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Here’s the ‘reel’ scoop on Instagram’s newest feature

I need to warn you about Reels, a new feature on Instagram that shows a short video snippet (of up to thirty seconds) to users beyond your followers. 

The danger is, it’s highly addictive. Yes, I’ll admit, I’m hooked. But what is it exactly and why on earth am I spending so much time in the Reel world? I’ll tell you. 

Reels can improve your reach, show the personality of your brand, and helps people find a connection with you and your business. With all the competition on the internet, the only thing that sets your business apart from your competitors quickly is you – so showing up allows people to work out if you are “their kind of people”

Basically, Reels are the perfect opportunity to attract new followers who might want what you are selling. However if you’re like the majority of my clients, you may be feeling a bit of angst about having to add another social media tool to your marketing action plan. But never fear, like all activity, it is important to see whether it’s actually something you need or not. And to do that, you need to understand it first.  

 

Feel free to check out mine for a quick insight into what they are, and how they could work for your business:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CNBfW6ADL6m/ 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CM5FdmpDKGe/ 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CMqjfDbjVg2/

 

So, keen to give them a go? To create my Reels I use my phone, and an app called INSHOT, which is a phone video editing app. I’m really not very techy and have taught seventy year olds to use it. It’s simple. It hurt my head and took ages the first few goes but I can go from idea to completing a REEL ready to post within fifteen to twenty minutes these days. 

And here’s a few ideas to start to you off: 

  1. Give us three top tips to solve a problem
  2. Tell us your four favourite features of a product
  3. Answer a frequently asked question
  4. Create a “Five ways to…”
  5. Give us a snappy book review
  6. Share an awesome hack

I’ve even used Reels to share a ditty to help teach a marketing trick – but I promise you do not need to sing!

But going back to what I said before, you only need to consider Reels if Instagram is where your customers are consuming content. If they are, and you’re on there, then I strongly recommend using Reels.  

I’ve also found that the bonus of diving (headfirst) into Reels is that it has helped me increase my video content over all. I share my Reels to Youtube as #shorts, to Tiktok as, well, Tiktoks, to Linkedin as a Linkedin story and have used them in posts on other platforms. Because why not maximise one piece of content by using it across other platforms if possible – it’s genius, right? 

And, if you want to make sure your videos do ‘Reely’ well – here’s a few tips I have picked up via my addiction:  

  1. It’s better to make really good, well thought out Reels less frequently than push them out all the time (I’m currently on a REEL creation overdose, but it’s because I’m learning. I do notice some get A LOT of views, and some much less. Goal is to get to two to three a week). Reels hang around – you can get views and comments months later!
  2. The goal is to get people to stop scrolling and take notice. So it’s got to be more than a simple talking head with no graphics. 
  3. Reels are all about short, engaging content that connects with your audience and makes them want to find out more about you. (and buy from you) You need to make it memorable, and simple and keep the message clear. 
  4. Aim for either a length of either seven seconds, fifteen or thirty. Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, so the shorter ones often get better initial reach (but you may not be able to get all your information clearly on it)
  5. You need to be ENERGETIC. You need to shine out through that lens and look like you want to be there big time!
  6. Make sure you’re talking to one person (so no “Hi guys”) comments
  7. Miming and pointing looks silly – but these types of Reels often have better reach and pickup as people can get what’s happening without listening to the sound. 
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