It feels like yesterday when Instagram introduced Stories in response to Snapchat, so we are not surprised by their move to win over the TikTok audience and creators with Instagram Reels. By implementing Reels, Instagram users and businesses become creators of short, fun, and dynamic vertical videos unique precisely because of various transitions and effects.
While TikTok is under fire from critics due to the collection of data from users, Instagram Reels is becoming more popular day by day. But we still see that brands are apprehensive about this new feature as they were about TikTok. So if you want to catch the fun, 15 seconds train and you don’t know where to start, keep on reading.
Tik Tok, Tik Tok… it’s time for Instagram Reels
While large and already well-known brands use Instagram Reels to expand and reach new audiences, it is ideal for smaller brands to quickly and efficiently build their brand and visual identity. The main advantage of it is that you have an already existing Instagram community, and you don’t have to start from scratch like on TikTok.
The video creation capabilities are the same. Users can post the Reels video on the main feed or publish as an Instagram Story and publicly within the Explore tab to be available to more users (not just followers) to go viral.
Make time and space for Instagram Reels in your video marketing strategy.
Use Reels to engage with your audience. Tell your brand’s story, show the fun side and stay true to yourself because today, if you are not authentic, you won’t have an active community that follows your every step.
Let them see your human side and make them feel connected. Before you start with filming, create a plan and make space for this format in your content strategy.
Have a clear image of what you want to achieve and what kind of content your audience loves to react to.
- If you are just starting and working on reaching your audience, you will focus more on fun, sharable content to increase brand awareness. For example you can incorporate trendy dance challenge, make a funny video or something that is a hot topic in your industry.
- You want to showcase your new product. Instead of talking about it, create a quick tutorial on how to use it or give them hacks where the product will be the solution.
Know your target audience.
Analyse previous reactions to existing videos on your platforms to see what type of content performed the best. You can also create surveys on Stories with Poll or Quiz stickers to get even more insight from your audience.
- Be consistent. Start with one Reel a week, and then gradually increase the number when you see what type of content your audience likes.
- Avoid reusing existing content. Instead, think about how you can create an upgraded version for Reels that will add new value for the brand.
- Write Down Content Ideas That You Want To Test
Now is the time to take action. But it’s not enough to record a classic video as you do for an IGTV or YouTube because a successful Reel must have interesting musical elements, cool edits, dynamic recordings, and transitions.
Take, for example, the famous “What’s in my bag” video. When you are filming it for YouTube, it is enough to turn on the camera, take the purse, start taking things out and talk. Creating it for Reels, you will implement a cool melody, take things one by one out of your purse, record each one separately with a camera, and add some text. Easy peasy.
Here are 4 content suggestions that you can easily implement.
Behind the scenes
show the audience production process behind their favorite products. If you offer services, you can show how you prepare or how the day in your business looks like.
Educate your audience and teach them something new
people love tutorials, and this type of video has been popular since the very beginning of YouTube. For example, a sports equipment store can demonstrate five exercises to relax a sore back that you can do at your workplace.
Showcase your product in a fun way
it is not surprising that animal videos have over a million views and shares. Think about how you can incorporate elements that will make the audience laugh because if you do, you’ll have a stronger connection with them.
Recreate viral challanges
look for trendy challenges and tailor them to your brand. If you do this during a time when the popularity of the challenge is at its peak, you have a chance for greater visibility.
Pro tip – use a Storyboard in which you can write down all the scenes and needed elements of your video. It will make the filming and editing process easier.
Get On Reels and Do The Twist
You don’t have to come up with viral content. Go on Instagram, watch Reels, and see what type of content out there performs well, whether that is related to your industry or not.
Maybe you see something and think – Oh, that looks good, that is something my business reflects, and I can do it in an authentic way for my brand. It’s not about copying other creator work; it is about adding, taking a specific part or move, deconstructing, and making it your own.
Let’s say that your brand is producing stylish mugs and you come across a currently popular 30 days outfits challenge. Here is what you can do:
- Create your 7 day coffee challenge in which you will present a different type of coffee in the new cup every day. This way, you create an educational element and yet promote the mugs you have on offer.
- Work with influencers on creating Reels for your brand or you can sponsor an influencer who is currently doing this challenge. For example, before she changes from her pajamas into an outfit for the day, she reaches for her cup, takes a sip, and transforms into an outfit, with the cup still in her hand.
Now is the time to start creating on Instagram Reels.
Later, it will be much harder to stand out among millions of brands and creative short videos. If you create quality Reels your content will likely become visible to the broader community on their Instagram feed and through a space on Instagram Explore. According to everything, Instagram Reels could very quickly overtake TikTok in popularity mostly if the ban happens in the US.
About the author
Social Media Manager at digital agency Bamboo Lab. Martina helps clients to establish their online presence and connect with their audience, which includes planning and implementing digital marketing strategies across social media platforms. Passionate about telling stories through video content, especially one in a vertical format. That’s why you’ll rarely see her without a phone in her hands.