Over the pandemic there has been a real surge in people consuming short-form video content. One success story being TikTok, which to date has over 689 million global active users, verses a comparatively low 91 million users back in June 2020.
So, it’s no surprise Instagram launched its own version of short-form video content in August 2020 called Reels. Reels enables users to create and discover short, entertaining videos on the platform. You can record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects and creative tools and share them with your followers on your Feed or (if you have a public account) you can make them available to the wider Instagram community through the Explore section of the app. The Explore section offers anyone the chance to become a creator on Instagram and reach new audiences on a global stage.
Reels is currently the most highly engaged with feature on Instagram and reaches the most people. This means you’ll get more eyeballs on your content and potential followers. As its newest feature, Instagram is pushing Reels over other content and you can expect them continue to this push as Reel ads are on the horizon.
With the addition of Reels, Instagram now has five content placements – posts, Stories, Live, IGTV and Reels – which can be quite overwhelming when looking to create content across all to maximise your Instagram audience. Posting static grid images are still important to engage your audience, however Reels enables you to create low budget video content quickly. Video content usually requires a lot of investment of time and money, but Reels completely removes this – so it’s worth taking advantage of. Not all video content has to be glossy and professionally filmed these days. Believe it or not, it actually helps to have ‘rough around the edges’ content to give it a more accessible and authentic feel.
Stories is also another way to post video content on Instagram, but the difference being Stories expire after 24 hours (unless you save them as highlights to your profile), whereas Reels has the added benefit of being permanent. Reels offers great sharing functionality, which means you can share Reels to your Stories and grid and viewers can easily share Reels to their Stories, allowing you to reach wider and new audiences more quickly. Similar to a grid post, you can use a maximum of 30 hashtags for a Reel and with the large 2,000-charater limit you have space to engaging copy alongside hashtags.
Instagram Reels uses a proven and highly addictive formula to attract and engage Instagram users, as its concept is modelled on TikTok’s wild success. Because Reels is still a new feature, Instagram’s algorithm is favouring accounts that are regularly publish and engage with Reels – with brands seeing up to five times the amount of video views when using the format.
Now is definitely the time to jump on the opportunity with these short videos that enable big reaching audiences which can turn into followers and followers can turn into loyal customers. To use Reels, really think about how you can use the content to educate your audience, showcase your business personality and values and highlight what differentiates your products or services from your competitors.
If you would like to discuss how Reels can benefit your business, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.