Instagram just celebrated their 10-year anniversary and with that role out a new feature; Instagram Reels. The platform is as big as ever, with over 1 billion users worldwide on the app, it’s the perfect place to advertise your brand and engage your target audience. Getting started on the platform is the easy part; it’s standing out from the crowd and getting users to engage with your content that is the hard part.
Along with celebrating this huge milestone, they launched a new feature, Instagram Reels. There are many ways you can showcase content on your business Instagram. You can use the normal feed, stories, IGTV, and Reels. Creating video reels on Instagram should be a new priority for your brand in terms of marketing.
What is Instagram Reels?
The reels feature first became available to users in August of 2020. It is very similar to the app Tik Tok and was launched by Instagram to keep Gen Z engaged and active on the app. Since Tik Tok still has an uncertain future, this is the time to use reels. It’s a great asset your brand can use to connect with users, showcase products, and engage with millenials and generation z.
While Reels are very similar to the Instagram stories feature, they differ a little. Here you can create videos set to music and with fun filters that are a little longer than stories and don’t disappear after 24 hours. The fact that these short videos have their own place on your feed allow them to appear on the explore page. One of the best parts of using reels is that they have their own section on your page, so they don’t ruin the aesthetic of your main feed.
If you’re looking to build a following for your brand, adding reels to your Instagram campaign is a real asset.
Are Instagram Reels Easy to Use?
Instagram has stated that they aim to create easy to use technology, and this new feature is no different. If you’re already versed in creating stories on the app, reels will be incredibly easy to use.
When you open the app and slide over to create an Instagram story, there is an option to choose reels instead. Here you have access to how long you want the video to be, if you want to include any music, the speed the video plays, any effects you might want to include, and a timer.
Open up the app and play around with this new feature to understand it so you can start creating engaging videos for your audience.
5 Tips for Getting Started with Reels
- Instagram has created a series of tutorials to help you.
- Similar to creating other content, brainstorm ideas and even create a storyboard for how you want your video to go.
- Practice makes perfect. The more you use it, the better you’ll get.
- Be sure to include audio in your clips. You can create your own audio or use popular sounds that already exist on the app.
- Don’t stray too far from the content you’re already creating. Be authentic and add value to your audience.
Should Your Business use Instagram Reels?
If you don’t have a presence on the app yet or don’t think that your audience would resonate with this type of content, hold off on adding more work for you and your team. If you’re already present on the app, adding reels is a no brainer. It’s another way you can connect with your audience, show up on the explore page, and build a community.
If the success of Instagram stories has taught us anything, Reels has the potential to be even bigger.
The whole purpose of reels is to add a fun, fast, and creative way to bring captivating and genuine content to your audience. For this reason alone, it’s a great opportunity to show the human side of your brand. Another benefit, an even easier way to build and strengthen a community.
If you’ve been holding back on showing your personality on social media, now is the time to embrace it. Current trends, especially on Instagram and Tik Tok, show that customers are gravitating towards silly and fun content. Use reels to show a new side of your brand, but make sure it’s still in line with your brands message and tone.
3 Ways to Show off Your Brands Personality on Instagram Reels
- Show off your employees with a video of your team at work. Do a team dance party to show how you take breaks throughout the day. Even better, use popular and trending sounds to enhance views.
- Talking about being on trend, recreate a video that is trending with your take on it.
- Show a behind the scenes tour of your office, team brainstorming sessions, or anything you think your audience would like to see.
Showing your brands personality doesn’t mean you have to crack jokes or not be professional. You can be professional and show your human side at the same time. Play around with different types of content and take notice of what your audience resonates with.
How to use Instagram Reels in your Marketing Strategy
You’ve decided to add reels into your next strategy, but you’re struggling with what type of content to create, this is what you should do. Although we’ve already touch on the topic above, here are some more detailed examples of the type of content to create and why.
Educational Content on Instagram Reels
This isn’t a new form of content your brand can create. Educational content is always a go to for brands because the best way to reach your target audience is by adding value to their lives. This includes how to videos, tips on fixing issues they’re having, and more.
If you’re a restaurant, here you can post a video showing how you make a popular dish and adding the recipe in the caption, or even on the video itself. Travel agencies can use this feature to showcase popular locations to visit or their top 5 travel tips.
Showcase a New Product with Reels
If you’re in the ecommerce business, the best asset you have is showing your audience a real time use of the product. Customers have stated that they’re more likely to buy a product after watching a video on how it’s used. Adding these short videos to your reels feed will increase brand awareness and drive overall sales.
This is a huge plus since reels have been added to the explore page, the perfect way to attract new customers to your business.
Examples of how to showcase a new product would include; athletic brands can use this space to create videos showcasing their new running shoes or apparel. As well as makeup brands are using this feature to show customers new products in a fun and creative way.
This would also be a good place to include user-generated content that is in line with your brands message and tone.
Behind the Scenes
Behind the scenes content is important, we’re talking about it again. Showing your audience a behind the scenes look makes them feel like they are a part of the brand. It also adds a human element that is incredibly important in todays culture.
Followers feel like they have special access to your brand through behind the scenes content. Instagram reels that showcase your employees everyday life, behind the scenes of photo shoots for products, or even something that isn’t staged is a hit with consumers.
If you need more inspiration on the type of reels to create, do some research on what other brands are doing in your industry. Another great resource is to check out this blog written by Later and see how brands are already seeing success with their reels content.
Are Reels Here to Stay?
Reels were created by Facebook to be direct competition to Tik Tok. But will it be around for the long term? Even if Tik Tok doesn’t get banned and stays around, Reels are the real deal. They will not be going anywhere anytime soon.
Due to the fact that this feature is here to stay, we can safely assume that Facebook will add paid advertising, e-commerce options, and detailed analytics to reels very soon.
The best way to understand new tech is to play around with it and go by trial and error. Be creative and find what works for your brand and your target audience. Remember that what works for one company might not work for another. You’ve seen how successful Instagram stories was, reels has even more potential when it comes to marketing and growth.
Instagram reels are still relatively new so there’s not a lot of competition, but it is rapidly growing. Jump on this trend now and early to make sure that you get the exposure that you want. The longer this feature is available, the more competition your brand will have in the future. It’s always best to jump on trends early and this is no different.
For tips on this and so much more, reach out to our CEO Kollin for a free consultation today!
Written By: Tessa Porter