A lady gingerly dips her hand into a pool of water. Hundreds of small fish – yellow, orange, and white – are lapping the pool. Seeing the hand, the fish scramble towards it in anticipation of what it might bring. The lady looks towards the camera, her smile radiant and infectious.
This is the viral video, One Word – Happiness, and it’s the fourth most-watched Instagram Reel so far in 2022. If you’ve ever wondered what Reels can do for your small business, this is your answer. This video was created by Cochinaquatic, a small, little-known ornamental fish farm in Kerala, India.
One Word – Happiness has now been viewed by an incredible 144 million people. Needless to say, there’s a link straight from that video to their website.
Reels are great news for anyone short on time and technical skills but looking for a new creative way of promoting their business. The idea behind Instagram Reels is that anyone can create a 15-second entertaining video with absolute ease. And, of course, they have the potential to go viral, just like the lady with the fish.
Read on for what Instagram Reels can do for your business as well as tips and tricks to get started straight away, as recommended by a social media agency in the UAE.
Why use Reels?
Reels need to be part of your social media strategy. If you aren’t using this Instagram feature yet, you are missing out.
Why? Well, Reels are proven to be addictive. If you’ve seen them on your own Instagram account or used the similar platform TikTok, you’ll know how easy it is to get drawn into watching video after video.
At 3-90 seconds, they are the perfect length of time to keep your attention and there’s always time for just one more. Get on board this trend and you’ll see the numbers watching your Reels grow fast.
It’s also widely believed that the Instagram algorithm is favoring accounts that publish Reels and pushing their content towards new audiences. If you want to stay in the game, Reels are looking essential to your Instagram strategy. Reels are perfect for showcasing your business, its values, and its personality in a quick, easily digested format.
Although there are a number of features that reels provide you to promote your business, users are still waiting for the feature that will let them directly add link to Instagram Reel.
We already know that Instagram is a great platform for building a community around your brand and for brand communication. Well, Reels are just the latest tool for doing the same and are appealing to a wider audience with it. 64% of the 2 billion active Instagrammers are under 34 and the stats show that since the introduction of Reels, engagement figures have never been better.
3 Things You Really Need To Know About Reels
1. It’s nearly but not quite the same as TikTok
TikTok and Reels are very similar, but there are a few differences. TikTok videos have the watermark in the corner; Instagram Reels don’t. TikTok videos are currently allowed to be longer, although both platforms regularly review this.
The biggest difference that is relevant to your business, however, is that Reels use the Instagram platform. Assuming you already use Instagram, this means you have a ready-made audience and hit the ground running. A TikTok audience needs to be built from the ground up.
2. Don’t get Reels and Stories confused
Stories are mini-features on Instagram that stay for 24 hours before being automatically deleted. You can post videos or images to stories. Stories are really useful for keeping followers updated and engaged regularly.
To keep a video on Instagram for longer, you’ll need to post it as a Reel. You can upload your Reel to Stories too if you like, but if you want to maximize your audience, reach new people, and get the most out of your efforts, make sure it’s on the Reels tab as well as your grid. Do this by using the ‘share to feed’ slider when publishing to Reels.
3. Reels users love authentic, fun, and fresh content
Both TikTok and Reels have demonstrated that the human side of your business is what is best-liked about this type of content. Your Reels don’t have to be ‘salesy’ or cinematic in quality.
Off-the-cuff, behind-the-scenes, natural-looking content is what goes down best so you don’t need loads of time to make a successful Reel.
5 Simple Steps To Get Started With Reels
With Reels, you have a great suite of tools to hand that will allow you to edit your video with music, text, stickers, and other special effects. To get started, here’s what you need to do:
- Open up Instagram on mobile and go to Reels. You’ll see a camera button that lets you capture video ready to publish. Alternatively, upload video from your own camera roll.
- There are currently three creative tools available: music, speed, and effects to enhance your video. Take your pick.
- Make use of the countdown timer to keep your Reel hands-free and professional looking.
- Edit your video with stickers, text, and drawings.
- Hit the arrow to publish.
How To Make The Best Of Reels
The five steps above will help you get started. However, if you are going to get the most out of this feature, there are some other things you really need to know.
1. See what’s trending
Be sure to watch a lot of Reels to see what’s trending. Trends move fast on platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, so take a look at what’s going down well with audiences right now for some inspiration.
You can access trending Reels from the tab at the bottom or head straight to popular accounts to view all their Reels in one place.
Alternatively, search for a keyword in the Explore tab and you’ll see lots of Reels pop up.
2. Learn a little about the algorithm
Instagram is pretty open about how and why they recommend Reels to users. Here are a couple of things to know about the algorithm that should help improve your viewer numbers.
- The algorithm is more likely to recommend Reels if the video has been watched all the way through by others, liked, received positive comments, and inspired others to make their own Reel using the same audio.
- Instagram favors accounts that are regularly active and that are interactive with other users’ accounts. So like, share, and follow for more views on your own Reels.
- The algorithm needs to know what your video is about to be able to share it with the right people. Be sure to use hashtags and a text description for this reason.
Now you are armed with the basics, why not go and make your first Reel now?