July 14, 2023

Ultimate Guide to Instagram Reels for Marketers

Ultimate Guide to Instagram Reels for Marketers

In the fast-paced world of social media marketing, staying ahead of the game is crucial for businesses to effectively engage with their target audience. One platform that has taken the marketing world by storm is Instagram Reels. With its snappy video format and immense popularity, Instagram Reels offers a fantastic opportunity for businesses to captivate their audience and drive meaningful engagement.

Welcome to our ultimate guide on Instagram Reels for businesses in 2023. In this article, we'll delve into the nitty-gritty of leveraging Instagram Reels as a powerful marketing tool. We'll explore the origins of Instagram Reels, their similarities and differences with TikTok, and why marketers should pay attention to this exciting feature. Furthermore, we'll provide you with a step-by-step guide on creating a compelling Reels strategy and the best tools to help expedite your Reel content creation.

To get started, watch this quick 5 minute guide to Instagram Reels. Then keep reading as we go into even more detail below:

How Instagram Reels Came About

Instagram Reels originated as a response to the soaring popularity of TikTok. Launched in August 2020, Instagram Reels allowed users to create and share short videos set to music, similar to TikTok's format. The introduction of Reels showcased Instagram's shift towards prioritising video content and building new experiences for its users, as announced by Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram.

Instagram Reels quickly gained popularity due to several factors. Firstly, it provided Instagram users with a convenient way to create and share engaging short videos within the familiar Instagram environment. By tapping into the existing user base of Instagram, Reels attracted a broad audience and offered an alternative to platforms like TikTok, especially for influencers who had already established a following on Instagram. Additionally, Instagram Reels extended its maximum running length from 15 seconds to 30 seconds, and later to 90 seconds, giving users more flexibility in creating and sharing content.

The success of Instagram Reels can also be attributed to its integration of video editing tools, effects, and music options. With a wide range of editing features like AR effects, timers, and countdowns, users can create visually appealing and engaging content. Moreover, Reels seamlessly integrates with the Explore page, enabling users to share their videos with the wider Instagram community, increasing discoverability and potential reach.

Instagram's commitment to Reels is evident through its continuous updates and emphasis on the feature. Reels ads, with a maximum running length of 60 seconds, provide marketers with an opportunity to engage audiences and drive brand awareness through sponsored content. The platform's ongoing investment in Reels signifies its confidence in the format and its potential as a prominent player in the short-form video space.

What This Means for Your Marketing Strategy

Video is the key to social media marketing success! Especially in the short-form format where the Instagram audience is most engaged. To make your mark, you need to develop an Instagram marketing strategy that incorporates Reels to increase your engagement. 

Luckily, there's a ton of fantastic apps and software available to help you create fun, easy, and professional Reels in seconds. We will explore these tools in just a moment. 

10 Tips to Create A Great Reels Strategy

1️⃣ Define Your Objectives: Before diving into creating Reels, it's important to have clear goals in mind. Determine what you want to achieve with your Reel strategy, whether it's increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or boosting product sales.

2️⃣ Understand Your Target Audience: To create engaging and relevant Reels, you need to understand who your target audience is. Do your homework, research their interests, preferences, and behaviors, and tailor your content specifically to them.

3️⃣ Plan Your Content: Develop a content strategy that aligns with your brand and resonates with your target audience. Consider the types of Reels that perform brilliantly on Instagram, such as tutorials, behind-the-scenes footage, storytelling, or user-generated content.

4️⃣ Focus on Storytelling: Instagram Reels provide a golden opportunity to tell stories in a concise and visually compelling manner. Craft narratives that captivate your audience, evoke emotions, and leave a lasting impression. Lights, camera, storytelling!

5️⃣ Keep it Snappy and Entertaining: Reels have a maximum duration of 60 seconds, so it's crucial to grab viewers' attention from the start and deliver your message concisely. Use eye-catching visuals, catchy captions, and engaging audio to make your Reels entertaining and shareable. Remember, in Reels, brevity is the soul of wit!

6️⃣ Leverage Trending Challenges and Hashtags: Jump on the bandwagon of popular challenges and relevant hashtags to increase the discoverability of your Reels. Participating in trending challenges can help you reach a wider audience and give your engagement a reel boost.

7️⃣ Experiment with Different Formats and Effects: Instagram provides a bloomin' brilliant range of creative tools and effects to jazz up your Reels. Have a play with filters, text overlays, stickers, and music to make your content more engaging and visually splendid.

8️⃣ Collaborate with Influencers and Creators: Join forces with influencers and content creators in your industry to amplify the reach of your Reels. Teamwork makes the Reels work! Collaborations can introduce your brand to new audiences and add a sprinkle of credibility to your content.

9️⃣ Engage with Your Audience: Building a community around your Reels is essential for long-term success. Get stuck in, respond to comments, ask questions, and encourage user-generated content to create a sense of camaraderie and reel them in with your charm!

🔟 Analyse and Optimise: Regularly monitor the performance of your Reels through Instagram Insights. Take a closer look at which Reels resonate most with your audience, analyse those engagement metrics, and use the data to refine your strategy and create even more captivating content. The reels of success are all about learning and evolving!

By following these tips, you'll be on your way to becoming a Reels superstar and engaging your audience. Remember to stay true to your brand identity, be authentic, and consistently provide value to your audience. 

For newcomers, here's your step-by-step guide to posting your first Reel:

1. Open the Instagram app and access the Reels feature.

How to post an Instagram reel - Social Media College

2. Customise your Reel settings, such as duration, audio, speed, and effects.

How to post an Instagram reel - Social Media College

3. Record your Reel by tapping and holding the record button, capturing multiple clips.

How to post an Instagram reel - Social Media College

4. Sprinkle some magic! Enhance your Reel with creative tools like music, filters, text, stickers, and more.

How to post an Instagram reel - Social Media College

5. Edit and arrange your clips to create a cohesive Reel that will leave them wanting more.

How to post an Instagram reel - Social Media College

6. Add captions and hashtags to improve discoverability. Think of them as the icing on your Reel cake!

How to post an Instagram reel - Social Media College

7. Share your Reel with the world 

Top Apps and Tools for Reels Content Generation

To help you create marvellous, professional, and easy Instagram Reels, here are some top-notch apps and tools:

The Instagram app itself offers various editing effects, AR filters, audio options, and tools to bring your Reels to life. It's like having your own director's chair!

A marketer's dream! Canva is a versatile graphic design platform that also offers a reel maker. It provides customisable templates, an intuitive video editor, stock photos, music tracks, and text options. Canva's reel maker helps create engaging and share-worthy Reels for businesses. Can-v-a little help in creating your Reels?

InShot is a free app known for its customisable features. It offers filters, stickers, text captions, music selections, and allows resizing, trimming, splitting, and adjusting the speed of videos. It is perfect for creating engaging Reels. It's like having a genie in your phone, granting your video editing wishes!

Filmora is a mobile video editing platform that helps make your Reels visually appealing. It offers features like green screen applications, auto-synchronisation tools, templates, animations, and voiceovers. It can enhance the quality of your Reels. Reel it in with Filmora!

Splice is a video editing app by GoPro. It allows you to edit, trim, and arrange clips, add effects, adjust speed, and synchronise audio. It offers a user-friendly interface and is suitable for creating polished Reels. Let Splice bring your Reels to life!

Mojo is a popular app and software tool that allows users to create stunning and engaging Instagram Stories, Reels, and social media posts. With over 500 unique animated templates, original text styles, background music, and more, Mojo offers a range of features to help users make their content stand out. It's like adding a sprinkle of magic to your Reels!

Top Tips for Reel Success

🔹Be authentic: Create content that resonates with your audience and reflects your unique personality and perspective. Be you-nique!

🔹Capture attention quickly: Grab viewers' attention within the first few seconds of your Reels by using eye-catching visuals, engaging captions, or compelling storytelling. Get ready to reel them in from the start!

🔹Use captions effectively: Add on-screen text or closed captions to make your Reels accessible and engaging, as many viewers watch videos without sound. Let your captions speak volumes!

🔹Experiment with trends: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and challenges on Instagram Reels and put your own spin on them to attract engagement and reach new audiences. Show them your reel sense of style!

🔹Showcase products creatively: If you're a business, find creative ways to showcase your products or services in your Reels. Use storytelling techniques, demonstrations, or behind-the-scenes footage to make your content engaging. Reel them in with your product prowess!

🔹Collaborate with influencers: Partnering with relevant influencers or creators in your niche can expand your reach and tap into their existing audience. Team up and create a Reel dream team!

🔹Encourage user-generated content: Get your followers involved! Encourage them to create and share their own Reels featuring your products or brand. User-generated content can be a powerful way to build engagement and trust. Let them take the Reel spotlight!

🔹Optimise for discoverability: Use relevant hashtags, catchy captions, and engaging descriptions to optimise your Reels for discoverability. This will increase the chances of your content being seen by a wider audience. Get ready to reel in the followers!

🔹Maintain consistency: Establish a consistent posting schedule and stick to it. Regularly publishing high-quality Reels will help you build an engaged audience and maintain their interest over time. Reel-iability is the key!

🔹Learn from data and iterate: Pay attention to the performance metrics of your Reels, such as views, likes, comments, and shares. Analyse the data to understand what works best for your audience and iterate your content strategy accordingly. Reel-ax, adapt, and succeed!

By following these tips, you'll be ready to reel in success and create Reels that stand out from the crowd. Remember, a sprinkle of creativity and a dash of authenticity go a long way!

Top Trends To Get Involved With

The trends on Instagram Reels are constantly evolving, just like a good marketing campaign. Here are some current trends:

Trending Audio Tracks: Popular audio tracks and remixes continue to dominate the Reels trends. Don't miss out on the beat!

Quote Reels: Animated quotes are gaining popularity on Reels. Creating quote-based content using tools like Canva can help businesses easily participate in this trend. Be reel inspiring with your quotes!

Storytelling Reels: Instagram Reels with a narrative or story structure are becoming more prevalent. Craft captivating stories to keep your audience hooked. Reel them in with your storytelling prowess!

Behind-the-Scenes Content: Sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of products, services, or the creative process is a popular trend on Reels. Unleash your inner magician and show them the magic behind your brand!

Interactive Reels: Get interactive! Polls, quizzes, and challenges within Reels are gaining traction. Engage your audience and make their Reel experience interactive. It's reel fun!

Educational and How-To Reels: Sharing informative content, tutorials, or how-to videos on Reels is an effective way to provide value to your audience. Become the reel professor of your niche!

Comedy and Humour: Reels that incorporate humour continue to be a hit. Tickle your audience's funny bone and create a real reel of laughter!

Unique Editing and Effects: Experiment with different editing techniques, transitions, filters, and effects to make your Reels stand out. Add a touch of reel magic to your edits!

Niche and Industry-Specific Trends: Various industries and niches have their own unique trends and challenges on Reels. Stay informed about trends specific to your industry and give them your own reel twist!

Remember, the trends on Instagram Reels are like a never-ending dance. Stay updated, and adapt to new trends that align with your brand and target audience. 

In conclusion, Instagram Reels is a powerful tool for marketers to engage their audience and drive meaningful results. By incorporating Reels into your marketing strategy, leveraging the right tools, and staying on top of trends, you can position your brand as a leader in the social media marketing world!

Jonathon Tanner

Jonathon Tanner

Co-CEO and Co-Founder

Co-CEO and Co-Founder of SMC, earned Social Media Educator of the Year from SMMI. With vast experience in social media strategy and content marketing, he's also a co-founder of other businesses. Specialising in growth strategy, Jon has a background in management consulting specialising in M&A.

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