This year has been challenging for us all. With lockdown 1 and 2 resulting in the closure of workspaces, shops, restaurants and leisure facilities, having a strong, digital presence has never been so important. If brands were to stay afloat, they needed to start communicating with their target audiences online, predominantly through social media.
Almost every social media platform reported a growth in usage during lockdown 1. Facebook reported that Gen Z, Gen X and Baby Boomers spent on average 23% more time on the platform, whilst Twitter recorded a 30% increase in their Direct Message usage as account holders sought to connect online. As we saw the shift from office to home working, LinkedIn recorded 55% more conversational activity between existing connections (source: clicky).
One of the most impressive reports we’ve seen comes from video-making platform TikTok. According to E-Marketer’s forecast, TikTok’s UK users will jump 21.1% this year compared with 12.4% in 2019 (source: E-Marketer) as more and more of us downloaded the app to keep us entertained during lockdown.
As TikTok continued to grow, innovators at photo-sharing site Instagram launched its own video content feature, Instagram Reels, in August to rival the Chinese-owned company.
What is an Instagram Reel?
So, what exactly is an Instagram Reel? The feature is actually very similar to TikTok. You can access it by opening the Instagram app, tapping the camera icon in the top left-hand corner and the option to create a ‘Reels’ video will appear at the bottom of your screen. A Reel allows you to create a film which is a maximum of 15-seconds long. This can either be a single video or multiple videos spliced together. You also have the option of adding music, text, filters and gifs to create engaging content that you can share on your Instagram Story, feed or in the Explore section of Instagram.
How can Instagram Reels benefit your brand?
Never has it been so important to nurture and grow your online presence as individuals start to favour online communications. Instagram Reels may not suit all types of businesses, but it’s likely that a short video can benefit your brand in one way or another, whether it’s an informative video or just a bit of fun. Here, we reveal our six top tips on how to make Instagram Reels work for your brand:
Quality is key
Everything you create and post on your business’ Instagram page affects your brand’s reputation. Post a poor-quality video and you will lose the interest of your audience. Instagram Reels gives you the chance to make an impact. At only 15 seconds long, viewers are already more likely to watch until the end so make sure you really pack a punch in those first few seconds. Ensure the video is of a high-quality, isn’t grainy or blurry and avoid interference from the sun. You don’t want the video to be too dark so that the viewer can’t see the subject, but you don’t want them turning away because of the glaring light. If you are planning to use the video’s original audio, ensure there is no wind interference or muffled background noise.
Make use of the additional features
Those first three seconds are crucial when capturing the interest of your audience. Create engaging content by making use of Instagram Reel’s additional features to really bring your video to life. Choose a filter that reflects the voice of your brand, add text to give the viewer even more information about the subject and use fun gifs if they are appropriate.
You don’t always have to be picture perfect
The quick, relaxed nature of Instagram Reels presents an opportunity for brands to step out from behind the corporate curtain. Consumers watching an Instagram Reel don’t expect to be presented with polished corporate content. Instead, the more honest and human your Reels are, the more engaged your audience will be, enticing them to return. Give your brand a voice and share content that you might not share on a more professional platform like LinkedIn. You could take your audience on a behind-the-scenes tour of your office or host a fun Q&A with one of your employees. Let that personality shine through!
Showcase your products
Does your company create and sell products? Instagram Reels offers you a stage to showcase your products. Create a video that tells your audience exactly how your product works and what it can be used for. Fashion brands such as Boohoo, Topshop and MissGuided are doing this particularly well. By using Instagram Reels as their very own catwalk to display clothes and accessories, the brands regularly achieve views of six figures and over. Remember to use relevant hashtags to ensure your demonstrations are discoverable by your target audience.
Partner with influencers
Influencer marketing can be extremely beneficial to your brand. By partnering with a well-known social media personality, not only do you have the potential to reach thousands of new customers, you have the seal of approval from an admired public figure. Consider partnering with an influencer to introduce a new face to your Instagram Reels and to increase your reach. You can read more about influencer marketing and how it can help your business in our useful blog.
Re-use TikTok videos
If you’re keen to upload an Instagram Reel as soon as possible but you’re stretched for time, why not re-use one of your TikTok videos? This is a quick win for brands that already have an account on this popular platform. The video dimensions for both TikTok and Instagram are exactly the same and you can usually find the same audio on Instagram as well. This not only quickly populates your page with new Instagram Reels, but can get your TikTok videos seen by people who may only follow you on Instagram. ASOS has been spotted applying this tactic. The British online fashion retailer has a strong following on both platforms but managed to reach 4.4 million views on Reels in just a few days by posting their best TikTok videos (source: social bakers).
We hope you have found our six top tips on how to make Instagram Reels work for your brand useful. If you would prefer to outsource to an experienced social media management team that can create engaging content like Instagram Reels, we can help. Call our team on 01392 680740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.