Instagram released Reels in August 2020. Reels are 15 second clips that you can add music, AR filters, and text to. You can adjust the speed and have text appear an disappear at different times throughout the video.
Reels have a lot in common with both TikTok and Instagram Stories, but here's how they are different.
Video Length: Reels are 15 seconds long, just like Stories, whereas TikTok videos can be up to 60 seconds long.
Video Features: TikTok currently has a lot more options in terms of content creation than Reels do.
Life Span: Unlike stories, Reels are permanent and don't disappear after 24 hours. Instead they remain in a new Reel section on your account, beside your IGTV videos.
Hashtags: unlike Instagram Stories, Reels can have up to 30 hashtags, which you can put with the caption or in the comments section, just like a regular post (stories only allow 10).
Caption: unlike stories, you have the option to add a caption to your Reels, just like a regular post.
Where To Find Your Reels
Go to the same area where you create a story (as Roxy is demonstrating above!).
You will see three categories at the bottom of the screen now:
Stories, Live and REELS.
Select Reels. That then brings you into the Reels screen and you will see options to add music, text, AR filters and adjust the speed.
You'll also see a timer countdown and an align button. Let's look at how they all work.
How To Create Reels
First, you need a strategy. If you're doing this for your business I don't think a random dancing video will cut it, so take out a piece of paper and decide what message/value you are delivering in the 15 second clips.
Once you've done that, you are ready to record!
You can choose a music clip now, use the search option in the music area to find the right song for your message.
Next you can pick a filter.
Then use the timer button to help you deliver your message within the 15 seconds. I would generally allocate 2-3 second per point I am making. Once you set the timer for those 2 seconds, you are ready to hit record. The timer will count you down and that's it!
Now when you're adding your next two second clip, you can use the align button. This allows you to align yourself up physically with where your last clip left off, keeping a nice flow in the video.
Once you have done all of this, you are ready to add your text!
Type the sentences you want to appear. Then you'll need to use the timer bar at the bottom of the video (see screenshot below) to make the text appear and disappear at the right time.
You might need to play around with it first to get the hang of the text if you haven't used it before.
That's it! You're ready to post your Reel!
Why Do I Need To Post Reels For My Business?
In the land of Instagram, when a new tool comes out they tend to push it and reward those who use it with higher reach. So getting into Reels now will push up your visibility.
Go to your Instagram explore page right now and notice what is the first thing you see that is taking up half the page? A Reel.
Reels are fun and creative. They allow you as a business to show another side to yourself. It's also a way for you to be on video without having to overthink it or prepare a full on training.
Increased video time helps deepen that trust and connection with your audience too. Reels are a great way to do that.
The fact that you only have 15 seconds to deliver your message means you need to get straight to the point and cut out anything unnecessary. That is exactly what your audience wants. Short, bite size nuggets. Doing Reels is great training for you to shorten and strengthen your message.
What is a Reel?
It's a 15 second clip that you can add music, AR filters and moving text to
How long do they last?
They are permanent
Where do I find them?
Same place as your Stories
Can I add hashtags?
Yes, up to 30 in the captions/comments, just like a regular post
Do I need to use them if I am a business?
How do I get started?
Join my Reel Challenge here
Do you need one to one help with your social media?
I run a 16 week program where I simplify social media for small business owners
who didn't grow up using it.
If you need one to one help growing your business online
turning Facebook & Instagram into sales tools, this is for you.
Apply for my 16 week program today.