For a while now Instagram has reel-ly pushed their Reel feature. Their answer to Tik Tok is developing faster than any other element of the app, with video first content performing strongest in the algorithm, and more features being added to keep up with user requirements, competition and Instagram’s own plans. While the Instagram community was largely built on photographs, and users who enjoyed photography, video can’t be ignored. If you know you should be focusing on reels, but don’t know where to start then here’s some useful things to consider when creating Instagram reels.
There’s no doubt that professional level quality with high tech equipment, and the time and skill to video edit can be a huge benefit in Instagram reel success, but not everyone has that at their disposal. Instagram reels shouldn’t be discounted, as there are plenty of things that anyone can do that will benefit Instagram performance. It’s a mobile phone app after all, designed to be used on your phone.
Things To Consider Before You Start Creating Instagram Reels
Whether you’re a business or an individual creator, if you’re looking for success with Instagram reels then one of the main things to remember is to incorporate your brand into everything you do, although of course the nature of social does allow for those boundaries to be pushed.
It can be subtle or more obvious, but the more natural the content is with the rest of your feed, the better. What I mean is, find where Reels fit into your strategy to give you some guidance, and so you don’t fall into the trap of just posting anything and hoping it sticks.
Have a look at past social video content, what has worked and can you elaborate on this further through reels? What are key topics or products that you feature in your social content that could be expanded on through video? Or do reels give you an opportunity to branch out into something different?
One size certainly won’t fit all, and a bit of testing and learning may be required until you find where reels work best for you. Spend some time looking at what is being featured in your discovery feed. It is likely to be content based around your niche, your industry and what you frequently engage with.
This is a good starting point for searching out what is doing well within those areas, as reels will definitely feature in the results. This will allow you to jump on trends fast, but provide some inspiration from which you can work.
Tips For Creating Instagram Reels
Once you’re ready to get going, consider these tips when creating Instagram reels ready for posting. Remember that what will work for some won’t for everyone, these are just some loose guidelines and suggestions that should point you in the right direction.
Prioritize Original Content
Create your own, new content when creating your reels. Instagram has openly shared that it will favour original content in the feeds over replicated or copycat style content. If you look to competitors to see what they’re doing, don’t copy, use it as inspiration and do something better.
Use the latest tools available
Instagram is always adding new tools to their features, especially reels as they’re such a big focus for them. Don’t go over the top by using every one, but if you see a new one take advantage and jump on it. Auto captions, sounds and music are just a few examples of things you can use to make your reels more interesting.
One of the most recent updates for Instagram Reels that is currently being tested in some locations is ‘templates’. Essentially this will allow you to take the structure of someone’s reel, so video frame timings, and use it as a template for your own content by replacing their clips and images with your own. Read more on Instagram templates in this article by Social Media Today.
This would definitely make a lot of people’s lives easier, and the creation process so much quicker, however it is unclear at the moment if this will be of benefit to you in the algorithm, or if it will work against you as it is essentially unoriginal content to a degree. It’s likely this will be released out beyond the current testing locations so keep your eyes peeled for that feature once available.
Use Accessible Captions & Text
85% of video on Facebook (Digiday) is consumed without sound on, so if your video features talking or voice overs, make sure you add captions or it will be missed entirely by the majority of the audience. By adding auto captions that you can edit to make sure they make sense, you won’t be excluding anyone from receiving what you have to say.
Jump On Trending Sounds & Music
The Instagram music library is filled with songs you can choose from to add to your Reels, but recently it has started to make recommendations based on your content. It is currently unclear exactly how Instagram chooses songs to recommend, but it might be worth considering. Just remember that business accounts don’t have access to as much music, and if this is a feature you’re wanting to use it might be worth switching to a creator account.
Remove Watermarks From Other Apps
Essentially Instagram don’t want to see reels that are just Tik Toks that have been downloaded and reposted. They will actively reduce your reach on these which can be difficult to gain back, and at a time when organic reach and impressions are hard to achieve anyway, you don’t need anything working against you. Create original reels in the Instagram app.
Put Your Best Clips Forward
The way people consume video content is to watch the first few seconds, and they’re very quick to swipe or scroll past if it doesn’t capture their interest quickly. Rather than building up your reels with the best content at the end, make sure it’s at the start. Get the information out their quickly.
Set Your Permissions to Allow to Feed & Facebook
Anything for increased reach right? By sharing your reel to your feed, and allowing it to feature on Facebook can only increase the chances of people seeing it. You can control these settings as you post.
And one last tip for creating Instagram Reels would be to take your time when putting it together to make sure you get it right the first time. It’s easy to spot a typo, or make a mistake in the clip order, or forget to add subtitles, and if you delete and repost it’s disastrous for performance. Check your reel over multiple times, to avoid this happening.
Being consistent when creating Instagram reels can also really help, even if that’s just once a week get into the habit of posting them at the same time and frequency. Your audience will come to expect it.
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