The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Reels

June 21, 2021

We bet you’ve heard a lot about a new Instagram feature called Instagram Reels. Launched in August 2020 in the US and more than 50 other countries, this feature lets you create, share, and watch short, entertaining videos. Instagram Reels has already become a popular way to get discovered by a global audience and go viral.

We often hear from our users, wondering if they should be using Reels and how it will benefit them.

So we decided to shed some light on Instagram Reels, and explain how to get started and benefit from it.

What Is Instagram Reels?

Much like TikTok, Instagram Reels is a way to record and edit 15- to 30-second vertical, multi-clip videos with special effects and audio. If your account is set to public, you can share these short-form videos with anyone on Instagram, and win hearts from not only your followers but Instagram users throughout the world.

How Does Instagram Reels Work?

To create Instagram Reels, tap to choose the Reels option at the bottom of the Instagram camera. You’ll notice editing tools on the left side of the screen on Reels.

The editing tools are:

Audio: You can use your own audio by recording a live Reel or search the sound effects or songs from the Instagram music library. If you use Reels with original audio, it’s attributed to you and others can use your audio, provided your account is set to public.

AR Effects: You’ll find several AR effects in the Instagram gallery.

Timer and Countdown: Did you know you can record Reels videos in hands-free mode with the timer?

Align: The align feature works great when you’re mixing different clips. That way, you can create seamless transitions for your videos.

Speed: You can speed up or slow down parts of videos for your Instagram Reels. It works great for making slow-motion videos or to match up with a rhythm.

Should You Use Instagram Reels?

You may be wondering why you should use Reels if you’re on TikTok and whether it’s worth the effort.

Think about it this way: If you’re already on Instagram and know how it operates, Reels will come in handy to promote your content. This will save you from putting extra energy into building a following on TikTok from scratch.

Or, you could also promote your TikTok videos there and drive more engagement with an already existing content.

Reels is undoubtedly one of the best ways to increase engagement on Instagram.

If you aren’t sure if Reels is a good addition to your digital marketing strategy, here are some interesting and inspiring facts about Instagram Reels:

  1. By using Instagram Reels, NBA franchises generated 22% higher engagement than the average Instagram posts or Instagram Stories.
  2. Louis Vuitton reported that all of its Reels have gone viral, averaging nearly 7 million views across Reels.
  3. Makeup brand Sephora gets an average of 453K views on each of its Reels about makeup tutorials and product demos.

How to Create Instagram Reels?

You can create Reels through the Instagram home screen, the Reels tab, or the Instagram Stories camera.

Tap the camera on the top right screen to access it through the Reels tab. Or, you can tap the plus (+) on the top right corner of your Instagram app and choose Reels at the bottom of the screen.

You can choose how long you want the video to be: between 15 seconds and 30 seconds. Add filters, or special effects, and audio of your choice.

When you’re done, share your Reels with friends.

How to Find Success with Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels is a good way to build your community and grow your reach. It’s a fun and engaging way to share original and creative video clips with your audience.

Here are a few tips to help you with Instagram Reels:

1. Consider Creating Tutorials

Lightning-fast tutorial videos paired with a relevant soundtrack can work like a magic on Reels. You can show people how to make a pizza or even answer a compelling question. Make sure you set the correct speed for the clips so others can see and/or hear you.

2. Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a proven way to increase post views, but did you know you can also use hashtags for increasing the visibility of your Reels? Add relevant hashtags to the content and make sure those hashtags are in use. If you aren’t sure where to start, sign up for Hashtag Expert.

3. Get the Audio Mix Right

If you don’t want the background noise to ruin your Reels, use the “mix” feature. That will allow you to choose the audio levels for the narration and your music.

4. Never Use Blurry or Low-resolution Clips

As with Instagram Stories or posts, Reels also require you to post clear, high-resolution images. If your images are recycled from other apps and blurred out due to low-resolution, Instagram algorithms are not going to like that.

5. Don't Use Watermarked Clips

If your Reels clips have logos and watermarks, Instagram might limit their visibility. So make sure your videos look clean.

6. Make Your Reels Fun and Entertaining to Watch

The purpose of creating Reels is to entertain your audience and give the Instagram community a reason watch them. By making your videos fun, you'll achieve both.

Instagram Reels presents a unique opportunity for influencers and brands to get more views and likes from users, and to engage with them on Instagram. If you're new to Reels, try testing different types of videos. Set clear goals and start measuring performance to capture some useful data like the impressions, likes, and comments. This will let you know how well those videos are working with your audience and help you create a winning Instagram Reels strategy.

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