This article has been contributed by Thomas S.
Have you heard about Instagram’s new feature, Reels?
Described by some as Facebook’s clone of TikTok, Reels allows users to create and share 15-second video content in a dedicated feed on Instagram.
Whilst TikTok has a lot going for it, including its growth trajectory, Reels allows you to reach the Instagram user base which is a slightly different audience. TikTok is most popular with 16-24 year olds whilst Instagram is most used by 25-34 year olds.
If your customers fall within the older of the two age brackets, you’re in luck. Here’s how you can easily integrate Instagram Reels’ capabilities into your social media strategy and improve your marketing performance.
How To Create Successful Instagram Reels Content
Before you start creating videos, it’s critical to understand the planning involved and how exactly to produce Reels content that will successfully promote your brand and engage users.
Here are several tips to follow when integrating Instagram Reels into your marketing strategy.
1. Build a Strong Video Marketing Strategy
A strategy for social media marketing is a plan for everything your brand does on social media. It’s where you define your goals for your social activity, all the way through to integration with your other marketing activities, implementation and analytics measurement.
Although there is no universal formula for a successful strategy on social media, many marketers include these steps:
- Conduct competitor research
- Define S.M.A.R.T. goals
- Identify niche audiences
- Choose the right social networks
- Generate compelling content
- Schedule social posts using social media marketing tools
- Collaborate with influencers
- Analyze performance against goals
2. Generate Content That Educates
Instagram uses the same algorithm for ranking and showing top Reels as they do for regular feed posts and stories.
Being funny, creative and entertaining are keys to get maximum exposure on Instagram, and Reels is no exception.
Along with providing entertainment, it’s a bonus to be able to teach your users so that they recognize you as a niche expert and leader.
For example, you could try to generate informative content about the influence of COVID-19 on your industry. You can showcase your leadership in the industry to both users and competitors.
3. Leverage User-Generated Content
Time and money have always been important challenges when it comes to video marketing. The good news is that you can leverage user-generated Reels videos to kill two birds with one stone.
Firstly, you save time and money whilst still obtaining quality videos. Secondly, you’ll get the chance to increase your engagement rates because those users will share your content, which automatically increases the reach of your brand.
Product reviews and testimonial videos are great user-generated content that can significantly help you showcase your products.
4. Be Transparent
Short videos are perfect for behind-the-scenes content, which goes a long way to humanize your brand and tell your brand story. In this way, Instagram Reels is a perfect medium to engage with your audience on a personal level and gain their trust.
For example, you could share parts of the manufacturing process of your products. This can be significantly helpful in terms of customers loyalty.
5. Leverage the Power of Influencers in Your Reels Marketing
Collaborating with Instagram influencers is one of the most effective means of increasing brand awareness, especially for small and mid-size companies.
Instagram is king in the world of influencers, and many of them make millions on Instagram each year. In fact, a lot of users want to become Instagram influencers to be able to sell their Instagram accounts.
Instagram Reels is another chance for both businesses and influencers to increase their followers and earn more money.
Try to find the most relevant and highly-engaged influencers in your industry to build long-lasting relationships with. Collaborating in creating videos or even sharing your previous videos can be greatly useful in your marketing strategy.
6. Don’t Forget Analytics
Remember that you can’t rely on a single approach on Instagram Reels – or any medium for that matter – forever. Every plan needs some metrics by which you can measure your performance and adapt your tactics accordingly.
Constantly use social media analytics tools, including Instagram Insights, to evaluate your published content on Instagram Reels. This way, you’ll identify your weaknesses and strengths so you can build on what you do well and avoid wasting time on things you don’t.
You can also use polls to find out which kind of content your users like the most. This is a great approach to optimizing your social media strategy.
7. Use Different Types of Video Marketing on Reels
It’s vital to have clarity around the different types of videos that brands can produce. Using the right type will help you smash your video marketing targets, whilst using the wrong type of video for your purpose will basically be a waste of time.
a. Company Culture Videos
Company culture videos help tell your brand’s story. They show off your company’s personality and make it stand out among the countless niche accounts out there. Event videos and branded videos are two popular videos that companies use to broadcast their cultures.
b. Product Videos
No surprises here – product videos are for showcasing your products and getting people interested in them. Product demo videos and product launch videos are examples of product videos that you can use in your marketing strategy.
c. Testimonial Videos
Brands use testimonials to demonstrate that people love their products or services. With genuine and relatable testimonials, you can gain the trust of your audience – which is vital to successfully generating conversions.
Customer testimonials and employee testimonials are two major kinds of testimonials.
e. Educational Videos
You can use videos to teach your audience something useful about your industry, new technologies, new products, etc. Quality educational videos can be of great interest to users, especially those actively searching for informative content on social media.
Tutorial videos, industry update videos and explainer videos are examples of educational videos.
Examples of Businesses Successfully Using Reels
Let’s take a look at some of the brands out there that are using Instagram Reels successfully to grow awareness and interest.
The official Instagram account of Louis Vuitton has more than 39 million followers and their Reels videos have seen solid performance. Each Reels video has reached around 5 million views.
The brand uses visual effects and creative stories to differentiate their Reels and promote interest.
2. Adam Waheed
This is another verified account on Instagram that uses Reels to maximum effect. Adam Waheed uses his Instagram account, which has 2.4 million followers, to promote and drive users to his clothing product website.
His brand and products are all about humor, and he uses his Reels videos to drive this home.
With more than 1.7 million followers, Sephora France is a sought-after beauty and fashion influencer on Instagram.
She’s been extremely successful in using Reels to increase her audience reach. 300K views is the result of sharing engaging content that encourages viewers to interact with her posts.
You can see branded videos, product reviews and user-generated content in her Reels. If you want to learn how to use Reels to become an Instagram influencer, this is a must-follow account for you.
This is another fashion influencer on Instagram with more than 460K followers. She’s also taking advantage of Reels as a great tool to enrich her feed and gain more niche followers.
Having seen significant success on TikTok, she’s trying to replicate her use of short video clips to reach millions of views for each Reel as well.
This account features mouth-watering clips of French street food dishes. With more than 40K followers, the verified account has taken advantage of Reels to showcase various restaurants.
Understandably, they’re in high demand from restaurant owners wanting to boost their profile and visits from Instagram users.
Instagram Reels vs Top Video Sharing Platforms
Instagram Reels is a newcomer in the kingdom of video-sharing apps and sites. To know exactly what you’re working with on each channel, it’s important to understand the differences between Reels and video giants like YouTube and TikTok.
As the largest video-sharing network, YouTube has drawn the attention of the majority of marketers across the world – and it’s easy to see why.
- YouTube has over 2 billion logged-in monthly users.
- Over 80% of people between 15-25 years old in the U.S. use YouTube.
- 80% of users who watch branded videos on YouTube buy the product/service.
- Max video length: 15 minutes by default, can increase up to 12 hours.
As one of the most downloaded apps globally, many brands should consider TikTok in their video marketing strategy. Here are some useful TikTok statistics.
- More than 40% of users on TikTok are aged between 16 to 24.
- 50% of TikTok users are under 35.
- Users spend an average of 52 minutes each day on TikTok.
Instagram is an incredibly popular social network across the world. More than 1 billion people use the app, which makes it a great platform for audience reach.
Here are several other Instagram stats that can encourage you to use it for your business:
- 70% of Instagram users are aged less than 35.
- 70% of U.S. brands use Instagram for marketing.
- 50% of Instagram users follow one business profile.
Instagram offers multiple video marketing options for businesses to take advantage of to reach and engage with new audiences.
a. Feed Videos
Regular feed videos on Instagram can range from 3 to 60 seconds.
On IGTV, regular users can post 15-sec videos from their apps and 10-minute clips using the web version of the platform. Users with a verification badge can post 60-minute videos.
Instagram Stories disappear 24 hours after posting and are restricted to 15-sec clips. If you want to create a longer video, you can film longer clips and the app will trim them down into multiple 15-sec videos for you.
Instagram Live videos can be up to 60 minutes long and are obviously streamed live.
As we now know, Reels is Instagram’s latest feature Instagram and is most similar to TikTok. It allows you to record 15-sec videos and combine them with your favorite music on Instagram. The upside of Reels over TikTok is that Reels is embedded within Instagram, which already has billions of users.
How To Use Instagram Reels
Once you’ve integrated Instagram Reels into your marketing strategy and you’ve planned the content you’re going to produce, it’s time to start using Reels!
To view other users’ Reels videos, open your Instagram app and go to the Explore page (the magnifying glass icon on the bottom, second from the left). The main video you’ll see is a Reels video. Tap on the video icon in the bottom left, then start scrolling to see what’s out there.
All the engagement functions such as Like, Comment, and Share are just like regular feed posts.
Creating a new Instagram Reel is also really simple. From the Reels feed, tap the camera icon in the top right. Or from the Home screen, tap the camera icon in the top left, then scroll across at the bottom to “REELS”.
You can use any song that you like for your video. Just tap on the song below the caption in the video, and on the new page, you can create a Reel using that song.
To edit your new Reel, you have numerous editing tools. You can see 4 major action icons listed down the left side of the Reels’ screen:
These four features enable you to be creative and broadcast your message easier and clearer.
When it’s ready, add Reels to your story or send them to your friends directly.
Instagram Reels has opened a gateway to businesses and marketers for new opportunities for to strengthen their brand’s presence on social media. By using Reels, you can introduce your new products or events transparently and include your customers as part of your story.
Follow our 7 easy tips for integrating Reels into your video content strategy to make the most of these new opportunities. Keep on top of brands that are successfully sharing content and connecting with their users on Reels to ensure you’re up to date with the latest trends. Finally, maintain a focus on where Reels fits within your strategy compared to YouTube and TikTok to ensure you’re leveraging each channel for their respective strengths.
About the author: Thomas S is a content writer with more than 5 years of experience in social media marketing. He has written numerous articles about digital marketing, brand marketing, blogging and search visibility.