You may have noticed that leading social media platform Instagram has been really pushing its Reels content lately – so much so, that it has eliminated its in-feed, 1:1-ratio video option entirely. If you’re active on Instagram, then you’ve likely watched more than a few Reels. Here’s what they are, why they’re so “watchable,” and why you should be creating your own.
What are Reels, anyway?
Instagram’s equivalent to TikTok, Reels offer an entertaining, immersive and inspiring way to tell your brand story, with access to an in-platform music library, filters and stickers, and text, and a massive audience of around 1 billion Instagram users every month.
These full-screen, bite-sized videos are a great way to reach a new audience, build trust, accelerate engagement, increase your following, share new business offerings and tell stories. And unlike Instagram Stories’ limited 24-hour lifespan, Reels can live on your page indefinitely.
Reels joins Instagram’s other video offerings, including Stories, IGTV and the now-defunct in-feed video.
How To Do Reels
You can shoot your Reel directly through Instagram, or you may also upload a video from your mobile device or scheduling platform. Here’s are some video specs, for quick reference:
• 1080×1080 recommended resolution
• 9:16 ratio mode
• 15-60 seconds
• 4GB maximum file size
• .MP4 and .MOV formats recommended
Now, layer in your music. Instagram automatically recommends songs that are popular at the moment. They also organize songs based on the genres or seasons of the year. Here’s a quick guide on how to use the tool:
• Open your Story
• Take a random photo
• Press on the “Music” icon
Choose the speed of the video, text, stickers or filters, and hit publish to go live! Then, sit back wait for your content to go viral, right?? Well, not exactly. For good engagement rates, you have to have the right type content.
In order to be effective and engaging, your content needs to “speak” to your audience. Who are they, what matters to them and how can you deliver? If you’re a business owner, then you probably (hopefully) already have this intel. Now, put it to use in a social strategy that works for you. Remember: social media is less about outwardly selling a product or service, more about connecting with your audience, earning trust and telling your brand story.
The ultimate goal for ‘Grammers and the ultimate find for consumers is viral content. A viral video is one that gains its popularity in a “viral” way, where one person spreads it to countless others. Here are some things you can do to increase your video’s popularity and spread the goodness:
• Share your Reels to your Grid and Stories
• Tag brands in your video so they see and, hopefully, share it to their own audience – which, in turn, becomes your audience.
• Create new versions of your Reels with the same theme, style or music.
• Use trending music. Look for the icon /arrow on the bottom left, which indicated new and trending material.
• Add related hashtags. It’s best to use a mixture of common hashtags and super-specific ones, so you can reach a wide range of audiences as they search.
Check it out: @preview.app shares the latest trending Reels songs every week, with latest news and ideas.
Aside from engaging content and an all-around cool tool, Reels is still a relatively new feature on Instagram, first launching in 2020. The platform appears to be favouring Reels content and the accounts that use it regularly. Translation: your content has more eyes on it. And I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but Reels are addictive.
From a PR Perspective…
Eventful PR has worked on a number of different video projects, but each one starts the same way – we work with the client to define their video goals and brand messaging. We take it from there, managing details such as the location of the shoot, the shot list and any specifics as they align with the greater goal. Have these details decided beforehand – time is money, and this is not the time to start “ideating.” At the end of the day, Reels is a medium for you to get real about your business and the people behind the brand. Tell your story at every opportunity. These days, Reels is your chance.
Tell your story! Connect with us to find out how we can help.