos, I am talking about scenes that have been created to portray a lifestyle. A more polished look than footage of some parkour in a car park or dancing in a public bathroom. These are great for products that are trying to convey their values to their audience.

Again, find the right audio to match the mood of your content, set up in your ideal, yet authentic, surrounding, and get that camera rolling.

Tutorials/Process Videos (Text on Screen)

These are going to be critical to both physical products and services being sold. Understanding how you use a product or service is paramount to your audience. Helping them understand your offering as well as your business, its morals, values, and mission, will help you grow.

For example, if you make candles, you could show your process from wax melting right the way through to the design of your labels. You may think that sounds boring but that candle process from start to finish brings the audience along on the journey of the product. It highlights your skills, your products, the love put into it, the time spent creating it, the person behind the whole idea. This is vital to creating a successful community for growth for your business or personal brand.

Using your hands

If you don’t want to use your face, your hands will have to do. If that sounds like I am grumpy with you, I am a little bit. Humanising your brand through a face in your content cannot be underestimated. However, your hands are the next best thing.

For example, if you are selling clothing, you could be folding them, packing them, or removing them from a clothesline, all using your hands and not your face.  

It doesn’t have to be your hands, get your feet involved as well, make it a party. After all it is a fantastic steppingstone to getting your face on camera and humanising your content.  

Stop Motion

Now, I’m asking you to go full Nick Park on this by any stretch of the imagination. That would take far too long. All you have to do is keep your camera in a stable position. Take photos of your offering, move it slightly, photograph and repeat until you feel you have the movement you are after.

Once you’re done, add all your photos into your selected app and add them all together, making each clip around 0.1- 0.2 seconds.

This might be a little bit daunting when you are first starting off but don’t let that stop you. There are always plenty of apps out there that can help you.

Filming your surroundings

Much like stories on Instagram, filming your surroundings and letting people know what you’re up to is another way to create engaging vertical short-form video on social.

This could be a day in the life of [insert your job title], how you set up for work, your morning routine. None of these need you to show your face, but it’s an engaging and fast-paced video that is going to get attention.

Show the experience that your target audience is going to receive. For example, show walking through the door of your shop or your office, being greeted by a team member, or event the venue.

Make someone else do it

As I said, I am a big fan of faces, so this is always an option. Get a member of the team to do it. Stick a phone in their hand and log into your Instagram and TikTok and tell them to get creating.

Repurpose existing content

Make the most out of the content you have. If it’s landscape, then change it to portrait and post it to Instagram and TikTok. Already used a clip on your Instagram/TikTok but it goes well with another sound? Use it again. Don’t reuse it too often though, you don’t want your content to look stale to your audience.

Instagram examples

I have picked out two examples of Instagram reels that use some of these techniques well to inspire you to get hands-on with your video without showing your face!

Firstly, I have an example of some coffee skillet monkey Bbead. Food is a great example to display how you can creatively show your product or service without showing your face. This video uses the idea of a process as the main theme, including a quick stop motion element to fill the tin and some close-ups of hands doing things.

Secondly, I have picked out this photo slideshow. Yes, again it is food related, but that’s just what my algorithm serves me, no pun intended. I particularly enjoy the use of video and images on this one. The start of the video feels authentic but then the later part of the video shows professional images of your business offering.

TikTok examples

I have also picked out two examples of TikToks that use some of these techniques.

The first TikTok I have highlighted is this cheeky little air fryer recipe. I know, I know, the next one isn’t going to be food, I swear. I love this example though, because they use their virtual real estate so well. The videos are crisp and clean, using hands to show off their work. Secondly, there is a fantastic voiceover with a strong hook to keep the audience watching. Any information left out of the voiceover is added as text to screen and the caption.

@benandbart I never expected this… #secretcandle #personalizedgifts #giftideas #anniversarygift #fyp #fypph #shopeehaul #tiktokph #ad ♬ glimpse of us x pluto projector – sam

The second TikTok example is this candle. Good choice of music which sets a mood for the story behind the product. Lots of text on screen with a very simple video behind it, which feels authentic to the platform. The caption “I never expected this” hooks people in as well.

@boredoflunch Airfryer Pepperoni & Pesto Chicken Melt – Ready in 17 minutes #chicken #cheese #airfryer #viral #food #foryou #airfryerrecipes #airfryermaster #fyp ♬ Remember – Acoustic / Sped Up (with David Guetta) – Becky Hill & Speed Radio & xxtristanxo

Time to get filming

There you have it. Plenty of ways you can create video content to grow your business and your audience on TikTok and Instagram without showing your face. Hopefully, these video ideas can get you creating without showing your face but also build your confidence to see it’s not that scary.

Get creative with the content you have, record new content on your phone, it really doesn’t have to be a polished, professional video. These platforms are all about authenticity.

If it’s really not within your wheelhouse to be creating video content, we can help you with that. If you’d like to know more about our video services, check out our video page, use our contact form or give us a call on 01509 323363.

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