Introducing Instagram Reels

Marissa Dilione - August 10, 2020

Since the pandemic struck earlier this year, TikTok is a platform many users of all ages started to engage with on a larger scale to create short video clips of enticing content. While TikTok has a vast audience of over 800 million active users worldwide, it was only a matter of time before another social platform adapted to provide a new way to use video in a similar format.

Well, now the time has come with the release of Instagram Reels.

Instagram Reels has been rolling out in other countries, and has proven to generate increased engagement with various accounts. With big name brands like Sephora France and Luis Vuitton getting a head start, it will be interesting to see what the future holds now that it is available in the U.S.

What features can you expect on Reels?

  • Audio: This can be selected from music within the app, your own creation, or using another public profile’s sound.
  • AR Effects: These add a little personality and dimension to your clips.
  • Timer and Countdown: To easily start and record your videos.
  • Alignment: This is a big one, to help ensure seamless transitions for those quick shots that all come together.
  • Speed: Who doesn’t love a featured slow motion section?

Engaging your audience with unique content is so important to helping build your brand awareness. Here are some examples of how to use Reels to your business’s advantage.

  • Creating authentic content
    • This is where it all starts, what can your brand offer that will resonate with your audience? This is another chance to show even more personality with easy to use features like special effects, and be discovered by hashtags. It is perfect for showcasing those Instagram worthy moments in snack sized video form.
  • Sharing educational content
    • If your marketing objectives are to promote more informational resources, Reels can help share your message in short clips. Many have already created content like meal prepping, recipes, workouts and more.
  • Previewing and reviewing products
    • Have you seen those fun clips where the angle shows a shot of the product in a browser online, and then looks like it pops out of the screen? This is a great opportunity to do just that and test other creative ways to promote new products.

One of the biggest benefits that Reels provides is the option for users to remain within the Instagram platform to create and view the same type of content that TikTok can. Based on the popularity Instagram had with the introduction of Stories back in 2016, there is little doubt that this new functionality will have a monumental impact on social media.

Here is the next big question… What can we expect for advertising?

The only metrics available currently from an organic post perspective are view count, likes, and comments. However, we do expect there to be advertising opportunities soon that would appear between Reel videos natively, just as Instagram Story Ads do. An added bonus is that this ad format would help combat ad fatigue with yet another way to get in front of your target audience on the Instagram platform.

Wondering if Reels is right for your marketing strategy? Like any good marketer would do, spend some time on the app to conduct some research! To help you decide how you can use this format to your advantage, browse through some of the new Reels videos on the Explore page to gain a better understanding of what creative content is being output by similar brands.

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