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How To Create Instagram Reels: 5 Actionable Steps in 2021

Owing to the growing popularity of the short video format, Instagram rolled out its own version in the form of Instagram reels. Arguably inspired by the unanimous popularity of TikTok, Instagram Reels allows for quick, 30-second videos to be recorded and shared by brands, individuals, content creators and even influencers. Instagram Reels released in India on July 12, 2020, and by August 2020 over 50 markets where Instagram is available had the feature. 

Undoubtedly, Instagram Reels is fun, addictive and easy to browse through. Instead of moving away from Instagram, users are now getting their fill of short video content right there on the app. This makes Reels very important for marketers in more ways than one. 

If you’re a marketer wondering how to use Instagram Reels for business, let this article help you. 

How To Create Instagram Reels

Before we deep-dive into learning how to use Instagram Reels for business, let’s understand how to create an Instagram Reel. 

Thanks to the latest app update, Instagram Reels can be found on the home page, at the centre of Instagram’s main navigation bar! 

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This is significant as it encourages users to browse through and share Reels within their network. Needless to say, this is a big motivator for many marketers to put their brand on Instagram Reels, if they haven’t already done so. If we were to believe the numbers, the impact of Instagram Reels seems positive too. There was a 3.5% increase in the average time spent of the Instagram app since Instagram Reels was launched in India. 

To create your own Instagram Reel, open the Instagram Stories camera on the app, and select the Reels option.

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Once you’ve done this, you will see different creative editing tools at the left-hand side of the screen. These tools can help you take your Reel from mediocre to extraordinary – 

1. Music/Audio

This feature allows you to pick from popular songs available in the Instagram music library, and add them to your Reel. You could also choose from your own original audio clips. If you share an Instagram Reel with your own music or recordings the audio is attributed to you. Although Instagram Business accounts don’t have the Music feature, there’s so much that can be done with audio and voice-related innovation. 

2. AR Effects

Instagram offers a wide variety of effects and filters to make your Reel truly memorable! This tool can be used creatively to make a Reel that speaks to your brand’s audience and stands out from the rest. 

Also Read: Instagram Best Practices for Business

3. Timer

This tool is a blessing for anyone who creates content solo and is always looking for ways to make hands-free recording easier. With the timer tool, you get a 3-2-1 countdown before it automatically records clips for a predetermined time period. 

4. Align

This tool allows you to line up objects from the previous clip before you move on to recording your next clip, allowing for seamless transitions. All the Reels that require transitions like outfit changes, adding new participants or even the illusion of sharing a meal benefit from this tool. 

5. Speed

This nifty tool allows you to speed up or slow down clips, or parts of your clips. 

Now that you’ve understood how to create your own unique clips, let’s tackle the question that’s on every marketer’s mind – how to use Instagram Reels for Business? 

How to Use Instagram Reels for Business

In today’s digital world, trends can often start and explode into popularity anytime. In this scenario, the brands, creators and influencers who adapt, adopt and capitalize on the trend are the ones that reap the rewards.

It is worth mentioning that not all Instagram Reels are about hashtag challenges, dancing or singing. In fact, Instagram business accounts don’t allow you to access the music option. Consequently, marketers need to be creative and find their own ways to use Instagram Reels for business.

Let’s now understand how to use Instagram Reels effectively for marketing your products and services. 

1. Educational Reels

Unlike your boring History Professor, an educational Instagram Reel aims at entertaining while informing. This means that while you are aiming at educating your audience about your products, you’re not going to make it all about your products. With a 30-second time limit to boot, it is best to keep your content light and easy. 

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If you’re a blogger looking to make your niche more mainstream among audiences, try using Reels to put the word out there. Snackable, smart and light-hearted Reels that aim at educating will certainly help you achieve your objectives. Apart from this, brands can use educational Reels to raise awareness about new product launches, important causes and new campaigns.  

2. Product Reels

Even when the objective of your Reel is to get more people to try a new product, it makes sense to keep the product integration subtle. Unlike an advertisement that is all about your product and its benefits, with an Instagram Reel, it makes sense to let the product be a small part of your key communication. 

So, if you are looking at boosting sales for a particular product on your online grocery store, don’t just use Reels as a pseudo-brochure to list out your offering. Instead, rope in relevant influencers and create videos on how to use your products in a fun and engaging manner. 

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You can also look at creating Instagram Reels with fun and exciting themes depending on your product and industry. If you’re a fashion brand, a smart ‘Style Inspiration’ Reel can help your showcase more than one product without coming across as a hard-seller. Similarly, if you’re a pet-care service provider, you could create a quick reel that shows how you use just three products to groom your patrons. 

Needless to say, the options are endless when it comes to Instagram Reels. If you have a little bit of imagination and some creativity, nothing can stop you from achieving your marketing objectives via Reels. 

Learn more: Digital Marketing Salary in India 2020

3. Behind-The-Scenes Reels

As marketers, we’ve learnt that the more human-centric a brand is, the more effectively it connects to its customers. If you’ve been wondering how to use Instagram Reels for building a stronger relationship with your audiences, a behind-the-scenes Reel may be a great place to start. 

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Any content that can make your audience feel like they know you can help in building trust in the long term works perfectly. So, if you are a small fashion business owner, your Reels could be all about how you source your fabric, deliver samples, pack orders or even brainstorm for new product ideas! Reels like these can make your brand look more human and relatable to customers, helping you achieve your business goals. 

Similarly, you could make a 30-second ‘Meet the Team’ Reel that allows customers a sneak-peek into the people that make your brand work. 

Read more: What Does a Digital Marketer Do?

How-To Reels

Haven’t we all had that one experience where a how-to video made it easier for us to accept a new product? Well, imagine creating wider product acceptance with Instagram Reels!

Like in the case of Apple’s example, a well-shot Instagram Reel that highlights the uniqueness of your product can help generate more buzz around your product on Instagram. Additionally, it helps paint a quick picture that stays with you long after you’ve scrolled past. 

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Whether you’re a skincare brand or one that sells art supplies, showing your potential customers just how much fun it is to use your product goes a long way.

Offer Reels 

Who doesn’t love a good offer!? Marketers have always understood that very few things beat an excellent offer or sale price. Keeping this insight in mind, it makes sense to experiment with Instagram Reels that give your customers added benefits like exclusive coupon codes and discounts. With such tangible benefits shared via Reels, you’re sure to see a bump in sales and of course, in engagement rates. 

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Makeup giant Sephora understands this and has made sure to periodically share Instagram Reels with promo codes. Taking inspiration from their example, you could collaborate with micro-influencers and popular content creators to share codes and discount vouchers for your products or services. 

Final Thoughts 

While this article can act as a thought-starter for those marketers who are looking to use Instagram Reels to boost their business, it can only help till a certain extent. 

However, if you wish to explore and become an expert in Digital Marketing, check out MICA and upGrad’s Digital Marketing Certificate Program to take your skills to the next level. With this program, you can become an expert in social media marketing, content marketing, branding, marketing analysis and PR.

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