Introducing Instagram Reels

instagram reels

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It is a new way users can record upto 15 sec clips with visual editing tools and sound effects. In this article I am going to talk about this new addition to the Instagram App and how you can use ‘Reels’ for business.

What is Instagram Reel?

It is a different way inside Instagram app to create engaging video content from Instagram Stories. It is now available in 50 countries around the world including the United States. Users can record upto 15 seconds of the video, edit it, add music and share them as their story, feed and the new Reels tab on the user profile. Yes, it does sound really familiar. A direct rival to TikTok. 

Why Instagram Reels?

Considering the growing popularity of TikTok in the past 12 months across SEA & seeing a surge in usage across the western world, TikTok has been facing the threat of getting banned due to data security reasons. There was no better time for Facebook to introduce Reels.

TikTok, owned by chinese tech company ByteDance, has been a popular app amongst the Gen Z users. To add on, Millennials had made a greater share recently in TikTok’s user base. According to Comscore, In the US the user base for TikTok has seen a tremendous increase in usage by the Millennial generation. Users Aged between 25-34 increased from 22.4% in January to 27.5% in April. 

There is no surprise from Facebook to replicate TikTok in the form of Reels. Instagram has more footprint across the world than TikTok, Instagram Reels has already been introduced in 50 countries and seeing the surge in the usage, In no time it will be introduced across the world. 

Instagram now has a complete package in place for content creators. IGTV has positioned itself to showcase series based content, Instagram Stories to show high impact content with a shelf life of 24 hours and now Introducing ‘Reels’ to fill the gap between the two. High Quality content which is still informal but has a greater shelf life than 24 hours.

How Instagram Reels can be used as a placement in their Marketing Strategy

It is a new way to build your community and grow your reach on Instagram. Brands can create fun and engaging content for their audiences. If you are already using Instagram for business this feature will be worth trying.

1. Create Unique content which can resonate with your audience

As this is a feature introduced in the Instagram Stories Camera menu, Stories is still new for many brands to adopt. Some brands have already understood its potential. If Instagram Stories is a new venture to kick start, Reels could be even bigger.

Reels allow users to record short video clips with fun and packed with special effects which can easily draw attention and help brands communicate complex content consumed by the audiences easily.

This feature can be used to produce more human touch content, a great opportunity for the bands to connect with its audience with Raw Content. As this is very new in the market it also gives an opportunity to connect with New audiences. 

2. Brands with Educational Content

Due to this Pandemic, there is a surge in consumption around indoor activities and hobbies. It is a great platform for the brands to feature educational content like DIYs, Top Travel Tips, Quick Recipes etc included with caption and Hashtags.

3. Showcase Products

This is a great platform for bands which are introducing new product lines. Instagram Reels will help in driving awareness especially because Reels are featured on the Explore Tab hence users who do not follow you can also watch it.

As this feature is fairly new in the market we aren’t aware about the algorithm, how it works and targets users? It’s always the best practice to include captions and hashtags.

What to Expect from Instagram Reels

In 2016, when Instagram launched ‘Instagram Stories’ there were only 150 million active users back then. Potential was never measured by the brands and now there are more than 500 million users who use stories every day. Looking at this growth Instagram Reels have a better and brighter future ahead.

It is a good strategy to adopt early when the competition is low. We already see influencers and big global fashion brands already using Reels to promote their products. We only expect brands to partner with influencers to co-create branded content and get featured on Reels.

At present, users can only add stickers and GIF’s to their Reels. This feature is already promising hence expect a massive growth in usage around the world. Constant feedback does help improve the experience and we expect Instagram Stories like features also added to Reels like Shoppable Stickers & Swipe up links.

Brands can use this medium to co-create and share content to better understand their Instagram community. Similar to Instagram Stories, we expect a similar option to place adverts between the Reels. This will be an additional way for brands to push their products. 

A Creative opportunity is waiting for you.

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