You want to know everything about Instagram Reels and how to successfully expand your reach with this new feature? In this article you will learn what you need to know about reels and how to create your first short video in 3 steps. You will also discover how Instagram Reels differ from TikTok and what opportunities the new Instagram feature offers.
About Instagram Reels
In August 2020, Instagram launched the new format Reels in over 50 countries worldwide. The new feature allows you to create, edit and add music to 15-second videos. You can easily share the short videos with other users in the explore feed, in your story and on your profile. With Reels, Instagram now offers the short videos that are so popular among people today. Reels is the most important update in 2020 to keep up with TikTok, an app that has focused on short videos only. Similar to TikTok videos in the For-You-screen, reels appear in the explore feed, allowing people not following you to see your content. Reaching new audiences with each new post will help you boost your follower rate and increase your reach.
The fashion label Louis Vuitton, for example, successfully uses Instagram Reels for its brand presence. The short videos are high quality, creative and appealingly designed. A full success, as the reels go viral and usually reach over 300 thousand likes.
Instagram Reels in 3 Steps
In the following 3 steps you will learn how to create, edit and successfully share your first Instagram Reel. Use our tutorial to start successfully using Instagram’s new feature to get new users’ attention with engaging video messages.
Choose between three ways to create an Instagram Reel. You can record a video all at once, upload an existing video from your gallery or create a reel from a series of clips. Always make sure to record the video in portrait mode.
Step 1: Choose Music, Speed and Filter
First, open your camera for Instagram Stories and select the Reels option in the camera menu.
You can now select the first settings within the camera window. On the left side of the screen you will find four icons for each of the editing functions: music, speed, effects and timer.
Click on the music icon to open the Instagram library. Here you can choose a matching song from the For-You-list or get inspired in the Browse section. Select a song and define the part of the song that will be played along with your video.
Selecting the second icon allows you to speed up or slow down the tempo of your video.
The smiley icon allows you to use different effects to enhance your content. Use the effects to give your video a personal touch, stand out and attract the attention of the users.
For example, Mercedes Benz offers a special effect and lets a car drive over your video. Other effects let flowers rain over your screen or change the color of your video. There are various effects and some are designed by influencers and companies like Mercedes Benz.
Set a Timer
If you click on the time icon, the timer function appears. Decide how long your video should be or which part of the video you want to publish. By adjusting the slider of the display, you can set the video length. You can even set a timer to run a countdown until your video starts.
Step 2: Record your Video
Step 2 is all about the perfect recording of your video. Similar to Instagram Stories, you simply press and hold the record button. The recorded video length will be displayed at the top of the screen. You can also record your video in intervals and cut the individual parts later.
Once you have finished recording your video, you can add various effects such as GIFs, stickers, and text. This way, a video quickly turns into a meaningful contribution that is fun and inspires the users.
Select specific video sequences to add different captions, GIFs and call-to-actions to your video. This way you can make your video even more varied and attract the attention of the users.
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Step 3: Ready to Share!
Once you’re happy with your short video, just click on the Next button to complete all the settings before sharing your content. Clicking on the displayed image of your video allows you to choose which sequence from the clip should be displayed as the cover image. If you don’t want to share your video immediately, you can save it as a draft.
Instagram allows you to share reels in different ways. Either you share it in the exploration feed, where all users can find it. If you have used certain hashtags, music titles or effects for your video, your video will also appear when someone clicks on that same hashtag, music title or effect. Or you share your reel direct with your followers. In this case, Instagram’s private settings will take effect and your followers will not be able to use or share your video’s hashtags, songs or effects.
Instagram Reels vs. TikTok
As the concept of Instagram Reels is similar to the popular short video platform TikTok, we want to take a short look at the comparability of the two formats. Basically, both apps can be used to create and share short videos. However, TikTok has a larger selection of editing effects to edit the videos afterwards. Content is often created in TikTok and uploaded unchanged as Instagram Reels.
Even though both platforms are very similar, as shown above, there are some differences. Instagram Reels are 15-second videos that disappear after 24 hours shared in stories. TikTok videos, on the other hand, can last up to one minute long and remain available on the platform forever after uploading.
The big advantage of Reels is the direct integration into Instagram Stories, which are used by about 500 million people daily. This way, Reels are available on more than one channel and generate more attention.
We don’t know yet whether Reels can keep up with the current success of TikTok. It remains to be seen how the popularity of the Instagram short videos develops and how the introduction of the function in other countries will proceed.
Are you ready for your first Instagram Reel? It is too early to say that Instagram Reels will be successful. But one thing is for sure: Instagram Reels offer you a new feature to increase your reach and attract new users. Use the new feature to create content using music and effects to increase your brand awareness. Many companies are successful on TikTok because it allows them to show their human side and be authentic. Users like that. Use this insight for your reels and produce compelling short videos that strike a chord with the users.
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