Instagram Reels:

Everything You Need To Know

In the last couple of weeks, you’ve likely heard about Instagram Reels, the platform’s new short-form video feature that closely resembles TikTok. Reels went live on August 5th, and already the popularity is growing by the second. Brands are using Reels to build their audience with some videos getting +5M views.


How does Reels differ from TikTok? 

The first major difference between Instagram Reels and TikTok, is the video length. TikTok allows users to create up to 60 seconds of content, Reels only allows 15. That time difference drastically alters the type of content that creators can push out on each platform. 

Where Reels still incorporate the ability to add music, affect video speed, and other editing features similar to TikTok – they don’t leave much time for the tutorials, video responses, or in-depth content. 

TikTok’s algorithm is entirely based around discovery. TikTok has gone on record to say that the size of a creator’s following doesn’t affect the likelihood of a video being featured in their ‘For You’ page that curates content you’re expected to enjoy. That leaves the door wide open to new creators and keeps the app’s content fresh. 

TikTok also allows users to download their videos to post on other platforms. That ability has helped the app gain momentum as TikTok videos commonly trend across Instagram and Twitter, Instagram Reels is not currently allowing that feature. Reels can be shared as Instagram posts, but their content cannot be downloaded.

The creator communities attracted to TikTok because of their discovery-centered algorithm are unlikely to leave for Instagram. While Reels will feature at the beginning of the Explore page – boosting discoverability – the algorithm for Reels is still up in the air. We aren’t likely to see the creators who have thrived on TikTok fully make the jump to Reels. It’s far more likely that these creators will diversify their content and utilize both platforms.

If you’re already using Instagram for your business, it’s worth giving Reels a try. Here are 5 ways to integrate Instagram Reels into your brand’s social media strategy:

1. Product Features
Instagram Reels make it easy to creatively display your products and boost brand awareness. Since your Reels will show in the Explore page to users who have never engaged with your content, the opportunity here is huge. Whether you’re taking a note from TikTok trends with quick transitions between outfits or doing something all your own – get your products up on Reels.  

2. Quick Tips
With the ability to speed up your videos and incorporate multiple cuts, you can quickly speed up tips or tricks to fit in Instagram Reels. Can you show someone how to tie one of your skirts? Use your product to get out a wine stain? Use your software to simplify their process? Mini-tutorials are amazing for building brand authority.


3. Relatable Content
Instagram Reels make it simple to create fast, fun videos that show a lot of personality. This is a great arena to deviate from your picture-perfect branding and build your community by being a bit more human.

4. Influencer Reels
Influencer marketing just got a whole new avenue with Instagram Reels. Reels show up in an influencer’s permanent feed as well as being featured at the top of the Explore page. You’re getting a double-whammy hitting their established audience and the audience discovering them. Again, we don’t know everything about the Reels algorithm yet, but if it’s weighted like the standard algorithm, an influencer’s following might increase the reach of their Reels content.


5. Lifestyle & Brand Identity
Anything that you would take a photo of is a good inspiration for a video on Instagram Reels. Again, this is a way to take your picture-perfect branding and make it more palpable to your audience. There’s a huge difference between looking at an edited photo of one of your models on the beach and seeing a video of her laughing at the ocean spray from a wave timed perfectly with “Sunset Lover” by Petit Biscuit.

The takeaway? You need to try Instagram Reels. Get creative, have fun, and get out there. If you have any questions about creating this (or any) kind of content,
get in touch with us. We’re always here to help.