Reels give you the chills? Oh, no, not just another Social Media platform to learn to master? Well, what if we told you that Instagram Reels could make your Brand reach millions - organically?
Snapchat, Reels, TikTok, and Stories. These are all proof of how interested people are in watching video clips from friends and strangers' lives, and how easily just anyone gets invited into your everyday lives. Creative short video clips with special effects are taking over the social media world – and that's precisely why your Brands should hop on that bandwagon!
Instagram has released a few new functions during the last few years and encourages video sharing. The latest release is Reels, a feature that Instagram launched during summer 2020. And what can we say? It does have A LOT in common with the video-sharing app TikTok, which has taken over the social media world completely. But what is the difference between Reels and Stories on Instagram? What is a Reel to begin with? And how is the new feature used?
We can't say that it is the first time Instagram sees a possibility in creating a function in their app that they see trending successfully at competitors. We experienced it when they launched Instagram Stories – a ripoff of Snapchats concept Snapstory – and we see it now with Reels, which is Instagram's version of TikTok. Reels is a tool, like TikTok, where anyone can create and explore short, entertaining videos on Instagram with creative add-on's and effects.
Since Instagram Stories has become such a success, it's most likely that Instagram Reels will follow the same path. So, if your Brand shares videos and posts on Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram, then Reels is definitely the place to be.
What are Instagram Reels?
Reels are about recording videos that are about 15-60 seconds long. You can add music and special effects to your video clip. Also, just like in Instagram Stories, you can add text and GIFs:s in your videos. A huge benefit with Reels is that you can set a timer for when you want the recording to start – so that you don't have to keep pushing the recording button when making a short video. Also, you can pause your recording to change the angle, object, or environment and then start recording again. When making Reels, you can decide if you want the recording to be in sloooooowmotion or super-fast! All these new features in Instagram Reels make it easy for you to make creative videos on social media.
Since Reels are pretty new and trendy, Instagram helps Reels to get exposure. Especially in the "Explore" page/tab. You know, where you go to get inspired by accounts that you don't follow and see posts that are trending on Instagram right now – This is a vital benefit for brands looking to reach their posts and brand awareness. Anyone in the world can see your posts and engage with you! And the more engagement you'll get on your post, the more Instagram will promote your video.
When you publish Reels you can decide if you want to post your video in three different feeds. You can post in Instagram Reels on the Explore page. You can post your Reel in your Instagram Feed and also as an Instagram Story (just like with Stories).
This allows your Reel video to get extreme exposure on social media! In addition to the Instagram Explore page, Reels is also shown just like Stories and saved as IGTV clips. After you have posted your first Instagram Reel you will get the Reel Icon in your profile, and that's where all your Reels will be saved.
What is Instagram Stories?
Stories are images and videos that you can share on Instagram that will disappear after 24 hours (Unless no one takes a screenshot or a screen recording of your post).
You can only create videos that run between 1-15 seconds, and a posted picture will only show for 5 seconds before the next Story appears.
Only those who follow your account can explore your Stories as many times as they want, during 24 hours. Although, you can choose to save your Stories under Highlights in your Instagram bio forever. Unfortunately, your Highlights won't get as much attention since Highlights gets out conquered by your Instagram feed, Instagram Stories, and now Reels. What you can do, is to categorize your Highlights in inspiring categories and themes like Events, Products, How-to, or Collaborations, so when someone visits your Instagram profile, they can easily navigate in your saved Stories.
Why Brands should create Reels on Instagram
Reels will be another way to reach more and new people. With creativity, you can go a long way on Instagram. Given how quickly Stories became popular, it's a possibility that Reels also will be a success. It is essential to implement your strategy for Reels early to get the most out of it. And make sure to establish yourself before your competitors!
How to make Reels on Instagram?
How should you create Reels as a Brand then? And how do you know what kind of content to create?
Here are some of our tips on how to create content for Instagram Reels!
- Create educational content or how-to-Reels! Say the mantra with us: What's in it for me (the viewer)? Your Reels need to give the viewer something knowledgeable, value-adding, and inspiring. "How To" videos can provide customers step-by-step guides on how to do something amazing with your product and get satisfied with their purchase! When sharing your expertise you can help get your customers to dive into your buying funnels quicker and gain trust with your target audience.
- Post a creative showcase of your product range - be gold and think outside the box. This needs to pop!
- Create entertaining content close to your target group's heart! Build stronger relationships and community with your target audience by posting about things you know they like and appreciate.
Create Instagram Reels with these few steps
With the launch of Reels, Instagram has changed something in the camera function for Stories. So if you want to create a Reel, simply swipe to the right to reach the camera mode hidden on the left. In portrait mode, you can now produce everything from live video, Stories and now Reels videos.
Select settings for your video clip
Before you start recording your clip, you can adjust some video editing settings for your clip:
- Decide what kind of music you want to play (If you're using a business account on Instagram, you won't have access to music from recording artists - the music that has the name of the artist and song in the title)
- Set the recording speed to speed up (max. x3) or slow down (.3x) playback – Record in super fast or super slow by adjusting the movie recording speed (a speedier recording gives slow motion videos when played back, and a slower recording gives a speedier cut)
- Add any filters you want to use to create visual effects
- Choose If you want to use a timer (intelligent function if no one else can film for you and you do not want to hold the phone while recording
- Select how long you want each clip to be: 15, 30, or 60 seconds
- Record your clip - You record your clip by holding down the button. You can pause recording by releasing the button and then start recording again by pressing the button again.
- Pimp your video clip –When you have finished recording, click on the arrow to the right to enter the video edit mode. Here you can decorate your clip with text, use the drawing tool and add emojis and hashtags, just like in Stories! Hot Tip: To switch from selfie camera to backside camera, or vice versa, just by tapping the screen.
- Share your Reel
When you are happy with your video clip, click on the arrow to the right again. Before publishing the clip, add text and any hashtags you wish to use. Then choose whether you want to post it as an Instagram Story (just like in Stories), for the Explore page, or a combination of both.
The rise (again) of the Hashtags!
When you share your Instagram Reel, you can add hashtags for people to use when they create Reels of their own. Like a campaign. It's like the Hashtag Challenges on TikTok, which allows your Brand to get reach and buzz because regular people are posting your dance, challenge, or campaign on their social media with your hashtags. So, in your next social media campaign, make sure to add a Reels Challenge and hashtags as a to-do!
Three steps to grow your audience organically with the help of Instagram Reels
1. Create educational content for your followers.
Show off your product and how to use it in the best way. Teach your audience a quick tip or trick connected to your field – this will show you are an expert in your area.
If your customers post content with your product, share it on your Reels (don't forget to ask for permission)! User-generated content is kick-ass!
2. Capture content behind the scenes.
With so much of the workforce currently working from the home office, you can show your followers how your business works. What are some great moments from your workday?
Of course, you can also go real with people behind the scenes and show mistakes and funny bloopers that followers would feel they would never normally see.
3. Take advantage of trendy content.
If there is a new meme, dance, or challenge that is trending on Reels, participate if you have the time - and if it is appropriate for your Brand.
Another thing to keep in mind: Reels are focused on music and video. Most social media users browse their feeds silently, they will browse with sound and attention ON when discovering Reels. Sound (including original sound) and the 15-60 second format both mean you have a more significant opportunity to capture the audience'S FULL attention!
Which KPIs are essential for Reels?
Because Reels is completely organic right now, you can measure your company's success on Reels in traditional social media metrics:
- "Views" (counted from the moment a Reel starts playing, rather than 3 seconds on similar Facebook videos; it does not include reruns)
- Likes & comments
As the Instagram team keeps on developing Reels, there will undoubtedly be more insights and metrics available - and you will have access to all of these metrics and more.
Build strong customer relationships with Reels
You can also use Reels to serve some important marketing functions, such as handling potential arguments in advance and sharing valuable information that can help customers make a purchasing decision.
Showing people how to wear or use your product or when it is the "perfect time" to use your service, can help them connect with your Brand and give them insights into how your product or service will change their lives. You can share unique ways to use your product or new ways to get results from the service you offer.
Reels for greater Customer Service
Another creative move that helps customers connect to your Brand, is to create FAQ Reels that answer the most commonly asked questions with a bit of humor or inspiring/fun pictures.
So, if you are wondering if Instagram Reels is the right social media platform for your business, consider how often you use video content now. If the answer is "a lot," or at least "I would like," then dive into Instagram Reels and see what sparks your creativity. The sky is the limit – and the 60 seconds ;)