A simple guide to Instagram Reels

By karina scott

Over the past week you may have seen a new icon pop up on your Instagram feed.

Introducing – Instagram Reels. Inspired by the famous app TikTok that has kept us all entertained through #lockdown (Anyone else still not know the dances  move to Savage? No? Just me?), this new feature will allow you to create and watch 15-second clip videos to share with your followers.

Sources say it’s estimated that 85% of businesses plan to use video as a marketing tool in 2020 (Source: Wyzowl), which means the Instagram Reel is a great feature for content creators and brands that may not have the big video budgets to engage with their audience and keep content fresh.

Like a standard photography feed post, a reel could be used to:

  • Announce a new product or service launch
  • Share customer testimonials
  • Showcase behind the scenes of a brand
  • Share important information with followers

To access reels, click on your Instagram camera where you’ll see the option at the bottom of the screen. You can either record a full clip in one go, a series of clips (like you would in an Instagram Story) or upload directly from your photo gallery.

Just press and hold down the capture button and you are ready to go.

Here are our top tips to using the new function: 

1. Add music – To eliminate any copyright drama, you must pick audio from the Instagram library but there are so many songs to choose from that it won’t be too much of a problem. Right now not all business accounts have access  to add music but this is something they are looking into. Adding music to a video can make the clip much more memorable to the audience, whether it’s a fast paced tune to represent positivity or something a little slower to evoke empathy (The John Lewis Christmas adverts always get me).

2. Don’t forget special effects – Like an Instagram Story, you are able to add in special effects and GIFS to your reel. Get creative and make you brand message stand out and get direct with a flashing “buy now” image or a witty pun.

3. Show off your dance moves and go handsfree with the self timer function, just set the time, countdown and get moving.

4. Be precise with the align function – It creates a ghost overlay which helps you align separate videos to ensure perfect continuity between each video. Who needs big video budgets when you’ve got all the professional features at a touch of a button?

5. Speed up or slow down – Use the function to fit more into one 15-second reel or give your best Baywatch run in slow mo.

I have created a day in the life Reel to share with you how simple the function is!

Happy Reeling!