Instagram was a game changer for digital marketing back in 2010, and has been the catalyst for brand growth worldwide ever since. New and innovative additions to the platform give you the tools you need to take your social media marketing game to the next level. Among the first was the addition of IGTV, which gave video marketing a more prominent and exclusive place on the social platform. To take it to the next level, Instagram has now introduced Instagram Reels.
What’s Instagram Reels, you ask?
A TikTok alternative, Instagram Reels are 3- to 15-second clips that can be incredibly engaging, and quite addictive too, because they allow users to scroll through a near-endless feed of varying content.
For brands, there are numerous upsides to the Instagram time limit set for Reels. Firstly, the short format means lower production costs and quicker delivery. Secondly, the focus relies on concept rather than visual mastery. So, for small companies who have limited budgets but aren’t short on creativity, Instagram Reels can even the playing field and promise consistent results.
Here’s what you need to know about Instagram Reels.
How to create Instagram Reels
Creating Instagram Reels is fairly simple and can be done in two ways. You can either upload a clip that fits the duration and dimension requirements, i.e., 9:16 portrait mode (1080 X 1920p is the Instagram reels resolution), or you can record a clip using the device’s camera.
If you are using pre-recorded media, start off at the plus sign and trim the video to the Instagram reels length.
If you choose to record a Reel, you have the option to record multiple clips and create one Reel. Here all you need to do is:
- Go to the camera option on the top-left of the Instagram app
- At the bottom of the live camera feed, select the ‘Reels’ option
- Press the button in the middle to start recording a video clip
Regardless of the route you opt for, having the video material is key. After this, here are the steps to follow.
- Access the various Reel editing options: Audio, Speed, Effects, Timer and Align.
- Choose the audio for the Reel: You can either choose audio from Instagram’s music library or use your own audio. This is when you record a Reel with audio in the background. From a marketing standpoint, using your own original audio has value as it is attributed to you. This then allows audiences to use your branded audio to create their own content, which can also work for UGC purposes.
- Add effects: There are numerous augmented reality effects, among others, that you can choose from to add appeal to the Reel. There are also some that are created by Instagram users that are quite trendy.
- Align: This allows you to create seamless Reels as it helps join clips and objects better. Use this when changing backgrounds or settings to make it look professional.
- Speed: Given its 15-second window, you may want to show a process or give audiences a walk-through. Using this tool, you can do just that and, likewise, have it work inversely to record slow-motion clips for added visual impact.
You can also add text to Instagram Reels upon recording, alongside stickers and drawings.
How to share Reels
Once the Reel has been created, the next step is to know how to share it. Here, you have two options: the dedicated Reels section or as part of your Story. Depending on what your brand’s Instagram aesthetic is, you can choose either, but it is important to note that posting it to your profile has a few added benefits. For instance, stories last only for 24 hours, after which they aren’t visible unless saved as a highlight.
Additionally, when shared to the profile, your Reels have a chance to get featured on the ‘explore’ page, thereby increasing their reach substantially. Also, the Instagram Reels video hashtags, audios, or effects used when creating each Reel also help increase views as users can click on these and view the content created using it. Naturally, this puts your content in front of a much wider community and increases its chances of going viral.
Finally, you can also save your Reel as a draft if you aren’t ready for the plunge. Where to find Instagram Reels saved as drafts? Simple. Tap the Instagram Reels icon in your profile and click the icon indicating drafts. You can then continue editing your videos.
How brands can leverage Instagram Reels
It wasn’t too long since its introduction before brands started taking advantage of the untapped potential of Instagram Reels. In fact, brands like Sephora started a hashtag challenge that encouraged user-generated content with influencer backing. This was quite ingenious and is a good example of one of many strategies you can go with.
Here are a few strategies to consider using Instagram Reels for to boost your Instagram marketing efforts.
- Product reviews
- Educational content
- Company story
- BTS Reels
- Sneak Peeks
- Influencer marketing
- Content recycling
Many creators, influencers, and experts believe that Reels’ ephemeral format is what makes it so effective and should be what brands should start to focus on. Long gone are the days where entertainment required blockbuster budgets to make the rounds on social media. In fact, Instagram Reels are proving that with as little as the right audio and a stellar creative concept, it is very easy to bring in numbers that rival larger, better-funded campaigns.
Given that the feature is still in it nascent stages, it is too early to tell whether a hard switch is advisable. However, it is fresh and trendy, making it great option to experiment with regardless of the type of brand.
At Edisol, we pride ourselves on our ability to bring visual narratives to life and complement it with equally effective social media marketing strategies. To grow your business with result-oriented tactics, contact us today!