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Instagram Reels: The Power of Short-Form Video Content


Girls filming instagram reel

Instagram Reels have been around for a while now and they’re a powerful digital marketing tool—if the content creator knows how to use them. Some of the biggest brands use Reels to reach more customers through social media, but even the smallest accounts can take advantage of this video format. This guide covers everything creators need to know about Instagram Reels.


What Are Instagram Reels?

Reels are short videos (15 to 60 seconds long) that are designed to be more engaging than other types of Instagram content. Creators can use Instagram’s editing tools to cut and combine clips, add filters, captions and music and more.


Instagram features Reels throughout the app, and accounts that use Reels typically see much better engagement and growth than other IG accounts.


Instagram introduced Reels in 2020, around the time TikTok became popular. Users enjoy and engage with this type of “bite size” video content, making Reels a powerful content marketing tool.


How Can Brands Use Reels In Their Marketing Strategy?

Reels are a helpful digital marketing tool that can quickly grow an audience and increase audience engagement. They are best used as part of a more comprehensive content marketing strategy that partners with influencers and takes advantage of all the features Instagram offers its users. Reels give marketers a chance to show the brand or product rather than simply talk about it. When it comes to creating Reels, the possibilities are endless, but the following strategies are incredibly effective:


  1. Behind the scenes footage. What happens “behind the scenes?” How are products made and shipped? What’s a typical day like for creators or employees?

  2. Honest product demos. Product demos are different from typical commercials. Brands use Reels to showcase a product and provide an overview of what that product can do. It’s a more honest and less edited format than typical advertising, which audiences love.

  3. Education. Creators often use Reels to teach their audience. They may share DIY tutorials, helpful tips or a quick “Did you know?” video with interesting facts.

  4. Showcase the brand’s personality. Reels give marketers an opportunity to show the personality behind the brand. What are the creators really like? What causes does the brand support? Even a quick clip of the latest trends can quickly build a connection with the target audience.

Following Trends to Boost Engagement With Instagram Reels

Trends are a defining feature of Instagram Reels. While many social media channels have somewhat repetitive content, Reels are often specifically designed to follow certain trends. Usually, trends include audio, which creators can easily add via the Instagram app. Many trends actually start on TikTok, which allows users to post their videos on Instagram as well.

For marketing purposes, it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends. The audience is less likely to engage with old trends, but consistently using the latest trends is a method for success. However, some trends can be tricky to follow, so it’s important to pay attention to details.


Does the Instagram Algorithm Prefer Reels?

There’s a lot of speculation about whether Instagram’s algorithm prefers Reels over other types of content. The truth is that Instagram uses several different algorithms. The Instagram Feed, Explore and Reels tabs all have their own algorithms.

Of course, because Reels are the newest Instagram content format, the app seems to heavily prefer Reels over older formats like Stories and Live videos. Because Reels can appear in a user’s Feed, Explore tab and Stories, there are more opportunities to reach the target audience using Reels over other Instagram formats. Reels are also more engaging than most other marketing formats, taking advantage of sensory marketing techniques.


How To Start Using Instagram Reels for Digital Marketing

If you’re not using Reels, you’re missing a powerful (free!) digital marketing tool. Fifth & Cor can help. We can implement a creative, effective Reels strategy to help grow your brand. Ready to get started? So are we. Use our Contact form to connect.



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