With 75% of all Instagram users taking action after viewing a video ad, it’s easy to see why businesses and marketing professionals worldwide are increasing their social and video content efforts.

We all know Instagram loves to make changes to their algorithm from time to time. Gone are the days of a chronological feed, and we’re welcomed an onslaught of updates to the platform in the past week, Story links for all accounts, ‘Add Yours’ Story stickers, and Collabs are among our favs!

Instagram users spend an average of 30 minutes per day on the app, so Instagram wants to ensure that they see the most recent and relevant content to them. To keep up with video marketing trends and consumer video usage, Instagram is prioritising video content in the feed, especially Reels as they want users to use the new feature. Let’s dive right into this.

Just like Stories, Reels can’t be scheduled or used to create a paid promotion. So, it makes sense that the idea of Reels is to be short, engaging, and personable.

We understand that it’s rarely possible for businesses to use every single platform perfectly. This leads us to our next point:

Why should you consider Instagram Reels for your business?

  • If it’s on-brand for you. Think about your brand personality and content pillars. Reels can be great for connecting with your audience on a deeper level, but it needs to be relevant.

  • It gives you the opportunity to reach a larger audience. If you’re looking to grow your audience, Reels are a feature you should consider. There’s no hard and fast rule about how to convert these viewers to followers but posting Reels will increase the likelihood of your content being exposed to more users.

  • It can be a fun way to make your brand more personable. If your brand personality is feeling a little stiff or you want to inject some relatable content with your team or brand to your feed, then Reels are a great way to do this. Short and sharp, and with some catchy music, your audience can get to know you, your team and brand a little better by creating a quick Reel. Before you think we’re suggesting you encourage your team to create dancing videos, think back to your content pillars. What would your audience like to know about your brand or team? It can be as simple as posting a then vs now video of your office. Or could you teach your audience how to do something? 96% of people have watched an explainer or how-to video about a product or service, indicating a wide market for this type of video.

We know that the algorithm favours Reels that:

  • Are interesting and exciting (i.e., it grabs people’s interest, makes them laugh, delights them, or
    has an enjoyable surprise or twist).

  • Are inspiring (i.e., it could start a trend so other people can easily get involved).

  • Use creative tools like text, filters, camera effects, or music.

  • Are shot vertically.

  • Are experimental and different.

We also know that the algorithm does not favour Reels that:

  • Are noticeably recycled from other apps (i.e., have a TikTok watermark on them or a logo).

  • Are uploaded with a border around them.

  • Do not meet the Instagram Community Guidelines.

  • Are blurry due to low-resolution.

  • Have most of the image covered by text.

Our Insights:

  • Drafts only last seven days, so make sure you download your work in progress if you aren’t planning to upload within this timeframe.

  • Business accounts can’t access verified music at the moment. You’ll need to change the account’s category to Entrepreneur (found under Edit Profile, Profile Information, Category) or change the business account to a creator account temporarily (Settings, Account, Switch account type).

  • On the topic of music, the use of popular music/audio can be extremely beneficial to growing your audience. Users can click on sounds that they like to save it for themselves, or to see more videos using a similar concept. Your choice of music is important as it shows your audience what music you associate with your brand, and it can give your business another chance to be discovered through your Reel.

  • You can hop on the latest video trend concepts, but make sure this trending concept still aligns with your brand and content pillars. Try to add your own original twist if you can, as it shows that your business is relevant and adaptable.

  • Post your Reels when your audience is most active on Instagram. You can use Instagram Insights to inform you of when this is.

  • Add a cover to your reel and post the Reel to your feed. This means you’ll be consistently active, and it gives you the opportunity to make it fit within your theme. There are options to move how the cover will crop within the feed, just make sure the image you choose isn’t cut off by the square restrictions. If you’re worried your audience won’t be able to find your Reels, they can still be found under your Reels tab, next to the feed.

  • Add captions to your Reels. 92% of consumers watch videos with the sound off, so we recommend that you make sure you’re catering to their needs too.

  • If you use TikTok and Instagram Reels for your content marketing, you can create the video in Instagram Reels, download the video and then post it to TikTok. You’ll need to add music again, but it won’t have a watermark.

  • The length of your Reel should depend entirely on the content within it. Longer videos are suited best to educational and how-to videos, whereas fun, inspiring content is best suited to a maximum of 30-seconds.

If you’d like to make the most of the Instagram Reels feature for your business, get in touch with us, we’d love to discuss a strategy for you.

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