Updated: Mar 27
What's all this talk about Instagram Reels? These short videos are everywhere. Facebook and Instagram support reels. Tiktoks are basically the same thing but on their own platform. Either way, watching and making this type of content is its own challenge that business owners are working hard to get behind. Of course, Stack Strategies' Behind the Strategies blog had to share some simple strategies to overcome any reel struggles.
What is a reel?
A reel is a short trendy video that a creator can make with a mix of pictures or videos. These short videos give you one day of fame that helps you reach thousands of people (who don't follow you) if you do it right!
Notice what we said there: If you do it right.
Reels in Social Media Marketing
Before we dive into the top tricks that we've learned about Instagram Reels, we want to take a moment to talk about social media marketing. SS believes in the power of social media marketing. We also believe social media management is best completed by the business owner or someone who works closely with the business.
Because of the nature of Stack Strategies' business, we prefer to educate and empower businesses to be on social media. But we do not do social media work. Rather, we coach business owners on the best strategies to get social media done correctly.
We often teach the basics of social media to businesses that are working on getting launched. During general social media coaching sessions, we discuss business.facebook.com and how to use it for managing your Facebook and Instagram business pages. Sometimes we use this time to discuss Facebook groups, which can call for another coaching session. In these sessions, we discuss how to create and schedule posts using these tools. We believe Facebook and Instagram posts should be scheduled in advance (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly). Whereas stories and reels should be posted on a daily or on more often, as-needed basis.
Tips on Starting in the Reel World
The first place to get started is to get started watching reels. When you are scrolling on your timeline on Instagram, you may see reels in your feed. When you click on them, you can watch the full reel and hear its sound. You can also see reels on the center button of your Instagram menu. When you're watching one reel, the instantly changes to the next reel once it's over. That's why its so easy to get caught up in reels!
When you're watching these reels, you should be watching with a perspective that says... "Could I make this reel for my business?" Listen to sounds that you like. Watch the actions happening in the video.
When watching reels, you can see the name of the account they posted in. Under that is a caption where you can click "read more" to see the whole thing. And then the last line is the sound that's playing. You can click on that sound to save it to your library. (IMPORTANT: Remember this for later.)
You can like, comment, or click on the three dots to save or remix the reel. Slide down to skip to the next reel. Slide back up to go back. Stop reading this blog post and practice using your Instagram app if you need to!
Tips for Getting Started on Creating Reels
Once you build a list of ideas for your reels we need to start hoarding content. Yes -- I said HOARDING CONTENT. You need a heck of a lot of content to make reels.
You need videos, specifically short videos, images, and sounds to make reels.
Whether you're in the images/videos is up to you. But what is important is to have aesthetic, eye-catching, and relatable content.
Saving things like this is crucial in being "good" at reels. If you need to, start building the habit of moving your "reels" content into its own folder to make it easier when starting to create content.
Tips for Reel Creation
Once you start creating content, we recommend following these seven tips for creation...
Continue to watch other reels related to your industry for inspiration - save them!
Save the audio sounds to reuse them for your reels!
Record clips on your camera, then paste the clips together in the Instagram app.
Use the best lighting and casually look good.
Video photo collages are an option!
Keep your topic/focus short and simple.
You can have one caption that stays up the entire video OR have short phrases fade in and out.
Starting to Build Reels
Let's talk about the basics of building a reel. Once you have a library of images, videos, and sounds, it's time to start creating. In the Instagram app, click the + (plus sign) and then click Reel.
To add images from your gallery, click on the gallery. Once you add a clip in, you can shorten the clip if you need to. You can add as many items as you want. Be careful not to have too long of videos. If you're choosing to have just one video, it should be a very interesting or aesthetic video.
Add audio by clicking the music icon. You can shorten the reel or lengthen it on the "30" with a circle around its icon. From here, you'll be given a multitude of options including adding a caption or captions to the video. Then, add filters or not.
Once you're done making the video, you'll be directed to making the post. There you can add the additional caption people see in the feed. Don't use too many hashtags here.
Now you can save it as a draft and post it later. OR post it. The post can just go to "reel world" or it can go to your timeline as well.
Once you get good at it... then its time to hit the ultimate challenge: making three reels a week. Some will be good and get plenty of views. Others may not take off. Either way, all publicity is good publicity AND practice makes perfect.
We know we just got really real about these reels, but they're no joke! See what we did there ;) Reels are quite intimidating and it's not easy to understand the ins and outs of these tools. It doesn't help that Instagram updates once a week.
Start with watching some videos and taking some short videos to build your own content. Then, you'll be able to take it from there!
Cheers to marketing done right!