July 12, 2021

The ultimate guide to Instagram Reels

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels are a new way to create fun and engaging video content on the Instagram platform.  Similar to TikTok, this new Instagram feature allows users to create 15 to 30 second video clips set to music. Users are able to share these videos to their Stories, Explore Feed, and the Reels tab under their profile. 

The Explore Feed is Instagram’s own version of TikTok’s For You page, dedicated for users to explore not only the Reels from accounts they follow, but also Reels that are most popular and currently trending.  This Explore Feed can be found at the center of the navigation bar located at the bottom of the platform.  

Reels content created for McDonald’s Chips Ahoy McFlurry via Social Native

Why brands should use Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels will become a key part of brands’ and creators’ 2021 content strategy on Instagram.  

According to Animoto, video content on social media platforms is the #1 way that consumers have been motivated to make a purchase.

Reels are an opportunity to connect with Instagram users on a more personal and fun level.  Brands should utilize Reels to showcase their unique personality and values, while highlighting the importance of their products in an engaging way.  By creating an authentic voice on Reels, brands can create content that resonates with consumers.

Including Instagram Reels in your marketing strategy will allow your brand to increase your audience.  The Reels explore page will increase your visibility of posts to consumers and allow Instagram users more ways to interact with your brand’s content. 

Reels content created for Petco’s Holiday Contest via Social Native

Best practices for creating Instagram Reels

Although there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to successful Reels, here are some Reels best practices to ensure that your Reels perform well on the platform. 

Post consistently.  

Because Reels is a new feature, the algorithm will favor accounts that are creating consistent content with Reels. We recommend posting at least 1 to 3 times a day to gain traction and test what content is resonating with your audience.  

Reels should be entertaining and fun.  

Although the Instagram feed is typically for polished photos, Reels is a chance to show your brand’s personality in a candid way.  Brands can engage with audiences through fun and engaging videos by playing on trending sounds & video formats. Give your audience a look behind the scenes to show how your product is made, or your staff’s favorite menu hacks. Be creative & offer value in your content.  

Pull the viewer in quickly with a fun surprise or twist.  

Due to the short form video nature of Reels, it is important to grab your viewers attention in the first second, making people intrigued to learn more. Start your Reel with a strong hook and give them a reason to continue watching.

Reels should be authentic to the platform using the Reels camera and audio tools.  

It is important to share original and authentic content on the Reels platform.  The algorithm will NOT favor visibly repurposed content from other video streaming platforms that contain logos. Create Reels in the app using the last tools & sounds available.  

Utilize Instagram audio tools and trending music.  

Using trending music and audio tools from the Instagram library will help your Reel get seen by more users. If you’re a business account, you will have access to non-copyrighted music, so find audio that compliments the context of your Reel.  

Reels should be relevant with cultural moments and trending topics. 

Craft your Reel around topics and trends that are being talked about and most relevant in culture today.  Brands can also create Reels based on life moments that people can relate to.  

Leverage Creator Relationships. 

Influencer marketing is just as important for Reels as it is for Instagram feed and Stories posts.  Working with influencers or creators will help your brand increase brand awareness and popularity on the platform.  

Reels should follow the Instagram Community Guidelines. 

Instagram Reels’ algorithm will prioritize Reels that follow their community guidelines.

Go to Top