Instagram Reels launched globally as of August 2020 and has quickly been dubbed the infamous knock-off to TikTok. It is easy to see why, with many of the features very similar, if not identical to TikTok.
So what is Instagram Reels?
Simply put, Reels is a new way to create and discover short entertaining videos on Instagram. The feature is built directly into Instagram Stories and allows you to create humorous videos with quirky filters and audio tracks while editing your video as you go. The best place to discover Reels is from your explore page, this is important for business marketers as Reels is currently taking up ⅔ of the landscape within the explore page.
So why should you consider Instagram Reels for your business?
While I can empathize if Instagram feels like a full-time job, with the Feed, Stories, Go Live, and IGTV, you must be wondering do I need Reels, and is it worth it?
Considering the extent to which we have seen TikTok explode in the last year alone, Reels is worth your attention. Simply put, Reels is Instagram’s (or Facebook’s) way of seamlessly replicating and leveraging the appeal of TikTok’s functionality in order to keep its users within the Instagram app. Understandably so, as according to Adweek, TikTok was downloaded more times than any other app had been downloaded before in Q1 2020.
While we are all aware that in Q1 and Q2 most of us were in some sort of a lockdown, the quickest adopters of TikTok were Millennials. This generation is very attractive to advertisers so its no surprise that Facebook was quick to want in on the action. If you are looking for a new approach to add to your business advertising, IG Reels is worth considering – strike while the iron is hot and get ahead of your competitors.
How do Reels differ from Instagram’s other features?
An interesting way to look at Reels is like a middle ground, nestled between IG Stories and IGTV. On the one side, IG Stories are ephemeral short-form videos located outside of your feed, disappearing after 24 hours. On the opposite side, IGTV is long-form video content housed under a separate tab within your feed, allowing content creators to expand on their creativity with series etc.
Reels is a happy medium – 15-second video clips like Stories but they live longer than 24 hours and remain on your Feed.
How does this benefit your business?
Are you struggling with low engagement? Do you want more followers? Are you looking for more exposure? Then IG Reels may be the way to go.
Instagram has already proven to be an excellent sales and marketing tool for businesses and has proven that growing your business online is possible. While Reels is still relatively new, it is worth incorporating it into your next ad campaign.
How do you start?
- Educational content – a good starting point would be to make sure you’re sharing educational content. This is an effective strategy for most marketers getting started and looking to grow their online presence. If this is something that you think would work for your audience, include things like tips, tricks, how-to’s, resources and hacks in the form of a 15-second short-form videos.
- Inspirational content – people follow accounts that make them feel inspired so establishing how your business can help someone feel inspired is vital. Using these 15-second video clips, you could assist your audience in discovering what they are already looking for, focusing on providing a solution to their buying need in a friendly, engaging environment.
- Showcasing your products – sharing demos and tutorials of customers using the products and displaying all features works well for both digital and physical products. Reels can showcase your product in action while highlighting the benefits in video form, helping you make sales and engage with your Instagram community.
- Showcase your community – this is the perfect way to make it not about you but your audience. Which clients can you feature? Which customer review can you showcase? Which Facebook group member can you highlight? Whose business can you shout-out? Reels are a fantastic way to illustrate who exactly your product or service is benefiting, further supporting a purchasing decision.
- Showcasing your personality – people do business with people not necessarily brands. Showcasing who you are as a business, your humour or fun side is a great way to build trust. Use the effects to highlight this and if you are feeling a bit daring showcase your dance moves show people your brand’s human side!
At the time of publishing, there were no ad formats or placement options on the backend in Facebook Ads Manager. We do anticipate that this will soon be rolled out as a feature like Stories. Instagram tends to cultivate new types of users and content on its app before it attempts to monetize it.
A final thought
Always try to be a leader in your space whilst pushing your creative limits. If you’re still unsure of potential benefits of using Reels for your business, don’t be intimidated to try something new.