The recent controversy surrounding the app Tik Tok has left many U.S. content creators wondering what’s next for online video. This month, Instagram stepped in with a fresh solution for content creators everywhere – Instagram Reels. Using Reels, Instagram users can make and discover entertaining, short-form videos in a brand new way on the platform that might leave Tik Tok in the dust.

According to Adweek, in the first quarter of 2020 TikTok received the most downloads for any app ever in one quarter. And as TikTok’s demographic grows older, it has expanded the advertising potential for brands on similar platforms.

So what is the biggest difference between Instagram Reels and Instagram Stories? It’s all in the way videos are shared. Reels are saved to a dedicated section of your profile, just like videos made for IGTV. They’re also shared automatically to Instagram’s Explore section, offering more visibility for creators.

For those who have an active or growing Instagram audience, Reels could be a useful tool for your content strategy. Whether you’re creating videos for fun or promoting your brand on socials, here’s how to get started with Instagram Reels.

How To Make Your Own Instagram Reel

With Reels, Instagram users can record or edit 15-second clips with or without music, audio effects, and a slew of other new creative tools. Here is a quick step-by-step to create your first Reel:

  1. Open your Instagram app and select the camera in the top left corner.
  2. Choose Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera. Here you’ll have the ability to select a song or other audio file and choose from a wide selection of AR effects. You can also set a timer for hands-free recording, choose a video speed, and line up multiple clips for seamless transitions. 
  3. Ready to record? Like Instagram Stories, hold down the capture button, then let go to stop recording and end each clip.
  4. You can also upload your existing video clips to use on Reels.
  5. Once you’ve recorded your Reel, head to the share screen to save a draft, choose a cover, or add a caption or hashtags.
  6. Satisfied with the final result? Choose to share your Reel on your Instagram feed, in your Stories, or in the dedicated Reels section of your profile. Easy enough, right?

Discovery With Instagram Reels

Once you’ve created a Reel,  you can share it on your Story and within your Instagram feed. All your past videos will also live in a separate Reels tab on your Instagram profile.

One of the most attractive aspects of Reels is that the videos are designed for discovery. Businesses can choose to make their Reels available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in the app’s Explore section. In Explore, Instagram highlights recent popular Reels to help users find new original content that they might enjoy. As a bonus, if you include songs, hashtags, and effects in your Reels, they can be discovered through the search results for those elements as well.

How To Use Reels for Your Business

Reels is a fun and innovative way to use an established platform to find a global audience. So how can you use Instagram Reels to market and promote your brand or business? We’ve rounded up a few quick tips to get you going.

  1. Be sure to use hashtags in your Reels! Find the right hashtags to attract your ideal audience, and develop a hashtag strategy for your account that you’ll carry out in your Reels as well.
  2. Get creative by using music and effects that will help connect your content to larger accounts and a broader audience.
  3. Keep your videos fun. Reels are great for lighthearted, shareable tidbits. Use this format to add personality and humor around your products and services. Be willing to show a more human side of what you do and what you have to offer.
  4. Educational content is always beneficial! Using 15-second clips, show your customers how your brand can be relevant and helpful for them. As you teach, you’ll build authority within your niche.

Ready to get started with Reels? Try it out on your Instagram account, and let us know in the comments how it goes! Want even more great Instagram tips for your business? Check out this post, and be sure to follow us at instagram.com/redbirdsocialco.

Leave a Comment