5 Proven Ways to Master Instagram Reels: What Brands Need to Know
The powerhouse of visual communication, Instagram’s Reels is more than a place for dance challenges and quick how-tos. With its wide reach and griping format, it is one of the best places to generate a buzz around your brand and reel in more customers.
From high fashion brands to individual contributors to the NBA, everyone is on Reels trying to bring in more business, right after Instagram introduced Reels.
As a business, there are some benefits to being on Instagram with Reels. So, what are these, and how can you use this feature to drive engagement with your customers?
Let's find out.
What Are Instagram Reels Exactly?
Instagram Reels are short videos that are usually accompanied by music and last from 15 seconds to 30 seconds. Like its most prominent competitor TikTok, Reels videos are fun, casual, and easy to pass on a message.
Since its Instagram, filters are also a part of Reels; you can use its AR-enabled tools to make exciting videos with special effects. Basically, there are endless creative options when it comes to Reels.
Why Should Businesses Consider Instagram Reels?
As a business owner, Reels gives you a quick fun way to tap into trending content or jump on the latest challenge to create a buzz for your brand. It is less time-consuming than a long-form video, but its short duration makes it less expensive and quicker to produce.
Reels are usually people-focused that make your brand human, handing a possibility to a lot of sharing and engagement, if done the right way. Reels is the perfect place for your brand to let its hair down and connect with the audience.
Take a look at Sephora beauty chain’s Reels strategy that blends the internet’s cat fixation with its product launches. The cat video where the products are props has 1.2 million views! Sephora also features some make-up tutorials as well as discount promotions.
Reels can be an effective way to reach out to your audience and brand your business. The trick here is to attack the explore page by engaging with your audience through a fun and informative video.
Unlike traditional marketing platforms, your videos need to move away from just your product. Instagram Reels are a chance to focus on the story behind the brand. Let us look at some ways you can master the art of marketing in 15 seconds.
1. Repurpose TikTok Videos
Have a TikTok video idea that has a lot of views? Use it on Reels.
Since Instagram’s video sharing tool is relatively new, viral trends and challenges tend to appear on Reels a week after TikTok. Use TikTok videos that received a good response to stay ahead in your IG Reels game.
French luxury retailer Balmain takes this a step further and uses the same video on both platforms to maintain consistency across social media channels.
In this case, the highlighted video has received more views on Instagram Reels than TikTok. And the difference is drastic!
2. Share Educational Content Fun Way
Since Instagram Reels is all about entertaining content, your products can not be the video’s primary focus. You can create bite-sized content around it that is informative and set to catchy music.
Take a look at this Reel From Grammarly. The brand is very active on Instagram and taking maximum advantage of Reels for the Brand. The brand is all about fixing grammar for businesses and individuals. They simply showed how you can replace “very” from your content and make it more catchy.
It is a perfect example of educational content. And the Reel runs trendy music in the background so people can quickly relate to the current trend. This Reel received almost 70k views on Instagram.
Need help marketing your eCommerce store on social media?
Book a free call to learn how our team of eCommerce experts can help you generate leads, boost traffic and drive MORE sales with social media.
3. Showcase The Application Of The Products Quickly
You have about 15 seconds to showcase your product and even less time before your viewer moves on to the next reel, so jump right in and show them how to use it.
Remember that reels are just a way to pique their interest, and you do not have to elaborate on the benefits of the product and why they should visit your site to know more.
Take the example of MAC Cosmetics who is condensing the hours of make-up into short videos that give you a quick look into using their products. This is a clever way to get the customers interested in heading over to their site to know more.
MAC receives 500k views on the Reels on an average, and 10k+ likes on every video! For more take a look at An Ultimate Guide to Build an Instagram Story Content Strategy.
4. Behind The Scenes
Instagram Reels is a great place to show the story behind your brand and connect with your audience. Take them through the process of launching your next product or the next marketing campaign idea, or even a website update.
You could have a fun clip about your employees taking on a dance challenge or just pranks at the office. Remember to keep it light and people-focused.
Take a look at this fun video from the HubSpot team on last-minute Halloween Costumes! It’s fun, casual, and talks a lot about your company culture.
5. Display Offers & Discounts
Who doesn’t like free things? Another sure way of getting your customer’s attention is by displaying your offers and discounts. Catchy music, a big banner that tells them where to find the deal, the coupon code, eye-catching visuals, and you are set. Special offers, especially around the coming holiday season, will definitely get you the eyeballs you need.
Reels can help you increase customer engagement and help you stay connected with your audience. It allows your consumers a break from the hard sell and gives you the chance to market your product subtly.
The short videos are especially great for small businesses as it is not very expensive and does not require a large budget. By jumping on trends, you give them an insider’s look into your business. They enable you to reach out to a broad audience and create a buzz around your brand.
4 Tips For Crafting Successful Instagram Reels
You may think that Reels and TikTok are the same, so why invest in making videos for Reels. While they do belong to the same format, there are two main differences.
First, from 15 seconds to 30 seconds, the Reels are shorter than the 1-minute videos TikTok allows. Two, Reels are a part of a much bigger Instagram ecosystem. With posts, stories, and now Reels, you have to see it as one big strategy to succeed.
Instagram also clocks in more than 1 billion monthly active users, according to Statista, and you have only 15 seconds to convince them to head over to your site. So, let’s see how exactly you can execute a fine Instagram Reel that brings you engagement.
1. Post It On The Right Time
Content on Instagram moves fast, and if you post at the wrong time, it will likely be buried. A study by Sprout Social indicates that the best time to post anything on Instagram is between Wednesday at 11 am and Friday at 11 am. Mid-week blues make Wednesday the best time to post anything, while Sunday is the day people give social media a rest.
This is not to say your Reels should be silent the rest of the time but keep the more engaging videos about launches, discounts, and viral challenges for these days when more people can see your content. You can also use scheduling software to manage your time and ensure you set aside time to post the content at regular intervals.
For more check out these 30 Best Instagram Business Tools to Help You Create Better Content
2. Stay With The Trend
Trends are a great way to use an already popular theme and create awareness for your brand.
However, viral trends have a short shelf life, and you have to continually stay on the Trend watch to strike it when it is gaining popularity. If you are still doing the Renegade dance in October, you will not drive any engagement.
One way to do this is to take a look at TikTok for possible trends that are gaining traction. Most of these viral trends tend to start with video by individual creators, but once celebrities jump on it, their reach amplifies. You can quickly check for the “Discover” section in TikTok, and find the most trending topics:
3. Use Humor Wherever Possible
As a brand, you may be tempted to make content only around your business, but remember Reels should be light and entertaining. There is no better way than humor to get more views and drive engagement.
As I said, Reels are people-focused, and you can use your team to come up with humorous content that may not even be related to your core business.
Take fitness instructor Cassey Ho’s Blogilates page that uses humor around food and exercises to drive more engagement. Notice how her Reels are not just about workouts but pokes fun at eating habits. By using humor, she is connecting with her audience and making herself more relatable.
4. Use The Right Background Music
The music sets the tone for your Reels and is a crucial element in its success. Choose music that is popular and also fits your content. Since the music is only for a very short duration, ensure that it is not too abrupt. Also, opt for trending music like the recent rise of K-pop music that includes BTS and Blackpink.
Reels also allows you to upload original audio. If you plan to use your music, make sure that it is clear and sounds like professionally recorded music.
These are just some of the basic ideas that will help you use Instagram Reels to benefit your business. However, there is no structure to them, and you should innovate and get creative with your visual content.
Since Reels is a new platform, you have the chance to attract more viewers and become one of the top creators. Get the first-mover advantage with these tips to create a name for yourself.
With its existing user base, Instagram Reels is a great way to tie up your marketing efforts on the platform. With Shop, Stories, and now Reels, you can create an all-around image for your brand and also lead them right to the checkout counter, all on the same platform.
There are two major things to remember here - First, Keep it casual, lighthearted, and fun. Secondly, stay relevant to your brand and create content around it.
About the Author
Owen Jones is the Senior Content Marketer at ZoomShift, an online schedule maker app. He is an experienced SaaS marketer, specializing in content marketing, CRO, and FB advertising. He likes to share his knowledge with others to help them increase results.