XX min read

How To Use Instagram Reels for Brands and Influencers

Published on
September 23, 2022
Well-crafted Reels are vital for any influencer or brand wanting to make a mark on Instagram. Learn about Instagram Reels’ best practices here.

Reels on Instagram have taken off like wildfire, with the hype growing daily. The good news is they present a fantastic opportunity for brands and influencers.

Instagram Reels are often digestible, brief kinds of video content similar to the concept of Tiktok. Instagram users may shoot and edit 15-to-60-second Reels. You can share them through Instagram stories, the Reel page on your profile, and the Explore tab.

So, are Instagram Reels worth the buzz for brands and influencers? Would they work for social media marketing of any business or industry?

We provide an in-depth look at Instagram Reels in this guide. It covers everything from what it is to how it can be used as a brand or influencer.

Why Do Instagram Reels Matter?

Reels are all over Instagram. The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced that Instagram was "no longer a photo app" in June 2021. He underlined Instagram's change to focus on engaging video content instead of mostly photo content.

The change was due to two factors. Using Reels instead of other video formats increased engagement and organic reach for some industries on Instagram. The results indicated that Instagram needed to pivot to compete with Tik Tok and other key rivals, such as Snapchat.

Having a range of content types in your Instagram marketing strategy is critical. More importantly, brands must keep up with marketing trends and embrace video content like Reels.

Using Reels to promote your brand on Instagram is an effective strategy. Here are reasons you should start using Instagram Reels today.

Higher reach

The incredible reach your posts may get is the most significant reason for using Instagram's newest feature. Higher reach was Instagram's primary focus in developing Reels.

The statistics show that individual posts saw increased engagement and allowed the involvement of more people with Reels. For example, the NBA clubs' Reels got 67% more interaction than typical social media posts. The same results applied to several other online sectors as well.

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More engagement and monetization

Reels are now the best way to get more views and interaction on Instagram than any other post type. Since Reels is Instagram's newest feature, they are promoting its content above all others and making it a priority for its users.

Additionally, using Instagram Reels offers several extra advantages, including the potential for monetization. When Facebook integrates Instagram into its ad placement strategy, successful Reel users can earn money from their posts. That presents an excellent incentive for people to use Reels.

Showcase your brand's personality better

People like to get to know the people behind a brand. Instagram Reels provide an effortless way to humanize brands and show brand personality in a fun manner.

Using Instagram Reels, brands and influencers can develop a genuine tone of voice that connects with their target audience. You may reward those who watch your Reels with discounts and exclusive chances to keep them interested.

More exposure

Every content creator aims to get on the Explore page. It allows Instagram users to discover new posts and accounts they may like based on their previous Instagram activities. That means you can get much brand exposure to hot leads on that page. Reels can get you there faster.

Because of Instagram's focus on Reels content, it prioritizes accounts that use them for inclusion on the Explore page. You will never need to spend hours deciding which hashtags to use to get on the Explore page.

Source: Pexels

How To Use Instagram Reels for Brands and Influencers

While many factors go into building a good Reel, one of the most crucial is using engaging, on-trend audio. The effective use of audio can improve engagement and reach of your content, increasing followers, subscriptions, and sales.

How do you know which trends to use while maintaining your brand image? How do you learn which audio is trending, and where do you get it?

Let's find out more about Reels. We will discuss trends, the anatomy of a Reel, and how to make your Reels step by step.

Explore Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels are unlike Instagram Stories, IGTV, and Instagram Live. Instagram's Explore feature is a terrific place to start looking and seeing what other creators are up to with trends.

The Explore page, controlled by the Instagram Reels algorithm, highlights popular posts from accounts with high levels of user engagement. Checking out other people's Reels is an excellent way to learn from the masters of Instagram.

Note: Don't jump on the trend bandwagon unless the structure and content are appropriate for your brand voice.

Familiarize yourself with Reels

It is vital to plan and create Instagram Reels in advance so that the quality is consistent. However, it is also necessary to familiarize yourself with this format's many elements.

Go to Instagram Reels and look at the bottom-left area of the screen. You will see several things. These include who uploaded the clip, a "follow" option, and a "sponsored" tag if the Reel is an advertisement.

The Reel's caption appears underneath the username, which is crucial for social media managers. Your Reel's visibility on Instagram depends on the phrases and hashtags in your description, so it needs a top-notch copy.

The star emoji with text at the bottom of the screen describes the Reel's effect or filter. If you want to view other samples of the effect or try it out for yourself, tap the box.

Additional text appears under the description explaining the video's audio or the box for special effects. Tapping it will show you more Reels that use the same audio. You can access the current audio by tapping on a thumbnail picture at the bottom of your screen.

You will see buttons on the right-hand side of the screen. With these buttons, you can leave a comment, like a video, or send a direct message to the creator. The section also displays the number of likes and comments. The three-dot menu allows you to flag the Reel for reporting, sharing, saving, or remixing.

Finally, you'll see a camera icon at the top right of the screen. If you're feeling motivated to make a video, tap the camera. Instagram will automatically offer to use the same soundtrack and special effects as the Reel you've been viewing.

Think of your objective

Reels are a creative and fun way to share on Instagram. Knowing your goals is the first step to deciding what kind of Reel to make and how to engage your audience.

For brands and influencers, coming up with new ideas for unique content may be challenging. That is particularly so if you feel like you've struck a wall in your creative process.

Instagram Reels helps you showcase your content and items to your followers. However, having unique and compelling content ideas and a clear objective is crucial. That applies to reaching a wider audience or showcasing your content and products to people that already follow you.

Identify your target audience

A vital part of a successful Instagram marketing plan is identifying your target audience. Unless you know what attracts and motivates your followers, you'll struggle to engage them. You can use what you know to choose the best strategies for reaching your target audience on Instagram.

In-depth analytics can help you make better creative decisions and make your content strategies more engaging. On a larger scale, analytics can help you spend your time and money on methods that work for them.

You should add Reel metrics and overall social media reporting to your Instagram reports. Reach, and engagement metrics can help you determine whether a Reel was successful and how to improve it.

Come up with ideas for your Reel

Within 60 seconds, Instagram Reels can increase brand awareness, engage customers, and even promote products to increase sales. It helps immensely to keep your daily content short and sweet. The best part is you can use a smartphone to make this content.

Here are some effective ways to use Instagram Reels to build your brand:

  • A behind-the-scenes look at your brand and employees
  • Share customer testimonials or success stories
  • Share educational content that features your product
  • Let people know about your promotions, sales, and offers
  • Repost Stories as Reels
  • Run Instagram Reels Ads

Develop a storyboard

Reels, unlike Instagram Stories, should be scheduled much like your grid posts. Storyboarding helps you think out concepts for the ideal Reel.

The first stage is to develop an idea for your Reel and then outline the purpose of your post. For instance, what do you want your followers to take away from watching it?

Next, make a short list of the scenes you want to capture after determining your call-to-action, and then begin shooting. Knowing what you'll film for each frame makes shooting go more smoothly and keeps you within the 60-second limit.

Start recording your Reel

As soon as your Reel concept is down, it's time to start shooting. Instagram users and creators have three ways of creating Instagram Reels:

  • From the Reels Tab: Tap the Reels tab and press the camera icon on the top right.
  • Instagram home screen: Tap the "+" on the top right and scroll to the Reels tab at the bottom of the screen.
  • Instagram Story camera: Find the Reels icon positioned either between the default Normal mode and Create mode or in the bottom menu next to Story

You can customize Instagram Reels for lefties and righties by picking the side where your toolbar appears before filming. Tap the "Settings" button in your phone's upper right corner to access the camera settings.

You can record Reels in a sequence of clips, all at once, or by uploading videos from your camera roll. The front-facing camera may automatically start recording whenever you open the camera app.

If not, you can begin recording the first clip by pressing and holding the capture button. You'll see a progress bar as you record. End each clip by stopping the recording. Reels offer hands-free filming, a built-in timer, and a countdown effect.

Aligning your clips is helpful if you want to make smooth transitions between different parts of your clips. You can change the video speed by 3x,.5x, 1x, 2x, 3x, or 4x from the left sidebar.

Tap the three-star icon above the record button to access Instagram's effects gallery.

Tap "Edit clips" to trim, reorder, or add more.

To delete a clip, long-press it and press the minus sign.

Add background audio

An essential aspect of the new Reel feature on Instagram is that it no longer limits users from including audio in their videos. You can choose a song from Instagram's music library to add to your clip by tapping the audio icon. Alternatively, you may record a Reel with your original audio while shooting.

Tap the Audio button on the recording page to search for music on Instagram. You can browse trending sounds, search for specific sounds, and save your favorite audio by swiping left on a track. If you enjoy the audio on a Reel, tap the song's name and hit Save Audio to your bookmarks.

Pressing Preview will take you to the next screen, where you can record a voiceover. To record your voiceover, tap the microphone icon. The Preview screen also lets you blend background music and sounds from your camera. This option is accessible by tapping the Audio icon at the top of the preview screen.

Note: Music available to Instagram business accounts differs from the music available to personal Instagram accounts. Business accounts can choose from a collection of sounds free of copyright restrictions.

Include effects and stickers

If you use Instagram Stories, you already know that you can add stickers and effects to them. You can do the same for Reels.

Reels are already engaging, but adding effects and stickers makes for a more exciting experience. Make sure you use them creatively so viewers will not hesitate to tap your stickers.

You can start the Reels editing process in one of two ways. One is to tap the magic wand symbol on the recording screen. The Magic Wand allows you to control how much your photo is softened or airbrushed by Instagram.

Another way is to tap the sparkling stars icon that appears on the screen while recording. Tapping it gives you access to a library of special effects. You can search for specific effects, look at effects you've saved, or sort through categories using "trending" and "appearance" filters.

You can tap on individual effects to find out how they work and who made them. You can also save effects or send them to a friend.

An interesting feature of Instagram Reels is the ability to add automated subtitles, which is crucial for accessibility. Any speech in your Reel should have captions. Tap the Sticker icon and select captions to use this feature.

Note: Captions are helpful for people who like to watch reels without the sound on and the hearing impaired. Not using captions can affect the impact of your Reels.

Attach other clips

Thinking about too many details ahead of time can hamstring the creative process when making a video. Fortunately, Instagram made it possible to first live in the moment and then figure out how to make the best Reel out of the footage.

Make multi-scene Reels

  1. Open the Reels recording screen.
  2. Select the effects or audio you'd like to use, and press and hold the "Record" button for video capturing.
  3. Repeat the above steps when adding another clip to your recording. Do this for each clip you want to record.
  4. To add a previous video clip to your camera roll, go to the square button in the bottom-left corner, tap "+" to open your "Photos" folder, and select the clips.
  5. To preview, edit or delete any clips, tap the "Preview" button in the bottom-right corner or "Edit Clips" at the bottom left.
  6. To reorder the clips, tap the "Reorder" option on the editing screen, press the clip, and drag it to your desired position.
  7. Tap the "Play" button in the bottom-left corner of your screen to ensure you're satisfied with the result of your Reels Video.

Squeeze more into your clip

Were you thinking of making a Reel out of a video longer than 60 seconds? With creative tools like Time-lapse, you can fit more into your Reels.

Whether you're showing how to cook a simple recipe or how to do daily makeup, time-lapse videos are the solution.

  1. Open the screen for Reels.
  2. Tap the 1x icon on the left.
  3. Select the speed of your recording. Choose the 4x speed to do a quick time-lapse, but you can also use this tool to do slow-mo recordings of 0.3x to 4x speed.
  4. Press the record button to start recording. Tip: If you add music, it will play super slow or fast so that you can keep up with the beat!
  5. Tap the arrow icon when you're done to go to the editing screen. You are now ready to share it.

Tag, publish and share your Reel

Now you can finally show off your hard work.

  • Once you've reached the last screen, add a caption that resonates with you.
  • Tap on the video's thumbnail to upload your cover image. You may also choose a frame from the video as the cover image.
  • You can now choose whether to post your Reel to the Instagram Feed. For the best reach, we suggest sharing on Feed.
  • Aside from tagging other accounts in your Reel, you may also invite a collaborator by tapping "Tag People."
  • If users agree to collaborate, Instagram will share your Reel with their followers. They will appear as a co-author.
  • Reels are searchable on Instagram's Explore tab. Apply the same hashtag approach you do for grid posts to maximize your reach.
  • You may add an audio title and location and turn on "Recommend on Facebook" to boost your reach.
  • Lastly, tap "Share."

And just like that, you've successfully submitted your first Reel - congratulations!

Source: Pexels

3 Tips for Creating Instagram Reels for Brands and Influencers

How do you get your audience's attention now that you know how to make an Instagram Reel? Is there a trick or a hack to this?

What makes Instagram Reels stand out is achieving the right balance of authentic content, audience hook, value, and trend. Depending on your audience, getting the perfect blend takes trial and error.

1. Hook Your Audience

Reels let your brand reach new audiences that traditional content does not. Here is a great way to hook viewers and get them more involved.

For the video's first three seconds, use a great "hook" to get their attention. Warn your viewers of its nature immediately and use editing tools like stickers and text. Use FOMO (fear of missing out), curiosity, and other techniques to get their attention.

If your Reel has a "wow" factor, now is the time to use it. In the next 3 seconds, show the most exciting part or say something that will keep your audience's attention. It will determine if your audience will want to keep listening or not.

The next part is adding sounds and music to the knowledge bombs. Give your audience what they need. It could be advice, tips, insights, and more.

In the video's last 3–4 seconds, add a call-to-action. Remind your audience about the action you want them to take.

2. Provide Authenticity

Always provide original and creative content that is true to your brand values for your Reels to stand out. Don't be scared to go in-depth with your storytelling since Reels gives you the platform to be more raw and relatable. Social media audiences are always looking for an authentic brand-consumer relationship.

3. Hop on Timely Trends

Aligning with the organic vibe of the Feed is an essential part of Reels engagement. However, you also need to be on point with the latest trends.

Hopping on trends will allow you to stay relevant and makes you more discoverable on the platform. The Instagram algorithm will also push your video up, which can help you get a lot of new followers.

Make Reels and invite people to remix or engage in conversation with them in the comments. Use relevant hashtags to make your content as visible as possible.

And that's a wrap!

Gain More Followers With Archive

Instagram's Reels feature is a great tactic to keep your audience entertained and engaged. You can share Reels with your followers through your Instagram profile and Feed. If your account is public, your Reels are accessible to the whole Instagram community through the Reels tab and the Explore page.

Reels offer brands and creators fitted with a plan and some creativity to reach new audiences on a global scale and engage with their audience. It also gives brands and creators a place to talk about their products and services in a fun and engaging.

Instagram Reels are worth the buzz for brands and influencers. Since it's growing daily as a marketing platform, it's more important than ever for brands and influencers to build effective Instagram marketing strategies.

Check out the Archive App today to make this process easier. It can help you get to know your customers, build trust in your brand, and gain more followers!

Do you want to know how your customers see your brand on Instagram or get ideas for your next Reel? Use the Archive app to see whenever your brand is mentioned on the social media platform. Download today!

FAQs on Instagram Reels for Brands and Influencers

How is Instagram Reels different from Instagram Stories?

Instagram Reels doesn't allow photos, unlike Instagram Stories. All Reel content must be short-form video. You can seamlessly mix multiple videos to create transitions.

Another difference is you can only share stories with people who follow you on Reels. However, you may upload Reels to the Explore page, where the whole Instagram community can watch them.

How are brands and influencers using Instagram Reels?

Users want brands to be more authentic. Reels like that produced by luxury purse brand Anima Iris humanize the brand and forge connections with its audience. For example, it announced an upcoming campaign with a sneak peek at product photos. It was an excellent pre-launch tactic since it raised curiosity and excitement among the followers.

What is the maximum length for each video?

Instagram Reel is a short-form video with a time limit of up to 60 seconds. Each video's maximum length can be between 1 and 5 seconds by dragging the sides of the slider.

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