Let’s talk about Instagram Reels! This exciting new feature allows anyone with a public account to reach a global audience while creating fun and entertaining content. Should you be utilizing Reels as an Influencer? The answer is yes, and I will happily break down why. First, let’s discuss what a Reel is and how you can create one!

So, what exactly is an Instagram Reel?

Short form video content in vertical mode (9:16 portrait format).

3 to 15 seconds in length.

Filmed within the Instagram app or videos that are uploaded from your camera roll.

One shot or multiple videos added together in one Reel.

A fun and creative way to engage your existing audience and attract new followers.

Where can Reels be found on Instagram?

Instagram Reels can be shared to the Explore Page, the home feed, your stories, and the Reels tab on your profile.

How it works:

Instagram has made it relatively easy to record, edit, and upload 15 second multi-clip videos while adding effects (filters), stickers, doodles, and audio. It is important to note that Instagram Business accounts will not be able to add audio (much like the music feature in stories) due to copyright laws.

You can share your Reels on your feed, in your stories and if you have a public account – to the Explore Page. As Reels are now a major focus for Instagram, you will notice that the Explore Page has changed by showcasing trending Reels at the top of the page. The more creative and entertaining the Reel, the more likely you are to become a viral content creator!

Let’s create a Reel!

The same way you would create an Instagram story, select Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera. If you do not see this feature, you may need to update you Instagram App.

On the left side of the screen you will see creative editing tools to help you make your Reel. You can use all or none of these features in your video. If you choose to add an effect to your Reel, it is important to note that this must be done before you record your Reel. They cannot be added after.

Now that you have added your effects, you can begin recording your first video by holding down the shutter button to film live or upload a video from your camera roll. You cannot upload photos to your Reel as the feature is solely made for video content. There is an align tool that allows you to match your next video to where the previous one left off. To avoid having to use this tool, try using a tripod to ensure your video transition is smooth and effortless!

When you have finished recording your Reel, you can add stickers, doodles, and text to each video, the way you would in an Instagram story.

Now it’s time to share your masterpiece!

You can share your Reel to your stories, feed, and the Explore Page. When sharing to your profile, it will show up under the Reels tab. Here, you can add a caption of up to 2,200 characters and you can use up to 30 hashtags. Once the Reel has been posted to your profile, you can edit the content and choose a cover image from the video!

Like everything in 2020, Reels aren’t perfect just yet. Here are some current limitations to look out for:

Your Reel is limited to 15 seconds. This may change with a future update.

Unlike TikTok, there is no duet feature, progress bar, or bookmarking music function.

There is a lack of insights. You can see your view count, comments, and likes. You cannot see retention or if the Reel has gained your account new followers.

Call to Action: you cannot add a link to your Reel and there is no swipe up feature. You will need to make your call to action clear in your video.

ShopandShout will be utilizing Reels to bring you more tips & tricks, campaign announcements and giveaway opportunities! Content Creators can enjoy this new feature by creating DIY Reels, recipe creation videos, or even before and after makeup tutorials! How will you utilize Reels as an Influencer?