Instagram introduced a new feature called Reels in August 2020 that became one of the hottest upload formats on the platform. Instagram Reels, like TikTok, allow users to take short videos, upload them with music and special effects, and share them with their followers. These reels are also visible on the explore page.
Because of its appeal to Instagram app users, brands used the new feature to improve their social media marketing strategy. If you want to do the same for your business, here are some tried-and-true ways to effectively use Reels to boost brand awareness.
5 Best Ways To Use Instagram Reels for Marketing
These are five ways you can use Instagram Reels to ramp up your digital marketing efforts. With these simple tips, you can use the social media platform to let more people know about your products and services.
1. Show What Happens Behind the Scenes
Instagram Reels lets users upload 30-second clips, making it ideal for brands to connect with their audience on a personal level through short and creative videos. One of the best ways to do this is by giving your audience a quick peek behind the scenes in your company.
For instance, if you own a local pizzeria, your audience probably knows that your pizzas are a feast for the eyes. You may have uploaded countless images of your food in your Instagram feed or in your Instagram Stories. But with Reels, you can show the hard work that goes into making and delivering your pizzas.
You can use Instagram Reels to create a “Day in the Life” video content. Doing so can be an excellent way to highlight the efforts of your team members and give your audience a look into your company’s work culture. This strategy also demonstrates how a product fits into a customer’s daily routine.
If you use Reels, you do not have to make elaborate edits for your Instagram post. This advantage can help save time and money for your marketing department.
2. Aim for Views, Not Engagement With Instagram Reels
To keep your audience growing on Instagram, you must understand how users will engage with your reels. For TikTok videos and IG Reels, it is crucial for brands to keep growing their audience, but you should not expect this growth to happen in the same way.
Because the Instagram feature is so new, the platform recommends videos with lots of likes and views. Meanwhile, TikTok recommends videos with high engagement counts.
Since most users are still not familiar with the new IG feature, they would not be sharing, engaging, or commenting with reels as they do on other platforms.
Instead of monitoring the engagement rating, Instagram checks watch and like counts and recommends reels based on these two factors. This is how Instagram's algorithm works; users will notice this as soon as they click on their Discover Page tab.
You can also study this algorithm by checking out brands or content creator accounts that upload the same clips on Instagram and TikTok. You will notice that videos with low comment counts but high watch and like counts will still be recommended.
What this means for influencers and brands is that they should not be disheartened about engagement ratings on Reels. Remember that this is not TikTok. If you are making videos with consistently high views, then your content marketing strategy on Instagram is working.
3. Create Informational Content
Remember that the most critical aspect of making a short-form video is keeping the product as the secondary focus. When trying to appeal to your audience with short, creative, and informational content, do not forget that you are not making a traditional ad where the product is the central focus.
What you want to create is an entertaining video that effectively promotes your product in a more subtle way. Showcasing products upfront can be a good idea, but brands on social media should do this by jumping onto trends. They should focus on creating unique and innovative content rather than the product itself.
Doing so allows you to create posts in your Instagram account that would jump out amid the barrage of available social media content. To get customers through your digital marketing strategy, you need to get and hold the attention of your audience first.
You can take advantage of the feature’s tools and effects, like seamless transitions, to demonstrate your knowledge and inform your viewers.
Owning a niche is how TikTok creators got popular within a couple of months. By doing informative videos and owning that niche, you can get people to notice your brand.
For example, Kevinbparry is a stop-motion animator with 1.3 million Instagram followers. Although his priority as a small business is to sell his skills, he is openly sharing some animation secrets to help other animators.
In January 2022, he uploaded a tutorial where he talked about how he created a stop-motion video he uploaded earlier. He used a voiceover and fun overlays to explain his creative process. The reel became popular and had over 113K likes as of August.
The number demonstrates how much Instagram users love this kind of informational content. By letting users know how he creates his innovative videos, Kevinbparry has gained consistent engagement and following.
This is an excellent example of why brands should put all inhibitions aside when creating reel content. This is only one of the many secrets of a successful Instagram marketing campaign.
Another secret is knowing how to structure your video. Here is a short guide that can help.
How To Structure Your Reels Depending on Video Length
- In the first three seconds, talk to your audience about what the post is about. Use on-screen text or stickers to show this.
- After the introduction, show your impressive product or reveal whatever you have planned.
- You can say more about the product to add value to your reel video. This information should help you get your point across.
- End your new video with a strong call to action (CTA). This CTA could be product-related or just telling your followers to engage with your posts more.
- Follow the same steps above, but instead of having a CTA between 14 and 15 seconds, you will introduce a cliffhanger to keep your bounce rate down.
- Then, you can talk about product information or answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) relevant to your brand.
- Resolve your cliffhanger by sharing new information.
- Add a powerful CTA at the end of the video.
- Because you have more time, remember to use every second wisely. Encourage viewers to finish sitting through all 60 seconds of your reel by adding, “Watch ‘til the end.” You can also ask a question that will make them stay and watch the whole thing.
- Choose background music that aligns with your 60-second video.
- Remember to keep it simple, informational, and entertaining. Include your hook, intro, and valuable content. End with a call to action.
Pro Tip: “Instagram has a built-in music library with audio you can use in your Reels. Look for the Audio option on your app to access the copyright-free tracks.”
4. Partner With Influencers and Share UGC
The most crucial selling point of the new Reels feature for brands is it facilitates authenticity. People today do not just want ads shoved at their faces. They want to join communities and be a part of something authentic.
Behind-the-scenes reels are not only effective in sharing more about your company, but it also boosts authenticity. Another way to do this is by using user-generated content (UGC).
With UGC, you can enjoy the benefits of getting your audience involved, including authentic content from actual customers and higher engagement rates.
To start, you can partner up with micro-influencers who will create mini videos for you where they use your services or products. UGC and influencer marketing can be powerful tools for your social media marketing strategy.
The downside of using influencer marketing is that finding the right one to partner with may be challenging. Here are some simple yet useful pointers to help you out:
- Look at the influencer’s content: Beyond follower size, the content of an influencer is another crucial factor to consider. See if the person shares your brand’s values. Ask yourself if you will be comfortable associating your brand with the content they post.
- Industry credibility. You should work with someone who is relevant to your company’s industry. For instance, you want to promote an update to a video game. You can work with streamers with huge social media followings and ask them to work with you.
- Supportive audience. When looking for an Instagram influencer, you should also look at how engaged their audience can be. Moreover, you want to work with someone whose audience overlaps with yours, but not by that much. You want to reach new audiences; not just keep talking to the same individuals who follow you already.
- Platform activity. You should choose an influencer active on the platform you are using, in this case, Instagram. For example, you want to sell a game gaining popularity on YouTube. You found a lot of popular streamers interested in advertising the game live. Before you choose, make sure they are also active on Instagram, where they can get the engagement you want.
You can also host a hashtag contest, where you encourage people to post short clips of your product and tag your brand. Give rewards to participants with the best submission or highest-performing content.
A hashtag contest can incentivize your followers to publicly praise your brand, which can boost your brand’s social proof. You can gain new followers who will see posts from the contest on their Discover pages.
5. Showcase New Releases or Your Products in Action
Have you ever purchased a product online only for it to arrive different from what you had in mind? Using Reels to demonstrate your products in real-life scenarios can save your audience from this grief.
You can also use the new feature to highlight the best capabilities and benefits of your new product. In your video, underscore its unique selling point (USP) and how it can address your customers’ pains.
One great example is how PlayStation promoted a new game Stray, where players play as a cat in a post-apocalyptic world.
In July, the gaming giant posted a reel of the main character, Ginger, jumping on a pail and using it as a zipline, traveling high above the slums. In less than one month, the clip had over 1.3 million views. The short video successfully offered a peek at the gameplay while showcasing the game’s impressive camera work and graphics.
This tactic is a simple example of how beneficial Instagram Reels can be when marketers use them right.
How Other Brands Are Using Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels have become a hot trend not only among social media fans but also among businesses. Although the new feature does not drive sales instantly, it can be an excellent way to engage your audience. These advantages result in increased brand awareness and loyalty.
More and more companies are implementing the new feature into their content marketing strategy. Here are some brands that used Reels to create creative and engaging content for their audience.
H&M is an international clothing brand with 38.4 million followers on Instagram. The company is one of the firms that understood the assignment perfectly well when it came to using Reels. It quickly realized that this feature is perfect for promoting products by showcasing various looks.
The brand’s content creators are frequent users of Instagram Reels and TikTok. They know how their audience communicates, and they are not afraid of using the language of Gen Zs and Millennials.
Glamnetic, a makeup brand, does not need expensive lighting to create engaging Reels. The company uses a simple setup to show how its products work, making it easy for viewers to know how they can use them.
The brand also uses background music to make its videos more appealing. This is only one of the great benefits of using Reels. It has an embedded music feature with an impressive library of songs that users can choose from.
Samsung, the giant electronics brand, proved how knowing your audience can be important to a company’s marketing tactic.
The firm’s reel strategy is to publish various content types to entertain its audience and promote its product. Samsung’s Reels are designed to resonate with their target audience: tech lovers.
It also publishes visually engaging videos that have a huge potential to become viral. That said, the company posts reels not only with entertainment in mind but also with the uniqueness of its products.
If you do not have the time and resources to brainstorm Reels content, you can outsource it.
For instance, Apple tapped the creative studio Incite Design to create a how-to video using the iPhone 12. The latter made a quick tutorial of two Apple products highlighting the phone's slo-mo effect, which is an essential product feature.
Pandora is an internationally renowned jewelry brand that uses Reels of different styles to engage its audience.
The brand made a promo of their latest collection featuring pop stars like Charli XCX. Pandora also partners with influencers and uses UGC to add authenticity to its Instagram profile.
Although the brand’s reels feature different styles, their new content have one thing in common: the main focus is always on the jewelry.
Mission Recruit, an employment recruitment company, uses reels to share some hiring tips and tricks with its audience. These pointers make its content valuable to its audience and make the brand look credible.
Using Instagram Reels, the firm taught tips about hiring, interviews, and even recruitment during the holidays. Whether you are an employer or a person looking for your next job, you will find Mission Recruit’s reels helpful.
Build Your Instagram Community With Archive
Creativity and innovation are requirements if you want to use Instagram Reels effectively. With this new feature, you can demonstrate rare, behind-the-scenes clips from your firm and give your audience an idea of how you create your products.
Because it is different from TikTok, Instagram Reels do not require you to stress about consistent engagements. You only have to worry about making quality content that your audience will want to watch.
To use the feature more effectively, remember to add something that gives value to your posts. Think of how you can make your reels more educational. Remember that you want your audience to get something from your posts, not just see your content as another piece of advertisement.
Try different approaches when creating reels. Work with Instagram influencers relevant to your industry to add credibility to your marketing campaign. You should also be as creative as possible when making your videos. You want your viewers to watch your clips until the end.
Take advantage of the video format of this new feature. Before reels, you can only post images on Instagram. Now, you can record a video, which allows you to tell a more detailed story about your company.
These are simple ways to use reels effectively. Keep them in mind, and you will have a more powerful social media presence that can drive growth and build brand awareness.
If you want to improve your advertising tactics on Instagram, reach out to Archive today! We can help you manage UGC content and make it easy for your brand to know how you can boost your digital marketing strategy using social media.
We can help you grow your followers on Instagram. Contact Archive today if you have any questions or need help with your digital marketing strategy.
FAQs on Ways Brands Can Use Instagram Reels to Improve Their Marketing Strategy
What’s the recommended length for a Reel?
The best length for a reel depends on the type of content you want to share and your audience's preferences. Regardless of the length of your reel, know that the key moment happens within the first couple of seconds. During this time, users will decide if they want to keep watching the video or not.
How often should brands post Reels?
Brands should post reels when marketers have something worthwhile and scroll-stopping to share. If reels are a massive element of a brand’s content strategy, social media handlers must come up with four to seven reels per week.
What are the benefits of using Reels?
The most crucial advantage of using Instagram Reels is increased engagement. The platform’s algorithm is designed to promote the new feature, meaning it will keep recommending reels to users. Another benefit is that it allows brands to stand out among their competitors.