Instagram Reels is a powerful tool for audience engagement. Use this guide to understanding its features, analytics, which trends to use, and learn how creators and brands can build a successful Instagram reels strategy.
Dec 26, 2023
Instagram Reels, akin to short, engaging videos, have emerged as a dynamic tool for content creators and brands to showcase their creativity and broaden their reach. These videos, up to 90 seconds long, enable users to stitch together video clips, set them to music, and share them with their followers. The distinct placement of Reels in a dedicated tab on Instagram's navigation bar aids in amplifying their discoverability.
Creating a Reel involves entering the dedicated mode within Instagram, where users can record or upload clips, add effects, and overlay audio. The process uses several steps:
Start Using Instagram Reels
Open Instagram, tap the plus icon, and select 'Reel'. Alternatively, access it from the Instagram camera.
Capture Video for Reels
Capture new footage or upload from your camera roll. Use the record button to start and stop clips, enabling seamless transitions. Choose the right length for your content, up to 90 seconds or 15 minutes for uploaded videos. If you release the record button early, you can press and hold the button again to begin recording a subsequent clip that seamlessly follows the first one.
Use Existing Video for Reels
Reels can be up to 90 seconds long, providing ample opportunity for creativity and storytelling. They are presented in a vertical format, ideally suited for mobile viewing, with an aspect ratio of 9:16. The resolution for Reels is recommended to be 1080 x 1920 pixels, ensuring high-quality visuals that are crisp and clear.
Adding Audio to Reels
Users can incorporate a wide range of audio options, including music from Instagram's vast library or original audio recorded within the Reel. Trending audio can be saved and used in the editing feature. If you want to find trending Instagram Reels audio, the easiest ways is to browse through the Reel sounds used by popular accounts or search popular hashtags.
Editing Your Content
To add effects to your video, you can select the editing option located on the left side of the Reels screen. Add stickers, text, and use the built-in creative tools for comprehensive editing. Reels offers a variety of editing tools, such as AR effects, timer and countdown for hands-free recording, speed controls for slow motion or sped-up effects, and seamless transition options. The filters available for Reels are akin to those in Instagram Stories, with many of these effects being interchangeable between the two video formats.
Posting on Instagram Reels
After editing, choose a cover, write a caption, and select sharing options. Reels can be shared to the Feed, Stories, or sent as direct messages. Consider scheduling it for optimal engagement. After you decide whether to share your Reel to the Feed, at the bottom of the screen you have the chance to:
Include tags of users or brands featured in the video.
Customize the name of the audio track used in the video.
Add details about the location where the Reel was filmed.
Add any fundraising events that you are endorsing.
Add the option to share your Reel on Facebook.
Instagram Reels vs TikTok
User demographics of Instagram Reels and TikTok vary. Instagram tends to have a more diverse age range, encompassing not just younger audiences but also attracting users from older demographics. This broader user base impacts the type of content that resonates on the platform. In contrast, TikTok is famously popular with Gen Z and younger millennials, which influences its content trends and cultural references.
Content norms and expectations on each platform have subtle but important differences. What may be a hit on TikTok – owing to its unique culture, trends, and humor – might not necessarily have the same impact on Instagram Reels. This divergence necessitates a tailored approach to content creation
Features and editing tools are not the same on TikTok, such as Reels Templates. These templates allow for easier and quicker video creation, enabling users to produce content that is both high-quality and aligned with the platform's aesthetic and functional norms.
The algorithms of Instagram Reels and TikTok differ in how they prioritize and distribute content. Understanding these algorithms is crucial for maximizing reach and engagement. For instance, Instagram will prioritize content that keeps users engaged on their platform for longer periods, while TikTok might focus more on viral potential and novelty.
When to Schedule Instagram Reels
To optimize engagement, scheduling Reels for peak times is crucial. This is because posting when your audience is most active on the platform increases the likelihood of your content being seen and interacted with. Understanding the optimal time to post on Instagram Reels can significantly enhance your brand's engagement and reach. For instance, the best time to post on Instagram for the average user is between 9 a.m. and noon, from Monday to Thursday.
The ideal posting time varies for different users and brands. Tools are available for scheduling posts and analyzing their performance, providing valuable insights into audience engagement and content reach. Monitoring the performance of your Reels is crucial. Instagram provides detailed analytics for Reels, including engagement metrics and audience insights. These insights help in understanding the best times to post and the types of content that resonate with your audience.