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How To Use Instagram Reels To Grow Your Business

As a small business owner, I think it's safe to say you understand the importance of video content in 2021 and beyond? If not, here's the run down. Short Form Videos, like Tik Tok and Instagram Reels, are becoming a must have for social media and marketing. These videos are a unique opportunity for businesses to capture attention from a large, brand new audience and stand out from the crowd of competitors.


Instagram Reels has been around for a year now, and I'm guessing you've spent some time mindlessly scrolling through videos, only to realize you just wasted two hours of your evening? No? Just me?


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Whether you've been incorporating a few Instagram Reels into your content here and there, or you're a complete newbie, by the end of this post you'll walk away ready and confident about how to incorporate successful reels into your account.



What are Instagram Reels?

Reels are a fun and engaging way to create and discovery short, entertaining and valuable videos on Instagram. You can record and edit 15 to 60-second video clips with audio and share them with your current followers, as well as, the Explore Feed and Reels Tab to reach a brand new, larger audience.



Understanding the Instagram Reels Algorithm

Fun fact - there isn't just ONE big algorithm on Instagram. Different features (Explore, Reels, Feed) have different algorithms. Each of these algorithms ranks things based on how people interact with them. According to Instagram, the Reels algorithm favors videos that:


  • Are entertaining and fun

  • Are inspiring

  • Use creative tools like text, filters or camera affects

  • Use vertical video (horizontal videos are harder to recreate)

  • Use music from the Instagram music library and/or original audio you create or find on the Reels tab.

  • Are an experiment - be original and try something new!


On the other side of things, the Reels algorithm does NOT like:


  • Blurry or low-res videos

  • Borders around your Reels

  • Reels that have the majority of the image covered by text

  • If they don't meet the Instagram's Community Guidelines

  • Videos that have a watermark (logos from Tik Tok)



How to Use Instagram Reels for Your Business


Answer a frequently asked question in a conversational Reel

Trending audio is great, but don't forget the power of conversation and your own voice! Humanize your business by showing your face and speaking directly to the camera. What is a question you receive time and time again? Answer that in a short and simple manner! If your answer is longer than 20 seconds, give a summary and then direct them to read the caption for a more detailed answer.


Create Informative and Educational Videos

These reels might require more editing skills, but a tutorial video about your product or service is a great way to engage your audience nd promote your business.

  • Show your product in action - how do consumers use it?

  • Share your signature process

  • Have a hack? Those work great!

  • Step-by-step videos and How-to's

Hop on a trend and let your personality shine

After you spend ten minutes on Instagram Reels, you'll start to notice trends and common themes. If you find something that relates to your audience and industry, recreate it with your own unique spin! Step outside of your comfort zone and really have some fun with it. Again, this will humanize your brand, which is vital to your marketing efforts. Users on Instagram want to feel like there is a person and heart behind every business, big or small. Showcasing your personality is relatable and builds trust with your customers, earning brand loyalty for your business.

Showcase Products

For all of our retail and e-comm friends out there - this is for you. Instagram Reels are shoppable! Your business can showcase products and tag them directly in your videos, which is a massive opportunity, and one I wouldn't pass up. Viewers can watch your Reel and purchase your product directly from that video - how cool is that? This is such an excellent way to increase sales and traffic to your Instagram Shop (Note: you need your IG Shop set up to have shoppable Reels).



Tricks to creating Viral Instagram Reels

Want more sales? You need to start with more reach. There is no better place than Instagram Reels to get maximum reach. Here's the thing - your Reels aren't always going to go viral or reach oodles of people; some will flop, and that's okay. Try to remember that virality isn't the goal with Reels; however, here are a few tips to ensure you're optimizing them.


Keep it Short

Just because you have 60 seconds, doesn't mean you should use it! The Reels algorithm rewards videos that have been watched all the way through. Give your video a better chance at retaining viewership by keeping it short, sweet, and to the point. The sweet spot is 8-12 seconds.


Move Around

Chance the pace, style, tone or background when you can. We call this pattern interruption. As you probably gathered, the average attention span of a user on Reels is very short. Pattern interrupts are a great way to keep users focused on you and your content, improving retention and watch time. A great way to achieve this is by incorporating transitions. Transitions require minor editing skills, so if that feels overwhelming, keep it simple: switch up the background and angles. Don't spend 12 seconds speaking in front of the camera with the same background or angle - switch things up and keep it interesting!


Hook Them in Immediately

In case I haven't said it enough....short attention spans. Your viewers need to know WHY they should watch your whole video, and they won't be patient about it. You have 3 seconds to hook them in spark their curiosity. Use text on your Reel and within your caption to capture the attention of the audience.

Use Trending Audio

Instagram has made it clear that they promote reels that incorporate trending audio. Before I tell you how to find trending I want you to remember something - just because it's trending, doesn't mean it will go viral. Also; just because it's NOT trending, doesn't mean it wont' go viral. None of these hacks are hard and fast. If you find a trending audio that is relevant to the message you'd like to share, use it (But remember to put your own, unique spin on it)!


Now, here's the quickest way to find trending audio. When you're scrolling through the Reels Feed, look at the bottom of a video. If there is an arrow to the left of a song name, it is a trending song. If that particular audio is not trending, this arrow will be replaced with three dots; however, let me reiterate - just because it's not trending, doesn't mean you shouldn't use it!



How are you feeling about Reels now? As we said earlier, they've been out for a year now, but it's never to late to start incorporating them into your content strategy.


Stuck with what Reels to create or how to optimize them for your business? Over the last year, we have been working to streamline our process on how to best help our management clients with Reels. Each of our clients has started to incorporate reels into their marketing funnel, and this is how we do it: 1. Clients receive weekly communication with unique and specific reels prompts and audio requests. We give them thorough directions on what to film, how to film it, and any other tips or important information they need to capture the video. We explain our desired tactics and KPI's/goals for each Reel to help them understand the intention.


2. Clients will share their edited video into a shared Drive Folder


3. We will create cover photos, corresponding copy, and unique targeted hashtags for each Reel.


4. Finally, we'll handle the scheduling and implementation of each Reel, along with the rest of their content strategy.


If you're needing help incorporating Reels into your Instagram Strategy, reach out to us and let's chat about how we can take that pressure off and help you see the results you're hoping for.