Instagram has gone and done it again. Last summer they launched their newest feature Reels. It’s a whole new way of creating content on Instagram with short video clips set to music. By now you’ve probably seen a Reel or two, maybe not even realizing what it was. Stories, Live, IGTV… It can get a little confusing on Instagram with all the different ways to create content. But Instagram Reels is just one extra opportunity you have to reach your audience. And thanks to it’s popularity, it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere any time soon.
So whether you use Instagram for fun, as an Influencer or to promote your business it’s time to buckle down and learn about Instagram Reels.
What is Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels is another way for you to create video content on Instagram. They are 15 to 30 second clips that you can create with multiple video shots set to music. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. In true Instagram fashion it is their response to the rise in popularity of TikTok. Users can share them on their Feeds and Stories, in addition to them being saved to the Reels tab on their profile. They’ll also pop up on the Explore Page, which these days seems to be completely taken over by Reels content.
Instagram was so confident in the success of Reels that they’ve placed it front and centre stage on the app. By clicking the middle button on the navigation bar you can watch trending Reels, and Reels from those you follow. No one has seemed to have cracked the algorithm code for Reels. We can only assume it’s similar to other content on Instagram, things like who you follow, content you’ve engaged with and what’s trending overall. Another thing that helps users discover your content is your choice in music. Reels using trending songs will naturally gain more of a reach, since the song is trending on Instagram.
READ – Get Noticed on Instagram
How to Create Instagram Reels
Creating Reels on Instagram couldn’t be easier. You can access the Reels creator from the home screen, Stories camera or Reels tab.
- Home Screen – to create a Reel from the home screen simply click on the + at the top of the screen, then slide over to Reels down below.
- Stories Camera – open the Stories camera and select Reels at the bottom of the screen.
- Reels Tab – while watching any Reel click on the camera icon at the top right corner.
When creating Reels you have the option to either film the video in-app or use prerecorded clips, making your options endless. To use a prerecorded video simply swipe up in the Reels camera, as you would with stories. From there you can access all the photos and videos within your camera roll. Of course to film within the Reels camera, simply click on the middle button to start rolling.
Instagram Reels Step By Step
Let’s walk you through how to create a Reel using the Stories camera, filming in-app.
Open your Stories camera and swipe over to Reels mode at the bottom of the screen. Here you’ll have all your Reel controls (so to speak) on the left hand side of the screen.
Then, you can select the type of audio by selecting the music button.
Next determine the length of your video by clicking the circle; you can choose between making a 15 or 30 second long Reel.
Choose the speed of your Instagram Reel by click on the 1x, from there you have a few different speed options.
You can use effects by clicking on the little stars icon. Just like in Stories mode you’ll be able to swipe through a variety of different effects and filters of your choose.
In addition to effects you also have a feature to touch up, which can be accessed by click on the magic wand.
Lastly, you can set a timer to not only countdown before filming but also to determine how long that particular click will be.
Instagram Reel Finishing Touches
Now that you’re familiar with the Reels camera, it’s time to start filming. Similar to TikTik you can start and stop multiple shots within your video in addition to adding prerecorded video clips to your overall Reel. This makes creating extremely flexible and easy. If for any reason you need to delete part of something you’ve recorded, simple click on the back arrow within the circle to be taken back to all your clips. From there you can select what clip you want to edit, and you can either trim it or delete it altogether.
Once your Reel video content is completed you can then use a variety of stickers as well as text to finish off your Reel. When adding text to your Reels just keep in mind of it’s placement. You wouldn’t want to hide an important part of your video, and you also want to be sure you can read the text. You can also add closed captioning to your Instagram Reels which helps those who may be deaf or hard of hearing. Before publishing you have the ability to give your Reel a cover image. This can be a frame from the video or an image you’ve created or taken.
And just like that you’ve created your first Instagram Reel! You can share it on your Feeds, Stories or just leave it saved to the Reels tab on your profile.
Using Instagram Reels for Business
As fun as Instagram’s newest feature is, it isn’t just for those looking to pass the time. Just like with other methods of video content, Reels have great potential for marketing your business. Considering that Instagram Reels is all the rage, everyone is watching them. That means you automatically have a built in audience for your advertising! Now, not every business will benefit from them. If you’re in a B2B industry or something a little more serious like injury law, this might not be the right medium for you. However businesses in industries like beauty, fitness and food should definitively be taking advantage of Reels. And if you’re target audience is Millennials and Gen Zers you’d be missing out if you don’t.
Showcase Your Products or Services
Video content is always a great way to promote your products and services. Especially if they require demonstrations on the use or overall experience. A lot of businesses in the beauty and cosmetic industry are jumping on Reels to showcase their services and products in use. If you’re in the health and fitness industry you might want to create a Reel sharing the benefits of your products or services. Reels are also a great way to do testimonials and reviews a bit differently then your typical Yelp review.
Informative & Educational Content
Another way to use Reels as a business is to share informative or educational content. This can be anything from sharing your brand’s story to educating your audience on a cause you are passionate about. Or maybe you want to share answers to some commonly asked questions about your products or services. What makes Reels a great tool for educating your audience is it’s fun rather than being a boring slide show or newsletter. This way you’re chances of capturing their attention and relaying your message are a lot better.
Share the Behind the Scenes
Everyone loves to see how the sausage is made, so why not give a sneak peek into the behind the scenes of your business. There are so many fun ways you can do this. A lot of businesses are sharing “A Day in the Life” of their employees and owners, which is a fun way to introduce the faces behind the brand. You could also share how something is made, in a restaurants case that might be their most popular dish on the menu. Letting your customers into your process is a great way to get personal with them and allow them to feel apart of your brand as well.
Add Some Personality to Your Branding
Business doesn’t have to be all serious. Sometimes, it’s fun to add a little personality into your brand. Reels is a great way to achieve this because at the end of the day it’s all lighthearted fun. Get your team to jump on some Reels trends! Similar to TikTok there are always fun trends happening online. This can be a dance or a specific hashtag. You can also switch things up by creating your own challenges to have your followers participate in!
Instagram Reels Inspiration for Creators
Using Reels is a fun way to introduce, or re-introduce yourself to your followers. Come up with 5 to 7 fun facts about yourself, like your horoscope or a pet peeve. The great thing about introduction Reels is that they have a chance to appear on the Explore Page. This can mean that you’ll reach a new audience that might be interested in continuing to know you, and convert into a follower.
Before & After
A fun way to do an exciting reveal is by creating a Reel. People are always intrigued when it comes to revealing big change, and these posts can often times capture a lot of engagement. You can do before and after Reels for so many different things like home renovations, hair transformations or delicious recipes. This is also a great Instagram Reel idea for beginners because you can work with 2 video clips and get used to the editing process.
Style and fashion Instagrammers love using Reels to share their many outfits ideas. This has also been a huge trend on both Instagram and TikTok. What is great about this idea is that you can do so many different variations. For example you can share all your outfits of the week, a recently shopping haul or maybe your essential looks for a particular season. Not only are these entertaining to watch, but they give an opportunity for your audience to get a look at your personal style.
Quick Beauty Tutorial
In the same way that audiences love style content, they also love watching beauty Reels. While you can’t get into as detailed of a routine as you could filming an IGTV video, you can still have some fun and get create. A lot of beauty brands like Caudalie have seen their products go viral thanks to content creators using Reels and TikTok. Simple tutorials like sharing one product, a quick hair style or a beauty trick are great ideas that are sure to capture an audience.
Day in the Life
Just like businesses can share the behind the scenes of their process, your followers might be interested in what goes on with you. Giving your audience a peak into a day in your life is a great way to for them to get to know you even more. Beyond just connecting with them, you can share things like daily life hacks, your meal routine or even introduce them to one of your favorite local businesses. The best way to do this is to film short videos throughout your day, and then select your highlights to throw into an Instagram Reel.