Instagram Reels has emerged as a dynamic short-video platform akin to TikTok, offering content creators a fresh way to captivate and engage audiences. With numerous brands already on Instagram, leveraging Instagram Reels for Instagram marketing has become a compelling option.
What are Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels is a feature within the Instagram platform that empowers users to craft and edit short videos, ranging from 15 to 30 seconds. These Reels can consist of single or multiple video clips, incorporate music, and integrate creative AR effects. Users can share Reels with their followers, add them to Stories, and showcase them on the Explore Feed.
Why Use Instagram Reels for Marketing?
- Vast Audience: Instagram boasts over 1 billion active users, providing a substantial audience base. If you already publish content on Instagram, Reels offer a valuable extension of your outreach.
- Expanded Reach: Instagram Reels not only reach your existing followers but also the broader Instagram community if you have a public account. When featured in the Explore tab, Reels introduce your content to users beyond your regular Feed.
- Extended Lifespan: Reels have a longer lifespan compared to Instagram Stories, allowing you to feature them in your Feed and the Reels tab of your profile. While Stories vanish after 24 hours, Reels endure.
- Entertainment Value: Reels are inherently fun and engaging. They align with the surging popularity of video content and provide a user-friendly means for brands to entertain and delight Instagram users, both familiar and new.
How to use Instagram Reels for Marketing?
Here are 5 verified ways to use Instagram reels for marketing to grow your brand.
1. Providing a Glimpse Behind-the-Scenes
Instagram Reels offer a unique opportunity to forge a more personal connection with your audience due to their concise 30-second format. Offering a behind-the-scenes look into your brand allows your audience to witness the dedication and effort involved in delivering your products or services.
Consider a local pizzeria: while your audience admires your pizzas through regular Instagram posts, revealing the craftsmanship and diligence behind the scenes can create an engaging Reel. An example is Dubsado, a business management tool, showcasing the care put into their welcome packets.
Creating a “day in the life” Reel introduces your company’s work culture, acknowledges your team’s contributions, and displays how your product integrates into a customer’s daily routine in a brief yet impactful manner. These glimpses, within 15-30 seconds, cultivate empathy, humanize your brand, and amplify authenticity.
2. Use Original Content
Authenticity is a central feature of Instagram Reels. Avoid solely pushing product promotions—instead, engage with your audience and foster a sense of community. Encouraging user-generated content is an effective method to achieve this.
By collaborating with micro-influencers or transforming fan-submitted photos into Reels, you involve your audience, generating genuine content. Organizing a hashtag contest further encourages customers to share their experiences, showcasing social proof and widening your brand’s reach.
An instance includes FlowSkate, a skating instructor, tagging Beatleap by Lightricks in a Reel, leading to substantial views. Beatleap wisely reposted this user-generated content, showcasing its ease of video creation.
3. Educating Through Quick How-To’s
Beyond highlighting authenticity, Instagram Reels offer a platform to exhibit your brand’s expertise. Offer quick guides on using your products or services and address frequently asked questions. These how-to videos can extend beyond your business—such as demonstrating how to make pizzas at home, fostering engagement and relatability.
Utilize Instagram Stories’ Q&A sticker to gather questions and provide informative, humorous answers in Reels. This approach establishes your brand as knowledgeable and reliable. For instance, Two Spoons, a vegan recipes brand, educates followers through Reels repurposed from TikTok, expanding their audience reach.
4. Showcasing Products in Action
Showcasing your products in practical scenarios prevents misunderstandings upon purchase. Highlight the unique features and benefits, emphasizing why your product stands out. Coffee Over Cardio showcases their coffee products through engaging Reels, allowing customers to visualize the products effectively.
For businesses selling items like training shoes, demonstrations of its functionality, coupled with outfit ideas, serve as persuasive content. Ensure to captivate the audience within the initial moments of the Reel to retain their attention.
5. Infusing Fun and Personality
Embrace the core essence of Reels by connecting with your audience on a more personal level. Share engaging content, such as the CEO’s morning routines, team conferences, or relatable bloopers. Embrace trending memes or video styles that resonate with your brand or create your unique challenges, nurturing authentic connections with your followers.
By being open and authentic in your Reels, you strengthen the bond with your audience, making interactions more enjoyable and genuine.
Comparing Instagram Reels with TikTok
Instagram Reels was launched in May 2021. It was a response to TikTok’s rise. However, it’s less prominent within the Instagram app and features a less-defined algorithm. Users encounter Reels from both familiar and unfamiliar accounts based on their interests.
TikTok holds an advantage with a broader array of features, including effects, sounds, and editing tools. Given TikTok’s exclusive focus on short-form video, it excels in this domain. While Reels doesn’t directly compete with TikTok, it offers an easier transition for Instagram users, making it an attractive option for marketing purposes.
Understanding IGTV Video
IGTV is a separate Instagram feature introduced in 2018. Unlike Reels, it’s more oriented toward longer-form video content, allowing videos of up to 10 minutes. IGTV functions as a series, where audiences tune in to watch “episodes” on a brand’s IGTV channel, whereas Reels provide shorter, informal video snippets.
Instagram Reels, introduced during Instagram’s first decade, shows promise in the realm of short-form video content. With Instagram users already inclined towards video, and the broader appeal of short-form videos on social media, the future seems bright for this feature. As Instagram enhances discoverability, potentially integrating Reels into the main navigation, it could become an integral part of your marketing strategy.
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