The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Instagram Reels
What is Instagram Reels?
By: Cori Widen, Product Marketing Lead at Boosted by Lightricks
Now that you’ve mastered Instagram Stories, it’s time to learn about Instagram’s latest feature, Reels. Instagram Reels is a new feature that offers users a new way to record, post and view 15-second videos. The success of TikTok has proven that people love short-form, edited video clips – and now users will have the ability to create and post even more video content on Instagram.
The Instagram Reels features are similar to TikTok – users can easily record video clips, edit them together and set the clips to audio. Once created, Instagram users can share them to their Stories, Explore Feed and the new Reels tab.
For private accounts, the short-form videos can be shared with friends and followers while public accounts can be discovered by anyone on Instagram. Instagram will place Reels from public accounts on the Explore page which will help users increase their reach. When Reels are shared using certain hashtags, audio or effects, they may appear on dedicated pages when someone clicks on that hashtag, audio or effect.
Instagram Reels is still a new feature currently being tested and might not be available to everyone. If you aren’t seeing it on your Instagram yet, keep an eye out for this new feature that might pop up soon!
Why Your Small Business Should Care About Reels
Even if you don’t have the ability to use the Instagram Reels feature yet, small businesses should definitely know all about this new feature. Because users can share their Reels on their Instagram feed or to a new section on the Explore page, accounts of all sizes have a unique opportunity to ‘go viral’.
The Explore page is already used by 50% of people on Instagram each month, and now with a dedicated space just for Reels, small businesses who are creating Reels content will be able to reach new customers and potentially go viral.
Instagram will be giving extra attention to accounts that are early adopters to Instagram Reels, so it’s a good idea for your small business to start testing out this feature now while there’s still not much competition.
How to Use Instagram Reels to Grow Your Small Business
To access the new Reels feature, open Instagram as if you are about to create an Instagram Story. There, you will see the new section with all of the Instagram Reels features. Reels can be recorded as a series of clips or one 15-second video. In the Instagram Reels tools, you can also easily apply Instagram special effects and set your video clip to audio.
Here are 7 tips for getting your small business started with Reels:
1. Brainstorm content ideas
Instagram Reels is meant to be a fun, new way for you to engage with your followers. While you are brainstorming a few ideas for content, think about what type of content your current and new customers would enjoy viewing.
2. Test out features
Once you’ve found Reels within Instagram, it’s very easy to begin testing out all of the new tools. Users can use special AR effects created by Instagram and creators around the world for Reels, similar to Instagram Stories. Reels also allow you to change the speed, edit together multiple video clips, set a timer and add audio to create truly custom video content.
3. Upload existing content
A great way to start out testing Instagram Reels is by repurposing existing video content. It’s easy to upload a video (or several) from your photo gallery into Reels. Try uploading an existing TikTok video or an Instagram Story that you have saved to your phone as one of your first Reels.
4. Use stock videos
If you don’t already have your own video footage, you can use the Boosted app to easily create high-quality video content for Instagram Reels. Boosted has a built-in library of photos and stunning videos that are already perfectly formatted for social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
5. Film new content
Have something fun you want to share? Now is the perfect time to film a brand new video within the Instagram app! If you’ve filmed on TikTok before, you will be familiar with Reels’ ability to start and stop recording to film a series of clips.
6. Select audio
Once you have the video content ready, you will want to add audio. Audio can be your own original audio clip or you can choose from a library of music within the Instagram app. Instagram has a huge library of great music available to choose from.
7. Attract new customers
Instagram Reels are posted to the Explore Page, which presents a great opportunity for small businesses to be discovered by users who aren’t already following their business. When creating a Reel, focus on creating video content that would help your small business attract new customers.
Cori Widen is the Product Marketing Lead at Boosted by Lightricks. She has been leading product marketing campaigns and doing qualitative market research in the tech industry for 10 years.