6 Ways To Get Ahead On Instagram Reels
After a few months of anticipation, Instagram finally launched Reels, its TikTok competitor last week. Instagram Reels is indeed a lot like TikTok. It allows users to create 15-second videos set to music or other audio. Also similar to TikTok, the new feature offers a set of editing tools, such as a countdown timer and a way to adjust a video’s speed. Users can make their Reels available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore.
With TikTok’s future still in doubt, Reels offers a way for brands to get in on the short-form video craze within an already well-established app. Instagram is obviously still an enormously popular platform, with nearly 1 billion active users. It’s move into TikTok’s neighborhood is a big one – and it’s time to start getting your Reels in order. Here are six ways to get ahead of the pack, plus a few recommended Reel-ers to follow (and learn from).
If you’re unsure where to start, re-use content from other mediums
There’s nothing wrong with recycling. Use unused TikTok drafts, old IG stories, or vertical video assets that exist elsewhere. Not everything needs to be created within the app.
That said, Reels presents a great opportunity to create unique, original content natively. This won’t affect your page’s grid, since Reels live on their own tab. Don’t be afraid to get weird; the early stages of a platform allow for experimentation and out-of-the-box approaches.
Use sounds for added reach
As we’ve seen with TikTok, adding music helps enhance the full experience on Reels. As an added benefit, Instagram users can search these sounds and see a feed of Reels that used them, similar to how hashtags work. Using sounds on your video could result in the Reel reaching a much wider audience.
Take advantage of the in-app editing tools
Creativity will thrive on Reels. You have the ability to alter the speed of videos, stitch clips together, add textual and graphic overlays, and play around with filters. Test out different features to make your Reels stand out from the crowd. The “Align Effect,” unique to Reels, takes the guesswork out of seamlessly transitioning between video clips.
Reels’ editing tools make short-form video a unique way of showing off a product, experience, or destination. Lookbook style videos and sleek transitions between clips can provide a fresh perspective for your audience.
Get started (preferably now!)
Influencers are already reporting higher engagement on Instagram Reel content within the first week of launching. Instagram is likely prioritizing Reels in the algorithm to help get the word out. That’s why it’s vital that brands get ahead of the curve NOW and start thinking about how they can use Reels sooner rather than later.
A Few Reel-ers To Follow
- Celebs: Supermodels Karlie Kloss and Ashley Graham have already embraced Reels, as has actress Jessica Alba.
- Brands: Louis Vuitton is all in on Reels, creating stylish and high quality content that is already taking off. Also check out Sephora France’s tip-top Reels content, including makeup tutorials and a healthy amount of user-generated content.
- Influencers/Creatives: Karen X’s Reels are super creative and fun — a good example of how to use the feature. Meanwhile, Tom Jauncey’s content shows that Reels works nicely in an inspirational/aspirational travel zone.
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