It’s official, Reels are the new Instagram trend that is here to stay!
Unlike IGTV, which got off to a rather dubious start, Instagram Reels have made a massive splash and are getting some users incredible reach and exposure!
Plus they’re a heck of a lot of fun too.
Proving that short-form, amusing videos with soundtracks aren’t just for the Gen-Z-TikTok-audience type, Reels are proving to be a “keeper” feature loved by audiences young and young-ish alike!
So if you’re yet to dive into the world of Reels to help promote your business, or you’ve tried it a few times but haven’t gained the results you want, here’s our top 5 tips when it comes to creating Reels that are going to boost your brand in the ways you need!.
- 5 Reasons Your Business Needs to Start Using Reels Today!
- How to Create Your First Instagram Reel
- 5 Key Ways to Feel More Confident in Front of the Social Media Camera
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What are Reels?
So first up, a quick introduction to what Reels are, in case you’ve been asleep for the last 12 months or so and have missed them!
Launched in 2020, Reels are Instagram’s answer to TikTok!
OK, that might sound a little unfair, but it was kinda true!
And we say, it was, because now however Reels have taken on a life of their own and many people find them more rewarding and fun to both make and watch, than TikTok.
In essence, Reels are short-from video content pieces (up to 30 secs) that are set to audio (either original or re-purposed).
Often capturing amusing or entertaining content – Reels are designed to show the soft side of your brand in authentic and light-hearted ways.
Usually Reels are either filmed or created in the Instagram app, by pairing various pieces of video footage with audio and a range of effects.
There’s a cover image too as well as text overlay options.
Reels can then be given captions or hashtags, before being posted either to your feed or to a separate Reels tab, which functions much like the one we’ve seen developed for IGTV.
Why Should You be Using Reels?
Definitely not for diving in with the hard sell!
Reels need to be thought of in a similar way to Stories in how they showcase behind the scenes content, often focused on your brand personality and the people who work with you.
They are about giving your brand a face.
As such, Reels should be used to show a softer side to your business, to increase awareness of your organisation’s culture and to gain client or customer trust.
And Reels are great at doing this, because the reach on them is huge!
And mean HUGE when compared to regular Instagram Grid / Feed posts and even Stories.
As the most recently rolled out feature, Instagram is keen to push Reels (probably in direct competition to TikTok), and, as such, the app consequently rewards users greatly for creating Reels by showing them to a lot of people i.e. leveraging a much larger Reach.
Reels are also a less crowded market because not everyone is making them yet!
So getting ahead of the trend in this area is key.
Reels can also help showcase your brand personality, as we’ve shown, allowing you to shine and making you more memorable!
When it comes to Reels, our top tips is… don’t hold back!
#1 Choose the Right Audio
So the next tip on our list when it comes to our top advice for Reel creation is to make sure you choose your audio right.
Not only should the audio you select ideal be trending, but it should also fit your brand and appeal to your audience too.
For us pufflings, that’s a female Millennial audience, so 90’s classics and remixes are big on our Reel audio list!
Audios should also be fun, attention-grabbing, upbeat, amusing, inspirational or motivational… or a combination of a few of these!
Dull audios will not stand out on Reels, so choose something that catches your ear and it’s likely to catch that of your followers too.
Audios with a good beat can also help, not only to pull an audience in, but also in terms of making sure your cuts, edits, dance moves and text overlays, fit in time to the music!
Rather than creating original audios, we’d first advise using others’ audio clips on Instagram to get the hang of what works for your audience in Reels before plunging in to creating your own.
To find trending Reel audios, or just ones that you like, head over to your Reels tab and start scrolling… don’t forget to engage with other people’s Reels at this point too (by liking or commenting) to get some extra algorithm juice.
And if you’re not sure what we’re talking about when we say algorithm juice, check out this post.
Once you’ve found 1 or more audios that you like, we suggest saving them to your account so that you can then use them at a later date. To do this, simply tap the audio you like on someone’s Reels and then hit Save Audio at the top of the next screen.
When you then go to create a Reel, you can find all the audio clips you saved by hitting the Audio button in the creation screen, followed by the Saved icon bar at the top of the audio list you’re then shown.
#2 Plan your Background & Lighting
So that you’ve got the audio you want in place, it’s time to think about how to film your Reel… or indeed where.
At this point, we strongly recommend you consider both the background and the lighting of your filming location.
Ensuring this spot is well-lit and that ideally, if you’re appearing in the Reel, you have natural light shining onto you (rather than coming in behind you), is a great starting point.
You can also use filming lights, which can be bought very easily and cost-effectively online.
We also suggest you invest in a simple tripod so that you can film your Reel hands-free and keep the camera steady.
Please ensure that the background in your Reel is onbrand and remember that, if you’re going to be using Text Overlay features, a white background might work best for ensuring that your message or information or captions, don’t get lost amidst a cluttered and crowded backdrop.
Also think about the placement of your text so that it’s not obscured by the right hand Reel icons and that people can read it from their home feed!
#3 Don’t Overfill them with Info
And talking of Text Overlays, you need to make sure that if you’re making use of this feature, which we highly suggest you do, that your text is legible!
And we mean this both in terms of the type of font you select, the size of the font and the amount of time the words you have typed out are on-screen.
Reels which don’t give readers the time to read the words can be frustrating, so ensure you captions are displayed for long enough.
Equally, keep your captions short and to the point.
A lot of text doesn’t work on Reels, so short, snappy top-level info is the key for reeling (sorry we couldn’t help ourselves) your audience in.
Keeping any text to just a few words will also ensure your readers can get through it before you flash something else in front of their eyes.
Yes, when it comes to Reels, not overfilling with video with info (either spoken or text) is crucial to making an impact and drawing people in.
#4 Give Value in Your Caption
Which leads us onto our 4th point here when it comes to creating great Reels that benefit your brand.
Because we certainly aren’t saying that Reels shouldn’t provide value, in fact, they certainly should!
As we’ve spoken about many times here at Social Puffin, we love to remind our clients about the value tripod, which is a quick check that every piece of social media content you are putting out does one of 3 things… it either inspires, entertains or informs.
Reels are no different and while your video elements may entertain or inspire, your caption is the place to inform.
Because you’re keeping your text overlay to a minimum with Reels too, it makes sense instead to flesh out your ideas and information in the caption.
This is the place to provide real informative value and to make it clear for your audience that you both know what you’re talking about and you have something special to offer.
#5 Be Vibrant
But it’s not just in the caption of course that you need to show your audience you’re special and have something to offer!
Your video content should do this too!
Yes if there’s one tip we could give you for top reel creation that shows your brand as its best… it’s be vibrant!
Please do not get in front of the camera unless you are prepared to give it you all. And even if you feel those nerves, don’t let them show!
We know this is easier said than done, but remember any sense of awkwardness and hesitation also makes us hesitate as viewers, and to get those all-important likes and comments, we do not want to be hesitating!
We also don’t want to be cringing or feeling embarrassed, so please, put yourself out there and give it your all.
Even if what you’re doing is silly, if you do it with confidence, you’ll sell it to us!
So go on, be brave, get out there and smash it!
PS. Using the timer to ensure you’re giving it loads from the very starting-micro-second of your Reel, is key here too!
PIN IT TO PINTEREST!
So there you have it folks, our top 5 tips for creating Instagram reels that showcase your brand at its best.
We hope these handy hints have been helpful in getting you to create excellent Instagram content that sky-rockets your reach and propels your brand awareness.
However if you still have any questions, or indeed any other top Reel tips to share, then please don’t hesitate to drop them into the comments box below.
We’d love to hear from you…