Instagram is really pushing Reels right now. That means that the algorithm is more likely to show a Reel to a new audience than an image post. So if you are looking to build your following or expand your reach, Reels is the way to do it.
Reels have longevity! Unlike posts that stop getting attention after a day or two, Reels can gather thousands of likes in the background for months, making them a good investment. (This one was posted more than 6 months ago, has 7,000+ views and is still going strong!)
So if you want to use Reels as part of your business’s marketing strategy, here are some best practices and helpful tips.
1. Use trending audio.
Using trending audio ensures that your Reel is part of the wave of people using that audio. Sometimes these are are music clips and sometimes they audio clips which you can lip synch along with.
You can find trending audio by scrolling through Reels and noticing the lower left hand icon next to the music track. If there is an up arrow, it mean that this audio is trending. To save the audio, click on the track name and you can see how many Reels have used that audio and a button to Save it for later. (But don’t wait too long or it won’t be trending!)
I also recommend visiting @reelstips where you can find a regular round-up of trending audio as well as tutorials.
2. Keep Reels short.
People’s attention spans are short so, right now, videos that are 6-8 seconds in length are having the most success.
Although, Instagram did recently announce 90 second Reels so, they seem to feel that people will stick around for longer form video. This is a great way to share educational content such as step-by-step tutorials or to show a longer behind the scenes process. If you use a 30, 60, 0r 90 second Reel format, make sure your video it is engaging all the way through.
3. Start strong
You’ve probably noticed this yourself as you are watching Reels: if you’re not hooked in the first second or two, you swipe away. So make sure to catch attention in the first few seconds of your video.
4. Use a CTA
End with a call to action (CTA) telling your viewers what to do next. Without asking them to do something, they will just move on. But an explicit ask can almost compel a viewer to act.
If you’re using Reels for business, what you ultimately want is for people to book your services. But in a Reel, the next step might be something small such as liking the video, reading the caption, following, or clicking a link. Focus on getting the viewer on the path toward being a customer, not jumping to the end of the process which might be overwhelming at the first point of contact.
5. Don’t let your caption be an afterthought.
If someone enjoys your Reel and they want to learn more about your product or service, their next step will be to look at the caption accompanying the video. So don’t let your caption be an afterthought! Make sure to pack it with value and end with a CTA.
As a side point, if you have a long caption, people will be reading it while the video is playing in the background, increasing Reel views. Tricky but effective.
5. Add your Reels to Stories
We all know that the more views your Reel has, the more it will be shown to new viewers, exponentially expanding your reach. So start with people who are already following you by adding Reels to Stories.
Some people like to put a sticker over Reels in Stories, forcing people to click into the the video to view it but that’s just annoying. A Reel viewed in your Story counts as a view so you don’t have to force your followers to click in to see it.
If your Reel is longer than the length of a Story (15 seconds), then add text to your Story to encourage people to click in to watch the rest of the video.
Instagram can be a strong part of your marketing strategy and Reels– with proper planning– can be an effective tool in the success of that strategy!