At the beginning of the pandemic, we were introduced to a new way of consuming media — TikTok. It was clear that people wanted a way to consume bite-sized, engaging media to keep them engaged, and video was the way to do it. It was also apparent that if other platforms didn't jump on this trend, they would be left behind.
In November 2019, Instagram launched its "Reels" in Brazil under the name Cenas. This launch saw the app users increase by 4.34% in a month. Comparably, user increases were around 1% monthly before that. Clearly, Instagram was on to something.
Now, Instagram Reels is available to nearly everyone and has increased app downloads across the board.
What Are Instagram Reels?
If you’re still wondering what Instagram Reels are, don’t worry, you’re not too late to the party.
Instagram Reels are short 15-30 second videos that you can create and upload to a Reels-specific channel on Instagram. These videos can be shot in one single take, or they can be a series of clips stitched together — similar to TikTok. It’s also possible for TikTok users to post their TikTok’s as Reels on Instagram.
Are Instagram Reels Even Worth the Effort?
If you're wondering about the use and effectiveness of reels, these are just a few of the things you should be aware of:
- Instagram Reels allow for 30 hashtags, whereas Instagram stories only allow 10. This increases your reach.
- The average time spent on Instagram increased by 3.2% in India after the launch of Reels.
- Numerous MBA teams are seeing significant success in increased engagement thanks to Reels. We’re talking about a 22% increase in some cases.
If Reels provide you with the opportunity to reach more people, increase engagement, and keep people on your page for longer, there's no question that you need to take advantage of it.
How to Use Reels for Business
As a business, it can be challenging to stay part of the conversation. Sometimes a company on social platforms can feel a bit like the socially awkward one in a group. You know the one — just popping in to tell you about new products rather than engaging and adding value to the conversation. When businesses use Instagram Reels, make sure to keep these things in mind:
- Don’t over-edit and fixate on perfection. These videos are meant to feel raw, informal, and personable. Allow yourself to show your business’ real sides and shine a light on your quirks and personality.
- Use Reels to create retargeting audiences for ads. Although you can’t advertise on Reels yet, you can use these viewers to retarget your ads on other platforms.
- Use the effects! Be sure to use the audio and video effects and have some fun with the features.
- Post to the Reels Feed. Post any reels you make to the reels feed, your feed, and stories to reach as many viewers as possible.
- Find your niche. If you’re a fashion store, you could show outfits on your reels, but you could also teach folding techniques, or be goofy with your staff like @jjsfashions. For construction, why not teach 30-second home repair tips or be authentic and find your groove like @darrenkeefe? Find ways to add value or entertain!
Remember, Instagram Reels are meant to be a bit more informal than some of the longer video platforms and formats out there. What you post on IGTV, YouTube, or Facebook will be different. Your Reels should be personal.
If you want to focus on creating a successful Reels Channel yet feel you’ll neglect other aspects of your content creation and management, our team can help. We can act as consultants, writers, and experts to help you achieve all your digital marketing goals. Get in touch today.