Instagram has just released another fantastic feature called Reels, which could change the video marketing game. In this post, I'm going to introduce Instagram Reels and explain how to use it in your social media marketing campaigns.
Video marketing with top video-sharing networks
You might have noticed that the key to catching people's attention on social media is visual content, especially videos. Social users are mainly youngsters who don't like long, boring texts. This means you have to find a more engaging way to reach out to them.
Video content is the best means of telling your brand stories and growing your brand, especially if you're a small business. That's why video-sharing features are insanely popular among both users and businesses. Subsequently, videos consume around 80% of internet traffic.
Here are some top video-sharing platforms:
- YouTube: 2 billion monthly users
- Instagram TV (IGTV): 1 billion
- TikTok: 800 million active users
- Vimeo: 240 million active users
Almost all other social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapchat also have video-sharing capabilities. But the competition is so serious they're always thinking up new features to make video marketing even easier.
What is Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels is the newest feature on this popular social platform. It allows users to easily create and post short videos. These videos are 3-15 seconds long and can be posted on users' feeds. This is similar to TikTok and raises the question of whether Instagram Reels is targeting TikTok's increasing popularity, especially in the United States.
When Instagram launched Stories, it was noted that it was similar to a feature offered by Snapchat. Now, Instagram Stories is way more popular than Snapchat's offering. So, it remains to be seen whether Instagram Reels will repeat this success.
How to use Instagram Reels
Top Instagram Reels will be displayed on the Explore page (the algorithm will highlight these in the same way as other popular posts). Additionally, Featured Reels that are funny, creative, and entertaining will be shown within Reels.
Here is how to access and use this new feature:
Where is Reels located?
Open up your Instagram app, go into the explore page, tap on the big video with the Reels' icon in the bottom left to go to Instagram top Reels feed.
How do I interact with Reels?
If you want to interact with videos, you can do so just as you would with any other post on Instagram.
How can I add Reels to my stories?
If you want to add the video to your story or direct message it to your friends, simply tap on the paper airplane.
How do I use a song?
If you like a song in a video and want to use it, tap on the song below the caption in the video. You'll then see another page where you'll be able to create a Reel using that piece of music.
How do I create a new Reel?
If you want to create your Instagram Reel, go to your home feed and swipe just as you would when you want to add an Instagram story. Then, scroll over to the new Reels tab where you can upload and edit all of your video clips.
You'll be provided with a number of editing tools to make your Reels more interesting. You will find four actions on the left of the screen: audio, speed, effects and timer tools. You can simply tap on audio to access Instagram's music. You can see the Instagram search for suggestions for a specific genre, artist, or song.
You can simply choose what part of a song you want to use for your Reel. You can also adjust your video speed to make it faster or slow motion. You can also use different effects on your Reels just like Instagram Stories. Instagram allows you to save your desired effects or search through Instagram's gallery of effects and pick one to use.
Social media marketing and Instagram Reels
Many marketers believe that Instagram Reels can change the game of social media marketing. Around one-third of Instagram users follow one brand on the platform, making it the best place for marketing.
So businesses should use all features of Instagram, including Reels, to outperform their rivals. For example, new brands can use Instagram Reels to help their businesses be discovered. They just have to create fun, informative videos to be displayed in "Top Reels" section on Instagram.
Remember that social users are really interested in short, snappy content. One reason for the popularity of Instagram Stories is that it's really simple and short.
With Reels, you're provided with more features and editing tools to broadcast your brand story. This is perfect for introducing new products and events, in a way that makes users want to follow your account.
Of course, these short videos can be supported by longer video content using IGTV for more detailed advertisements.
TikTok vs Instagram Reels
Short videos made TikTok astronomically successful. It was the fastest-growing social platform in the world. The fun and entertaining nature of TikTok videos encouraged hundreds of millions of social users to download TikTok. This trend might have impacted other platforms.
In theory Instagram Reels should be able to make an impact with short format videos. The question is, which platform will be best for growing your business?
The main difference between TikTok and Instagram Reels is the length of videos (60 seconds on TikTok but 15 seconds on Instagram Reels). Of course, Instagram has other features that allow users to share longer videos. So, by launching Reels Instagram may be able to persuade users to stay on its platform rather adding a new app on their smartphone and creating an account on TikTok.
Moreover, influencers are much more active on Instagram than TikTok. The new feature can help them grow their followers and even increase their chances of selling their Instagram accounts using sites like Social Tradia.
It is clear, based on the success of TikTok, that consumers love the short video format. However, it's still soon to conclude which will be the winner, Instagram or TikTok. For the time being Instagram Reels is only available in around 50 countries, so we have to wait to see whether businesses and individuals adopt Instagram Reels with the same gusto as TikTok.
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