How to use Instagram Reels for your business
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you will know what has taken Instagram by storm in the last couple of years— Instagram Reels! What started off as an offering similar to the famous video sharing platform, ‘TikTok’ has now become a staple for every business account’s marketing strategy on Instagram. This blog post takes you through everything you need to know about leveraging Instagram Reels for your business.
What are Instagram Reels?
Reels are nothing but videos posted by users on Instagram app that can be up to 90 seconds long. One can add music, or even audio of their own, stickers, special effects and more to the selected video and kick off their journey into the Instagram Reels world. For Businesses, It is a fun way to showcase what you and your brand stand for.
You can upload the reels on the on the ‘Reels’ tab as well as on the feed. You can also promote it on the ‘Explore’ tab on Instagram. Here is an example of Instagram reels by an Indian D2C brand, Chumbak:
How to make Reels on Instagram?
Creating Reels on Instagram is very simple. There are three ways in which you can get started:
- Through the Reels tab: Open the Reels tab and click on the ‘Camera’ icon on the top right.
- From your Instagram Home screen: Tap the ‘+’ on the top right and click on the ‘Reel’ option
- Through the Stories camera: Swipe left on the home screen to access the Stories camera. Choose the ‘Reels’ option next to the ‘Story’ option at the bottom of the screen.
Once you have accessed the option to create Instagram Reels, you can either record a video on spot by clicking on the record button, or choose a video from your gallery. Then, you can add audio that goes with your video content. You can also add stickers, Gifs, text and more, similar to how you create Instagram stories. Once done, you can preview the final result and go ahead and post the Reel. Tada!
Note: According to Instagram, since you’re a business account, you cannot use Copyrighted Music without paying royalty for business purposes. But, don’t panic. Either record your own original audio or you can edit your video outside of Instagram Reels using various editing tools to avoid any infringement issues.
The recommended aspect ratio for Reels is 9:16 and the recommended size is 1080 x 1920 pixels.
Now that you know how to create Reels on Instagram, we tell you why you shouldn’t miss out on this cool Instagram feature for your business.
Why should businesses leverage Instagram Reels?
Like we’ve agreed in our previous blog posts, Instagram is the gateway to a plethora of marketing opportunities for businesses. By leveraging its crowd-pulling feature like Instagram Reels, you can transform the way your business functions.
It presents the opportunity to reach a wider audience and rewards with high engagement. With the ability to tag multiple people, have paid partnerships, create remixes, use hashtags, and present oneself in the ‘Explore’ tab, it is now easier than ever to reach the global audience with Instagram Reels.
With special options like Remix, ig reels increases the scope of engagement. Engagement is now not only in the form of likes, shares, and comments, but also in generating user-led content through Reels.That is not all! Instagram Reels, just like all the other Instagram features, helps you promote your product and increase your sales significantly. You can add a series of clips and make an engaging reels videos. If that got you wondering how Instagram Reels are different from Instagram Stories, we tell you how.
How are Instagram Reels different from Instagram Stories?
While the two might seem similar, there are some features that differentiate the two. We’ve summed up the same in the below table.
|Feature||Instagram Stories||Instagram Reels|
|Media||Video + Photo||Video Only|
|Length||15 seconds||60 seconds|
|Time limit||24 hours||Unlimited|
|Placement||Story/Share to individual contacts||Reels tab, Feed, Explore page|
|Engagement||Personalized and private||Public likes and comments|
Now that you know how Instagram Reels differ from Instagram Stories, learn how you can make the best of Instagram Reels for your business in the following section. But before that, if you are looking for ideas for your Instagram stories, check out our blog on 16 unique Instagram story ideas.
Top tips to make the best of Instagram Reels for your business
Many brands globally have been using Instagram Reels from the day it was launched. If you are ready to hop on the Instagram Reels bandwagon, here are our tips to help you propel your engine!
Tip #1: Tell your brand’s story
Instagram Reels gives you the opportunity to tell your story in short videos of 60 seconds to not just your audience, but also anyone who comes across your reel. Sharing stories of your brand and your journey can make a huge impact on what your customers think about your business and go a long way in building trust. Take this chance to share your journey with them. Draft a short and crisp storyline and get those creative juices flowing.
See how Juicy Chemistry has shared their ‘How it started vs How it is going’ story in this reel on Instagram.
Tip #2: Use text on the video
If you’re creating reels that do not have any dialogue, you can add text that gives a gist of what the video is about. For example, if your video is showing the making of a product, you can add the various steps involved as text on the video. On the other hand, if you’re posting a video that has an audio recording, you can add closed captions subtitles so as to make your content more accessible. Also, make sure that the speed of your video is aligned with your type of content you want to show.
ProTip: Be mindful of where you place the text in your reel. When you post the reel to your feed, Instagram automatically crops it to 4:5 dimensions, increasing the chances of your text being cropped if not placed strategically. We recommend placing the text towards the center of the video.
See how Country Bean Coffee has created a short reel on 5 reasons why people should try out their hot chocolate mix. It clearly highlights the various USPs of the product while also showing how the viewer can make the hot chocolate.
Tip #3: Follow Instagram Reels trends and give it your own twist
Before you roll your eyes, yes, we know how hard it is to keep up with social media trends. What’s hot today, might not be tomorrow as per Instagram algorithm. So, rather than worrying about which trend to keep up with, jump onto the Instagram Reels trend you can easily spot on the platform, and create your own magic. We absolutely love how the Bombay Shaving Company has tried this trend. Go check out their reels on Instagram and notice how they always keep track of the latest reels trends and create their own customized twist!
Tip #4: Share the Reel on your feed
Sharing the reel you create on your own feed is the best way to increase its engagement especially if you are a small business owner. Otherwise, there are high chances of the reel not being a part of your community’s feed.
Notice how the Bewakoof team shares their reels on the feed as well? It ensures their followers do not miss out on the great content they share on Instagram.
Tip #5: Let the caption do the talking
Very often, we tend to think less of the captions as we expect the video to convey the entire message. However, leveraging the caption space not only helps your audience get the message clearly, but also helps your reel reach out to a larger audience base with the help of hashtags and tagging other accounts.
See how Sugar Cosmetics has used the caption space here. Notice four important things:
- Tagging the user since it is a user-generated content
- Mentioning the products used so it is easier for the viewer to buy it
- Directing the user to the link in their bio to get them shopping
- Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags! To reach wider audience
ProTip: Always do your ‘Hashtag research’. While it is great to create your own custom hashtags, you must also use hashtags that are commonly used or associated with your niche so as to increase the possibility of the reel reaching a wider audience.
Tip #6: Collaborate with influencers and sister brands
We cannot stress enough on the importance of collaborating with other people and brands on Instagram. It not only helps you reach a bigger audience base, but also creates a sense of credibility among everyone watching your content. For example, if your product is an eco-friendly toothbrush, partnering with a creator who is a strong advocate of environment-friendly living is a great way to promote not just your product, but also your brand’s value.
See how WOW Skin Science has partnered with a famous Bollywood actress to promote their hair oil. Notice how they have reposted the reel from the actress’ reels tab. They have also tagged her, created a custom hashtag, and used multiple relevant hashtags.
ProTip: Always work on the script to ensure you have all the points covered. See how the above brand worked on a video with the actress highlighting her hair to make it look relevant to the product.
Tip #7: Add a thumbnail with text for clarity
Take advantage of the ‘Add a thumbnail’ feature for reels and help your page visitors navigate through the tons of cool content you post. Titling the reels on the thumbnails helps your viewers understand what kind of content you post, and lets them choose the content they are actually interested in. Tips? Your brand story? New product? Flaunt it on the cover/thumbnail of the reels.
For example, see how the team at Oziva Nutrition titles all their reels so anyone who glances at these thumbnails would know what they are getting into.
Tip #8: Share product highlights and features
Launching a new product? Revamping an old one? Reels are a great way to show off your products and highlight their benefits. You can use a combination of text, audio track, and video and be as creative as you’d like to be. See how Mamaearth promotes their haircare products brilliantly by highlighting the benefits of the key ingredient used in the product range.
Tip #9: Get your customers talking about you
User-generated content is gold for any business. It helps show your product in the right light, especially when it is not sponsored content. Get your customer advocacy team working and collect short 15-60 second reviews of your products or how-to’s from your customers and post them as Instagram Reels. Additionally, this way, you are generating tons of user-led content that you can repurpose when needed. Looking for influencers for your marketing campaign? Download the list of top 100 Instagram Influencers.
See how Daughter Earth has shared a user’s content using the #repost feature of her using their products. Notice how they have used the caption space to highlight each product.
Tip #10: Leverage the Shopping feature
Instagram shop is one of our favorite features! You can now link the products on your Reel if you have registered your business account as a shopping account on Instagram. We absolutely love how MyGlamm has leveraged this cool feature to push their customers to shop right on Instagram from the reels. Notice how they have also provided a CTA to move the user to their website? We love it!
ProTip: You can also create Instagram Reels ads and promote your brand in the space where the Instagram users are exploring reels with a mindset to engage with the content.
How to analyze your Reels’ performance?
To understand if your Instagram Reels strategy is hitting the bullseye, it is always recommended to keep a track of your reels’ performance. Don’t worry, this is not a Herculean task. Instagram makes gauging your performance easy with its Instagram Insights tab. Some of the most useful metrics pertaining to Instagram Reels are likes, shares, saves, comments, and accounts reached. Additionally, it also shows which content formats are generating your strongest engagement. By checking these analytics, you can see if your content is reaching the right audience, and if they are generating the desired results.
Now that you know how to create Instagram Reels for your business, go ahead and try out our tips and make eye catching video clips. If you have any cool Reels tricks up your sleeve, let us know in the comments section below.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for financing for your working capital need, look no further! Velocity is India’s largest revenue-based financing platform. We offer up to Rs. 3 crores to online Indian businesses. We currently cater to direct-to-consumer (D2C) and e-commerce brands. To grow your business with us, apply now and get funded within 7 days.
Want to know more about revenue-based financing? Read our detailed guide here.