Tell me if you can relate to this scenario:
As a small business owner, you know you need to commit more time and effort to your social media marketing. But just posting is challenging enough, not to mention coming up with clever, informative Reels and finding the time to record, edit, and get them up on your page.
Plus, you’re not even sure if you’re doing it right. Are you using the right audio? Is the recording too long or too short? Do you look completely ridiculous?
If you’re nodding your head “yes,” I’m here to tell you you’re not alone. And you’re not wrong either.
When I first started experimenting with Reels, I was completely overwhelmed. There was a lot to learn, but with a bit of research and lots of practice, the whole process became easier — even fun!
With just a few go-to tips and tricks in your social media toolbox, you too can become a Reels enthusiast and use them to engage your followers and reach a whole new audience.
Let’s get started!
The Basics Behind Reels
Instagram Reels allow users to create short, entertaining videos using a catalog of music and user-generated media on the platform. Like TikTok, Reels can have sound, effects, and music added to them, and they’re meant to be fun and creative.
So, why are Reels important for your business?
In 2021, Instagram announced they’d be shifting their focus from square photos to video, experimenting with “full screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video,” and they’ve tailored the app to prioritize this type of content.
Traditional posts, for example, achieve their maximum viewership within approximately one day, while Stories disappear after 24 hours (unless saved to Highlights). On the other hand, Reels have incredible visibility; check out your “explore” feed, and you’ll see your top videos are almost always Reels content, which means more eyeballs on your business.
Reels Tips & Tricks
There are many different ways to create a winning Reel, from lip-syncing over audio to musical transitions and photo/video montages. (Search around and see for yourself!)
If you’ve never recorded a Reel, I suggest watching a few YouTube tutorials or playing around with the tool when you have the time. At Brand Social Marketing, we also host Reels Workshops regularly, so be sure to follow @brandsocialmarket, sign up for our newsletter, and check out our website for information about upcoming sessions.
Once you’re ready to get started, remember: Reels don’t have to be complicated. But there are a few expert tips to make the process easier.
Here are my top 5:
- Do a little Reels research.
Just like you set aside time to engage with other accounts on Instagram, take a few minutes each day to scroll through Reels. Keep your business in mind, and remember you can use audio in different ways. Could you put your own funny spin on a piece of audio? If so, save it for a future Reel! (See below for more details.)
- Save complete Reels — not just the audio.
If you find audio you’d like to use, do yourself a favor and save the entire Reel. Why? If you only save the audio, you might return to it later and completely forget how you planned to use it. (Trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way.) By saving the entire Reel, you can see how another account has used the audio and use it as a jumping-off point.
- Use trending audio for more views.
Using trending audio for your Reels means they’re likely to gain more views and increase the chance of virality and engagement. To identify trending audio, look for the “trending” arrow in the bottom left-hand corner of the Reels screen. But remember: Audio could be trending one day and not the next, so double check your audio before recording. (If it’s no longer trending, the arrow will be gone.)
- Don’t forget text on screen!
While you’ll want to write a caption for your Reel, just like a traditional post, you also need text on the screen. Why? The context can be lost without explaining what you’re talking about, and your viewers won’t understand how the video relates to your business. This text can be as simple as a headline or as detailed as a tip list. You want people to be entertained, but you don’t want to leave them confused, so don’t forget to add some amount of text!
- Always save your Reel to your camera roll.
I can’t stress this one enough! After you’ve created a Reel, click the download arrow to save it to your camera roll on your phone. Even when you save a Reel in “Drafts” on Instagram, you can sometimes lose it when you sign out of the app. So, use this as an insurance policy and always double save your Reel to your camera roll and Instagram. Trust me, it’s incredibly frustrating when you’ve taken the time to record a Reel only to have it disappear!
These fool-proof tips will help streamline the Reels process, but there’s always more to learn!
For more information about Reels, be sure to follow @brandsocialmarket on social media and stay tuned for details about our next Reels Workshop! We’d love to see you there.