Instagram can do it all. It has the beauty of Pinterest, the TV of YouTube, the stories of Snapchat, and the reels of TikTok. Perhaps there is not one ultimate platform, and you should be using more than one, but Instagram is pretty effective. Let’s delve into Instagram reels and see how this can boost your social media’s engagement, audience, and content.
This post has been updated in September 2021.
Instagram isn’t just a feed of pretty pictures. Well, it does have that, but so much more. Gone are the days when posting a great picture with a catchy caption would satisfy your audience. Perhaps it’s the influence of other social media platforms, but Instagram now pretty much has a feature to rival any of those others. And they’re all in one. So let’s check out these features before we talk about Instagram reels and see if any others may be worth spending some time on along with the reels.
At one time Instagram users were unhappy with the story addition. They declared, “We’ll never use these stories. We like our photos and feeds!” But fast forward in time, and Instagram stories are where the followers flock. The ephemeral quality of stories is kind of a draw. It’s there and then it’s gone. Poof, catch it while you can. Only the true followers will see them in that 24 hour window, and there’s something potent about this.
In order to compete with YouTube, Instagram created its own TV – IGTV. Here, some accounts can upload videos of up to 60 minutes. For most of the regular guys, these are videos of around 10 minutes. It’s an opportunity for audiences to see more from the creators they love. This allows all kinds of content, from tutorials to tours to entertainment. It’s a smart, engaging way to share content to your followers. It’s also nice to have most of your content in one place. That doesn’t mean you can’t also put it somewhere else, but it’s all here, too – on Instagram.
Here is where you get to share live broadcasts. This tool is perfect for directly engaging with your followers, having conversations, and sharing ideas. You can comment on their comments and give shout outs. It’s a fun way to share content while letting your followers see you in real-time as your real self. Think about baking that chocolate cake on Instagram live or simply taking some time to chat with your audience.
As we said, Instagram seems to have pulled from all the other platforms to create an entire world of engaging social media. The more you can utilize these functions, the more of your audience you’ll reach. Think about it this way, your Instagram followers who are loyal to Facebook may check out your stories more, the ones who love YouTube will gravitate to your IGTV. The Pinterest lovers may stick to your feed, and, yes, the TikTok crowd will be drawn to your reels. So let’s talk about those reels!
Instagram reels – perfect to engage
The great thing about Instagram reels is that unlike stories, they can live on your account as long as you want them there. Sure, stories have a bit of a draw with their limited time, but viewers miss content if they miss a story. On the other hand, reels are here to stay. Another great part of reels is that they are chill. You don’t need that sense of perfection you see on feeds and stories. You can have fun on reels, be goofy, be real (yep, we intended that one). We love them for a glimpse into an account. Perhaps a behind the scenes view or a quick little nugget, they’re great moments to share. You can comment on current and social events on a reel or show off your new haircut. You can use them any way you want. These 15 or 30 second clips are little bits of magic sprinkled through your account. And yes, there are a few strategies to make them awesomely even more magical.
When your reel looks like it belongs on Instagram, it’s more rewarding to watch. Don’t use distracting borders or frames, and if you’re repurposing it, make sure the quality is strong and it looks like it belongs on Instagram, not somewhere else. In fact, if you can incorporate some of the great features Instagram offers for its reels, you’re even setting yourself up for a more engaging reel.
If you can let your viewers see who you are behind the perfection of Instagram, you’ll be more engaging, more endearing, more human. Of course, you want to look good and maintain your aesthetic, but this may be the one place on Instagram that you can let the perfection go just a little bit.
Show your creativity
Create a fun reel with transitions or edits. This brings the magic and the fun in. Be creative with angles and cuts, jumps and zoom ins and outs. Let the viewer’s eye have something cool to look at, be drawn to, and absorbed in. Then your viewers will stick it out for the whole Instagram reel and ultimately come back for more.
Engage, engage, engage
Instagram reels are the perfect place to answer audience questions, remark on comments, give shout outs, you know, all that fun and engaging content! You can direct viewers to CTA’s, product, and other material. Remember, a huge part of social media is the engagement of your audience. Use reels to inspire and showcase this.
Making your Instagram reels
You know that Instagram reels are the place to be right now. With TikTok as popular as it is, it’s easy to understand why Instagram reels are a must have in a good account. So how do you create a reel? Never fear – it’s easy. Follow a few steps, use your creativity and your personality, and before you know it, you’ll be engaging with your audience in an all new way. As they say, once you start watching the reels, you can’t stop. So get yours in there and let’s make an Instagram reel!
Start by selecting reels at the bottom of Instagram’s camera. You’ll see all kinds of options from audio to effects to timers and touch ups. Here you can choose the length of your reel, too, either 15 or 30 seconds. So think about how you want your reel to look and choose away!
Hold that capture button down and record. You can combine multiple clips or record one longer clip. Have fun and get to know this feature. It’s easy and the more you do it, the better your reels will be.
Get ready to share your reel. Just like sharing a photo in your feed, here is where you create the details of sharing, like tagging friends and adding a caption and hashtags. You can create or change the cover photo and your reel will be ready to share. So share away! Your reel will also be in your reels tab on your profile with all your others, so your audience can find and watch all of your reels.
What about TikTok
The whole reason Instagram reels have become such a thing is due to TikTok. TikTok’s audience is growing. Pretty much all ages watch and engage with TikTok – you never know, you may see your Grandma show up there. So Instagram needs to compete. But you can look at in a different way and incorporate both platforms into your social media. They both have some advantages that you’ll see, like TikTok has more edits and choices regarding creation, but Instagram has the rest of its content and forms of publishing. If you look at this in a positive light rather than as an either-or, you’ll get the best of both worlds. And more importantly, the followers of both worlds.
The key with social media is don’t limit yourself to one platform. Or even one publishing mode. Sure, you’re going to have a favorite platform, whether it’s TikTok or Instagram or one of the others, but it doesn’t hurt to use as many as is practical. And you may have a favorite way to showcase yourself on social media, from Instagram stories to reels or even advertising. But again, step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Instagram reels are an awesome place to start, yes?!
What’s holding you back?
So now you know all about Instagram reels – what’s holding you back? Is it that you don’t love video and would rather be in a still photo. Some people don’t like showing their face or hearing their voice, but it’s good to share yourself and humanize your account. If you’re always posting your product on your feed, your fans will be thrilled to get to know you in a reel. And if you don’t like your own voice, think about using a voice over. That could add some fun in any instance.
Don’t be afraid to play around with editing. In fact, this could start a whole new passion for you. If you ever get stuck, give us a shout at Bunny Studio. We’d love to help on any of your social media or production endeavors. But be bold and have fun. Don’t be afraid to create a fun Instagram reel.
The takeaway on Instagram reels
Social media is continually evolving. From the very beginnings of simple media to the varied and lively platforms we have now, social media is an essential part of any brand. Whether it’s a personal one or professional one, consider adding Instagram reels to your media. If you’d like to hire a video specialist for any of your needs, reach out to us at Bunny Studio. We’d love to help! So let’s get those Instagram reels, we can’t wait to see how you’re going to engage!
What are you waiting for, hire a video specialist today with Bunny Studio!