Are you thinking of dipping your toes into Instagram reels?
Instagram has a user base of over 2.3 billion active users per month as of 2023. That’s an increase of 1.3 billion since 2018-2022.
Not only is Instagram a massive platform — reels gain 3x more engagement than single images. Instagram reels can expose you to a wider demographic that has more buying power.
The largest demographic of users on Instagram is between the ages of 25 to 34, currently at 488.7 million users.
Stats show that 81% of users research businesses and products on Instagram and 50% have visited a website to purchase a product they saw on the app.
As short-form video is taking over our attention spans, what better way to get your brand out there than via reels on Instagram?
If you’re not leveraging this exposure source, you’re missing out on leads and brand-building opportunities.
Keep reading to find out how to create Instagram reels that will gain traction, garner followers, and build brand awareness.
Benefits of Instagram Reels
Before we get into how to make an Instagram reel, let’s take a quick look at the benefits creators and brands can reap from Instagram’s short-form video feature.
According to statistics, Instagram has seen an 80% uptick in the amount of time users spend on the platform watching videos. This isn’t surprising, given how engaging video content can be compared to static images, particularly short-form video.
If you don’t believe us, just consider the meteoric rise of TikTok, a platform that only supports short-form video.
Reels aren’t just a powerful way to engage your audience. The Instagram algorithm also seems to be geared toward promoting reels. Posting reels can get your content in front of fresh eyes, thereby boosting your follower count and brand exposure.
In summary, if you want to use Instagram to grow your business, reels are where it’s at.
Creating Reels on Instagram
Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons why you should invest the time and resources into Instagram reels, here’s how to make a reel on Instagram.
Follow this list of comprehensive steps to get your reels rocking and rolling.
Related: How to increase organic reach on Instagram
1. Plan Out Your Reel
Before you even open the Instagram app, your first step should be to plan out your reel.
If you’re an avid reel watcher or consumer of short-form video, you might already have some ideas in mind. There might also be times when the stars align for an Insta-perfect, candid reel moment.
Most Instagram users actively engage with content at night, with the highest engagement rate at 8 pm. Sunday is the best day to post with an average engagement rate of 6.47%.
After you’ve planned when to post your content, it’s time to shoot. Some formats that work particularly well for short-from content are:
- Before and after videos (#satisfying)
- Stop motion videos
Of course, these formats won’t always translate for your brand. For instance, if you’re a home staging company, shooting a before and after reel, a tour, or a stop motion guide to home styling could be very effective.
But what about those days when you don’t have this type of content to post? Our first piece of advice would be to spend some time watching Instagram reels from a variety of accounts.
Get a feeling for what’s trending, and see how you can extrapolate these formats for your own reels.
Once you’ve gotten some inspo, you can start planning out and storyboarding your Instagram reels.
Related: TikTok vs. YouTube
2. Navigate to Reels
Once you’ve planned out your reel, it’s time to create.
Open up the Instagram app. From the home screen, there are a few navigational routes you can take to create a reel. You can:
- Navigate to stories and choose “Reel” at the bottom of the screen
- Click the (+) icon at the top of your screen and choose “Reels”
- Go to the Reels tab and press the camera icon
- Swipe left to the Instagram camera and select “Reel” from the options at the bottom
3. Record Your Reel
To start recording a reel all you have to do is hit the record button. Before you start recording you can opt to add a filter. You can also set a timer. This will give you a countdown before the camera starts rolling, which is perfect for hands-free recording.
You can also choose between making one large recording, or recording a series of clips.
4. Using Pre-recorded Content
Do you have pre-corded footage you want to include in an Instagram reel? No problem.
If you have already shot and edited a short-form video for another platform, such as TikTik or YouTube, you can repurpose this content by uploading it as an Instagram reel.
Or, maybe you have some footage you shot from before you started making the reel that you want to include, like some “before” shots? Simply hit upload and you can include it in your reel along with video that you have recorded in the app.
Related: Gen Z social media statistics
5. Edit Your Instagram Reel
Once you have recorded and/or uploaded the footage you want to use, you can edit it right within the Instagram app.
Instagram offers just about everything you need to carry out basic editing. You can trim clips, delete clips, or even go back and redo recordings.
You can also adjust the speed of the video, align objects, draw on-screen, record a voice-over, or add, text, stickers, and gifs,
6. Add Music
Before you finish editing your Instagram reel, one of the most important steps is to add music. This happens during the editing stage, but to make sure you don’t accidentally skip this feature we’ve made it a separate step.
If you’re recording a voiceover, you might not want or need to add music.
However, don’t forget about the power of music when combined with video. The right music can elevate any kind of video and add energy and emotion, making it more engaging.
What’s more, the music you pick can also allow the Instagram algorithm to boost your reels and show them to a wider audience.
When creating reels on Instagram, you have the option to choose between trending songs and audio. If you incorporate a trending song or audio clip into your Instagram reel, the platform is more likely to promote it, especially to people who have demonstrated interest in other reels and content that featured that song or audio snippet.
Related: How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work?
7. Edit the Settings
Once you have finished editing your reel, the next step is to adjust the settings. Here you can:
- Add a caption
- Add any relevant hashtags
- Edit your reel cover (you can choose between a still image from your reel or an uploaded image)
- Add a location
- Tag people
- Disable or enable auto-generated captions
- Rename your audio
- Enable Facebook recommendations (this surfaces your reel to Facebook users the algorithm determines will enjoy your content and can be done whether or not you have a Facebook account)
- Choose to have your reel posted to your feed
8. Post Your Reel
After you have selected your preferred settings all you have to do is hit the share button at the bottom of the screen. After this, your reel will be live and rolling.
Tips for Creating the Best Instagram Reels
Before we leave you to the record button, do you want a few tips for creating effective Instagram reels? Here are some of the most important secrets you can leverage to grow your numbers and increase exposure for your brand through Instagram reels.
Command Attention Within the First Few Seconds
One of the most important tips when it comes to creating any type of short-form video content is to grab your viewers’ attention within the first few seconds.
According to research, you have only 8 seconds to secure a viewer’s attention. On Instagram reels, it could be even less.
The short-form video formats on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok allow viewers to swipe to the next video with one thumb movement. If they’re not engaged within the first few seconds, there is zero friction preventing them from moving on to another, potentially more interesting video.
Tap Into the Power of Hashtags
If you’re still learning how to make an Instagram reel, it might be tempting to skip adding hashtags.
This is a mistake. Hashtags allow you to appear in more searches and feeds on Instagram, with minimal effort on your part. Think of it like the SEO hack to Instagram.
For instance, if you include #morningroutine, your reel may automatically appear in users’ feeds who are subscribed to that hashtag.
Turn Stories Into Reels
If you’re a new business owner, chances are Instagram marketing is just one of the many things on your to-do list. If you want to save time and streamline your social media marketing, one hack you can leverage is turning stories into reels.
All you have to do is head to your highlights, click the three dots (…), and select the option “Turn to Reel”.
Don’t Hard Sell
If you post Instagram reels that hard sell your offerings, you’re likely to have just about zero traction. Instagram users come to the platform to switch off, connect with others, and be entertained.
Yes, Instagram ads can convert like crazy, but users aren’t expecting to see a reel featuring you hard-selling a product. If they do, they’ll more than likely take a quick swipe up.
Utilize the Collaborate Feature
Instagram recently released a collab feature that allows users to share credit with another creator.
Not only can you use this to piggyback on trends, but it’s also a great way to maximize user-generated content. For instance, if a customer posts about a product they bought from you, you can use the collaborate feature to share this with followers and show appreciation and recognition to the customer.
Do You Want to Supercharge Your Digital Marketing?
Instagram reels can be a powerful way to connect with your audience and build brand awareness. Now that you know how to make a reel on Instagram, the platform is your oyster.
However, before you start posting reels of your breakfast, have you thought about how Instagram reels fit into your overall marketing plan?
Digital marketing can get complicated (and time-consuming) fast, which is why we exist.
Contact us today for professional assistance with social media ads, SEO, web design, and more.