Since Tiktok was banned in India, and Facebook took ownership of Instagram, the app has rolled out a new Reels feature this July. If you don’t know what Reels is, it’s very similar to TikTok. Instagram videos for stories were limited to just a few seconds with the introduction of Reels, users can now make up to 15 seconds of worth original content for every clip.
You can add custom music tracks from the library to your Reels, and there are options for adding AR effects, special filters, and much more. If you’re thinking of using Instagram Reels for your digital marketing strategy, we’ll tell you how to make the most out of it. Before you get started, you have to remember that Reels is still in the beta testing phase.
Not every user will get updates automatically, but the good news is – you can install them manually.
To create your first reel:
- Update your Instagram app on mobile and open up the Instagram camera
- You’ll find reels located just beside Boomerang and Superzoom
- Click on Reels and pick your soundtrack or music file fro the audio library. Facebook has a huge network of popular music labels and songs in their library which means you don’t have to worry about running out of options
- You can edit your video on Reels by changing the speed settings and using AR effects. Take your time to explore and see what you like
There is also an option to re-record videos and delete them before publishing in case you want to test out their feature. Unlike Instagram stories, once you publish your Reels, it will be available for viewing on the Explorer Feed and stay there instead of disappearing after 24 hours.
If your account is set to private, you’ll only be able to share Reels with your followers through DMs and Instagram Stories.
What Reels Means For Digital Marketers
If you live anywhere remotely in France, Germany, or Brazil, you’d be the first to hear of any of the recent updates. If you compare Reels and Tiktok side-by-side, you will notice that Instagram has essentially copied most of its competitor’s features. There are fewer editing tools as Instagram has kept the design clean and simple.
Over 500 million people view Instagram stories daily, and with the addition of Reels, this number could spike up. Unlike Tiktok, where you’d see content based on viewing behavior, Instagram Reels pop up on your Feed and notify you whenever someone you follow posts them. Most businesses consider getting their content at the top of the Explorer’s page, the ‘holy grail’ of their digital marketing strategy, and Reels is a good way to do that.
Instagram will be trying to garner to the Tiktok fanbase and convert them. But for digital marketers who are getting the hang of Reels, it’s good news for them. Brands tend to have a social image they adhere to, but Instagram Reels gives them a bit of space.
The future of digital marketing, thanks to Instagram Reels, means a space where content creators can deviate from their online persona and be more raw/authentic. Marketers will be able to talk off-script and show more behind-the-scenes views. For CEOs of brands, they could even show the ‘fun’ side of working with their team.
Stories would reveal snippets of everyday life, but Reels makes moments stay. Add to that the 15-second stardom challenge which TikTok was famous for, now Reels will be taking the spotlight and encouraging creators to get their creative juices flowing. Brands will also get the chance to share their true side and talk about their vision off-script. This means more transparency for consumers and an opportunity for fans to interact directly with creators.
Some brands have already begun taking advantage of this new feature to showcase their products and releases. Big names in India like Myntra and FilterCopy have already made their debut, and soon there will be many more that follow suit.
Things You May Want To Know Before Using Reels
You may still have some questions about using Instagram Reels if you’re new to the feature. You will find it on your explorer tab, and you’ll notice how Reels don’t use too many hashtags. Currently, you won’t be able to promote your Instagram Reels videos like your regular IG posts, but Instagram will make an announcement about that later. The aspect ratio for video content for Reels is 16:9 with the file format being .mp4. You can’t add any links to your Reels or cross-link and share on Facebook.
The great news is that Reels has a huge Effects library for AR. There’s a search icon when you swipe right that lets you look up more effects. Some of the most popular ones trending right now are Motion Blur, Light Leaks, Kaleidoscope, and Infinite Zoom. Reels aren’t shared by default on your Feed, so you’ll have to go to your settings and edit them.
If you’re planning to upload custom footage or merge clips for future uploads, you can use a free Instagram video editor. If you’re a brand that’s starting out, we suggest making a short intro or outro before releasing new content. There are various outro maker no watermark software available online that you can experiment with.
Reels has already been made available, and it will be released in the US around early August. For now, it’s available in countries like India, Brazil, France, and Germany. It’s an exciting time for us to live in since especially Instagram fans state how Reels will become TikTok’s greatest rival with the upcoming updates. If you’ve been an avid fan of TikTok, you will notice the striking similarities between the two.
That pretty much sums up Instagram Reels for now. Be sure to follow Instagram’s Twitter account and their public announcements to learn more about the latest updates. In case you’re not happy with the feature and want to delete, you can read a how-to guide on the internet.