Instagram once again caused waves in the world of social media last month. The visual platform, owned by the behemoth that is Facebook, released its latest form of content – Instagram Reels.
Seen by many as a direct answer to the success of the Chinese-owned Tiktok, Reels is the new kid on the block in an offering that now involves profile feeds, stories and Instagram TV (IGTV). “More work for my social media list”, I hear you groan. Possibly, but stick with me. Marketers around the world are hailing this as a potential game-changer for social media marketing. You might want to incorporate this as part of your customer engagement strategy.
So, what is Instagram Reels?
Ask a sceptic and they’d say it’s an attempt at copying the success of Tiktok in a bid to retain users on the Instagram platform, giving them little need to sign up to a rival. Ask a marketer and they’ll say it’s an ingenious way to now offer users a full array of long, medium and short-play video content, meeting every need.
The fact of the matter is that Instagram Reels provides the opportunity to create and edit short videos. In a world where users are increasingly favouring quick, to-the-point content, it’s a great way to convey your message. Users can record and edit a 15-second multi-clip video using an array of tools. Dub the video with audio, overlay accompanying text or add special effects. Whack a sticker on it if you really want to. The point is, you can get very creative – something that can lead to great exposure for your company.
But you introduced Instagram Stories last week, what is the difference?
You’re quite correct, our last blog did highlight the benefits of using Instagram Stories. However, there’s a substantial difference. Reels offer a substantial array of editing tools that simply aren’t available to the stories format. There’s an abundance of neat tricks and effects you can add to your reel, including Augmented Reality and speed controls. Ever wondered how people seem to switch an outfit in the blink of an eye? They align their clips for cleaner transitions. Experiment with the various options at your disposal to make your reel stand out from the crowd.
Furthermore, you can also share your Reel to your stories if you really want to and, on your profile, you’ll be able to find them in a dedicated section in a similar fashion to your IGTV posts.
Okay, so what are the benefits of using Instagram Reels for a business?
Instagram Reels is a great way to help your business be discovered by an entirely new audience unfamiliar with your product or service. Why? Well, if you look in the explore section on your Instagram account, you’ll find that the large top display is dedicated entirely to Reels. These are often trending posts giving further publicity to an even bigger audience. 50% of Instagram’s 1 billion users visit the explore page every month, providing your business with an excellent opportunity for brand exposure.
An ever increasing amount of users are looking for quick, snappy and engaging content. In a world where life is going at 100mph and more brands are competing for screen space, it’s more important than ever to get your message across quickly and effectively. Reels can do this, acting as an effective channel for your brand to build an entirely new audience.
Are you wondering how your brand would create engaging content for Reels? Don’t fear. Whilst of course you could use a super-duper marketing agency (ahem, Dynamize Marketing) you could also identify creative talent within your sector with whom you can experiment on the Reels content they create. For example, if you’re a beauty academy you could work with a leading make-up influencer, or a clothes retailer with a fashion model. Don’t think it’s purely the domain for these markets though, you can make Reels work in whatever sector you work in.
In what ways could you use Instagram Reels for business?
Educative, Informative Content
More often than not, the most engaging content isn’t the sales-iest content. It’s the stuff that is adding value to the person reading it. The post that teaches them something they never knew. That video giving an interesting insight into a new recipe. Something that helps followers to learn and acquire new knowledge.
How can you apply this to your industry? Many of our clients in the world of crowd safety and security can provide an overview of the various challenges they face running festivals and large music concerts. Customers of ours in electrical installations can prepare a quick DIY video on how to replace a lightbulb. If they’re short, simple and easy to follow they’ll likely get more attention. Even the simplest of things can sometimes get the greatest engagement, attracting more exposure for your business than ever before. Just remember to include relevant hashtags!
Exhibit your products and services
You’ve just posted an engaging, well-thought out Reel showcasing your best product and its key features. Suddenly the notifications are higher than usual with numbers beyond that of your small but loyal following. Why? It may have featured on the explore page. As we mentioned earlier, 50% of Instagram’s 1 billion users use the explore page every month. It offers huge opportunities for exposure to a wider audience than ever before. Users who don’t follow your brand will see your content for the first time.
Complement your video content with a text overlay and descriptive captions to truly give users a unique, detailed insight into the product or service you want to showcase. Include relevant hashtags to maximise exposure to users searching the platform on those terms. Of course, you could also collaborate with relevant influencers in your sector to expand your reach even further.
For example, a great way that a business could use Instagram Reels is to create a video highlighting the benefits of using their product.
Share behind-the-scenes content
We mentioned this in our blog exploring the benefits of using Instagram Stories for your business – and the same principles very much apply here. Users appreciate brands who are genuine and show a human touch to their business; it’s often a great way to create more engagement. It allows the customers to understand the people behind the company, your values and the work you put in on a daily basis. This will in turn increase trust and build relationships with potential buyers.
So how can our customers at Dynamize Marketing apply this to their businesses? If you’re a crowd safety business, perhaps provide behind the scenes content on the preparation of plans for your next big event. For our customers in the creative arts sector, capture some footage of rehearsals or costume design behind the scenes. It’ll give users a more personable insight into daily life and the characters in your organisation.
There’s a huge array of ideas that you can come up with to create engaging Instagram Reels for your business. For those creating products, you could demonstrate how materials are chosen or showcase the manufacturing process itself. You could give an insight into the creative process in team meetings, the culture of the company during downtime or an overview of the brand story. Experiment and see what works for your business and your followers.
So what should I use then, Instagram Stories or Instagram Reels?
The direct answer is both! As in all of the best marketing strategies, you want to utilise multiple routes to market in order to maximise opportunities for your business. From a video marketing on social media perspective, Instagram offers you this. Your short, 15-second reels can be supported by IGTV for more detailed, longer content such as advertisements, interviews and short documentaries. Fitting nicely in between both of these short and long-play formats is Instagram Stories, which disappear after 24 hours anyway. Coordinate your content across the three as you see fit.
So there you have it, the benefits of using Instagram Reels for your business.This fun, informative way of conveying a message is a great way to introduce new products and events for your business. By focusing on original, authentic content, you could quickly turn this into an effective channel through which to reach a new audience. Energise your brand through a combination of music and video, providing an alternative view into your company.