What are Instagram Reels and how do I use them to Market my Brand?

Sep 24, 2020

What is Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels launched in August as a brand new way to create short-form video content from Stories.

The new feature is very similar to TikTok as it allows users to record and edit together 15-second video clips, set to music.

The video clips can be shared to Stories, Explore Feed, and the new Reels tab on a user’s profile.

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Instagram Reels is available in the UK, US, and over 48 other countries around the globe.

Instagram has seen an explosion in content creators, particularly from influencers and brands getting creative with video.

At the moment you can scroll through popular Reels from around the world by heading to your Explore tab.

The top result on the Explore tab will be a Reels video, and you can open this and scroll through popular and trending accounts on Instagram, as well as Reels which have been identified as being relevant to you by the algorithm. This is likely to be based on who you follow and what you interact with.

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri recently announced that they are testing a Reels button on the main navigation on Instagram.

Instagram Reels

This means the app is like to have significant development and promotion this year.


How do I create a Reel?

Instagram Reels can be found in Instagram Stories as a new camera menu option at the bottom.

You film directly from this mode. Reels can be recorded in a series of clips (one at a time), all at once, or using video uploads from your gallery.

There is a variety of creative editing tools on the left side of your screen to help create your Reel, including adding audio from the Instagram music library. You can also use your own original audio by simply recording a Reel with it.

You can also add AR effects from the gallery, set a timer to record your clips hands-free, and adjust the speed of your videos. The align feature helps you to line up objects from your previous video clips before recording your next to give the effect of a seamless outfit change or adding new people into the Reel.

Reels can be recorded in a series of clips (one at a time), all at once, or using video uploads from your gallery. Record the first clip by pressing and holding the capture button. You’ll see a progress indicator at the top of the screen as you record. Stop recording to end each clip.


How to Use Reels to Market Your Brand

Reels certainly allow you to get playful and creative with your brand. You could use them for comedy, to introduce members of your team, to showcase a process or product, or to highlight an event.

Here are three examples of brands using Reels successfully:


1 – The Dorchester Hotel

Ahead of reopening the hotel, the team was filmed in time-lapse mode on Reels preparing the floral displays in the main lobby. This was a great use of the time-lapse speed mode to showcase behind the scenes.

2 – GymShark

GymShark regularly post their ambassadors’ workout videos, where they are showcasing exercises while wearing the latest workout gear.

3 – Sweetgreen

To showcase the new Covid-19 safe procedures, US dining brand Sweetgreen filmed a Reel of a customer’s experience in their restaurant.

We hope this blog brings some fresh inspiration to your Instagram feed. Please share your experiences in our Avocado Social Media Facebook Group, and good luck with Reels!

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