Ok, so last week I talked about the big changes happening over on the gram, and a big piece to that puzzle is reels. Love em’ or hate em’, they’re not going anywhere. And if you really want to stand out, boost your engagement, and grow organically on the platform, reels 100% must become part of your strategy!
Let me be the first to say, I am NOT super excited about this. I love the idea of reels… but creating them is a whole nother story. People out there are so dang creative, and to execute the quality content they are is just not realistic for my life and schedule as of right now. But guess what, that’s fine! The most important thing is putting yourself out there, being real, and using reels in a way that works for you and your business!
Here are some of the most common questions I get asked about reels:
What are reels? So, reels are basically Insta's answer to TikTok. You know insta is always going to try to be the #1 platform, and when TikTok came in, she really shook the whole thing up! Instagram created reels quite some time ago to keep up! Both reels and TikTok videos are short format videos that are changing the future of video marketing. A lot can be accomplished in these short videos, and consumer’s short attention spans are being cared for by this type of content. Reels reach a lot more people organically and can go viral really easily, too! You can lip sync, follow trends, use original audio, and more!
Do I have to dance? No! You absolutely do not have to dance if that is not your thing. In fact, you shouldn't! Reels are a great opportunity for you to really show off your personality, and if dancing is not part of that, leave it out. But, just because you aren’t dancing doesn’t mean you can’t use a trending dance song and do something totally different! And if you love to dance, then get out there and shake your booty!
How can I use reels to grow? The organic engagement and reach of reels is unlike anything instagram has had so far. Your reel has the potential to get in front of thousands of new eyes every time you post! So, creating an instagram strategy that includes reels is going to open your account up to a whole new (huge) audience! Make sure that you are providing a mixture of entertainment, education, and inspiration that is in line with what you ICA is wanting to see.
Any tips for creation? Creating a reel can take as little or much effort as you want to put into it. And, the number one tip I can give is to batch record! Every time you have a good idea for a reel, jot it down! Save your ideas with as much detail as you can and make it easy to create a plan when it’s time to record. Pick a day that you are already planning on getting dressed, doing hair and makeup, and feeling good to be in front of the camera. Once you’re ready, record as many reels as you can in one day. You’ll have a batch of content to pull from when it’s time to post, and you really won;t have to think about it for a while. You can record right on the instagram app, on tiktok and save the video (side note- if you do this, make sure you use an outside site like snaptik.app to download the video without the TikTok water mark or instagram won’t push your reel as much), or on third party apps light inshot. However you choose to record, spend some time playing around with the app. Between trending audio, transitions, and getting used to the short format video, you may find a bit of a learning curve… but I promise, it will become more natural!
How do I find ideas? When you’re coming up with reel content ideas, make sure you’re staying true to who you are, what your ICA is needing/wanting to see from you, and what your message is. Reels are basically a bunch of people copying each other and creating trends, but it’s totally ok to mix things up, too! Spend some time scrolling for market research. See what other people are doing, what trends they're using, what is working, and then put your spin on it! I mentioned this earlier, but the purpose of all reels is to entertain, educate, or inspire. Pair this with your content pillars, and you’ve got the makings for some magical reels. You can also use larger pieces of content to section out to a smaller short format. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time!
How often do you post a reel? When it comes to reels, like everything else, consistency is key! Please do not make the mistake of getting super excited about reels and post daily for a couple weeks and then drop off for a month. This will hurt you more than anything! If you can only commit to one reel a month, start there. That’s great! One is better than none. See how it goes, and when you’re ready add more. For me, one reel per week is about all I can commit to right now… and it’s working, for now. I also find that posting my reels early in the morning around 7-7:30 am gets me the most interaction. So play around with your audience and decide how often/when to post.
Do I add it to my feed? Reels have their own grid, just like IGTV. And often, people wonder if they should keep their reels on that grid alone, or also post to the feed. I am a firm believer in posting to the feed to maximize views. Heck, even share it to your story! You worked hard on the dang thing, so make sure you do what you can to get it in front of as many eyes as possible. If you are worried about your page’s aesthetic you can easily make a reel cover over on canva that will show on your feed instead of the clip of the video. It’s really up to you how you want it to look, but make sure you post it!
Do I have to? The answer is yes.. And no. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. And, chances are if you keep doing you and posting your static photos and engaging with your audience, your social media will continue to do just fine. But, what if you tried it? What would happen if you just put yourself out there and took the leap? You might be surprised by the results! At the end of the day, you need to do what’s best for your business in a way that also fits into your lifestyle. Reels are just another thing we are encouraged to do for marketing, and can take some time. But, they can also have a powerful ROI. So do some reflecting on your strategy, your schedule, and your goals. And then, just do you.
So there ya have it, reels aren't going anywhere. Love them? Hate them? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org