Instagram Reels are brand spanking new – and if you use them correctly, your business can grow quickly! Here’s everything you need to know about how to use Instagram Reels strategically to grow your business faster.
How to Use Instagram Reels | How your business can strategically use Instagram Reels to grow!
Want to watch a video version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
Instagram Reels is a direct competitor to TikTok (which, depending on when you’re reading this, may be banned in the U.S.). For businesses, it has the same appeal as TikTok – it’s really easy to get views, new followers, and grow your account from there.
The best part? It’s on a platform that you’re probably already using. Woohoo! Let’s get into it.
How to use Instagram Reels | A Tutorial
When you’re in Instagram, click in the top left corner and as if you’re going to create a story. Then, at the bottom of the screen, you’ll see three options: Live, Story, and Reels. You’ll want to go to the Reels feature.
Here are all of the different features available (some of them only pop up after you’ve recorded a clip, so don’t panic if you don’t have them all!)
You can find them on the left side of the screen: you have options for music, speed, effects, timer, and align.
If you have a business account on Instagram, you will not have the music feature. If you’re regularly creating things like this, I recommend being a creator account so that you can access the music. You can also access it on a personal account.
If you do have access to the music, you can search for a song and then pick which portion of the song you want to record in your 15 second clip. 15 seconds is the maximum length of Reels right now.
You can still access all of your filters in the bottom section when you’re recording a reel, so you can keep up with your aesthetic!
Once you’ve recorded a reel, the clip will show up in the top left corner as a pink bar. If you want to watch your reels back, you click the arrow pointing to the left at the bottom of the screen.
The timer feature allows you to do a countdown before the recording starts. This is really helpful if you know you want to do a motion right at the beginning of a song, dance like on TikTok, or if you want to say something right at the beginning.
The align feature is a little weird – if shows you where you left off in the last frame you recorded. If you’re filming small pieces of content, you can click the align button and use it to line up your clips.
When you’re done, you click the button on the right to continue.
What To Do When You’re Done Recording Your Reel
This step is where you can add text or other effects to your video. The text feature works just like it does in stories. An additional feature of text in reels is that you can drag the text clip to the appropriate place within the video you recorded where you want the text to show up.
Don’t worry if text you have elsewhere in the video shows up in the background looking transparent – Instagram just does that so you can see how all of your text looks throughout the video. It will only be visible to someone watching where you placed it at in the video!
When you’re ready to share your Reels with the world, just click the white arrow pointing to the right. Here, you’ll be able to choose a cover. You can add one from the camera roll or from your actual video.
Then, you can type in your caption and choose whether or not to share it to your feed (just like IGTV). If you do share it to your feed, it will create a square version of your cover photo – keep that in mind when you’re choosing what your cover should be.
From here, you can either publish it or save it as a draft. Once you’ve created a reel, whether it’s a draft or published, you’ll get a Reels button on your Instagram profile. You can see all of your published AND drafted reels.
If you click on the draft, you’ll be able to go back and edit it. Reels allow you to write captions, use hashtags, and comment just like normal Instagram posts.
If you look at my Reels, you can see the first one I made (on the day they came out) has about 400 views. The other three have around 4,000. That’s massive! I never get that amount of views on IGTV videos. They’re also getting more likes than my regular posts!
The reason for that is because Instagram is pushing Reels into people’s feeds. It’s shiny and new and they want to encourage using Reels. That means that now is the PERFECT time to jump on this bandwagon because your Reels are likely going to get you a ton of views without being extremely content heavy or well produced.
Your Reels don’t have to be perfect to go viral or be shared! I suggest hopping onto Reels now and making the most of it.
My Experience with Reels
Right now, you aren’t able to see insights on Reels like you are on your other posts – but I can tell you that every time I’ve done a Reel, I have seen an influx of followers on Instagram.
I wanted to test whether or not I could get as many views on business-focused Reels as non-business-focused ones. The first two Reels I did that got substantial views were home decor focused. One of the home decor Reels has 4,700 views. And surprisingly, when I posted my first business-focused Reel yesterday, it has already gotten just as many views as the other two in that first 12-15 hour time period!
The possibilities are endless here, friends. There is definitely a learning curve among Instagram users who aren’t comfortable with Reels, but as time goes on, more people will definitely catch on and enjoy them. (One quick tip – you can tap on a Reel to pause it if it’s going too fast for you to read!)
I see Reels being a GREAT feature for business owners who felt weary about adding TikTok as a platform. It’s an especially good way to reach a teenage demographic on Instagram. They’re quick and easy to make, don’t have to be perfect, and can get a massive amount of views!
Types of Content You Can Put on Instagram Reels to Grow Your Audience
Stick with your niche!
Create content on Reels that people who already follow you will love and that will also attract new followers. You want to attract people who will like your other content, so stick with your niche.
On any social platform, it can’t be business all the time! You do have more freedom on Reels than anywhere else to show your audience a more personal side.
Share Your Story
The story behind your business, how this year was for you, how you left corporate to start your business, or any other aspect of your story! It will resonate with people.
Tips and Tricks
Give all the tips and tricks that your audience may be interested in! Your five favorite cameras, five steps to x, y, or z, your five favorite things from Amazon. The list goes on! You could make a series like “3 Things You Need to Start Your Business” and upload three new things every day so people will return to watch those.
Little clips of people saying they love working with you, they love your YouTube channel, etc. Grab the attention of new clients!
We all love some encouragement, and Reels is a great place to share motivational content!
There’s a MILLION other things you can share on Reels – believe me, the list above is not exhaustive. You can even combine different ideas into one. The possibilities are endless!
Before we dive into strategy, here’s one more quick tip to remember:
- You can use other people’s audio and make your own video with their audio (or encourage other people to use your audio!)
Strategy Behind Reels
There are three major strategy tactics to keep in mind when you’re making your Reels.
1. Is it shareable?
2. Is it re-watachable?
3. Is it saveable?
We don’t know enough about Reels to understand how Instagram is determining which Reels are shown to who… right now, it’s mostly Instagram saying “hey, you’re using Reels! Let’s show people!”
But, in the Instagram feed, some of the most important things Instagram considers when choosing to show your content to other people are saves and shares. That is what will cause your post to skyrocket through the rankings. So why not use that same strategy with Reels?
Looking for more ideas for Instagram Reels?
I’ve created an idea list for Instagram Reels! It’s got over 50 ideas to use on Instagram Reels for everyone from YouTubers to creators to bloggers – and it’s totally free!
Hopefully this will help open your eyes to different types of Reels you can create that will help your business grow! You can grab the idea list below.