How to Grow Your Audience with Instagram Reels

November 4, 2021

Instagram has released some incredibly popular new features recently. Stories is one, and it’s made it easier for brands to grow their audiences and build their brand recognition. 

Instagram’s latest new-feature success is Reels, a video feature that helps users connect with and entertain their audiences by way of short-form, vertical video. 

Social media marketers and agencies can help their clients create Reels that are both fun and educational. They’re a great way to connect with new users and attract potential followers to your brand.

In this post, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about growing your audience with Instagram Reels.

What Are Instagram Reels? 

Instagram Reels are full-screen, brief videos that aren’t dissimilar from TikTok. 

Users can shoot their videos through filters, add popular music, and follow trending songs, dances, and challenges to reach current and new viewers. With over 500 million users active on the platform every day, Instagram is a great place to give Reels a try. 

Instagram Reels Example 1

As of July 2021, Instagram announced that it plans to shift into direct competition with TikTok and YouTube. Because of this change, the platform says it will place a higher priority on video content than static images.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that Instagram Reels has its own tab in the navigation part of the app and that you can view users’ Reels both in-feed and in a special section in their profile.

If you’re interested to learn all there is to know on Instagram Strategy, including Instagram Reels, have a look at our Instagram Marketing Course.

How to Create an Instagram Reel

It’s simple to create eye-catching Instagram Reels for your clients’ brands. Reels are best viewed as vertical video at 1080 x 1920 pixels in size (aspect ratio of 9:16). They can range from 15 to 60 seconds in length, and should be in mp4 file format. 

Here’s how to create an Instagram Reel.

From the profile page, click the plus sign at the top right to add a new post. 

Instagram Reels Example 2

You’ll see a Create menu with a list of options. Select Reel to continue. 

Select Reel to continue. 

Instagram will open your Reels camera. From here, you can select many of your video’s settings before you begin filming. 

select many of your video’s settings

Along the left-hand side of your screen, you’ll see a list of icons. These include sounds, video length, playback speed, effects, touch-up, timer, and flash. 

To select music for your video, tap the sounds icon. You’ll then be able to search for and choose a song from Instagram’s music library. Additionally, you can save sounds to a favorites list to use later. 

list of music for Instagram reels

Now it’s time to set the length of your video. Tap the video length icon to toggle between 15, 30, and 60 seconds. 

reels length icon

After that, choose your Reel’s playback speed. Options include 0.3x, 0.5x, 1x, 2x, 3x, and 4x.

reels playback speed

Now, tap the effects icon to set up a filter for your video. Instagram will display a library of options, plus a preview window so you can get a feel for what the filter will look like when you apply it. 

reels filters

If you want to smooth out your video’s appearance, you can tap the touch-up button. This is particularly helpful in selfie mode. 

reels light leak 4 filter

If you want to set an automatic timer so you can go hands-free, tap the stopwatch icon. From there, you can set up a countdown to film yourself. 

reels timer option

Now you’re ready to film! (Don’t forget to turn the flash on or off with the lightning icon, depending on your needs.) 

Hold down the record button at the bottom of your screen to film segments of your video. You can stop and start as needed, for the allotted recording time available. When you’re ready, tap the Preview button to have a look. 

reels light leak 4

When you preview your Reel, you can not only watch the playback; you can also add extra effects. 

Across the top of your screen, you’ll see another set of icons. These allow you to download your video, add music from the preview screen, add a voiceover, include additional effects, use stickers, draw, or add text to your videos. Once you’ve completed your creation, you can click Next on the bottom right to continue. 

reels text editor

Now, you’ll see a Share screen. This is where you’ll include a caption and any relevant hashtags. You can toggle whether to share the Reel to your regular Feed, tag people, and rename your audio, as well. 

reels caption settings

 The Advanced Settings screen allows you to add a paid partnership label to your video, if applicable. 

instagram reels advanced settings

When you’re ready, you can click the blue Share to Reels button at the bottom to publish your Reel. If you want to wait until later, you can Save as Draft. 

instagram reels preview

Here’s what your published Reel will look like when it’s done. Users can now comment, like, and share it to their followers. 

instagram reels final

How to Come Up With Reels Ideas 

To come up with Reels ideas, pay attention to what other creators in your space are doing. You can see how their followers are interacting and check out the comments section for feedback. 

 In addition, look at the current viral trends. Listen to trending audio clips, for example, and think about how those might fit in with your business. Paying attention to Reels can help you identify current top trends in this section of the app that you can use to connect with your audience. 

Currently, there’s a “we do not care” audio trend where creators and business owners show themselves having fun and being successful despite adversity and naysayers. Wedding day pet care specialists Fairytail Petcare shared an excellent example of this trend, showing that they’d created an insanely fun business despite hearing that they’d never be successful. 

instagram reels example pet care

Easy how-to content, hot tips, and humorous videos are also great options. Think about how you can connect with users, address their pain points, and introduce your business all at once. 

3 Brands Crushing It With Instagram Reels 

Let’s take a look at some brands that are crushing it with Instagram Reels. 

Purple 

Purple features videos that raise brand awareness and show its products in action. The company features its mattresses, pillows, and seat cushions in creative and humorous Reels that promote comfort and fun. 

instagram reels example brands

Kleinfield Bridal

Kleinfeld Bridal uses Reels to creatively feature their gowns. They also share memorable moments from featured couples from time to time, which are often wildly popular on the platform.

instagram reels kleinfeld bridal

Social Media College 

Social Media College shares valuable social media marketing tips with its audience. These videos include employee-generated content (EGC), which helps to build relationships and rapport with followers by giving them a peek behind the scenes. 

instagram reels social media college

Final Thoughts 

Instagram Reels are an effective and attention-grabbing way to get more eyes on your clients’ brands, grow your followers, and raise brand awareness. 

Reels provide high entertainment value, education, and engagement for audiences worldwide. Remember to have fun as you incorporate this new feature into your social media marketing toolbox so that you can better connect with and grow your audience on-platform.

Free video training: How to grow a business from $0 to $100k per month using social media marketing.

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About the author 

Ana Gotter

Ana is a strategic content marketer specialising in business, finance, and marketing writing, though she's worked across a range of industries. She works from her home in Orlando with her three dogs.

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