Social media continues to be an essential way for businesses to connect with their customers.

With the constant evolution to stay relevant, Instagram Reels emerged to compete with the popularity of TikTok.

So what is it and how is it different from TikTok or Instagram Stories?

In this column, we’ll take a look at how Instagram Reels work, check out examples of brands using them right, and share tips to help you make the most of your Reels, too.

What Are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels is a feature similar to other social media options that allow users to create short videos to appeal to their target audience.

In Reels, you can edit and put together video clips to create entertaining videos using uploaded content, filters, text, audio, and editing tools.

Instagram Reels has gained popularity with its “Remix this Reel” option that allows users to record their video next to another user’s video.

This has created trending moments and encourages collaboration and engagement with a community of followers.

Unlike Instagram Stories, Reels won’t disappear within 24 hours.

They also follow an algorithm to appeal to the users’ interests.

Instagram recommends trending reels for users to view, similar to the “TikTok for You” page offered on their competitor’s app.

This boosts engagement as users easily access and explore videos, helping you grow your followers organically and creating a domino effect of improved ranking for your brand.

So how can they benefit your business?

Let’s look at ways that brands can use Instagram Reels to increase engagement and visibility through their social media presence.

Leverage Trends To Appeal To Your Target Audience

A few minutes perusing Instagram Reels will quickly reveal ongoing trends among users.

These can be audio clips, remixed videos, or signature tracks that play in the background.

Jumping on the trend train can help your video get more views and allows your team to insert your message or products into content that is already popular among users.

Create Authentic Content

To appeal to your target audience, find a balance between looking like a professionally curated video and coming across as an ad.

Authentic content is the key to engagement that draws users to platforms like Instagram in the first place.

While relaying your message and targeting potential buyers is important, creating interest in your product and building a following is also worthwhile.

Consider highlighting customer and employee experiences in these short videos.

Shoppers are more conscious than ever about the brands they support.

Highlighting your commitment to sustainability, social justice, and the environment can increase customer loyalty.

Social media helps tell potential customers who the brand is versus what it can offer.

Creating relatability is also key to effective reels.

Consider this reel from Hasbro that highlights children opening a new toy.

A short video shows the unboxing, followed by a montage of clips of the children enjoying the product.

Paired with a tagline and CTA for parents, this is an effective ad that doesn’t feel like a commercial.

It feels more like a PSA.

See how happy these children are?

Here’s how you can have the same experience in your home.

Besides authentic content from product users, behind-the-scenes reels are also popular.

People naturally gravitate toward videos that offer exclusive looks at content that the average customer doesn’t see.

Puma offers access to the Puma Vault in its reels, which uncovers products that haven’t been seen before.

These video clips rolled out in segments, create interest, offer a look at a handful of products, and garner close to 23,000 views.

Balance Entertainment With Education

Most Instagram users scroll through the app to be entertained, not necessarily to shop or find deals.

Businesses need to consider who is scrolling and their motive.

Creating entertaining reels is important to get views and increase brand visibility.

Reels have also been a great place to educate users.

Consider your particular niche and the products your brand offers.

Are there opportunities for further education about the products, their use, how to care for them, etc.?

Tutorials can be especially appealing on this short-form video platform.

Home Depot offers reels with tips and easy DIY projects that they compile using Instagram Reels.

The example of how to update a shower had almost 53,000 views.

Spotlight Products And New Releases

Using Instagram Reels to promote products can benefit brands as they create short, engaging content that highlights new releases.

Debuting new products can create a more authentic ad without viewers feeling like they were targeted through an advertisement.

The following reel from Dyson highlights a new product through a brief video showing how to use it with descriptions through text.

The description encourages viewers to follow the brand and gives concise details about the product.

It’s short and simple, and with over 73,000 views, an effective way to get your products in front of customers.

Reveal Offers/Promotions/Upcoming Events

Reels can also communicate your brand’s available offers and promotions.

This can be especially lucrative during seasonal sales, encouraging potential buyers to shop after seeing your message.

Sephora offered a short, simple video displaying lip gloss with the promotion of “Buy Two, Get One Free.”

It is short, to the point, and has been viewed over 200,000 times.

Through this straightforward advertising, viewers don’t feel like they are viewing an ad.

Instead, they feel like they are learning more about a product with the caveat of a deal when they read the tagline.

It doesn’t view like an advertisement which is reflected in the number of views.

Final Thoughts

As in any social media campaign, finding your comfort level when creating content takes time.

Integrating Reels into your advertising plan is a no-brainer, especially for businesses with an Instagram following.

Short videos are a great way to maximize impact because you can customize them according to your brand’s goals.

With built-in editing tools and how to use Instagram tutorials, brands can create and share content easily to reach thousands already scrolling through the platform.

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Featured Image: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock

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By Rose Milev

I always want to learn something new. SEO is my passion.

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