Have you noticed that your Instagram feed is a lot more dynamic these days? That when you scroll, there’s more music, video and moving images?
Well, there’s a reason for that.
You see, last year, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri announced the platform would be prioritising video content in 2021 – and that theme is set to continue in 2022.
But what does that mean for you as a business owner?
Are you suddenly expected to start turning out Spielberg-style video content for your followers? Do you need to learn to sing and dance to promote your business online? And, if everyone else is doing it, should YOU be embracing this hot new trend?
Let’s find out…
What are Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels are short 15, 30 or 60-second videos that are created within the app.
Reels are basically Instagram’s own version of TikTok and often creators post the same content across both platforms to save time – but you don’t need to worry about doing that.
If you click on the little clapperboard icon at the bottom of your own feed you’ll be taken to the Reels feed. This is where you’ll find popular and trending Reels that Instagram thinks you’ll enjoy.
You can also find your own Reels (once you have some), or another account’s Reels, via the clapperboard icon under highlights on the profile page.
Reels your way
Instagram’s mission is to entertain – that way users will spend more time on the app.
Lots of people use Reels to create fun content such as lip syncs, dances and simple how-to tutorials – but if that feels wrong for your business, don’t worry. Reels don’t have to be silly, serious topics can also be handled sensitively.
Like all the features on Instagram, the algorithm uses a complex set of ‘signals’ to decide which Reels to show you. This will be based on the type of content topics you usually engage with and how much time you spend looking at particular Reels.
5 reasons to use Reels
I love watching and creating Instagram Reels – if you’ve spent any time watching them too, you’ll know how addictive they can be. Here are five more reasons to include them in your content strategy.
#1: Reach a whole new audience
One of the best things about Reels is that – unlike the rest of your content – they aren’t just shown to people who follow you. This means they’re a great way for new people to discover you. One downside is that those viewers might not be your ideal audience, but you can improve your chances by making your Reels super focussed and using targeted hashtags and covers.
#2: They generate lots of engagement
Instagram is really pushing Reels right now and, as a result, they’re generating lots of views and engagement. Take the time to engage back and you could see a spike in your follower numbers.
#3: They have a longer shelf life
Unlike Stories that disappear after 24 hours and grid posts that drop down the feed, Reels have a much longer shelf life. I’ve heard of examples of Reels that are still going strong weeks after they were posted.
#4: Reels are everywhere!
As well as having their own feed, Reels can be posted to your grid and to your Stories. They also appear on the Explore page and on the hashtag feed pages. So, as you can see, Reels can massively increase your chances of being seen on the platform. Not only that, Reels can be downloaded and shared across other social platforms and in newsletters.
#5: Showcase your brand personality
Reels are an opportunity to have a bit of fun with your audience and give them a glimpse of the people – or person – behind the brand.
As we know, people buy from people so Reels offer a brilliant opportunity to make deeper connections with your ideal clients by building know, like and trust.
Ideas for Reels
If you’re struggling with ideas for your Reels, the best way to get inspiration is to simply watch them.
One of the great things about Reels is that it’s perfectly OK to copy others (with your own twist). In fact, it’s encouraged. The sooner you spot and jump on a trend, the more reach your Reel will get.
Start by making a note of the types of Reels you’d like to make. If you don’t want to show your face that’s fine. There are plenty of other options and I’d be happy to discuss ideas with you. Book a Power Hour with me and let’s brainstorm together!
Some quick Reels ideas:
- Create a short how-to tutorial
- Share 5 tips that are useful to your audience
- Repurpose your posts or stories into video format
- Share an ‘expectation vs reality’ about therapy
- Share an encouraging or inspirational quote or message
- Answer a commonly asked question
- Recommend some books your audience might enjoy
My favourite Reel creators
Check out these brilliant Reels accounts…
Dr. Nicole LePera – @the.holistic.psychologist – psychologist
Sara Kuburić, MA, CCC – @millennial.therapist – writer + existential psychotherapist
Nedra Glover Tawwab – @nedratawwab – NYT Bestselling Author, Relationship & Boundaries Expert
Katie Steckly – @katiesteckly – YouTuber and Content Creator
Scared to take the plunge? I totally understand how daunting learning a new skill such as making Reels can be – especially when you have a busy business to run.
That’s why I’d love to help you! Book a Power Hour with me.