How to do Instagram Reels: Everything small businesses should know

How to do Instagram Reels: Everything small businesses should know
Victoria Brown

Posted: Thu 21st Jan 2021

So, have you tried Instagram Reels yet? They're basically the latest Instagram baby. Think short, snappy 15 or 30-second videos (at time of writing, although things on the platform can rapidly change). Think a grown-up sibling of a TikTok and you've pretty much got it.

I know exactly what you're thinking. "Uh oh. Not another platform." And yes, I get it. I thought the same at first. But now I'm a complete convert, so let me persuade you why you also need Instagram Reels in your business's life.

Here's why you should be doing Reels right now.

1. Reels are mini ads for your business

This is the thing that really surprised me about Instagram Reels. It's how digestible the information is for your audience. Here's what I mean: your followers have to make an effort to actually read your posts. It takes them time, and they have to actively seek them out. However, Reels are just there and are so easy to watch.

They suck you in on your feed, and they will do the same to your customer. Whatever the message you want to get across on your Reel – say, for example, it's that all your pieces are handmade – you almost certainly will be able to get that message over more easily than you would in a written post.

2. Reels are fun to watch

How much fun are Reels to watch? I mean, how easy is it to get sucked into the Reels on your search page? Well, your customers love watching them too!

They want to be entertained by you, so make sure you're serving your customers and give them something to make them smile. There are so many effects and with a bit of creativity the possibilities are endless.

3. Using Reels gets you algorithm points

I've been testing it, and using Instagram Reels definitely gets you more engagement overall on your Instagram account. There's no doubt that since I started using Reels, I've been seeing more engagement across my Instagram posts.

Why is this? Well (at the time of writing anyway), Reels is Instagram's new baby. It wants you to use Reels. So, Instagram gives anyone that embraces its new features more visibility as a kind of reward.

At the moment, that's Reels, but it might not always be that way, so you've got to start using them now to get the benefits.

4. Reels are fun to make

Yes, honestly. If you have a creative bone in your body, I almost guarantee you'll enjoy making Reels once you get started. It's actually quite addictive.

I'm really quite surprised I'm saying this (I was so petrified of Reels that I didn't even attempt to make one for two months), but once you figure it out it really is fun! That's exactly why I decided to put a guide together on how to make a Reel, as I didn't want the tech to hold you back from creating your first one. It's not the most intuitive of platforms, but it's actually not that complicated once you get going.

5. Reels get a lot more views than any other type of video on Instagram

Yup. You know how IGTV gets you lots of views… well, Reels blows IGTV out of the water. So far, I've got more than six times the views of my highest-performing IGTV video on one of my Reels – and a few weeks later, people are still watching it.

Reels, then, have longevity – and the potential to reach a wide audience. Convinced? Great! Here are my five top tips for creating an Insta-worthy Reel:

  1. Decide what feeling, thought or idea you want to get across to your audience before you go anywhere near the camera.

  2. Plan out exactly what you want to say and the shots you need before filming.

  3. Don't be afraid to experiment – different types of Reels work well for different audiences.

  4. Watch other Reels first to get a feel for the kinds of things that work well, and create your own take on them (obviously don't copy, just be inspired).

  5. Have fun! Reels are super creative and if you have fun with them, that will come across.

Because Reels can be a bit confusing the first time you do it, I've put together a free step-by-step guide to creating your first Instagram reels. Download your free copy

Social media and content strategist Victoria Brown is a trusted Enterprise Nation adviser. Connect with her today to find out how she can help your business.

Victoria Brown
Victoria Brown has more than 15 years experience in marketing and communications (and time spent working as a jewellery designer), and she knows exactly how to help creative business owners find and sell to customers online, making it easy and fun to learn!  She specialises in brand, email marketing, Instagram and Pinterest strategies and is also an experienced journalist/writer.  

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