Does your social media marketing plan include Instagram Reels?  If your answer is no, you are missing out on some huge opportunities.  If your answer is yes, how are you using Reels, and do you know if you are using the most effective strategies?  Reels have the ability to make a huge impact on your business when they are optimized and used in the most effective ways. 

What Are Reels?

Instagram Reels are full-screen, vertically viewed video clips that also have audio clips and sometimes visual effects.  Reels have quickly grown to be one of Instagram’s most popular features, for individuals and businesses alike.  Many of the features of Reels benefit businesses in particular.   

Reels are typically viewed in the Explore button on Instagram.  This is a highly addictive portion where the user sees content from mostly accounts they don’t follow.  Because these viewers are not your business’s followers, there is a lot of opportunity to introduce your product, brand, or service to a large number of people that might not otherwise see it.  

Reels are like a mixture of Instagram Stories and Insta-feed posts.  They are similar to stories in that they are video content that can be up to a minute in length.  Reels are like in-feed posts because unlike Stories, Reels become part of your profile once they are posted.  Stories disappear from all of Instagram in 24 hours.  Reels are kind of like the best of both worlds on Instagram.  

Why Your Business Should Utilize Reels

Reels provide many opportunities for businesses and brands.  If Reels are not part of your social media marketing plan, they need to be.  The opportunities are endless, especially for businesses and brands.  

Reels are excellent for brand awareness.  Reels put your brand, product, or service in front of Instagram users who are not necessarily your followers.  They can be targeted because of other profiles they follow, where they live, or their demographics.  Instagram uses an algorithm to put your brand in front of those who find your content the most interesting or those who are most likely to stop scrolling to watch your Reel.  Your brand will get seen by more people this way, which increases your brand awareness.   

 You can retarget audiences who have watched and engaged with your content.  Instagram makes it easy to retarget this portion of your potential customers and place more of your ads in front of them.  Repetition makes those users remember you and your brand, and you will be top of mind when it’s time for them to buy a product or service like yours.

Permanent content is a key feature of Reels.  Compared to Stories, which disappear from all of Instagram after 24 hours, Reels become part of your profile once they are posted.  Your Reel can be posted as a Story, but you need to be sure you are posting it as a Reel, so it becomes permanent.  Any user can look at your profile and watch all of your past Reels.  This is also advantageous when it comes to hashtags.  If a user searches for one of the hashtags you use in the caption of your Reel, your Reel is one of the results that the user can potentially see.  Because this content is permanent the number of times it can be viewed is limitless.  

Reels make it easy for a user to watch all of your content, which is an excellent way for potential customers to learn as much as they want about your brand, product, or service.  With a simple click, a user can be taken to your profile and there they can watch your past Reels, as well as see your in-feed posts.  If they are truly interested and curious all of the information they want should be right there.  Your potential customer can quickly and easily see what your brand is all about, without having to leave the platform.   

Each Reel has a place for a caption.  Captions on Reels can be up to 2,200 characters.  When a user first sees your Reel, they only see the first 125 characters of your caption.  If they click on the caption the entire thing is then shown.  Because of the length of captions, you have an opportunity to add some catchy, awesome copy to go with your video.  The caption can also include hashtags.  Hashtags can be searched by users and can be a way for a potential customer to find your brand.  Any user that searches a hashtag that you use in your caption will be directed to your Reel.   

Reels are easy to create.  They can be made using the camera on your phone.  Or you can go bigger and film your Reels and load them into your Instagram to be posted.  Instagram is also making it even easier for businesses by making an in-app scheduling feature, where you can plan and schedule when your content is going to be posted.  It’s also easy to create batches of content for your Reels. You create a lot of Reels all at one time, and then release or post them as your marketing plan denotes.  

Not only are Reels easy to create, but Instagram also makes it very easy for users to like, follow, and comment on your content.  You want users to engage with you and your content.  It can be through a comment, which starts a relationship with you and your potential customer.  If the user decides to hit the follow button, they will be privy to all of your content- your stories, Reels, and feed posts.  The easier it is to engage with your brand in any way, the more it will happen and that is the start of turning potential customers into paying clients. 

Ideas For the Most Effective Reels

Reels are obviously great for businesses and brands on Instagram.  There are definite ways to utilize and optimize your Reels.  The most effective Reels have some things in common.  Here are the 6  best ways to optimize your Reels.

  1.  Each Reel needs to start strong 💪- You have mere seconds to engage the viewer who is scrolling through reel after reel.  The first few seconds are crucial.  You need to grab the user’s attention and convince them to stop the scroll, watch your content, then hopefully engage with the content in some way.  If you don’t have a strong opening to your Reel users will just continue to scroll. 
  1. Tell a Great Story- Everyone loves a great story.  Use Reels to tell a story about your brand, how you started, an employee, or a customer.  Reels are an excellent way for users to learn about your brand quickly and to hear a story about how your brand came to be, or how a customer greatly benefited from your brand, product, or service.  
  1. Create “behind the scenes” content- Who doesn’t want a peek behind the curtain?  When you show “behind the scenes” content viewers feel like they are getting something special.  People love to see how something looks from a different angle.  This kind of content is sure to get viewers interested in your Reel.
  1. Share insider info- It’s like getting an insider tip from an expert!  A surefire way to get your audience to stop scrolling and listen, an insider tip or insider information can capture a user’s attention right away.  Your information or tip will also establish you as an expert in your field, which leads to trust, something you definitely want from your audience, who are now your potential customers.
  1. Share useful information or hacks that involve your product or brand- A good Reel always offers something of value.  Whether it’s entertainment value or some kind of information that your audience will find useful, it’s all about the value.  This also establishes your credibility and authority.  Your product, service, or brand, which is seen as the leading authority will establish trust and you will be top of mind when your potential customers are looking for a product or service like yours. 
  1. Use the opportunity to include a CTA- Your Reel has 2,200 characters that can go in the caption.  This is a perfect opportunity to tell your viewers what to do next.  Whether it’s  to go to your website (just insert a link), follow you for more information, like or share your content, or leave a comment and begin engaging, tell your viewers what you want them to do next.  Otherwise, your content is just fun, or interesting, and they continue to scroll.  Tell them what to do and you’ll be amazed at how many of your viewers do what you ask. 

If you’re not using Reels for your business, you are missing out on a major part of your social media marketing.  If you aren’t sure how to fully embrace Reels give The Creative Agency a call.  We know the ins and outs of social media and how to maximize the potential of your social media.  Book a discovery call with us today and let’s chat about how we can make Instagram Reels work for your business.