Instagram never fails to impress us with its awesome updates and new and improved features. On the 5th of August, the buzzing social media platform released its latest asset – Reels. The feature is a solid effort to keep Instagram’s rule over the social media world, with the video tools being very similar to TikTok’s.
If you want to know your way around this new feature, or whether it’s worth paying attention to, keep on reading…
Introduction to Instagram Reels
Reels gives users the space to create short, casual videos that are shareable to your feed and story. These videos are paired with trendy music or a voiceover, and are general humorous and highly entertaining. There’s a clear common thread amongst Reels: no one takes themselves too seriously 😉
How does the feature compare?
Comparison to TikTok
The similarity between Reels and TikTok is no coincidence… So, let’s dive into what sets this platform apart.
According to Adweek, TikTok generated the most downloads of any app within the first quarter of 2020. When the app first hit the ground, it almost instantly became popular with Gen Zs. The app now has 800 million Millennials online and sharing.
So, why then is Instagram Reels more appealing to businesses than TikTok? TikTok, although massively popular, is mainly a space for entertainers. While there is a place for business on TikTok, the tone of the platform makes it pretty exclusive. With Instagram being an established platform, fitting for any range of professionality, it’s really the perfect spot for a business to get creative. Reels allows the marketer to share high-quality content that can still be fun and informal.
Comparison to other Instagram video tools
Reels allows you to upload casual snippet videos, similar to a story, but that can be permanently displayed on your feed. The videos are 15 seconds long, which gives you just a short amount of time to produce something eye-catching. Other fun features include:
- Overlaying music along with your own ‘subtitles’ and text
- Slowing down or speeding up your video (ranging from 0.3 to 3x the speed)
- ‘Stop/starting’ between recording clips, with the option of using a timer
- Aligning effect that helps you to do transitions between shots – a tool that isn’t available on TikTok
- Laying on stickers, doodles and new fonts
- And hundreds of new effects that you can find while exploring
Should your business be using Reels?
The world of marketing is forever changing and we need to make sure we don’t fall behind. Adding Reels to your Instagram strategy can be a great opportunity to freshen up your marketing approach. Because Reels are meant to be casual and informal, there’s no pressure for you to plan (or pay for 😉 ) anything extravagant. People want to see authenticity, so raw is good.
Louis Vuitton is the perfect example of a brand using Reels to boost creativity by sharing casual, yet high-quality videos using just a phone.
With an average of 5 million views on each of their product showcase videos, this is proof that Reels holds marketing opportunities.
What should my business be posting?
Reels gives your audience a sneak peek into your brand. Here are some content ideas to get you started:
- Use Reels to share a more personalised overview of your company’s story and what you’re all about – lights and fancy cameras aren’t necessary, just your face and a phone.
- People love seeing what goes on behind the scenes of a business they’re supporting – let your audience in on what happens outside of what they usually see.
- Educate people about your product with a 15-second show-off video.
- Use your existing customers to attract the attention of potential customers by posting short product reviews onto your feed.
The feature has been rolled out in 50 different countries worldwide, and big brands are already jumping on the new trend. Could this new video tool be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to leap into the new world of video marketing?