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The reel deal: A quick guide to Instagram Reels.

Social & Mobile • Written by Sophie Breheny - Client Director, AU & NZ

Facebook’s introduction of Reels to the Instagram platform is a format they described as a “new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram”.

Reels allows users to record and edit 15 second multi-clip videos using visual effects and creative tools. Users can share Reels with their followers on their feed, and if they have a public account, offers anyone the chance to become “insta-famous” by reaching audiences on a global stage through a new space in Explore.

For a breakdown on how to use Reels, have a read of the step-by-step process from Instagram here.

Most marketers are probably thinking, so what does this mean for me and my brand? Here are a few things to consider.

1. Reels is a great tactic for Facebook to keep their audience on Instagram, rather than users jumping from one network to another. This provides Facebook with greater advertising power, creating a “one stop shop” for consumer engagement.

2. For those brands looking to get in front of the growing Reels audience, it was only going to be a matter of time before Facebook explored the potential for advertisers. Ad trials are now rolling out across Australia, India, Brazil and Germany – allowing brands to run full screen vertical ads up to 30 seconds in all places Reels are shown to users.

3. From a content perspective, Reels provides an opportunity for brands to once again try something new and get creative. The new video features are a welcome addition to Stories, Live and IGTV. Some brands have bolted straight out of the gate and are nailing Reels content, clocking up thousands or in some cases millions of organic views. Here’s a wrap up of some brands who’s marketing departments are no doubt high fiving each other over Zoom as I type.

4. Having said that, as with TikTok, Reels may not be the right fit for every brand’s tone and style. Brands should be wary of jumping on the bandwagon for the sake of it, so before posting a Reel of your CEO bopping to the new Taylor Swift track, marketers should have a solid think about whether this channel is right for their brand positioning.

5. The addition of the ‘Remix’ feature also lets users re-share and remix content, adding harmonies, collaborations or reactions – and providing a way for users to engage with other content creators, influencers or brands. Engaging with this type of content (and using audio from other trending videos) could be a great opportunity for brands, especially as some business accounts may not have access to the full Instagram music library due to commercial music rights restrictions.

6. Reels (much like TikTok) provides a format for sharing short, playful, looping content – so explore the potential for organic (or paid advertising) content that can amuse, delight and entertain audiences. Jump on trends, take viewers behind the scenes or highlight your products in new ways. Just remember that if you’re planning to repurpose existing content – make sure you optimise it for Reels. Check out some best practices from Instagram here.

7. It’s worth remembering also that the change in format will lead to a change in ratios and content creation as well. For a quick, easy to follow guide to Reels content creation check out Andrew Morreys’ article here.

One things for sure, Reels is growing day by day as more Instagram users jump on board. It’s an interesting space for a brand to play and to get super creative, so the question is, which brand is going to dominate this space, and when? Why not yours eh….?


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