Yep. There’s always a new social media platform. And THEN the social media platforms we are used to using – like Instagram and Facebook – are always changing and adding new features.
Today, we’re tackling one of Instagram’s new additions: Reels. We’ll give you an orientation into what Reels are and how you can use them to grow your brand.
1. Why are folks using Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels are short (15 – 30 seconds only) and focused on editing / overlapping video content to create high-octane bitesize original content.
Reels are different from IG Stories. IG Stories only last 12 seconds (but you could upload one video and it would segment into 12 second pieces). IG Stories also had some of the same options – such as filters and adding text – but IG Reels allows you to splice videos together to make a single clip. Bonus: REELS DON’T DISAPPEAR IN 24 HOURS like IG Stories do.
IG Reels also have an option to easily add music to your content. A big perk for a lot of creators. These new capabilities were added so that Instagram could compete with TikTok.
Another perk of IG Reels over IG TV and IG Stories: they aren’t being monetized by Facebook yet, so there won’t be any ads inserted between IG Reels while folks are binging your content.
2. What are the benefits of IG Reels over TikTok?
One benefit of IG Reels is that you have an opportunity to be heavily featured in the IG Explore page. This means that folks who aren’t necessarily in the app for reels will still easily run across your material. In other words, you aren’t having to convince folks who don’t want to use TikTok to download the app to follow you. You get to bring the high quality fun video content to them where they are.
Another benefit is that you can use this new tool to increase your engagement in your current following on Instagram. Bonus: if your Instagram and Facebook pages are linked, you can be automatically sharing to (and growing engagement on) both.
It’s important to remember that Instagram is always going to prioritize new adopters of their pet projects (like Reels) in the algorithm. So if you use Reels, you’re more likely to show up in your followers’ feeds.
3. How hard is it to make a reel?
Fair Warning: Instagram Reels can be very time-consuming! Even if you are used to spending time in Instagram, this new option definitely has a learning curve. If you are used to doing a lot of your video content editing in other apps, you will still need to do some editing in the IG app, so be prepared for that.
We’re talking at least 1-2 hours to make a reel from filming the video pieces to doing the editing in the app. Depending on your schedule, that is a big time investment for 15-30 seconds of content.
However, if you put in the effort to learn the tool, there is a greater opportunity for your content to go viral in the Instagram algorithm if you use IG Reels.
4. What are the tips and tricks to making a good reel?
Good reels should be fun, show off your personality, and provide educational content.
Be yourself. Use fun colors. Definitely use text to explain / share something. Dance if you want to. The main point is to have fun.
Real Talk: [Hehe. Pun. :)] Now some folks make silly reels of dogs, and yeah, those go viral. But for your business, IG Reels provide an excellent opportunity to provide free, high-quality value for your ideal customer. So keep that in mind. Stuff they can use over stuff that just focuses on you and your ego.
Remember, our main advice will ALWAYS be: only participate in trends and new tools that actually seem intriguing, that match the core intentions you have for engaging with your audience, and that you actually have the bandwidth for. These are only tools! They are merely another option available to help you.
The most important thing is that you show up as your most authentic, enthusiastic, compassionate self when you do choose to connect.
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