Instagram has been acting funny lately, have you noticed? Since the REELS feature has been released, Instagram became a place that many people have a love/hate relationship with. The reach and the engagement have been down BUT by knowing that Reels are already becoming huge and the algorithm works in its favor, why not use it to your advantage?
Instagram loves video content, there is a lot of research on that and it’s not a surprise. However, after TikTok became a new big trend, not just for millennials but also for business owners and companies who incorporated it into their marketing strategies, Instagram couldn’t stay behind and had to act fast to prevent losing people from their platform. They came up with the Reels concept, which is pretty much similar to TikTok, it’s just all happening within the Instagram app. Let’s dive straight into what Reels are and how to create them.
What is Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels is the newest video format through which you can create short 15 to 30-second fun and engaging videos. You record it, edit it, you can add music, text overlay, and it will be shared in your story/feed or even on the Explore page.
Once you upload your first Instagram Reels video, there will be a new Reels tab on your profile created, where you can see all your short videos. Instagram is currently adopting a new layout where instead of the usual ‘add new post plus button’ is Reels button that shows you other people’s Reels videos. These can be your friends’ Reels mixed with popular and trending ones.
As a business owner, you can use Reels for sharing helpful tips, inspiration, or fun ways of pinpointing a topic you want to talk about. It’s a great way of showing a different side of you. It’s valuable, it’s juicy, and you can get your point across in a more creative way.
Step-by-Step Guide to Creating your First Instagram Reels
To create your Reels, go to the story icon in the top left corner of your home page, just as you would do when adding a story. Now, there are two different layouts that you might see, depending on whether you have a usual or new layout. Either way, at the bottom of the screen you’ll see options saying Story, Reels, Live, or Post with the new layout.
Go to Reels and you’ll see several icons on the left:
Length – Choose how long you want your video to be. You can decide between 15 or 30 seconds, but if your video will be between that, it’s perfectly fine too. When you press the icon, it will automatically switch to the other one.
Audio – Pick your favorite song from the music library and add it to your Reels video, or you can also use your own music playing in the background. If you can’t use the music, there are a few tricks on how to add it.
Try to uninstall your app to get your music icon back or try to switch from a business account to a personal and then back. These might help your music icon come to life. If that doesn’t work, try to go to someone else’s Reels video and click the song on the bottom of the screen. Once you click it, it will show use audio and it will direct you to your Reels page where you should have the song ready to be used. If you still can’t see the music, use an app like InShot to add music to your video. So create Reels video just without the music, download it, and then just add music in a different app.
Speed – Choose the speed of your video by pressing a play icon. Do you want it slow motion or timelapse? You choose what works better for your video.
AR filter – By tapping the face icon, you can choose from many filters that you normally see when recording your videos.
Timer and Countdown – Set up your countdown if you want to record hands-free. Once you hit the record button, the countdown will start. The timer helps you set up how long you want each of your clips to be.
Once you’re familiar with all the icons, you can start recording. Reels is about recording a series of clips that will create one full video. You can either record it from scratch or you can upload it from your phone and choose a specific part of the video. The top of the screen will show you a progress indicator that gives you an idea of how much more time you have. If you want to re-visit the clip or delete it, click the arrow back and it will show you the latest clip.
When your video is ready, click the arrow pointing right and you’ll get to the screen where you can add text layer or gifs. Every time you’re writing a piece of text, you’ll see a timeline at the bottom of the screen which you can move around depending on where you want your text to appear.
The next step is sharing and choosing/uploading the cover photo. You can share it to your Feed (which I would always recommend), to Explore page, and it will be saved in your Reels tab on your profile, or you can save it as a draft.
Aaaand that’s a wrap! Congratulations, your (first) Instagram Reels video is out now!
Instagram Reels became very popular since the moment it was launched, and TikTok’s concept is changing Instagram’s algorithm and how the platform works! Recording clips that are shorter than 30 seconds are a fun way to engage with your audience, but it also gets your point across. Keeping it short and sweet, these videos will awake your creativity and it can really help you increase your reach. Familiarize yourself with all the icons and functionalities first and show a different side of you. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it actually shouldn’t be. It’s like recording stories but Reels will be saved on your feed. Experiment and play with it, Reels is definitely a train you want to jump on asap!
Have you already tried Reels and if so, how are you finding it?