The word or concept of Reels might sound like something you’ve heard before, and chances are you have! Plenty of people have compared Instagram’s Reels to TikTok, and they’re not wrong. Instagram Reels is Instagram’s version of TikTok.
It’s no surprise either, since TikTok has over 1 billion users, and attracting even a small percentage of those users over to Instagram is a big win.
Today we’ll be diving into the deep end of what Instagram Reels is, and how you can use it to help bolster your digital marketing game.
What are Instagram Reels?
Similar to TikTok, Instagram Reels allow users to take a short video, up to 60 seconds long, cut and edit it on the Instagram app itself.
There are plenty of stickers, text, music and special effects you can add to your video to engage your audience.
Instagram Reels can be found on the Instagram app, down at the bottom center of the app, there is a video reel logo. If you click that, you are taken to Instagram Reels.
Here, users can explore all the different Reels that have been uploaded recently. There is an endless number of Reels on the page. If you want to search for your favorite content creator, you can use the search tab.
Videos vary from 15 seconds all the way up to long-form videos that are accessed via Instagram TV.
If you’ve never created a Reel before, check out this guide to learn about the nuts and bolts of creating this kind of content.
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How to use Instagram Reels for digital marketing
Here are 5 ways you can get on the Instagram Reels digital marketing train!
1. Make content that is educational
If you’ve already got a decent amount of brand recognition, a great way to use Reels is to make educational content regarding your journey, brand, and marketing strategies.
Don’t start off too quickly though!
Share secrets and tips with your viewers, but just enough so they keep coming back time and time again.
Create short videos, with quick tips and tricks you use daily. Keep the content light, fun, and most importantly, educational. Don’t be afraid to sneak in product placements as well!
Even better, host a Q&A and answer a question at the end of each of your videos. Not only will the fan interaction keep your followers coming back, but it’s a great way to help create content, without doing too much yourself!
A great content creator to look out for as an example is Media A La Carte. Media A La Carte is a social media management company that helps businesses grow their social media presence. Every day they post Reels like this one, that help offer viewers tips and guidance on how to be better at marketing online.
2. Create teasers
If you are a host of a podcast, YouTube show or channel, or Instagram TV, then Reels is just for you!
You can use the short form videos to your benefit, creating teasers for your newest episode, or even using them to highlight some of the best moments.
Youtube channels use this method of advertising quite a bit. A great example is Mythicalkitchen, who uses Reels to post some of the funniest moments in their latest Youtube video on Reels.
Here’s a reel from one of their latest episodes.
It’s only about 30 seconds long, but shows you the guest host, what the episode is about and it’s a humorous part of the video nonetheless.
It immediately gets you interested to watch the whole video.
These short-form videos will keep your audience up to date on your latest videos, but it might just bag you some new followers and viewers over on your other channels as well.
That said, it’s important to keep your social media game in check if you’re going to promote your other channels via Reels. It’s not always easy, especially using the correct hashtags to get your video to the right audience.
If you’re having trouble with that, you can always use a hashtag creator to help you. Here are the best free hashtag generators the internet has to offer.
3. Follow the trends
Always be on the lookout for the current trends. The best way to do this is to go to the Reels homepage on your Instagram application and browse through it.
Try to identify if any of the videos are doing the same trend or using the same hashtag.
Once you’ve identified the trend, make sure it fits your brand and content. If you’re a tech channel, it might alienate your channel if you start doing the latest dance challenge.
To find trends, hit the explore button on Instagram and take a gander through all the posts. Look at the hashtags on the posts and see if there are any recurring ones.
This post was on the trending page of our Instagram account. This is a Reel that teaches you how to create a certain type of beat. Not only is it educational, but there is an offer for free drum samples that are used to make the beat.
Before you can download the samples though, there is an email sign-up. This is great marketing. Users who watch through the video will most likely be interested in getting the free samples to recreate the beat made in the video.
The target audience will also most likely sign up with an email to receive the free samples, which means they are now part of your contact list and can be sent promotions to subscriptions or paid for content, in this case samples or lessons.
That said, there might be a way to follow all trends while staying true to your brand, which brings us to tip number 4.
4. Repurpose your content
There are a few ways to go about repurposing your content. The first one is recycling content.
Recycling your content means using videos you might have posted on a different channel or social media platform, like YouTube or TikTok.
From there, you can either make it shorter, edit it, or just repost it on Reels.
It’s a great way to spread your media presence, without having to create new content just for one platform. A lot of YouTube channels with long-form content have been using Instagram Reels and TikTok to post short highlight Reels of their full shows.
Another way to repurpose your content is to make it fit within whatever trend is currently going on. This does take some work and skill since it won’t always be easy to make a trend fit within your brand, but if done well, it could get you tons of views and new followers.
Linus Tech Tips uses behind-the-scenes footage or parts that were cut and posts them as Reels on their Instagram page. This is another smart way of using content that is usually considered to be useless and creating a use out of it.
Here’s an example of a behind-the-scenes accident that occured whilst filming for the main Youtube channel. The full video isn’t posted on the Reel but instead funnels to a different website that is monetized.
5. Showcase Your Products
It’s well known that after the “Adpocalypse” a lot of YouTube channels lost a ton of ad revenue. This forced YouTubers to start capitalizing on their viewers and selling products and getting more sponsorships.
It’s similar to the music business, where music streaming has forced musicians to push merchandise to make ends meet.
Instagram Reels is a great way to create short videos that showcase your products, whether it be clothing, makeup, or a brand-sponsored video.
When Coca-Cola decided to launch their new drink, branded for a younger audience, they knew they would have to widen their reach and do what the “cool kids” are doing.
Here is a reel they created for their new Starlight Coke drink.
This Reel doesn’t do anything special, but puts the spotlight on the new drink, whilst creating fascination. No description is given as to what the drink tastes like, which will result in a large number of people going out and trying it.
Even though Coca-Cola could get away with it, it is important to focus on what your product does differently than other products in the same field, as well as why the pricing is justified. A smaller company won’t have as large an audience and client base as a company like Coca-Cola.
So people need to know why your product is better than the rest.
If it’s cheaper than your competitors, make a point of it. If it’s more expensive, make sure to tell your viewers why it’s worth it.
It’s also important to make sure your viewers are redirected to your product page. A great way to get things going is to add a small discount for the viewers that watched the video. Do this by adding a discount code, but only give it at the end of the video.
Now that you’re all caught up on ways to use Instagram Reels for digital marketing, there are a few practices you should always keep in mind when posting Instagram Reels.
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Things to keep in mind when posting Instagram Reels
1. Research your audience
There are millions of videos already posted on Reels. Use this to your advantage before posting your first reel.
Watch some of the most viewed Reels, and write down what they have in common and how you can do those things in your Reels as well.
If you have any direct competitors, it might be a good idea to go to their Reels and see what they’re doing as well.
2. Have a plan
Unlike Stories on Instagram, which are quick little posts, usually about what people are up to, Reels are much more structured.
Thus, if you plan on posting Reels, make sure to have a plan before you start.
Ask yourself what the goal of the video is, whether it is to promote a new product, educate the viewer or get more followers to migrate to one of your larger channels.
Build your video around the main goal. Keep it short, funny, and most importantly, educational!
These videos are short, usually between 15 and 30 seconds, so keep it to the point.
3. Forget hard selling
We’ve already discussed using Reels to sell products, but it’s important not to try and shove your products up to your viewer’s faces.
Instead, find creative ways of advertising your products, with a link in the description for interested viewers. You can give a quick mention at the end.
Find ways to incorporate your products organically, or try to post an advertisement-focused video once weekly. If every video is just an advertisement, there is no interaction with your viewers. No engagement equals no followers.
5 ways to use Instagram Reels for digital marketing round-up
If you’re looking to expand your digital marketing repertoire, then look no further than Instagram Reels.
Not only are Instagram Reels competing against TikTok, but they’re growing fast because of their better monetization options and integration with Instagram.
Most millennials and gen Z are on Instagram, so getting your products and videos on there is a no-brainer.
With these tips and tricks, you should be well on your way to creating successful Instagram Reels for all purposes.
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Curious to know more about Reels? You may also like:
- How to Make Reels on Instagram: An Easy Guide For Beginners
- What Is The Best Instagram Reels Length?
- How To Add Text to Reels on Instagram (iOS and Android)
- Best Time to Post Reels on Instagram
- Schedule and Publish Instagram Reels with NapoleonCat (Product Update)
- How Does The Instagram Reels Algorithm Really Work?
- What is the Difference Between Instagram Reels and Stories?