10 min read

Grow your online teaching business with short videos
Find out how you can expand your online teaching business by posting short content videos on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Published January 2023

Are you trying to get more learners, spread the word about an upcoming class, or create a following? You might use word of mouth, share upcoming classes with friends and family, or let current learners know when a new class is published. But, how do you tell prospective families about classes for their children if they’ve never heard of you?

Believe it or not, the best place to start is by tapping into what you already do well—sharing your passion! 

You already share your passions with learners every time you log into the classroom. Why not take that same energy and enthusiasm and show potential families what they can expect from enrolling in one of your classes?

To do this, we suggest checking out the three most popular forms of short-form social media videos and how they can help build your online teaching business.

Facebook Reels

Seeing amazing results after Meta introduced Instagram to its users, the company decided to try short-form videos on Facebook as well. Facebook users may love being able to do Reels!


Because, according to the Integrity Institute, Facebook Reels are the “fastest-growing content format” on Facebook. Knowing this, Facebook has been actively promoting their Reels in user feeds under the app’s “Suggested for You” area. With Facebook Reels ranging from as short as 3 seconds to as long as a full 60-minute video, you can tap into the world’s largest social media network.

Advantages of Reels

One of the biggest advantages of using Facebook Reels is Facebook’s audience. Unlike other social media platforms which target a younger audience, Facebook dominates the 35+ audience while still attracting users from ages 25-34. As “the most popular social media platform overall,” your content has the potential to reach a larger audience. More importantly, you’re targeting parents, guardians, and family members who may become potential customers.

Meta, Facebook’s parent company, wants to see Facebook Reels succeed so your content is more likely to be seen as they continue to promote new content. As a bonus, Facebook pays high-performing content creators for those who are eligible. (For eligibility, you need at least 1000 Reels views over 30 days, meet content monetization policies, and be the owner of the content created.) This a great incentive to help motivate you to create more engaging content!

For many educators, Facebook may offer the best access to your target parent audience. By creating content that shows off your expertise, teaching style, and passion for what you do, you can spark interest from potential customers and drive them to your Outschool profile or class pages.

Disadvantages of Reels

As of January 2023, Facebook does not offer an option to make videos longer than 60 seconds. That means that if you’re trying to repurpose longer-form content or share a longer lesson, you may not be able to. Instead, you will need to create videos that quickly engage the audience with a strong call to action, such as checking out your latest class.

Find out how to get started with social media as an educator entrepreneur, why video tutorials make great social media content, or read about how educators are finding success with social media marketing in Outschool’s Educator Library.

YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts are 60-second (or less), easy-to-digest bites of entertainment or information users post to their YouTube channel. According to YouTube, you can get started making videos right away, “using just a smartphone and the Shorts camera in the YouTube app.” 

Advantages of YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts are a great way to reach millions of viewers. Plus, you don’t have to use fancy cameras, editing skills, or spend hours making the perfect video. The second most popular search engine following Google, YouTube is one place where having a strong presence can bring impactful results. Of YouTube’s 2 billion monthly views, over 1.5 million views go to YouTube Shorts. All of those eyeballs could be a huge advantage to your online teaching business.

On the other hand, YouTube Shorts do not allow you (as of January 2023) to include a link to your Outschool profile page. While this isn’t the end of the world, it does mean that you will have to devise clever ways to guide viewers to your teaching page. 

Disadvantages of YouTube Shorts

Shorts are relatively new to the short-form video scene and face steep competition from the likes of TikTok and Instagram. YouTube has spent decades investing in long-form video creators and their audiences, and their ultimate success in the short-form arena still remains to be seen.

What does that mean for you? This channel might be a little less predictable than platforms that have already perfected (or are close to it) their short video features. If your market research tells you that your audience is hanging out on YouTube, consider creating a mix of Shorts and standard videos. This may enhance your performance within the YouTube algorithm and help you gain followers—but it’s up to you where to invest your time.

Ready to get started? Read about how you can market Outschool classes using YouTube Shorts, create engaging YouTube Shorts to get noticed, build a following with Shorts, and develop the most effective YouTube Shorts strategy. To learn more about creating YouTube Shorts, check out this helpful step-by-step guide from YouTube.

Instagram Reels

If you use Instagram, you have probably seen the different types of posts that are available. Instagram posts are 1080px by 1080px squares you can add to your page that looks like, when viewed all at once, a grid of images. Instagram Stories are a slideshow of images that allow you to share multiple images of videos highlighting one theme. 

Instagram Reels, according to the app, are 15-90 second videos. Reels allow you to post video content to your Instagram page, which is good considering that Instagram Reels receive 67% more engagement than standard videos.

Advantages of Instagram Reels

One of the biggest advantages of using Instagram Reels is that they are served to a larger audience so more people can potentially see your content. Unlike Stories, the content you create for a Reel is available for anyone to view for an indefinite amount of time once it is posted.

Another advantage is that Instagram wants you to create Reels, so they offer templates to help you create more content. Check out how to use an Instagram Reel template from your mobile app.

Of course, it helps that the dimensions of Reels are the same as TikTok videos. This means that you can create the content once and post it to two places, a strategy that big-time creators and influencers are masters of. Not only does repurposing content for multiple channels save you time, but it’s also a very smart business move to increase your brand awareness and keep your social media calendar full. Keep in mind that certain content will perform much better on one platform versus another, so use your best judgment. 

Pro Tip: Don’t just post a downloaded video with the TikTok logo on Reels. Instead, upload your video on both platforms! Both platforms’ algorithms can identify watermarks on videos, and they don’t love to see them. Make sure your content is identified as original and fresh!

Disadvantages of Instagram Reels

Unfortunately, you cannot pay a fee to promote or “boost” your Instagram Reels, so your video content is at the mercy of Instagram’s algorithm. The good news is that there is a lot of information online about how to hack the algorithm, so if this is your social media of choice, you should check that out.

Now it’s your turn! Learn more about how to create an Instagram Reel, when to post them, and which content gets the most attention.


TikTok is an app that allows users to create videos, post them, and share them globally. Videos on TikTok can be as short as 15 seconds, but unlike YouTube Shorts or Instagram Reels, they can be as long as 10 minutes.

Advantages of TikTok

One of the biggest advantages is the application’s social entertainment value. You already spend your days connecting with learners. With TikTok, you can connect with people all over the world highlighting your personality and creating brand awareness with a younger audience, aka your potential learners. But don’t think that TikTok is only popular with the younger generation!

You can still reach an older audience on TikTok with related hashtags. For example, MarketSplash created a list of hashtags related to parenting. These include the obvious #parenting, #ParentingAdvice, #ParentingHacks, and #ParentingTips. You can use these to begin looking for other hashtags that are relevant to your online teaching business, such as #science, #homeschool, or #neurodiverse/#neurodivergent. If you’re unsure what hashtags to use, search in the app to see what’s trending, or what other educators are using.

Disadvantages of TikTok

TikTok’s demographics skew young, which may be a disadvantage depending on the ages you teach—and the ages of those kids’ parents. As of January 2023, TikTok’s users between the ages of 13 and 17 make up approximately 27 percent of the popular social video app user base in the United States. Noting that Outschool’s learner age range is between 3 and 18 years old, you’ll want to keep this in mind when targeting families. 

While the predominant TikTok demographics may be perfect for reaching parents with young children, if you teach middle or high school learners (ages 11+), you may want to consider a social media platform that targets the 35-54 age range. Knowing your audience and the age range of the learners you teach will help you hone in on how to target them with your content.

Looking to get started? Find out how you can market Outschool classes on TikTok and how you can grow your teaching business with TikTok in Outschool’s Educator Handbook Library.

Social media short videos

5 strategies for using short videos to grow your teaching business

1. Use your current classes and topics as a guide to get started.

You already have the materials, now you can put them to use in a new format. Pick a topic you can discuss or teach in 15-90 seconds, and highlight the good stuff. Potential customers want to know what you offer and what your personality is like.

2. Choose keywords that relate to your online teaching business.

While tagging general categories such as online teaching or distance learning is helpful, viewers on YouTube are typically seeking more clear-cut results in their search. Instead, use keywords such as science experiments, math hacks, or the title of a book to get more attention from the right audience.

3. Share your Outschool wins!

Post positive parent feedback, your ACE certification, or share something amazing that happened in class. Not ACE certified, yet? Be sure to register for the ACE framework classes today.

4. Create engaging videos.

With a limited amount of time, you need to grab your viewer’s attention quickly so that they don’t scroll to the next video without seeing your CTA (call to action). To do this, you need to get comfortable in front of the camera. This is your chance to shine and show off your teaching skills!

5. Repurpose your content for maximum exposure.

YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and TikTok are all great on their own, but did you know that many times you can share the same content across multiple platforms? Set up your videos to a 9:16 aspect ratio, the typical ratio for vertical videos, which is also the same as the videos you record on your phone.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your phone or your camera, and get ready to record!
For more insights about how to grow your online teaching business, check out other resources in Outschool’s Educator Library.

More from Outschool

From the classroom to the campfire: Offering summer learning with camps

Learn how to increase enrollments on Outschool by offering engaging summer camps to learners in the United States, the U.K., and East Asia.

How to price your Self-Paced classes

Learn the formula to maximize your passive income opportunity by pricing your Self-Paced classes for success.


Teach on your terms

Set learning free