If you’re an avid Instagram user, and you haven’t been living under a rock. Then yesterday you might’ve noticed the world cause a frenzy over a new feature. After trialling it out in a few countries over recent months, Instagram officially released their new Reels feature to over 50 countries yesterday. And that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today. Instagram Reels and what they mean for your brand.
Let’s get into it.
What are Instagram Reels?
From the official Instagram announcement: “Reels invites you to create fun videos to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram. Record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools. You can share reels with your followers on Feed, and, if you have a public account, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore. Reels in Explore offers anyone the chance to become a creator on Instagram and reach new audiences on a global stage.”
If you want to read the full Instagram announcement go here — https://about.instagram.com/blog/announcements/introducing-instagram-reels-announcement/
Does it all sound a bit familiar? If you’re thinking the new feature sounds a bit like TikTok you wouldn’t be wrong. Whilst Instagram Reels don’t offer the full scope of features you can access on TikTok, the premise is pretty much the same.
So, can we all forget about TikTok?
Personally, I only used TikTok to create videos to share on Instagram anyway. So for me it’s a no brainer. I can do it all in Instagram without the hassle of having to try and grow a new audience.
I know some people saw massive growth on TikTok and have been able to leverage that to grow their other social media platforms. So for them, it would make sense to keep leveraging the app. That is, if it’s still around. For me, that wasn’t quite the case. Either I jumped on the bandwagon too late, or I just wasn’t using it right lol.
There are some other benefits to TikTok that Instagram Reels hasn’t quite covered yet. TikTok has much more scope for sound options as you can upload your own audio. Instagram doesn’t allow this. TikTok allows up to 1 minute videos. Instagram Reels are only 15 seconds. TikTok allows you to duet with other creators which is a great way for user interaction.
So I don’t think all TikTok creators are going to jump ship just yet.
How do Instagram Reels work?
If you have used TikTok before then the basic way it works is pretty much the same. But, for those that are new to this kind of thing, let me break it down for you.
Step One: Open up Instagram Reels, you’ll find it in the same spot you usually go to share Stories.
Step Two: Use the icons down the left side to choose your effects. You can add music, choose your zoom setting, and choose filters (you can change your filter for each clip you record).
Step Three: Set your timer and record your first clip.
Step Four: Keep repeating those steps until you have all the clips you want. You can shoot up to 15 seconds.
Step Five: Once you’re happy with your clips you can then go into the next editing phase and add your text, stickers etc. You can adjust the length of each bit of text by moving the white bar at the bottom of the screen.
Step Six: When you’ve finished editing, click the white arrow to take you to the final screen. This is where you can choose your cover (either a clip from the video, or upload a separate image), and add your caption. Then hit share.
Step Seven: The reel will now be visible in your feed. If you’d like to share it to your stories you can do that manually from your feed. From what I’ve noticed, even though I have my posts set to auto share to Facebook I have to manually share the reels. So will need to explore that more. Also, like IGTV videos, if you don’t want the reel visible in your main feed, you can toggle the blue button if you don’t want it to be shared to your feed.
And that’s how you create reels, pretty easy right?
Here’s a few of mine for you to get an idea of the end result.
So, what do Instagram Reels mean for your brand?
We all know video content is more favoured these days. Don’t believe me, here’s some stats confirming just how important video is in marketing — https://www.smartinsights.com/digital-marketing-platforms/video-marketing/video-marketing-statistics-to-know
And if you’re someone who struggles to get your face on camera a lot. This is a fun way to show up without actually having to talk to the camera. Your audience can see you, they can get a sense of your personality. You can get comfortable getting on video. It’s a win-win.
Not to mention, like with any new feature, Instagram wants people using it. So if you show them you’re willing to use their new features, they’ll reward you by showing your content to more people. As you can see, the reach on my Reels is a lot higher than my recent IGTV videos. This is not a coincidence.
Also, when you go to your discover page, there is now a separate section dedicated to Reels. When you open it up it brings you to a viewing experience very similar to TikTok’s where you just keep scrolling through videos. The videos take up the full screen so you’re taking up much more real estate which makes your brand stand out more.
In conclusion, if Instagram is your social media platform of choice, then I recommend jumping on using Reels as it will be highly beneficial for exposure and brand awareness.
And that’s my thoughts on Instagram Reels and what they mean for your brand. Have you used the feature yet? What are your thoughts?
For more tips on how to build a powerful personal brand on social media, check out this post — https://jadescarfone.com/2019/04/how-to-establish-a-stronger-personal-brand/
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