Probably the last thing we needed in 2020.
But Reels, a new feature launched by Instagram earlier in August, is officially here, allowing people to record and edit short multi-clip videos with audio and effects. This feature is already available in over 50 countries around the world. Just a few days after hitting the market, some of the short videos uploaded to Instagram Reels are already getting 5M+ views – not bad for something that is supposed to be ‘new’. We use the term new loosely, as this feature barely differs from Tik Tok, which has been around for years.
Like it or not, brands, influencers, and marketing professionals have to be quick in adapting to features brought to the market by social media platforms. New features are their way to keep its user-base online for longer and it may benefit your business. However, with marketing budgets and resources as tight as ever, will businesses be adding Instagram Reels to their content calendars and overall social media strategy?
Instagram’s eagerness to push Instagram Reels will help you
“I have been testing it out from the beginning. I posted some short educational content and quickly gained 200+ followers. I also had one coaching client signed that found me through Instagram Reels. The views are exponentially higher than my follower count, as Instagram pushes the new feature and its video content. I can totally recommend trying it and posting educational, inspirational, or informative content at least once a day.
Hannah Geuenich – Social Media Coach at www.thecreatorconcept.de
Adoption by brands might take some time
“I expect Reels will help engage newer audiences, while also helping businesses to serve their current followers with interesting new forms of content. This will ultimately be good for business. The short-form nature of Reels is going to be great for experimenting with storytelling for paid/sponsored programs. However, adoption by brands might take some time. Data is hyper important to determining ROI; however, Reels does have the advantage of being built on Instagram’s strong data-centric creator platform.”
Kyle Hjelmeseth – Founder at digital talent management agency www.gb-dm.com
I will strategically add it to my monthly content calendar
“Reels is perfect for business because Instagram audiences are already used to being sold to. This was not the same for TikTok. I plan to do short-form videos that tease and get people to click the link in my bio for a free training or lead magnet and follow from there.
I will be learning on a daily basis and adding it to my monthly calendar of posting every day for a month. This is the same approach I took on TikTok and this helped me to grow fast.”
Olumide Gbenro – Public Relations and Digital Nomad Summit Founder
It’s an opportunity to repurpose content
“For a brand or someone who isn’t utilizing TikTok or short-form content yet, this might be an opportunity to repurpose content from YouTube or Facebook Live. So, don’t think of Reels as a new branch, but rather a means of repurposing.
From what we are seeing so far, there may not be as much visibility for smaller creators through Reels. The biggest benefit for me will be recycling TikTok content and reviving it in another discoverable format. I truly believe the more content, the better. If there is a new means of blasting your product or ideas to your followers in a fresh and engaging way, without sacrificing the quality of your content, why not give it shot?”
Victoria Jameson – Social Media Strategist, radio host, and Lifestyle Influencer
Create new ways to use new tools
“Developed as a direct competitor to TikTok, we are looking at the platform’s new addition in a different light. Rather than shifting our content from one platform to the other in its entirety, we are working on developing two separate content strategies for our clients – each with different goals in mind. For TikTok, we are capitalizing on viral trends, topics, and partnering with influencers to leverage the rapidly growing audience in a new and creative way. With Instagram Reels, we feel it will be beneficial to align this content with our already-existing brand voice hosted on the platform. However, we will seek to delve deeper with the new visual, interactive offering. Hopefully, this will create a seamless experience throughout. Case in point, why cut the content in half? We see this as an opportunity to broaden the scope of our coverage online for each brand we represent.”
Anneliese Peper – Director of Social Media at PR News Agency www.heronagency.com
Having all your tools in one place is helpful
“From a business perspective, the Instagram Reels feature is a clever move from Facebook as it allows businesses to stay up to date with the latest trends in marketing. For me, one of the biggest benefits is that it’s all done within one platform. You are already starting off with a following that you have gained over time. You don’t have to worry about starting all over again on another platform. Reels are also easy to create and they sit on your profile in a similar way to an IGTV.
I’m discussing the possibility of adding Reels to our social media strategy in two particular ways. Firstly, they’re an ideal length for sharing small, snappy pieces of information you want people to remember. Secondly, as a business, people like to see behind the scenes. Quick but fun videos could allow our followers an insight into how we work.”
Jaye Bonser – Social media manager at online advertising platform www.adzooma.com
Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.