Thinking about using Instagram Reels for Marketing? Have you ever seen any Reels in your Instagram explore feed? Instagram Reels are short videos similar to TikTok. It was introduced to the public in August 2020. Brands and Influencers are now using IG Reels to create interesting content.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to dance in front of the camera. Instead, read this post to learn how you can start using Instagram Reels for marketing.
What are Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels is a new way of creating and discovering short yet entertaining videos on Instagram.
Instagram Reels provides up to 15-second duration for a video where you can record and edit it with audio, effects, and new creative tools. They have portrait format just like Instagram Stories with a 9:16 ratio and can be filmed within the Instagram App camera or uploaded from your camera roll. Instagram Reels are currently a mobile-only feature for now where you can share it with your community and audiences in the feed.
How to make an Instagram Reels video
Creating Instagram Reels videos is easy. Just hit the camera button at the bottom of your Instagram feed and select the Reels option. You will see a variety of creative editing tools such as:
The audio feature allows you to search for a song from the Instagram music library. However, this option is only available for private and creator profiles, as business profiles undergo copyright law. You can also use your own original audio by recording a reel with it.
If you share a reel with original audio, the audio will be attributed to you and people can create reels with it by selecting “Use Audio” from your reel videos.
There are many effects from the Instagram gallery that were created by Instagram and creators from all over the world to make your videos more fun and attractive.
Countdown and Timer
This feature allows you to set the timer to record videos hands-free. You will have 3 seconds before you start shooting where you will see a 3-2-1 countdown before the recording begins.
The alignment feature can be used to align objects and segments from a previous video. It allows you to create a smooth and seamless transition. For instance, if you are creating a video about outfit changes.
Speed option allows you to choose whether your video will be speed up or slow down at a part of the video or sound you chose. If you want to make a slow motion video, then it won’t be a problem!
Instagram Reels can be recorded once at a time, all at once, or using videos from your phone gallery. You will see a progress indicator at the top of the screen as you record or upload and you can just easily tap the record button again to stop.
Since Instagram Reels is fairly new, we highly recommend you explore all the options before posting Reel’s video. If you are still unsure how to make a Reel video, Instagram has prepared a step-by-step guide that you can access at any time.
Watching Instagram Reels
Watching Instagram Reels is easy. Just go to the Instagram Explore section and you can see the most viral Instagram Reels videos. Keep in mind that you can also browse Home to see reels from the creators you follow. If you like a reel you are watching you can like, comment, and share them with your followers too.
You can also find reels that use specific audio or hashtags. Just tap the audio name or hashtag at the bottom of the reel and look for specific hashtags in the search bar at the top.
Some videos may have a “Featured” label. These are a selection of public Reels Instagram chose for you for inspiration and entertainment.
Instagram Reels vs. TikTok for Marketing Purpose
Instagram Reels just launched on 5th August 2020 and has taken the market by surprise as the newfound feature undoubtedly resembles TikTok. It is available in over 50 countries including the US. The debut came after a nine-month trial period in Brazil.
Instagram Reels are currently limited to a 15-second length which is the same length as TikTok default videos. However, TikTok allows you to post videos that are up to 60-second long. Another feature that commonly associated with TikTok is the awesome and short reaction videos. Users can create similar videos on Reels with the Remix tool where users film side-by-side as the reaction to the original video.
The similarities do not end here. The personalized vertical feed, AR filters, 3-second countdown timer, alignment tool, and speed controls are practically identical among Instagram Reels and TikTok.
What inspired Instagram Reels then?
Instagram Reels could be considered as a response to the growing popularity of TikTok. TikTok generated “the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter in Q1 2020″ according to Adweek.
The rapid core demographic changing of TikTok is also could be considered inspiring the Reels. Millennials are now the most TikTok user and it makes the platform much more strategic for advertisers.
More than that, the “lessened censorship” of TikTok allows brands to get creative on TikTok and free from aesthetic constraints of Instagram content. It simply means that brands can be more fun and engaging in many ways that will increase the possibility to attract customers.
Manscaped is a brand for “below the waist” hygiene. With an interesting name and brand ethos, it is clear why some users may find it offensive or unappealing. At first, this brand has only 20K followers and after only eight months, their numbers went up around 600 times.
Which one should I go to for marketing purposes then?
TikTok has its perks as a single platform and its demographic numbers are changing. However, Instagram Reels comes in as an addition with a similar option on a well working, and decade-old platform. The users on Instagram are growing daily, but the network has a wider demographic range and can allow your brand to connect easier with your target market.
Instagram Reels is a fresh perspective that will allow brands to express more creativity and grow their reach. This feature is less than a year old and it has already given potential in its earliest stages. It is worth a shot, and if the numbers continue to grow, you will have the advantage and experience early on in the race.
An additional perk is that Reels are pushed out on the Explore page, and they have a new tab on the main navigation bar. The Instagram platform is currently doing the hard work for you. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to use it to your advantage.
How can you use Instagram Reels for marketing?
The general idea behind Instagram Reels is simple – fun. The short format and a dense variety of awesome effects allow your business to reveal a side of your brand that feels familiar to your audience.
With specific features, Reels will target a younger or a tech-savvy audience, who are creative, demanding, and appreciative of new content.
Deciding on whether or not you’ll plan out a separate strategy for Instagram Reels for marketing, or include it in your Instagram to-dos is up to you but as with all trending content types it’s always a good idea for increased visibility.
Four Types of Instagram Reels Content
This type of content shouldn’t remind you of school (unless you have an awesome idea to spin around your product, then go for it!). Educational content can include tips, tutorials, recipes, DIY projects, etc.
Consider thinking about what your followers would like to know, or what information can they personally benefit from.
This French food-studio called @thesocialfood has incorporated their sauce in an educational recipe video.
Sharing information and awareness about specific products through Instagram Reels is a great idea. When paired with the Instagram Shopping features, business accounts can showcase and tag products directly. This means viewers can purchase items with a simple 3-click process.
This footwear company, Jonak Paris, found a creative and fun way to showcase their products using Instagram Reels.
Behind The Scenes
People like to know everything and are always curious about what happens behind the camera. This type of content makes product users feel more “at home” with your brand.
Digital designer Abby Design Co takes the viewers behind the scenes and packs up an order in front of the camera.
Telling the story about your beginnings may seem dull. But, go through your old posts and materials, have some fun, and talk about who you are and what you do. Get creative and your Reel will appear on the Explore page where new followers are waiting for you.
A perfect example comes from Natasha, an Instagram Strategist, and Educator @solstudiomarketing. She entered the @30dayreelschallenge and started by simply re-introducing herself.
Now, Let’s take a look at some brands that are using Instagram Reels for marketing.
Top 5 Brands using Instagram Reels
As mentioned earlier, repurposing content is not a bad idea when it comes to making new videos for Instagram Reels. Some businesses are using their TikTok videos (as they are in the same format and ready to go), and some high-end companies are going viral with their content.
Brand #1: Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton is a world-known brand. The French know what they are doing, and their Instagram reels are viral with an average of 5 million views.
Each Reel they publish has a similar appeal. They come as playful mirror insights into their studio. The #lvccruise hashtag and the spinning phone might have an artistic link to the Reels name, and their coming collections that are inspired by the inner journeys of their creators and users.
Brand #2: Sephora France
Instagram Reels can be captivating and inspiring. But, Sephora France is making it way better by asking their audience to engage.
Sephora’s Reels vary based on the topic and range from makeup demos and tutorials, to user-generated content.
Finally, Sephora’s social media team also encourages communication in the comment section with CTA to tag a friend and asking questions about audiences’ favorite colors.
Brand #3: Fast and Food
The first French street food media @fastandfood has made Instagram Reels with content they know everyone enjoys.
This is a great opportunity to gain more followers and to advertise restaurants they are visiting.
Brand #4: Junesixtifive
Fashion influencer, @junesixtyfive has a great understanding of how Instagram Reels work and what her demographics are, and she is taking the new features as an extension on her feed.
Her most popular Reels are the fashion changing ones, having a reach of over 2 million views.
Brand #5: Balmain
Balmain has a creative approach to all of its video campaigns and is using the same content both on TikTok and Instagram Reels. Such a cohesive approach allows users on both Instagram and TikTok to feel included in the process and is a good decision if you are exploring new ways of marketing.
Their posts are planned out, creative, and continue to deliver high-quality content.
Final Thought on Instagram Reels for Marketing
Instagram is always developing and Instagram Reels is bringing updates to Branded Content to ensure that business profiles and creators can disclose when they are creating their branded content regardless of the format. Instagram has launched the Branded Content in Reels in November 2020 as the transparency increased. It has a wide range and can be used in all Instagram features. Depending on the type of content you have a range of options to choose from. Just keep updated as Instagram is supporting creators and businesses big and small in a joint effort to enhance the users’ experience every day.