What are Instagram Reels?

Image displays a Reel being created and the Reels feed

Instagram Reels - why should you care?...

Instagram Reels…love them or hate them they are here to stay!

Launched in August 2020 (after initially being tested in Brazil in late 2019), they are still the new kid on the block over on Instagram..

“Instagram Reels is a brand new Instagram feature for users to create 15-second video clips set to music and share to their Stories, Explore Feed, and the new Reels tab on a user’s profile” is what Insta had to say about this new feature when it launched. But what does it really mean? (and you can now record up to 60 seconds btw!!).

Basically, it’s a competitor for TikTok.  You can share short form video content, usually of an entertaining or educational format (or both!) which is highly binge-able.  The reason is due to the fact that they have their own feed, are trend based and are still getting that “new push” from the Gram. 

where do you find them?

You can access the Reels feed by clicking on the middle button on your home page/profile that looks like a clapperboard with a play icon. 

You scroll in the same way as your main IG feed (they also appear there), but your reaction icons (like, comment, share) are on the right hand side. 

When people are binging on the Reels feed, you will find they are less likely to read your caption/comment. Whereas if folks are seeing your Reel on the main feed (as they can appear in both places), they are more likely to engage as usual.

These clips are short (a few seconds up to 60, the shorter ones tend to perform better though). You want to keep your message simple and fun. Just like TikTok – Reels are meant to be enjoyable and light-hearted and show the “real you”.


Trending reels

In everyday Insta, it’s massively frowned upon to copy someone else’s post. However, on Reels, you are ENCOURAGED to recreate videos you see on other peoples’ feeds. When you see the same track popping up time and time again, they are trends and you want to jump on them quickly. Trending tracks will get the biggest push from the algorithm and you will see reach sky rocket on these posts.  I tend to find that those trending with around 1,000 posts will perform the best. 

Image shows "The Starlight Experience" Reels feed

If you hear an audio track that sounds like fun and the original user has had great engagement – you can utilise the same audio and put your own spin on it for your marketplace. It’s common decency to mention the account you got the idea from if you can remember.

I always say that each type of post has a super power…the Reels super power is reach.  If you want to get in front of more eyes, you want to be doing as many Reels as you can that are relevant to your target audience.

However, they are not so great for nurturing your current audience or selling to them.

BUT they are definitely marmite.  Some folks love Instagram Reels, some hate them. 

reults from Reels

The image you can see above is from one of my clients, The Starlight Experience.  By jumping on a trend, Louise managed to get over 10k views on her Reel with a following of around 460….INSANE results!!! Try beating that hashtags!! haha.

If you would like to hear more about how to use Reels, how to create them and the pitfalls, drop me a comment below.

Have you tried Reels yet?

Jo x

Image shows the success of the recent Reels from the Netflix account

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