Much of today’s social media strategy revolves around creating short, easily-digestible video content. Think 15-second videos in either one-shot or multiple seamless shots and transitions seen on popular apps like Snapchat and TikTok.
If you’ve been on Instagram lately, then you’ve probably noticed the tiny new clapperboard icon at the very bottom of your screen. This new icon indicates a new feature added to the photo-sharing app: Reels. Similar to TikTok, users can use Reels to record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and other creative options. Keep reading to find out how you can integrate Instagram Reels into your digital marketing strategy.
Instagram Reels 101: What Is It?
Instagram Reels allows you to create and discover small and entertaining videos on Instagram. Users can create content based on their business’s niche and then share it on the Explore Page and through the Reels tab on their profile.
Per Instagram’s precise algorithm, the content will continuously be generated on the Explore Page to match viewers’ interest. That means you won’t just see content from people you follow, but also from people who share similar content.
If you’re a little skeptical about Instagram’s new algorithm when it comes to Reels, you’re not alone! Reels will follow a similar path to TikTok’s For You Page (FYP). Our guess, though, is it’s likely influenced by who you already follow, what content you interact with, and where you’re located.
Reels also provides a number of in-app video editing tools, such as a video countdown timer, options to adjust your video’s speed, and several effects like augmented reality skins and backgrounds. Once you’ve completed your video clips, you can use the drawing and text tools to choose from a selection of Instagram stickers and gifs.
Why Is Instagram Reels Such a Big Deal?
We don’t know about you guys, but we think Instagram Reels looks similar to TikTok. And that’s because––it is. Although TikTok has only existed globally for two years, it has already become a cultural staple for Gen Z. As of right now, TikTok has more than 2 billion downloads, and it has all but solidified its place as a social media tyrant.
Statistically speaking, it outperforms many US-based apps that attract younger audiences––including Instagram. In 2019, TikTok dominated in downloads, beating Instagram by more than 238 million users.
So, why do we think Instagram Reels is such a big deal? We think Reels has potential because it’s not a standalone app like its counterpart TikTok. Instead of focusing on one core element like short multi-clip videos, Instagram Reels is part of a broader app and has been built into Instagram’s core functionality.
Most importantly, whereas video posts on Instagram appear twice as large on the Explore page as image posts, Reels take up over half of the page––further coaxing users to create Reels.
Lights, Camera, Reels!
Luckily, there isn’t much maneuvering needed to use the Reels feature––since everything is located within the Instagram app itself. But, with any other creative content, it can be hard to figure out what content your viewers are looking for. If Instagram is already part of your social media marketing strategy, here are a few ideas to get you started:
Educate Your Audience
This is your time to shine as the thought-leader of your industry! Educational, how-to content is a tried-and-true way to get your existing audience involved. Consider creating fun, informative content or asking your audience personal questions to get the conversation going. When people answer your questions on Instagram, give them a personal shout out on Reels.
Start thinking of ways your brand can create educational, how-to content for your audience.
Tell a Story
When was the last time you went on Instagram and were truly blown away by another brand’s storytelling content? Yeah… it’s been a while for us, too.
Instagram Reels has the potential to turn a bland story into a meaningful and impactful one. Instead of users going to a generic About Us page on a website, they can watch a dynamic story unfold in Reels. But what’s a good story without moving, motivational, and inspiring music?
Cue the music, please.
The whole point of Reels is to create fun content for your target audience. But of course, no content is complete without completely original and creative ideas! Instead of scouring the web for staged content, try to come up with off-the-wall content that’s lighthearted and upbeat. Steer clear of any over rehearsed robotic feels.
Go Behind the Scenes
Behind-the-scenes content is a close cousin of the how-to Reel and equally engaging for your audience. Get your audience involved with your brand by taking them behind the scenes to show them what goes on in your business. This type of content humanizes your brand and gives your followers an interesting, personal look at your products or services.
Need Help Getting Started? We Can Help!
Managing multiple social media channels for your brand or company can be so overwhelming. Luckily for our team of digital marketing gurus, it’s just one of the many roles we fill for our clients.
If you’re interested in learning more about social media management, contact us today!