Continuing with our theme of all things Instagram, we’re going to get reels. See what I did there? What exactly are reels and why do they matter?
What are Reels?
Reels are short videos that are 15-30 seconds long and posted on your Instagram as a reel. One of the benefits of reels is that you can separate them to only the reels tab or you can have them also show up on your grid with all your other posts.
How to Create Reels
You can create reels directly on your phone. The editing tools are built directly into Instagram. The music, text, and stickers are already there. Can you edit externally and upload? Of course, you can. However, until you’re ready to get fancy, you can work with the tools that are available.
Where Do You Find Reels?
When you open Instagram, look at the bottom of the screen. You should see a square with an arrow in it, right in the center. Click this button to see reels other people have posted. Once you’ve got a good idea of what other people are posting you can plan your own reels.
To find your own reels, go to your profile. Directly above your grid, you will see the same symbol of a square with an arrow in it. It should be the second icon directly above your grid. Click here to see your own reels.
Why Post Reels?
There is a very compelling reason to add reels to your digital marketing plan. Instagram is prioritizing reels. They will allow more people to see it than you have followers. Reels can actually show up on the Explore page. Most of our posts get between 10 and 30 likes. However, one of our reels can garner 2,000 views easily. We’re getting to people who don’t normally see us. This is a great way to get in front of a new audience. It’s a guaranteed way to increase your reach.
Previously, unless you were a Kardashian or some other celebrity, you had almost no chance of showing up on the Explore page. Now that Instagram is prioritizing reels, anyone can end up there. It’s anybody’s game. It’s a great way to level the playing field between you and other major brands.
With reels, you are encouraged to use other people’s content. You can duet their post, use their sound, and more. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. You can also jump on the trend bus and do the current trends that are popular at the moment.
Reels also allow you to showcase your personality. If you have a big personality you can show that. Are you funny? Be funny. You can also give tips and such, but reels content is definitely the place to show who you really are.
If you are a retailer and you sell on Instagram, it’s important to note that Instagram reels are shoppable. People can click through directly from your reel to make a purchase.
Can You Repost Your TikToks to Reels?
Don’t repurpose your content from other apps to reels. Instagram has made it clear that they don’t want you to repost from other apps and your content will not be shown to as many people. You can record on your phone and share the same recording to both apps but do not share the TikTok, with the watermark, to your reels. Instagram has said low quality (such as blurry or pixelated videos) videos and those recycled from other apps will be less discoverable.
Do’s and Don’ts
Don’t include a lot of text. Images with heavy text aren’t prioritized.
Do use humor. Funny and entertaining videos get ranked higher than anything else. If you think about what you personally gravitate to, I’d bet a lot of it is funny. If you’re funny, lean into that.
Don’t use just any music. If you’re a business, you have a very limited musical selection. Business profiles have a limited library so be sure you are using music that is available to your business. Otherwise, you could end up with copyright infringement and lawsuits and you don’t want that.
Do scroll through to familiarize yourself with what’s happening. Before you get started you need to have a feel for it so you know which way you want to go. Also, you can stay on reels and call it research.
Ideas for Reels
BTS. Behind the scenes works great for reels. It’s cool to be 100% real with your audience. If you are having an issue, tell people that. It makes you more relatable.
Before and after videos work great on reels. Telling your own story is also good. People relate to transparency. Exclusive only to reels content is popular. For instance, you could share a sneak peek with your audience through your reels. You could also share discounts or sale codes through reels.
You can use reels to teach a new skill. Just make sure you can teach it in 30 seconds. You can showcase your products or services in action. You can do product reviews or tips. Sharing insider tips and tricks is a good idea. Keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be some big convoluted thing. Don’t assume everyone knows what you know. Whatever you post, make sure it’s relevant to your brand.
Other ideas include celebrating your team or team highlights. User-generated content is great because people love to see themselves recognized by a brand. Lists are awesome.
Reshare evergreen content. Chances are that the top 3 project management apps right now will be the same 6 months from now. Can you reshare that information? Absolutely. Consider posting “a day in the life” posts.
Should you try reels? Yes. Be discoverable on Instagram with reels.