What is this new feature ?
Instagram Reels allow you to create, edit and share fun 15-to-30 seconds videos on your Instagram account. You can edit your videos using various fun effects, add a song and even change the speed (left pic) The videos can then be shared directly on your stories, or in the Explore Feed. Anyone can access your reels as they will appear on a new tap on your profile (right pic). Instagram already launched Reels in over 50 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.
All of this sounds familiar ? Undoubtedly, the Facebook-owned platform somewhat copied the concept of the trending app TikTok. The head of Instagram’s products, Shah, said that “Reels will differ from TikTok in giving users a more built-out augmented reality platform, as well as offering them a way to make short-form videos inside Instagram, a place they already love and know how to use”. Indeed, in the last year, augmented reality took over on social media, allowing users to see and test the product/service as if they were in actual stores. This super trendy innovation enables the brand to not only raise brand awareness but also drive sales.
Even though it looks like Instagram simply reproduced TikTok’s most popular features, this new creation definitely does have its place on the platform. Between formal IGTV and super spontaneous stories, Reels can be used as lasting casual but still high-quality content.
How to take advantage of it ?
Brands should take the first-mover advantage on Reels and integrate it in their marketing strategy, as they are expected to succeed as well as stories.
Here are 3 pieces of advice for brands regarding Instagram Reels.
Thanks to Instagram Reels, anyone can create fun, authentic and captivating content and it’s easier than ever. It allows influencers to show a more human, less edited side of their personality. There is no need to use different apps to differentiate the kind of content one is posting. Everything can now be shown on Instagram; super casual, everyday content is shared via stories, fun and creative content via Reels and aesthetically pleasing pictures can be shared on one’s profile.
Reels are also a good way to share educational content such as recipes, travel tips, outfits ideas, DIY… in a fun and engaging way. Influencers, especially micro influencers, usually target a specific audience with whom they share interests, opinions and passions. Therefore, Reels can be used to target a niche audience and present the advantages, ways to use and benefits of many products.
Finally, Reels are great to raise brand awareness, as they not only appear on the influencer’s profile, but they also appear on the Explore Page, as you can see on the picture below. It means that these short videos can be seen by other users that aren’t following the influencer. Reels allow a brand to reach way beyond their target audience.
Even though this new feature isn’t available worldwide and not very well-known yet, brands should definitely look into it as soon as possible in order to be ahead of competitors.