A Guide to Instagram Reels

A Guide to Instagram Reels

In 2019 and 2020, TikTok, a new short-form video social media network, soared in popularity, pulling the attention of users away from other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram’s answer? Reels. 

Instagram Reels was launched as a competitor to TikTok, creating a place within the traditional Instagram feed for short-form, user generated video content. In theory, Reels is very similar to TikTok; in practice, Reels tends to be more curated and consumer focused. Nevertheless, Reels allows accounts to be reached by many more users than traditional feed posts and is a highly effective way for business accounts to drive their marketing goals.

As a feature, Instagram Reels has now been around for a while, and yet for many businesses, it’s only recently that they have started dipping their toes into the short form video platform.

We have tried and tested a range of Reels content for business accounts in a number of different industries, including the property sector and the food/drink sector. Here are some of our findings:

  • The right audio is key
    • One of the big challenges for business accounts on Reels is the use of audio. As a personal user, the most enjoyable Reels feature popular music, with new videos often found by clicking on an audio and watching videos that use the same audio. As a business account, licensing prevents popular songs from being used in 99% of cases, meaning videos rely on purchased or royalty free music. A way to get around this is to use another users’ ‘original audio’ that might include popular music. As you are unable to search for these audios, platform managers will need to continually save these audios, once discovered, for future use. 
  • Under 30 seconds works best for content without voiceover
    • As appetite for short-form video content has increased, average attention spans have decreased. According to Facebook, users have an average attention span for video content of just 2 seconds. This means that for Reels videos, the first 2-3 seconds need to hook the viewer – from there, the video needs to keep the user entertained and engaged, ideally ending before the 30 second mark. Videos that feature voiceovers can last longer, although the general principle of entertaining the viewer still applies.
  • The algorithm is everything
    • Success on Instagram Reels can appear random. The algorithm that decides which videos to promote to the top of the feed is complicated and dynamic meaning there is never a guaranteed method to success. Regardless, there are a few basic principles that will mean your video is more likely to be promoted to a wider audience. Email us today to speak to our Instagram Reels expert.     
  • Keep it simple
    • As businesses, we love to overcomplicate things by trying to cram too much info into one post or message. It’s crucial that for a Reels video, you keep it simple. The video shouldn’t try to do more than one thing; it needs to capture a single feeling or peak interest in one aspect of your business – it doesn’t even need a call to action, if users are interested, they will click through to your profile without prompt. 
  • Inspire
    • Once all is said and done, Instagram Reels is there to entertain. Users want to be inspired and engaged and this is the best way to make impactful videos that reach wide audiences. Inspire feeling and you’ve hit the marketing jackpot.

To speak to us about Instagram Reels, or to enquire about our Reels packages, email our Social Media and PR Account Manager: bobby@village-design.co.uk

By Bobby Marsh
6 Apr 2022