Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels – Ultimate Marketing Guide To Create, Share, Grow

12 minute read

On 5th August 2020, Instagram introduced the world to Reels – “A new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram.” Since then, the hottest new post format has changed how social media users create and consume content.

Reels work a lot like TikTok – users can create short clips, combine them with music, add effects, and share them on the platform where they appear in the newsfeed, Instagram handles, and on the explore page. 

Instagram Reels are enabling greater reach, engagement and conversions for brands. Read the blog to learn everything about incorporating them into your strategy.

What Are Instagram Reels?

Reels are a fun way of creating videos on Instagram. Users record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools, which can be shared on stories, explore feed, and the reels tab on a users’ profile.

Instagram reels

With a public account, this short format content is made available to a wider Instagram community through ‘Explore’, enabling reach to global audiences.

The best of trending culture on Instagram is showcased via reels in the explore. Just like TikTok For You page, instead of seeing reels only from accounts you follow, there is an influx of aesthetically-pleasing Reels in the section. 

Furthermore, you will also see some reels with a ‘Featured’ label. Instagram chooses these reels to help its users discover content that might entertain and inspire them. 

In a nutshell, Instagram Reels is a whole different vibe – it’s less chaotic and more curated. 

How Can You Create Instagram Reels?

You can create Instagram reels in three ways: 

  • Reels Tab
  • Home Screen
  • Stories Camera

Here’s how you can showcase perfectly curated images in a beat-perfect sequence using: 

The Reels Tab

Step 1: Select the reels icon appearing at the bottom of your Instagram newsfeed

Step 2: Next, tap the camera on the top right

Step 3: Now, you can either record a series of clips(one at a time) all at once or use video uploads from your gallery. 

Step 4: From the creative editing tools on the left side of your screen, you can;

  • Add Audio: Add a song from The Instagram audio gallery to use your own audio. In the case of public accounts, people can create reels with your audio selecting ‘Use Audio’ from your Reel.
  • AR Effects: Select from amongst the plethora of effects from the effect gallery to enhance the visual appeal of your Reel.
  • Timer: Set the timer to record videos hands-free. 
  • Alignment: Align objects from your existing clip before recording your next to create uninterrupted transitions.
  • Speed & Length: Choose the length of the Reel – 15 secs or 60 secs and adjust its speed to align with the beat. 

You’re all set to share it with your friends or the Instagram community at large. 

Instagram Stories Camera or The Home Screen

When you try to create an Instagram reel from the home screen by tapping on the ‘+’ icon on the top right, you will be redirected to the Instagram camera. From here, follow steps 3 and 4. 

How Can You Share Instagram Reels?

Credits to Instagram’s mysterious algorithm for Reels that you can be discovered by the colossal user-base of the platform easily. But, to be able to garner the attention of your viewers successfully, you must adhere to the advice given by Instagram:

  • Your Reel must not be blurry due to low resolution
  • Should have a border around them
  • The majority of the visuals should not be covered by text
  • Should meet Instagram’s community guidelines

If these things are well in place, here’s how you can share reels on your feed:

For Public Accounts:

You can share your Reel in the Explore section, where the probability of it getting discovered by a wider set of audiences multiplies. In addition, reels appear in dedicated searches performed by people seeking them by featuring certain songs, hashtags, or effects. 

For Private Accounts:

With ‘Private’ as your privacy setting, you can share content only with your followers. People cannot use your audio or share your reels with anyone you don’t follow. 

However, in either of the cases, you can share the Reel in the following way.

  • Once you have mastered transitions and edited your video, you can save a draft of your Reel, change the cover image, add a caption, hashtags, add location or tag your friends. 
  • Post uploading, your Reel will appear in the Reels tab, where people can cumulatively all your short format, engaging content. 
  • Irrespective of the status of your account, you can share the Reel on Story or via DMs, which disappears after 24 hours. 

Analyse The Performance Of Your Instagram Reel 

In an update last year, Instagram made insights for Reels and Live available, helping creators and businesses understand the performance of their content.

For reels, metrics related to the number of plays, saves, likes, shares, and accounts reached will be included for the creator’s convenience. 

In their official rollout of the update, Instagram explained, “We know that understanding more about how content is being distributed is important,” emphasizing a broader picture of the account’s performance.

How Can You Access Instagram’s Insights?

Content analytics is only available to business and creator accounts. To leverage insights provided by the platform, click on the ‘Insights’ button on your account profile page. From here, you will be able to access up to 30 days of analytics for Static Posts, Stories, Reels, IGTVs, & Lives.

To know the performance,

  • Go to the Reels tab and open a reel. From here, tap on the three-dot icon in the bottom right-hand corner, and choose ‘Insights.’
  • Depending upon the number of days, you will be able to see how your Reel has been performing in detail.
Instagram Reels Insights

In the coming months, the platform is expected to alter the time frame beyond 7 and 30 days, and businesses will also be able to fetch insights on the desktop.

It is extremely important for any business to keep track of their audiences’ behavior, interactions, and engagement to ensure optimum growth.

Also Read – How To Embed Instagram Reels On Website

How Can You Use Instagram Reels For Your Business?

Reels have opened up a world of opportunities for brands to reach, win attention, and ignite the interest of their target audience. It is a fun way to interact and build communities by sharing brand stories, snippets of what goes behind the scenes, getting educational, or just appreciating what their users have to say about them. 

Ready to get to grips with using Instagram Reels for your business? Let’s get started. 

1. Create Authentic Content

When Instagram launched ephemeral content, nobody could have imagined the success it had bagged. They are not just exciting but also captivating, providing brands with a massive opportunity to showcase their human side and connect with users. 

Brands can create authentic reels that resonate with their target audience and help in building genuine relationships. 

A few best practices could be to:

  • Introduce the people behind your brand
  • Showcase behind the scenes
  • USP of your brand
  • The existing users’ experiences 
  • Or just the usage of your product

Unlike other social media marketing content, reels are best leveraged as an indirect path for selling. 

Brand Example: Balmain

Instagram reels for business

Balmain caters to luxury fashion and uses Reels to uniquely showcase the whole other side of the brand.

Contrary to the grid, which is sleek and sophisticated – Reels are a lot more fun and playful, showcasing behind-the-scenes. This content fetches millions of views, credits to authenticity and its potential to engage.

2.  Share Educational Content

Posting educational content is a great place to start with – give your followers tips and tricks of anything you hold expertise in. 

Sharing content that adds to the knowledge of your audience can help in better community building, while the brand can become a go-to voice. 

Brand Example: Buzzfeed Tasty

Instagram reels for marketing

Buzzfeed Tasty’s sure-fire way of getting noticed is by producing clean reels featuring their signature dishes. 

The content is well conceptualized and educational and makes the views stop and engage with what’s presented to them. 

3. Showcase Products 

Instagram Reels can greatly help brands in improving their reach and drive conversions. 

And with Instagram Reels becoming shoppable, businesses stand a chance to showcase products and sell them directly. THIS ONE IS HUGE. Many brands have already started leveraging Shoppable Instagram Reels to increase sales and traffic on the Instagram Shop. 

Creatively showcase your products, and if a shopper gets inspired to purchase it, they can tap on ‘View Products’ to learn more about the product, save for later, or finalize on its purchase.

Brand Example: Bershka

Instagram marketing campaigns

Bershka, a clothing retailer company, has recently started using Reels to sell creatively on the platform. 

They were already very artistically and strategically using Instagram Shop and influencer marketing to sell their line of clothing. Right from attracting audiences to their products, to having them engaged and providing an immersive purchase experience, Bershka is acing it all.

4. Share User-Generated Content

“Your company’s most valuable asset is how it is known to customers.” – Brain Tracy

Winning user trust, keeping them engaged, and providing an enhanced experience – have become more important than ever. Essentially because the growing competition in the digital sphere is spoiling customers with choices. 

Here, UGC has been of great help to brands.

By repurposing content generated by their users, brands can satisfy the purchase anxiety of the users, showcase products in action, and inspire users to check their brand out.

Brand Example: Lush Cosmetics

Instagram ugc

Lush Cosmetics have made their brand stand out from the competition by using UGC as Instagram posts. 

Recently, apart from just leveraging users’ content, the cosmetics brand has also started using employee-generated content(EGC) on Reels. 

They feature their staff’s skincare routine on the platform which effortlessly showcases the authenticity and value that the brand holds. 

Partner With Influencers

Influencer marketing has its moment. It can tap into the impulsive buying decisions of the users effortlessly. 

Influencers’ proven track record helps brands to achieve their marketing objectives, and might also stir up your virality. 

While Partnering with Influencers, here are a few pointers you might want to consider:

  • Choose an influencer whose niche and aesthetic matches your brand for the content to resonate with the audience.
  • It might always be about the number of followers influencers have, micro and nano influencers have greater rates of engagement. 
  • Providing Influences with content production guidelines, can significantly improve the output of Reels.

Get Inspired By These Leading Brands

Adobe

Creativity is the core of Adobe’s brand identity. Hence, most of their Reels, rather, social media content, celebrate their users’ creativity.

This is a great example of using UGC in reels to attract, inspire and engage audiences.

Further, with Adobe already being a household name, sharing such content can help build a brand, foster a community, or share messages convincingly. 

Such reels are targeted to celebrate users more than brand promotions. 

Redbull

Redbull is one of those brands that have dominated the short format content on Instagram.

To strengthen their social media strategy, the functional beverage brand launched the #RedBullKeepsItReels campaign across their various channels to coexist with Instagram’s then newest launch. 

Red Bull makes a crackerjack in pushing brand values through a plethora of content that resonates with their audience. It uses Instagram Reels to push `the unique experiences of its users. 

The Future Of Instagram Reels

Short format videos, Instagram Reels in particular, really took off in the last year. So many users are jumping on board because of the major spike in community growth that the viral content provides. 

In 2022, we can only expect things to get bigger, better, and more significant as:

The Reels Algorithm Will Get More Advanced

From the universe of Instagram’s mysterious algorithm, it is evident that it gives less screen time to poor quality and visibly recycled content. 

Though the approximate prediction for algorithm changes can be difficult, it might, however, get advanced with more personalization and diversification of the content they serve to users. 

Shoppable Instagram Reels

Instagram’s eCommerce features have gone through a major facelift, including the Instagram Shop button, Checkout, and product tagging on Reels.

The ‘Shoppable’ feature can help brands enhance their sales, as they can get into strategic partnerships with influencers or leverage the authentic voices of users to promote their products on reels creatively.

Branded Content Tags

The introduction of ‘Branded Content’ tags is a way for the platform to ensure that creators clearly disclose when they create branded content, increasing transparency and making it easier for brands and creators to repurpose compelling and influential content. 

Instagram Reels Will Be An Integral Part Of The App

Did you ever notice Instagram has already made Reels the center of their home page? This move is quite indicative of Instagram adapting to a reels-first approach, laying more focus on video content.

In fact, Instagram has already started rolling out a full-screen view for Reels on the home feed, similar to what you see while scrolling through TikTok.

Apart from these, it is expected that the platform will roll out enhanced in-app video editing tools and insights. 

Final Words

Instagram Reels have bolstered the growth of businesses. They are able to connect better with their target audience, enjoy enhanced audience reach and engagement opportunities, and ultimately sell more. 

Video content has caught every social media user’s attention like wildfire. Hence, regardless of the industry you cater to, there is a huge creative sales opportunity waiting for you with Instagram Reels.

Make the most of it, while you can!

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