BlogSearch Engine OptimisationThe Beginner’s Guide To Instagram Reels

May 1, 2022
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You’ve heard that you should be making Instagram Reels. After all, it’s the latest craze! 

…But you don’t know the first thing about making online content, or Instagram, or how on Earth a good Reel is made. 

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

Here’s everything you need to know about Reels, and a few tips to help you get started. 

What are Instagram Reels?

In August 2020, Instagram released Reels to compete against TikTok. 

And although they weren’t able to keep the platform from growing to its current giant status (TikTok was the third most-downloaded app in Australia in 2021 – only behind Victoria’s and NSW’s check-in apps), Reels have taken the world by storm. 

Available in over 50 countries, Instagram users love creating (and consuming) these quick, 60-second videos. 

You can record all at once, make a series of clips into one cohesive video, or upload an existing video. And with the timer, you can film hands-free, giving you more freedom and options. 

You can also edit your content in lots of different ways, including:

  • Adding music and sounds from the Instagram library (if you don’t want to use the live audio from the video). And if you have a public account, people can actually use your live audio as a sound!
  • Adding augmented reality (AR) effects from the Instagram effects gallery (both Instagram and user-created content)
  • Using the Align tool to line up objects from a previous clip for consistency in the clips that follow
  • Adjusting the speed of your video to speed things up or slow them down

Why use Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels isn’t just the latest social media fad – it’s a valuable tool for your business. 

Wider reach

Users don’t just see Reels from people they follow. In the Reels tab, people can see videos from any creator on Instagram, meaning this is the perfect way to reach people who may be unfamiliar with your brand. 

And did we mention it’s free? A good Reel can be a powerful ad, and you don’t have to pay for it!

(You can also make Reel ads, which are a great way to get even more reach for your business).

Short-form content is king

With shorter and shorter attention spans, no one wants to watch longer videos.

(Well, at least on Instagram). 

In fact, Reels get 22% more engagement than any other type of video format on Instagram. The platform (and its users) are shifting more and more towards this type of content, meaning that soon this is what many of your customers will expect to see from you. 

Receptive audience

People on Instagram love interacting with brands. In fact, 81% of users actually use it to look for companies, products, or services! 

Plus, 50% of people who have purchased something online did so after they saw it on the platform. So there’s a pretty good chance you’ll encounter some eager buyers. 

Are Instagram Reels right for your business?

If you’re selling online, absolutely. And if you’re selling offline, but have an online presence? Again, yes. 

Reels are a great way for you to interact with customers, get your brand in front of a bunch of new people, and get creative with your marketing. All you need is a phone and a few good ideas!

Tips for creating Instagram Reels

Start with a plan

While there may be times when you create spontaneous content if the moment feels right, you should generally have a plan for your Reels. 

  • Watch a bunch of different Reels – both inside and outside your niche. Take note of the visuals, sounds, use of text, and any other trends to help inspire you. 
  • Brainstorm a list of topics that gel well with your brand. The types of content that perform well include educational videos, product showcases, and behind-the-scenes videos of your business. You’ll want to avoid being overly salesy – this is your chance to really connect with people and humanise your brand. 
  • Consider what you’re doing with your Instagram feed and stories, and how you can make Reels that complement your current brand image. 

Include text and captions 

Although sound is important, many users watch videos without it. 

To cover your bases, make sure you include video subtitles by tapping on the sticker icon and selecting Captions. This will automatically transcribe your audio for you, though you’ll want to go over and make sure it’s all correct. 

You can also emphasise any offers, or the title/theme of the video, by adding some bold, eye-catching text. 

Think about your visuals

Above all, Reels is a visual medium. This means you’ll want to make content that catches the eye and keeps a user watching. 

Instagram won’t recommend your content if it’s low resolution or watermarked, so taking clips and stock footage is a no-no. And with the cameras and phones we have today, it’s super easy to create your own high-quality video on a budget. 

Make sure you mention your bio

Users will want to know where they can get what you have to offer – or at least find out more about your business. Otherwise, you’ll have an interested buyer with no direction. 

Make sure to tell users to check out your bio, whether it be through on-screen text, in the caption of your video, or in the video itself. The bio is where you should include useful links like your website and any particular offers you want to highlight. 

Include the right hashtags

Hashtags are helpful hints for Instagram so that they can show the right Reels to the right people. 

Based on your current Instagram strategy, you’ll probably have some hashtags that work for your brand or niche. If not, spend some time researching what hashtags are being used by your competitors, users in your niche, and your ideal audience. 

Don’t overdo it – 3-5 hashtags should be enough. 

For more social media marketing tips, make sure you check out our Blog. You can also speak to our team about your social media or any other aspect of your digital marketing strategy – we’re always happy to have a chat!

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