A Guide to Using Instagram Reels in Your Marketing Plan

Whether you’re a service or a product company, Instagram is a hub for promoting your business. Instagram by itself is a whole world of content – an entertainment hub – that is being consumed everyday by almost 1 billion people globally, and among them almost 200 million people are visiting business profiles every day.

From Instagram Stories to IGTV, Instagram offers everyone a platform to share and engage. One such feature – added around 6 months ago – is Instagram Reels that has already driven content creators into a frenzy of creativity. Brands, people, influencers, everyone are creating Reels, and this makes adding Instagram Reels in your marketing plan crucial for every business. Which brings us to – how to use Instagram reels in a social media marketing strategy? What is Instagram Reels? How does Instagram Reels work in an overall marketing plan?

DID YOU KNOW? Louis Vuitton averages 7M views on each Reel and Red Bull France has more than 2.4M views on their most popular Reel!

What are Instagram Reels? 

Added on to the platform in 2020, Instagram Reels is an exclusive video content avenue. It allows people and brands to create and share short-form video content. Simply put, you can record and edit 15-30 second videos, add text, music, effects and share it across with the Instagram community and your followers. In fact, Instagram has dedicated the bottom centre button – earlier reserved for Search – to Reels, and boy is Reels catching on – from influencers to brands, entertaining reels are what make up most of the content in the feed today. Reels just like IGTV and Posts have a dedicated section under your profile. Reels can be uploaded as posts or stories along with post copies, hashtags, and sound tracks from a pre-existing list. 

Instagram too is pushing Reels quite actively. 

So, the Reels you create as a brand with the right Instagram reels hashtags and popular soundtracks will get you more engagement and discovery. Yes! You heard that right. People can also search Reels via hashtags and soundtracks. Instagram on the other hand pushes videos into the Explore page based on how many times the video is watched and liked. 

Bet you’re wondering how is this different from Stories or videos on feed? Well it is – most importantly Reels do not disappear after 24 hours and offers way more tools to create videos than stories and feed. 

Like the super cool Instagram Face Filter Tab that we’re thinking will drive more brand engagement.  

Brands can divide social media marketing strategy to feature 3 different types of content or balance out your content every month. Still wondering why should your business get on to Instagram Reels? Read on. 

Why does your Business need Instagram Reels? 

As brand content features in the EXPLORE section on Instagram too more than 50% of Instagram accounts use Explore every month to find new content. Featuring on Explore means new eyeballs and new followers. Instagram Reels features in user feed and explore based on the content they browse, watch and like. Let’s say you’re a nutritional drink business and your reel focuses on a new product. Instagram will feature your reel to relevant audiences, who usually follow health and fitness pages, and because this avenue is relatively new, sky’s the limit on the type of content you can create, as well as the kind of followers you can acquire.  

Let’s look at some features and tools of Instagram Reels.

Instagram Reels Feels Exactly Like TikTok
  1. Timer – Let’s you pick 15 or 30 sec timing to record your videos via hands-free. 30 secs is the maximum length of video.
  2. Sound – Pick soundtracks that work with your videos. These are tracks used by others and if you upload your own sound it will become available for others to use. 
  3. Speed – Use this tool to speed up your video or record at slower speeds.
  4. Effects – Oh the effects that Instagram Reels offers! Choose a bunch of filters or effects at the bottom of the screen. Boomerangs to AR filters and transitions, make stunning Reel videos for maximum impact. However, brands don’t have access to all features. Instagram business accounts cannot use the sound feature, so upload a video with native soundtracks. The other 3 features remain at your disposal. 
  5. Caption it – Add a caption that is not too long, because Reels in your feed doesn’t show captions. This means you need to add your CTA in your Instagram Reel Videos or your viewer misses out on it. 
  6. Instagram Reels Hashtags– Probably the most important aspect while uploading a reel to ensure that the video is discoverable – HASHTAGS! Do a quick search for trending hashtags within Instagram Reels itself; add a topical hashtag, a brand hashtag and keep the hashtags real. Begin adding the hashtags and Instagram prompts you with most popular hashtags to use.

Here’s some help on How to Use Right Hashtags to Grow Engagement

How to use Instagram Reels in Your Marketing Plan? 

Get creative and channel the brand message right! Plan your content in advance; add a dash of inspiration, brand positioning, fun and creativity and Instagram Reels could become your businesses’ thing! Product and company showcase, to DIY to information – Brands can do so much with Instagram Reels to build effective consumer engagement and relationships. If you ask us, it is definitely more cost-effective than creating IGTV videos. Start with using video content you already have – edits from YouTube videos, IGTV videos and posts. Experiment with content ideas and see how they perform and then just roll with it. 

Here are a few ideas from the Mindstorm Experts to use Instagram Reels in your Marketing plan! 

1) Behind the Scenes – Sneak Peek! 

Instagram Community loves behind the scenes’ info. From manufacturing processes to product usage to even a glimpse into the day of an influencer makes good Reel content. Amrutam an ayurvedic brand has positioned itself as an all-natural Ayurveda product. And this reel on their hair oil being made fresh is perfect!  

2) Create cool Instagram face filters and Reel it

AR filters or face filters like we said earlier too, seem like the next trend on Instagram. We love how well Calvin Klein has built a whole campaign around it. Bold Messaging and shareable content makes these reels fun to watch.

3) Consider doing an Instagram REEL Challenge

Like the #StarbucksDanceChallenge that asked fans and followers to groove to the hook step to win Starbucks all year round. 

 4) Collaborate with influencers

Take your social media influencer marketing one level higher by collaborating with influencers to create brand reels. You can also leverage networks of influencers to showcase your reel. Traditional Indian clothing brand Fab India ropes in influencers to create inspirational looks with their clothing line.

5) D-I-Y in your Instagram Reels 

Epigamia Yogurt has a cool reel on how to pair home-made Kale chips with a dip.  

Asian Paints shares ideas on personalizing Christmas Décor for the festive season.

6) Educate your followers 

Brands should use Instagram Reels to create educational videos around their product or service industry. Like THE WHOLE TRUTH FOODS is a healthy snack business. Their key message focuses on healthy and better living with truly nutritional food.

7) Introduce a new collection to your Insta Fam! 

Showcasing sneak-peeks of your collection on Instagram Reels is a good way to create curiosity and display your collections. Good Earth’s Raat Rani Collection looks fabulous in this Reel with the somber music and ethnic feel.  

You can also take a quick page out of Lakme’s Instagram Reel on how easy it is to introduce a new product.

8) Inform your followers

Create content to inform your followers about the benefits of your products. Check out Chic Nutrix explains the benefits of Omega fatty acids and their products. 

9) Make Product Tutorials fun!

Product demos and tutorials can get boring. Try them on Instagram Reels instead. Some creativity and you can create a tutorial as well as showcase how easy it is to use your product.

Annie Sloane, founder of chalk paint shows us how to use the home kit to create colorful trays with chalk paints

Watch this interesting tutorial on wearing a scarf in 6 different ways by Westside stores. 

10) Teasers

Since Instagram Reels are just about 15 – 30 seconds, they make the perfect teaser videos. Like this teaser for #TheMandalorian with baby Yoda. Trust Lego to make a series of Instagram Reels, after all they are a brand all about using your creativity. 

11) Don’t forget User Generated Content

Personal accounts on Instagram have more flexibility with Reels and everyday users are putting out reels. Leverage these reels by adding it to your Instagram Reels. Go Pro has a huge Insta family, and almost 90% of their content is user generated. 

Instagram Reels may look like a lot of work, but we look at it as a platform for brands to do so much more. Quick, snackable content that helps you reach a larger audience in a fun and creative way. Wondering where to start? Our experts at Mindstorm are a creative bunch of people, excellent at adding the fun into your brand. Give us a shout at [email protected] 

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