These days, everyone knows about Instagram Posts and Instagram Stories. But the latest addition to the IG family is Instagram Reels. This TikTok competitor allows you to enjoy (and create!) short, snackable video content (FYI - Instagram does not like watermarks on your videos and will drop you down in the algorithm if you try to use a TikTok video as a Reel). That said, the videos you create for Reels can be used on other platforms (like TikTok) once you have them edited to your liking!
Maybe you’ve seen one of our recent Reels. Maybe you’re interested in creating some yourself (which you absolutely should be!). Before you do, it’s worth considering what the marketing advantage of Reels is for a small business. Once you’ve wrapped your head around that, it’s time to talk about strategies for making your own!
Why Make Instagram Reels?
There are many reasons, including, but not limited to:
It’s where your customers are currently spending time
Instagram has been cagey about releasing statistics on just how many people are using Reels, but the conservative estimate is: “a lot.” Some brands are netting views in the millions for a single reel. Plus, Instagram has cracked the code on the whole “lay on the couch and swipe swipe swipe through content” thing. So you definitely want to be where those consumer eyeballs are.
Don’t underestimate the power of motion
Posts are important for your social strategy but they are static and immobile. Reels bring in motion and catchy tunes (I sing the trending songs regularly) and they will help give a depth and level of engagement that a static picture simply cannot accomplish.
You make a visual product. Represent it with a visual product
Reels specialize in making things LOOK better. Because creative floral design is such a visual-forward product, it makes sense to utilize the strongest visual capabilities wherever and whenever possible.
People love a sneak peek behind the scenes of their favorite brands and businesses
“But wait,” you might say. “If I’m showing my process, couldn’t competitors steal my techniques?” My answer to this is: think about how many TV shows Gordon Ramsay has. Now think about how many people can cook like Gordon Ramsay. Process and execution are two different things entirely!
Now that we’ve covered WHY you should make a Reel, let’s talk about HOW to make a Reel.
How To Perfect Your Own Instagram Reels
In this section, we’ll go over how to create your own Reel, how to post it on Instagram, and how to use tools to give it all an extra special polish at the end.
Creating an Instagram Reel
Step one, of course, is to hit record! Later in this blog we’ll review tried-and-true ideas for what kind of content works best. But to start – keep it simple. You or your product. Video feature on your phone. Activity. Press record. Boom.
Next, you’ll want to edit it to give your Reel that certain zest that all the best Reels seem to have these days. There are a number of apps you can use to accomplish this. Personally, I use InShot. InShot is an easy-to-use app that will help bring your Reel to the next level. You can use the app for free, but that makes all your videos have an unlikeable watermark on them. For $9.99/year, you can upgrade to the Pro version, which unlocks additional features and gives you a clean video to work with. My recommendations in this blog are based on InShot, but feel free to explore whatever app works best for you.
Once you have the app of your choice, simply upload your video and start editing. Here are a selection of tips, tricks, and tools I’ve learned along the way:
Your final Reel should be :15-:30. Your footage doesn’t have to be.
These apps allow you to speed up and edit your content in a number of ways. This is how a longer piece of content can squeeze into that :15-:30 window. This can be extremely helpful. Recently, I was able to compress a 7+ minute video into 22 seconds.
When selecting your canvas, select 9:16
This is ideal for the Instagram platform.
Embrace the Split feature
The Split tool will allow you to select and manipulate just a portion of your video. So, for instance, if you have a 30-second video, you could split at, say, seconds :10 and:20 and slow that section down, filter it, speed it up, or delete it altogether. This tool helps create transitions within your video.
Don’t add music until later
While it’s possible to add music at this stage, I recommend holding off until you’re uploading to Instagram. Instagram has a rich library of songs, and a ton of original clips that you don’t have to worry about copyright issues when using. So, if you’re going to be using music…
Turn the volume down to 0 in InShot
…Unless you’re talking and want to keep that in the video. Then you don’t have to. You can also dub over your voice if you have sped up or slowed down any parts of the video!
Finally – play around!
Video editing apps have a nearly limitless pool of capabilities to help make your content shine. Explore and find different ways to make your Reel your very own!
Now that you’ve created and edited a Reel, let’s get it posted!
Posting to Instagram
- You click the + button in the upper-right
Then, you tap “Reel” (don’t be surprised at this stage: your selfie camera will turn on
- Next, tap on the lower-left. That brings up what’s stored in your phone, including any edited videos that came out of InShot or the video editing app of your choice
Make sure to click the stop watch to select the correct length of video – :15 or :30
From here, you have two choices:
- If your post is 100% the way you want it, with no additional edits necessary – go ahead and post! You are good to go.
- If you want to add music, titles, and more – you’ve got some editing to do. Read on!
How to add text to your Reels
I’m not going to lie – this one takes a little practice! But as always, get in there, start practicing! Here’s how to get your text appear at specific times on your reel:
- Once your video is uploaded, click the PREVIEW button
- From there, you’ll get a number of different editing options, including music, animation effects, and, of course, text. Text is indicated by the following sign: “Aa”
- Tapping the text option will bring up your keyboard, as well as a choice of fonts, colors, and sizes. Write your preferred text, thenn drag and drop the text wherever you like on your video
- At the bottom of your screen, you should see a scrub bar that visually represents the duration of your video. Place the white rectangle around the period of time where you want your text to appear
- Repeat with as many blocks of text as you need for your Reel
Again, it will take a little practice, but you’ll get there!
How to add music to your Reels
If you’ve noticed, the very best, most memorable Reels are full-blown audio-visual masterpieces. So…let’s talk about the audio!
When editing your reel, you’ll see a couple of musical notes at the top. Go ahead and tap those notes in order to add music.
This will automatically reveal some song options from the Instagram community. However, heads up that for a business-related account like yours (PS - if you’re not signed up for a business account, you should be!) there will be some rights protections in place for a lot of the songs on Instagram (ie - you won't be able to search for the most popular songs). Otherwise, it’d be a little too easy to make it sounds like Billie Eilish endorsed your brand, specifically!
So, you’ll want to navigate through your saved songs. In order to save a song, Instagram makes you watch other Reels and manually save original audio. Now, this is a clever way for them to boost their engagement, but it’s also not a bad idea to see what other Reel producers are doing out there.
From here, once you’ve added the perfect music to your Reel, you’re ready to go! Your 101 course on Instagram Reels is complete!
….but what if you wanted to do the graduate course?
Well at that point, you’ll want to look into an Instagram Reel Coach.
Instagram Reel Coaches
Make no mistake – Reels are big business. So much so that some social media gurus are making their living literally coaching others on how to take their Reel game to the next level. These folks can teach you the latest musical trends and how to perfectly time the visuals of your Reel with the right audio drops.
For examples on what something like that looks like – check out some of our recent Reels!
While creating Reels can be somewhat complicated, figuring out what content to use doesn't have to be! Here are a few ideas of what you can transform into a great Instagram Reel for your business:
- Painting flowers
- Creating an arrangement
- Anything behind the scenes
- Photos from a photoshoot
Now, as you can tell, Reels take some work! But I promise, not only can they be a huge benefit to your brand, but once you get used to them, they can even be a little fun!
So dive in, start experimenting, and happy crafting – er – happy editing!