How to Use Instagram Reels to Market Your Brand
Instagram launched a new video editing feature called Reels in August 2020 to give IG users more content creation options on the app. It lets users create short-term videos that can be shared either publicly or with select followers on IG. Here’s how marketers can use Reels to promote their products or services.
Introducing Instagram Reels
It lets social media users record, edit, and upload 3- to 15-second mobile-only videos to Stories, Instagram Explore, or their IG feed with music, sound dub, and visual effects.
Reels’ camera and editing features also include:
- Additional editing tools – These include augmented reality effects, transitions, and the ability to speed up or slow down videos.
- Sound credits – If a content creator uploads native audio, IG will credit the original user if others overlay the audio clip over their video recordings.
- Recording/uploading options – Share clips with a single long take or a series of shorter takes.
- Quick sharing – As already mentioned, clips can be shared via your Instagram Profile, Feed, Explore, or Stories for maximum exposure.
- Privacy controls – You can manage your privacy settings with the option of sharing Reels with just close friends and family, or with a public audience in the Reels section of IG Explore.
To use Reels or start capturing video, click the icon in the lower-left corner of the clip as you scroll through your IG feed. You’ll also find the icon in the upper-right corner of your Instagram profile. If an account you follow uploads a Reel, you’ll see that clip in your feed while scrolling.
The main distinction between IG Stories and sponsored content is the new Reels feature currently doesn’t support ads. But it still has marketing potential since published Reels are visible to over 1 billion monthly active users.
The short clips also appear in users’ timelines as video suggestions to break the monotony of continuous scrolling. These suggestions are highly targeted, with Instagram using a sophisticated algorithm and behavioural data to identify which videos and accounts users are likely to follow.
Further it’s possible to create supplementary content that supports or leads to a paid IG campaign for your brand. So while you can’t pay to get their videos in front of your target audience, you can still make Reels part of your digital strategy if you want to reach IG users via this new feature.
How to use Instagram Reel for digital marketing
Know your audience. Reels has many similarities with video-sharing app TikTok, which is popular with Gen Z (ages 6 to 24 as of 2020). As part of the Instagram brand, it also appeals to millennials (ages 25-40 as of 2020). Considering the age range of IG’s user base, you need to plan your Reels and overall digital marketing campaign around their interests.
Plan ahead. Reels might seem casual, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the time to plan your video content and invest time in idea development, messaging, and content creation. It’s advisable to create a storyboard before getting straight into Reels. It’s possible to upload existing/pre-recorded videos, and so there’s no need to record clips in-platform, so you have more options when it comes to preparing high-quality videos. Think of your overarching digital video strategy – if you haven’t got one, now’s the time to develop it.
Stay on-brand. Reels can be funny, entertaining, inspiring, thought-provoking, or completely random. Although there’s no hard and fast rule to creating short-term videos for Reels, you need to make sure that your clips are high-quality and strategically aligned with your brand and your overall digital marketing campaign. Likewise, you’ll need to create a steady flow of diverse and relevant content.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips and suggestions:
- Each clip can be 3 to 15 seconds long
- Each clip will be viewed in 9:16 (1080 x 1920) ratio, or full-screen vertical
- Create content meant for quick, single, and on-going engagement
- Create strategic links between your Reels and your other digital campaigns
- Focus on authentic brand messaging
Creating educational content can help position you as an authority or expert in your niche while product videos can help showcase your offerings and drum up interest around a new product. You can also share user-generated content to encourage engagement while cutting back on production time.
Determine how Reels aligns with a bigger multi-platform campaign. Since Facebook owns Instagram and all its tools, paid campaigns can include anything from Facebook ads to sponsored IG Stories. When planning your Reels, find out how this news feature plays into an existing multi-platform campaign:
- What gap does Reels fill in your digital marketing campaign?
- How do followers engage with your brand across different platforms?
- What stage of the funnel does Reels address?
- How much of your marketing budget are you willing to allocate to it?
Humanise your brand. Short clips are perfect for engaging your audience on a more personal level and gaining their trust and loyalty. Give your followers a peek behind the scenes with Reels. This helps humanise your business and tell your brand story. For instance, consider sharing a short segment of the manufacturing or fulfillment process, a short clip of an employee’s birthday surprise, or a video of your team in action.
Work with influencers. Working with influencers can help increase brand awareness, especially for small businesses. Instagram is full of influencers, some of whom have thousands to millions of followers. Influencer marketing gives businesses the opportunity to build their following, expand their reach, and potentially drive sales.
Develop Reels around data and insight. Is it possible to pull data and leverage insights from previous Instagram and Facebook campaigns? This can help inform your Reels strategy and make it a more effective component of your overall digital campaign. This will also help you maximise your marketing spend on Reels.
Work with an Instagram Partner today. Contevo is a digital agency and Instagram Partner with more than 15 years’ experience in social media marketing and other related services. Visit our Melbourne office or give us a call to get started.