Updated: May 14
Instagram Reels is a form of content available on the platform that allows the user to post short, engaging, and easily digestible videos that, unlike Instagram stories, don’t disappear after 24 hours. The content can be formatted in 15 or 30 second videos, with 60 second videos available to select users.
Reels offers editing tools similar to TikTok with features for multiple video clips, filters, captions, backgrounds, stickers, and more. Instagram has a select section on the bio page of the account of the user for Reels to be accessed by anyone visiting the page. They can be featured on the main feed of the account or linked to stories as well. One major perk of using Reels, is they are featured heavily on the user explore page. 50% of accounts on Instagram use the explore page to discover new pages and users every month, if your Reel is shown in this page, you have a huge opportunity to expose your brand to a huge audience.
What’s different about Reels?
The opportunity for successfully creating content on Reels that is creative and engages audiences is new and on the rise. First, Reels is a feature within a platform ecosystem that is already heavily used and proven to engage audiences long term, compared to TikTok which is an algorithm that relies heavily on showing users content similar to things they have already engaged with. With Instagram Reels, your content is more likely to reach people that might not know of you yet. Second, Instagram has proven a track record of utilizing features that other platforms use in a more successful way. In 2016 the app launched Instagram Stories, many began calling them a Snapchat copycat and a lot of memes criticizing the platform circulated the social media space. Now, Instagram Stories have surpassed Snapchat in daily users and are a great way for brands to build their audience quickly.
What your business can do to successfully use the Reels feature
Educational Content is King
This is one of the best ways to begin using Instagram Reels. The #1 reported reason people use Instagram is to be entertained, showcasing your brand and how it relates directly to the lives of your audience engages them at their level and keeps you at the top of their mind. Give something to your audience for free – valuable information, a 10 minute at-home recipe, top 5 design tips for your bedroom. This will draw your audience in, build a relationship with them, and ultimately keep them engaged with your brand moving them along the marketing funnel.
Show off your products
Users find your Reels on the explore page of their feed, meaning that users who don’t follow you yet will see your products right away! In the caption of your video, you can use descriptive captions, text overlay, and relevant hashtags to help the algorithm recognize what your content is and relay it to the right audience.
Humanize your brand
People want to buy from people! Content that is personable and tells the story of who you are gains trust, builds relationships and shows consumers that you are more than just a company that sells products or services. One great way to achieve this is with behind-the-scenes videos.
Share how you choose the materials for your products.
Day-to-day life of your team and behind the scenes.
What is your brand’s story? How did you come to be? Share the experiences and path your business went through to get to where you are.
Ads, offers, and sales
One unique feature of Instagram Reels is placements for ads on the platform. This new feature supports objectives like brand awareness, reach, traffic, app installs, video views, and conversations. The new feature allows your brand another opportunity to reach targeted audiences while they scroll through their feed. Bonus tip: when sharing promotions or offers don’t make content that is too salesy. Keep it authentic and conversational with a human touch to keep your audience engaged.
Reels offers another way for brands to engage with their audience in a fun and creative way. Getting in on the feature now will give your brand time to figure out how to successfully take advantage of the opportunity, especially as Instagram segues into prioritizing video content more in the next few months. Your brand can benefit by reaching new audiences and engaging with them in a real way that builds relationships and builds loyalty.