Almost everything Marketers Need to Know About Instagram Reels

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Throughout the past two years, 2 of the most popular apps utilized by Gen Z and young millennials were Instagram plus TikTok.

While Instagram continuously pulled in more than 1 billion active users since the 2016 debut, TikTok made news when it surpassed one billion global downloads inside 18 months of its launch.

Both networks have solid benefits and entertainment factors.. While Instagram’s visual layout allows users to see images, video clips, Stories, and live avenues from their favorite accounts, TikTok provides an endless feed of short, entertaining video clips.

But , late this summer, as countries including the U. S. regarded banning TikTok due to privacy concerns, Instagram launched a handful of new audio and video editing functions that are quite similar to what users would find on TikTok. This new set of mobile features, which can be seen in the Stories section of the Instagram app, has been called Instagram Reels.

Aside from enabling users to record videos with sound or sound overlays, the Reels camera and editor also includes the following features:

  • More editing tools : These include increased reality effects, transitions, and the ability to speed up or slow down videos.
  • Audio attribution : If a user uploads native audio, other users may overlay the sound in their movies while the app credits the initial user’s account for it.
  • Stitchable takes : This permits users to share a video with just one long take or a combination of quicker takes.
  • Shareability on the Instagram Give food to, Explore, Stories, and your user profile: Depending on the personal privacy settings of your profile, you are able to share Reels with simply friends on your Stories or even profile, or publicly in the Reels area of Explore.
  • Mobile-only: Unlike Instagram profiles and Stories, you can’t view or upload Reels on a desktop.

Right now, it’s actual worth noting that advertisements are not yet supported in the Reels area of Instagram Explore. But since Reels show up within this public part of the app, and can be seen by people who have a tendency follow your brand, your business has the opportunity to reach brand new audiences across the globe.

At the time of this awesome article, we also don’t understand how the Instagram algorithm functions for presenting Reels in order to audiences. But , based on the exploration of the Reels give food to within Explore, it seems similar to TikTok in that it prioritizes posts by location, individuals you follow, and articles similar to what you’ve engaged with recently.

Why Instagram Launched Reels

According to Instagram — which started screening Reels in Brazil within November 2019 and launched the feature globally this particular August — the brand wanted to give users a lot more content creation opportunities on the app.

“We’re excited to expose Instagram Reels: a new way for anyone — people, creators, plus businesses — to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram, ” notes an August announcement from Instagram.

While Instagram hasn’t recognized TikTok’s success or competitors as a reason for launching Reels, several tech journalists have got suggested that this was a tactical move.

“Instagram’s short-form video feature, Reels, launched Wed. Instagram is swooping within at a vulnerable time for its largest competitor, TikTok. Fishing reels allows users to create 15-second clips, like TikTok, and share them publicly or with friends within the Instagram application, ” wrote CNBC’s Jessica Bursztynsky.

While Reels can be Instagram’s first attempt at launching similar features in order to TikTok, this certainly isn’t the first time a Facebook-owned corporation has launched similar video editing offerings.

In 2018, amid TikTok’s early achievement, Facebook quietly launched the competing app called Lasso.

Lasso, which offered comparable portrait-style feed and movie editing tools to TikTok, had fewer than 80, 500 app downloads by 06 2020. In July, 30 days before the launch of Fishing reels, Lasso was discontinued.

“We place multiple bets throughout our family of apps to check and learn how people want to express themselves. One of these tests has been Lasso, our stand-alone short-form video app, which we now have decided to shut down. We say thanks to everyone who shared their creativity and feedback with us, which we’ll look to integrate in our other video experiences, ” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.

At this point, the actual history mentioned above, some online marketers might wonder, “Will Instagram Reels be a great TikTok alternative for my brand name, or will it fail like other TikTok competitors? ”

The question above is fair. After all, as a marketer, you’ll only want to invest time and money into platforms with a solid track record, loyal audience, plus great brand awareness possibilities, rather than those that could be stopped a short time later.

While Reels might have been flocked to by Gen Z if TikTok were banned, TikTok’s relationship deal with Oracle and Walmart has ensured that this application will remain active in many nations — at least for now. This means that even if Reels is successful, a few audiences might still spend all of their time surfing TikTok.

On the other hand, Instagram is a widely-used platform that has successfully launched competitive social media features just before. Remember when the brand released Stories and eventually surpassed the user count of Snapchat, which usually launched this feature first?

At the moment, it’s not clear whether or not Reels will be as successful as TikTok. But , since the feature only requires you to definitely expand your Instagram strategy, rather than building out TikTok tactics from scratch, it could be a great place for brands to test out highly experimental short-form content.

If you’re intrigued by Instagram Reels and ready to try it out, below I’ll walk through how brands are already utilizing the feature, steps for creating Reels content, and a few takeaways marketing experts should keep in mind as they construct it into their Instagram advertising.

How Brands Already Use Reels

Emmy Mae Wedding

Fashion and beauty are usually perfect for Reels, as is apparent by this Reel from Emmy Mae Bridal in Queensland, Australia.

In Emmy Rae’s Reels, the brand presents videos and symbolism of their wedding attire towards the sounds classy music. Even though we can’t embed Reels, here’s a screenshot of latest content the company posted.

Bridal Instagram Reels


Earth Official

The travel industry is also locating Reels to be an excellent way to reach people. In this piece of Fishing reels content, Earth Official, an account that highlights travel content material, deals, and influencers, displays beautiful footage of Thailand’s lantern festival with native audio.

Instagram Reels Travel EarthOfficial


Vital Care Now

If your company isn’t exactly consumer-facing, Reels might still fit into your own Instagram strategy, depending on exactly how well you’ve cultivated your audience and how creative your articles team is.

In the Fishing reels post below from CriticalCareNow, an informative Instagram account operate by resuscitation expert Haney Mallemat, Mallemat educates viewers about central and peripheral arterial lines used in the emergency response field.

critical care Instagram Reels

Think the topic of the Reel above was too helpful or formal for Instagram’s audience? Think again. At the time your blog post was written, this Reel had more than 30, 200 views. Pretty amazing meant for content that isn’t the newest dance move.

Haney’s Reel might be so engaging because he’s done a great work of building a large, niche target audience of over 24, 1000 Instagram followers and learned what types of content they value. While more followers can certainly get you more sights, creating Reels around what your audience and similar users want to watch can also take your engagement a long way.

one Enter Reels mode within Instagram Stories.

To get started along with Reels, open the Instagram Stories camera and touch Reels.

Instagram Reels can be found within Instagram Stories on the mobile app

2 . Explore the modifying tools.

Before and after you record footage on your Reels camera, you’ll see four editing icons on the left side of your camera screen.

Effect options within Instagram Reels

The tools you’ll see include:

  • Sound: Which enables you to add a pre-recorded sound from other users or Reels’ featured song list to your content.
Sound overlay tool in Instagram Reels
  • Playback Speed: This enables you to speed up or reduce content.
playback speed tool in Instagram Reels
  • Results: Tapping this particular icon, which looks like an emoji outline, allows you to add stickers and filter effects to your video. The filters for Reels are similar to Instagram Stories and many of these results crossover between both video clip formats
Special effects tool in Instagram Reels
  • Timer: If you can’t keep down the Record button for that full clip, but want to make a video that lasts for a certain amount of time, you can faucet this icon to set documenting time for your clip. Once you press record, a countdown of three seconds will be on your screen before Fishing reels starts to record. Then Reels will automatically film for your amount of time you designated.

3. Hold Record to begin filming, or upload a pre-recorded video clip.

Once you press and hold the record button, you’ll begin filming a clip. In case you let go of the record switch, but still have time remaining in your Reel video, you can hold the record button once again to start a second clip that will begin immediately after the first ends.

As you record one or multiple clips for your Reel, the particular progress bar at the top of the screen shows you how much documenting time you have left.

Progress bar in Instagram Reels

Alternatively, if you’ve already recorded a great video clip or TikTok that you think will be engaging on Reels, you can tap the digital camera icon to upload clips from your camera roll.

4. Add last-minute effects.

If you didn’t add effects before the video started recording, but want to after seeing how it came out, you can add stickers, drawings, and text for your Reel before publishing.

Adding last-minute effects after recording video in Reels

When you are finished, tap the arrow at the bottom when you’re ready to post. Again, these effects are nearly the same as those you’ll see on Instagram Stories.

press next to go to posting page for Reels

5. Prepare to publish your Reel.

Whenever you press the arrow after reviewing the video and including any last-minute effects, you’ll certainly be taken to the post screen, where you can choose a cover picture, write a caption, add hashtags, and publish your own video to Reels.

6. View your Reels.

Once you’ve published one or more Reels, the information will appear on the Explore web page, as well as a tab on your user profile.

Where to find Instagram Reels on your profile

seven. Share your Reels.

Together with posting Reels for Discover audiences, you can also post these to your feed which will furthermore cause them to appear on your main user profile grid. Reels can also be delivered as direct messages or perhaps posted to your Instagram Stories. Unless you share a Fishing reel so it appears on your major grid, the content will act like a Story and disappear within 24 hours.

8. Monitor your performance.

Currently, to view any kind of insights for a Reel, you should view the post itself. At this time, there isn’t a way to see the analytics of your Reels inside Instagram Insights. Instead, look at the likes and comments to get a sense of engagement.

engagement metrics on Instagram Reels

9. Watch Reels from other accounts.

To reach Reels, simply go to research and you’ll see a featured Reel. Tap that and then you can certainly easily scroll through the clips. From there, you can follow customers and like, share, plus comment on reels directly. You can get Reels on specific subjects by searching for hashtags.

Where to find Instagram Reels content in Instagram Explore feed

What to Bear in mind with Instagram Reels

While you consider Reels, TikTok, as well as other emerging social media platforms in your marketing strategy, it’s important to weigh the good qualities, cons, and key marketing and advertising takeaways when determining if a channel or feature is correct for your team.

Here are just a couple of things to remember as you consider Reels:

Reels competes against a unique, viral sensation:

Even though Instagram has a huge target audience that is loyal to the platform, many Gen Unces users are used to going to TikTok for viral videos plus general entertainment. Because the app has pulled in astounding fan loyalty in its short life-span, you might find that Reels terribly lack the same viral opportunities that will TikTok videos might have.  

What works on TikTok may not work on Reels

TikTok is really a highly experimental platform having a younger, but huge, worldwide audience. Because of these factors, generally there aren’t many rules about what you should and shouldn’t blog post on there. Meanwhile, Instagram has been around for years, has a slightly old audience, and has some articles norms or audience anticipations set in place

If you’ve already posted a handful of TikTok movies and want to test them on Reels, you can consider uploading several, watching how they perform, plus learning more about what works well on both platforms.

However , when you learn the differences between TikTok and Instagram audiences, you might find that high-performing TikToks do not get as engaging to your Reels audience. If this is the situation, you might want to consider creating specific content for Reels.

Right now there aren’t ad opportunities just yet.

Although you’ll want to keep the points above in mind as you think about testing out Reels, you’ll also wish to remember the opportunities it provides. For example , Reels might be an excellent option for you if you’ve perfected Instagram, know what content your audiences want, and are eager to test out TikTok-styled content without using time and resources to construct a full TikTok app technique.

If you do begin to test out Reels, it can’t hurt to brush up on your Instagram marketing skills and Instagram platform knowledge to ensure that your own profile, other content, plus — ultimately — your own Reels will be on point for your brand and enhanced for brand awareness.

Be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide for Instagram Marketing, or sign up for the free HubSpot Academy course below.

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