Instagram introduced Reels in August 2020 to create an exciting new and authentic way for creators and businesses to connect with their followers. With Reels, you can create and share short-form video content. Reels are supposed to be fun, quirky, and brimming with personality. As Reels work on a 9:16 aspect ratio (1080 x 1920), they take full advantage of the vertical smartphone screen. They also come with many extra editing tools compared to what you get with other Instagram features.
Like Instagram Stories, Reels can be a powerful tool to engage with your followers and build new connections on the platform. To help you make the most of this feature, we've curated some content ideas to help you include Reels in your marketing strategy.
How to use Instagram Reels in your marketing strategy
Reel videos appear to millions of daily active users when they visit the Explore page on Instagram, alongside frequently show up on timelines, which the algorithm does to help shake up the scrolling experience.
However, note that Reels do not have an advertising option. You can’t promote your Instagram Reels like Stories and Sponsored content, However, that doesn’t make them any less valuable from a marketing perspective.
According to Influencermarketinghub, NBA franchises receive 22% higher engagement with Instagram Reels compared to their regular posts and Stories.
While you can’t place your videos in front of a specific audience, you can use Reels to pull potential customers to your profile—if you know how to use them properly as Instagram’s algorithm will determine who sees your Reels using behavioral data.
Currently, Reels are being integrated into business marketing strategies to let customers have an opportunity to discover the more human side of their favorite brands and learn how products are made.
Like all good marketing, there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Your business should experiment with Reels as the more you post, the more you’ll learn about the kind of videos your customers enjoy and engage with.
Check out these Instagram video ideas to help you experiment with Reels.
Top content ideas for Instagram Reels
1. Behind-the-scenes Reel
Easy to execute, behind-the-scenes content is a great way to share snippets of what your business is like in action on Instagram.
Because you only capture 15 seconds of content, you don’t have to plan extensively or make your clip very elaborate. A short video of your employee working on a new design, or a clip of you adding the finishing touches to a product should be more than enough.
Such Reels can reflect the work that goes into your business and delighting your customers. For instance, AbbyDesign.co uses a packing video to show the care and attention involved in preparing a product for shipping.
2. Product assembly Reel
Through a product assembly Reel, you can showcase the process of creating your product, dive into the ingredients or even your packing and picking professionals on-board.
You could even use it to show the “real” side of your business. For instance, show your customers the difference between what they see on your Instagram photos, and what’s really going on, like @Danielle.Donohue does here. It’s a great way to demonstrate your authenticity, and get people excited about your product at the same time.
You can also show off how amazing your products look when they’re ready to be shipped out. @ThatCheesePlate shows off some stunning cheese products beautifully arranged into autumn colors with this video:
3. Campaign promo Reel
Reels on Instagram are a lot like videos on TikTok. Your customers won’t want to feel like they’re being obviously sold to. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with a little show and tell.
Reels can be a fun way to hype up your product by showing some of the most significant benefits and features you want your audience to know about.
4. How-to video Reel
When it comes to Instagram for business, how-to videos are the most effective!
How-to videos are your opportunity to answer important questions for your audience, while showcasing what your product or company can do. With How-to videos, you can show your customers that you’re an authority in your field, while also providing value that will keep them coming back for more.
If your customers know they can rely on you for some fantastic how-to content, they’re more likely to follow your page and keep checking back for more insights. For instance, the @TwoSpoons company regularly posts Reels that teaches customers how to make all kinds of delicious and healthy foods at home.
These videos delight customers by giving them valuable information, but they also give you a great chance to show off some of their products.
5. User generated content Reel
Reels, like TikTok videos and Instagram Stories, are all about authenticity. Your customers don’t want to see mini television ads when they’re scrolling through Instagram. They want an opportunity to get to know yout brand, as well as your brand community better.
There are plenty of ways to add user generated content to your Reels.
You could start by asking micro influencers to create mini videos for you where they use your products or services. Or, just grab some of your favorite pictures submitted by users and turn them into a slideshow video for your next Reel. There’s also the option to pull reviews and case study information from your website and arrange that into a Reel as well.
Annotating your Reels with a bit of extra text is a great way to say thanks to all the customers that you feature in your user-generated content.
Want help convincing people to generate some great content for you in the first place? Check out our tips on how to invite influencers to collaborate on video marketing.
Get real with Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels is just the latest in a series of fantastic features designed by Instagram to make the platform more engaging for users. Reels can also be a great way for brands to develop an emotional connection with their target customer. Work them into your marketing strategy and you're sure to see improved engagement for your business.