Over 1 BILLION users are now on Instagram.
Over 500 million users use Instagram Stories every day.
Is Reels really the next big thing? Given the success of Instagram & their efforts, plus the likeness of Reels to the highly successful Tik Tok, all signs are pointing to YES.
But is using Reels really the right thing for your business? How do you use them? And WHAT do you even post on there anyways? Let’s dive in…
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH REELS?
Reels are Instagram’s latest venture, launched in over 50 countries. They are a short video platform within the Instagram app that lets you highlight 15 second videos, or compilation of videos set to music.
Reels are drawing a comparison to Tik Tok with good reason. These short videos allow for users & businesses to share informal content in a fun and engaging way, aligned to music.
Because Reels are located within the Instagram app, they are easy to locate and navigate to, but much is still unknown – including how they are impacted by the algorithm.
WHY YOUR BUSINESS SHOULD BE ON REELS
History has shown us that being an early adopter on social platoforms can be beneficial. As Instagram is rolling this new feature out, there is less competition and potentially more reward. While we don’t know that early adoption can lead to success, being up there using the latest trends is a way to get your brand noticed while using a new and fun way to engage with your audience.
Reels are highlighted on individual profiles, but also on the coveted Explore page. The Explore page is again drawing comparison to Tik Tok’s FYP (For you page.) Because there is less competition, and the algorithm is likely still working itself out, NOW is your chance to hit that explore page.
Reels also offers you another chance to connect with your audience in a new way. Because Tik Tok has a relatively younger audience, Reels may tap into that audience combined with Instagram’s current audience making for a huge potential audience of your existing Instagram customers + a potentially younger demographic too.
HOW TO USE REELS
Here’s a step by step breakdown. Keep in mind that you can either use pre-recorded short videos, or you can record videos within the app to create your Reels. But 15 seconds is your total amount of time.
To navigate from your ‘Home page”, click the camera icon in the top left. Then, on the bottom of your screen, swipe over from Story to Reels. Now you’re ready to create!
The left hand side is your navigation. You can add music, speed up or slow down the video speed + add effects like in your IG Stories. You can also set a self-timer to ensure you record the length of time you see fit.
To add an existing video, click on the square in the bottom left. Or, you can record a new one using the camera icon in the bottom middle.
Once you have your video you can crop the video and then click the check mark.
Add videos up until 15 seconds total, then click on the right bottom arrow. Now is your chance to edit the video by adding stickers, using the drawing tool or by adding text.
Add your text, and then you can edit the time it appears & disappears on your Reel. Using the white sides of the bottom timer, squeeze in or move in order to only have your text available when you WANT it to be. When previewing your video, text that is transparent means it will not appear in the final video.
Once your edits are complete, click the arrow and come to the Share page. Here you can edit your cover, share to your IG feed, Reels and/or Instagram Stories. Write your caption & add those hashtags!
Once you’re ready –> share to your story, or hit Share to share on your new Reels. Bonus: you can also share to your feed for additional visibility!
5 IDEAS TO POST ON REELS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Keep in mind, Reels are a mashup of videos, so if you have pictures you want to use, add some animated GIFs to them to turn them into short videos in Canva or another program you like. Create a storyline to plan out your Reel, then get started! Here are a few ideas for you:
- Share a tip on how to create something
- Share a behind the scenes look at your day
- Show yourself, your team, your business in a fun and engaging way.
- Show off your products in a fun way. Show how you use them in your house, wear them, eat them, serve them, etc.
- Use User Generated Content to create a highlight Reel of how your customers love/use your product.
- Give them the customer experience. Show off your space & service and show them what the experience would be like as if they are there with you.
Lastly, keep Reels fun. They are meant to be another way to engage and form relationships, so always keep that in mind. Get creative, don’t overthink it and HAVE FUN!