On 5 August, Instagram launched its newest feature, Reels, taking aim at the increasing popularity of TikTok and its short-form video content. With 1 in 5 people in the UK expected to become a TikTok user by 2021, the China-based app is predicted to grow exponentially in the next twelve months, having already made a massive impact in East Asia, India and the USA, despite the increasing likelihood of a ban or forced sale by Donald Trump in the latter.
The Reels feature allows Instagram users to create 15-second videos within the app, providing effects for music, filters and frames to develop entertaining content which can be shared through direct messages, with your own followers, and if you have a public account, through the wider Instagram community via the Explore page.
If one of your Instagram objectives is to reach Gen Z and take advantage of their increasing buying power, incorporating these Tik-Tok like videos into your social media strategy can tap into the trend of short-form content that young social media users prefer.
Reels also offers an alternative method of promoting your brands key messages visually through the Instagram platform, providing a creative way to reach your audience with a more informal and fun tone of voice. Hotels and venues need to showcase personality and demonstrate what goes on, the expertise behind the business and share stories about the team. This is a great way to give content rich updates and news to your followers and new audiences.
If you’re not an avid TikTok user and don’t currently operate an account for yourself or your business, here is our lowdown on Instagram’s latest feature:
- Access Reels by tapping the top left ‘camera’ icon on your Instagram feed page, or swipe right, then scroll across the bottom choices to select from ‘Live’, ‘Story’ and ‘Reels’
- Once you’ve opened Reels, select one of the icons from the left sidebar to start creating:
- ? Choose from a variety of popular music and curated playlists to place over the top of your video, or simply record your own audio while filming the video
- ?? Utilise the fast forward button to speed up or slow down your video or clips
- ?? Browse a variety of effects from colour changes, to face-altering filters, fun in-video games, framing techniques and green screens
- ?? Incorporate the inbuilt timer when recording to plan how long each clip will be, and allow for a countdown when shooting to make sure you’re ready and in position to start shooting
- Clips can be 15-seconds long and can be made from your video uploads, by recording one video on Instagram, or by filming a series of clips
- Once you’re happy with your Reel, share it and edit your cover image and caption, much like any other Instagram video post, adding hashtags and tagging other accounts to increase awareness. You can also save your Reel if you’re hoping to post later to maximise engagement and reach
- Reels will not only have it’s own top-space section on the Explore page, but will also appear on your profile under a separate tab, similar to IGTV videos
Discover how Custard’s experience in social media strategy and content management can increase your exposure and deliver ROI by contacting our team today. For more insights and tutorials, check out Instagram’s Creators page here.