May 4, 2022

Your Guide to Reels

Your Guide to Reels

Written by Rachel AntonyYou most likely have heard the term “Reels” by now – one of the latest features on Instagram and the biggest talking point about how to increase your reach on the platform. ICYMI an Instagram Reel is a short-form, vertical video that can be up to 60 seconds long usually it’s paired with a trending audio, voice-over or the original audio. You can share a reel on your Instagram feed, stories and Reels feed.

The Vertical Video Movement

If you’re not incorporating video into your content strategy, you’re doing it wrong. In 2022, online videos account for 82% of all internet traffic (Source) and garner higher engagement than other forms of content. Quick form, vertical videos have taken over after the explosion of TikTok in 2020. Vertical videos capture your audience's attention quicker and for a longer period of time, when compared to still posts (Forbes).If you’re committing to creating more reels and vertical video, you can repurpose the content on other platforms such as TikTok, Instagram + Facebook stories, YouTube Shorts and ads.

Reels Strategy

Just like any content marketing, having a strategy before you jump headfirst is important. Spend time on the reels tab and other businesses’ profiles to see how they’re incorporating reels into their content and determine what you like or don’t like in terms of video content, audio, transitions, etc. As tempting as it is to create a reel with every new trend, it’s important to keep your brand intact and keep your target audience in mind.Some reel ideas to get you started:

  • Q&A with the business owner
  • FAQ about products or services
  • Behind the scenes of the business
  • Introducing your team
  • How-tos with your products
  • Tips or tricks related to your business or industry
  • Before & Afters using your product or service

How to Record + Publish a Reel

Reels are meant to be consumed on your phone so filming either through the Instagram app or on your phone’s native camera are your best bet to stick with the optimal dimensions. The content should have an aspect ratio of 9:16 and a size of 1080px x 1920px.Record the video on the Instagram app with a chosen audio or upload your video from your phone’s library. Add closed captions, text overlay, stickers and other effects to make your video engaging and informative.Once you’re done editing the video, move to the next screen to write the caption, tag people, add hashtags and upload a cover for the video. When choosing a cover you can either select a frame from the video or upload a photo from your library. If you’re creating your own cover, make sure it follows the dimensions mentioned above.You can choose to have the reel be published to your reels and your feed, or just your reels. It’s recommended to do both so that you reach your audience that is already following you + the new audience from the reels feed. You can also change the cover photo for your reel after the reel has been published.

How Many Reels Should You Post?

Staying consistent on any social platform is key to success but what consistency looks like is different for everyone. Ask yourself how many high-quality reels can you create at a sustainable rate? It could be one a week, five a week or one every other week. It’s better to post less if that means the content will be high quality and value-driven for your audience.However, if you’re looking to jump on a trend or use a trending audio, you have to plan, record and publish within a couple days for the video to be relevant. When you’re creating your strategy, it’s important to include both trending reels as well as evergreen brand content. Especially if you need to plan content ahead of time.

Why You Should Be Posting Reels

Not only do they over a more engaging look into your business or brand, they also have the potential of reaching people way past your current following. Taking TikTok’s lead, Instagram will show your reel to people based on if they would be interested in the content even if they aren’t following you. You have the potential to reach exponentially more people and as a result could find new followers, clients or connections.Your Instagram Reel strategy is key to growth on the platform and engaging a new audience. It’s a minimal investment to try as long as you have a phone. The more you practice the transitions, editing and coming up with new concepts the better your reels will get.