Instagram Reels: How Businesses Can Use The New Feature

25 September, 2020 | Social Media | 3 min read.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Instagram’s new feature looks familiar.

Using a new section of the app reminiscent of social media giant TikTok, Instagram have recently released “Reels”, which are vertical 15-second videos equipped with audio and new creative tools.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a relatively new kid on the block when it comes to social media, and is currently one of the fastest growing of them all according to eMarketer, who forecast that UK users could surpass 10 million by 2021.

The app was initially very popular with teenagers, but its popularity is now extending to other age groups.

The app features the ability to record and edit 15 to 60-second vertical videos, which can be set to music or even the audio of someone else’s TikTok video.

These “TikToks” are then shown to viewers of the app via a “For You” page, which relies on an algorithm that is personalised to a viewer’s interests, based on their location, activity on the app and the content they tend to interact with.

Are Instagram Reels set to steal TikTok’s thunder?

Harkening back to the early days of Instagram stories, which were designed to rival that of photo and video sharing platform Snapchat, users instantly spotted the similarity of Reels to TikTok.

What’s important to note here, however, is that Instagram Stories are now used by 500 million people a day (Hootsuite, 2020), while Snapchat have a daily active user base of just 238 million in comparison (Statista, 2020).

Also, just one month after the feature launched in August 2020, Instagram has announced that they’ll be increasing the maximum video length on Reels to 30 seconds – setting the app up to rival TikTok’s slightly longer videos.

How can my business use Instagram Reels?

A new feature on one of the world’s biggest social media platforms is a new opportunity for businesses to use it to their advantage.

With that being said, social media strategy is the key to turn that opportunity into a successful marketing avenue.

If your target audience is likely to use Instagram, Reels could be a great way to share additional content.

If your target audience isn’t within that demographic, it’s probably best to consider something else.

When incorporating Instagram Reels into your social media marketing strategy, consider planning around these key areas:

  • Jump on trends that suit your brand’s message

If you want to get in on the action, consider spending some more time browsing through Instagram Reels to gauge what’s popular right now.

If your brand suits the trend, hashtag or challenge, why not give it a go?

  • Show a more “human” side to your brand

Like TikTok, most Instagram Reels feature people. Therefore, it goes without saying that by using this feature, you can show a more human and personable side to your brand and its team.

Why not involve multiple members of your team and their viewpoints?

  • Make it fun and entertaining

Social media is meant to be entertaining. You’ll find that the most popular videos out there will be fun, entertaining and interesting for their audience.

Think: would you scroll past your video or stay for the whole thing? Don’t lose your audience with boring content!

  • Don’t take it too seriously!

As we mentioned above, social media is meant to be entertaining for its audience – but that also applies to creators.

Create content that you genuinely enjoy making and it will shine through to you audience.

Overthinking your content could cause it to appear less natural and spontaneous, and lead you to miss out on those all important off-the-cuff moments that do so well on apps like these.

Want To Get In On The Action?

If you’re looking to supercharge your social media strategy to include new platform features and trends, our content team can help.

Our social media experts are avid followers of what’s new and popular in the internet world, so if it all sounds far too complicated, we can work our magic to create a social media strategy that makes waves in your industry.

To talk to someone about your brand’s digital presence, social media strategy and content marketing, call 0121 355 8092 or email joanna@edge-creative.com today to learn more.