Do you know that Instagram has a feature that is similar to TikTok? It’s called Reels, and brands are using it to grow their audiences and increase sales. So, if you’re not using Instagram Reels, you might be missing out on an opportunity to attract new customers. Read on to find out how brands are utilizing this new social media marketing opportunity.
With millions of users across the world, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. In mid-2020, Instagram launched its new feature that allows its users to create and discover short, entertaining videos. Known as Instagram Reels, this new content format has taken the world by storm.
Social media marketing is an important component of inbound marketing and can be a fun way to build brand awareness. As brands realize the potential, they are now using Instagram Reels to increase their reach.
Whether you’re a marketing manager or a social media manager, creating short videos that promote your brand has a lot of benefits. Brands use it to showcase their products and promote their business to audiences.
In this blog, we will look at what Instagram Reels are and why they are beneficial for brands. Also, we will explore how brands are using Instagram Reels to grow their audience.
What is Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels is a new video content format on Instagram. These videos can be up to one minute long and mostly contain a collection of photos and videos that are combined together. By using Reels, users can create and edit multi-clip videos with custom audio, captions, stickers, and filters.
Instagram Reels are a great way to share your story over time and engage with your audience. People have been using this in various ways such as by sharing memorable moments from their life, documenting the progress they have made in a certain field, or simply showcasing their talents and skills.
Reels can be accessed by clicking on the Reels icon at the bottom of Instagram’s home page. On the Reels tab, you can see a scrollable tab full of engaging videos from popular and trending accounts on Instagram.
Why should brands use Instagram Reels?
Businesses can take advantage of Instagram in a number of ways to boost their reach and grow their followings. According to Instagram, 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily. Now, many companies are embracing the idea of using Instagram Reels as a marketing tool.
Using Instagram Reels to tell your story, promote new products, and engage your audience has become a popular way to promote your business – especially if your audience consists of millennials and Gen Zers.
Not only do Instagram Reels allow brands to showcase their products in an engaging and creative way, but they also enable them to build a community around their brand.
Brands can use them for storytelling or to highlight specific moments in their product life cycle. They can also be used as an educational tool when brands want to showcase the features and functionality of their products.
Best 5 ways brands are using Instagram Reels to grow their audience
When potential customers view your Reels they are more likely to get drawn in and want to buy from you because they feel like they know who you are as a brand already. According to a study, 72% of consumers had used a social media channel to discover new products.
Through Instagram Reels, brands can grow their fan base, drive engagement, and expand their audience. Let us take a look at how brands like Apple, Netflix, and BMW are using Instagram Reels to tell their brand story.
1. Use TikTok to stay ahead of new Instagram Reels trends
TikTok is one of the most popular short-form video app that allows users to upload engaging videos. It was launched much earlier than Instagram Reels and has over 689 million monthly active users.
So, as a brand, if you’re looking to stay on top of the latest trends in Instagram Reels, be sure to first check out TikTok.
As Instagram Reels is relatively new, viral challenges and trends tend to emerge a little later than TikTok. Therefore, keep an eye on the latest trends in TikTok that are relevant to your brand. Then, share similar videos on Instagram Reels that were well received on TikTok. By doing so, you’ll have an advantage over everyone else.
Also, as a brand, you should only participate in trends relevant to your audience and in alignment with your brand values. Ultimately, It is essential to maintain your brand’s professionalism and reputation at all times.
Companies such as Balmain, a French luxury retailer, share such trending and popular videos on Instagram Reels as well as TikTok.
2. Bring your brand to life by showing its human side
In contrast to traditional marketing, social media marketing emphasizes connecting and building meaningful relationships with your audience. So, brands with an authentic voice have more success with social media marketing.
Instagram Reels is one such platform that helps to build your community and grow your reach. Since the videos are in a short form content format, they are ultimately designed to be fast and fun.
Most brands have been successful on Reels because they showed the human side of their business rather than being overly formal. People want to connect with and engage with other humans instead of faceless brands.
So, you need to bring out the human aspects of your brand which can be great for building genuine relationships and strengthening community.
With a variety of tools at your disposal, it is really easy to create authentic content that represents your brand. It could be about highlighting staff individuality or sharing insider tips and tricks that relate to your brand. This will make your Reels videos more engaging.
Besides that, you can also create behind-the-scenes content that helps your Instagram followers understand who you are and the story behind your brand. This greatly helps in building trust and forming stronger connections with your audience.
For this example, Netflix, a movie and TV show streaming service goes above and beyond in creating authentic content for their viewers. Netflix makes its content as relevant as possible by incorporating pop culture references and following the recent viral trends.
3. Share Educational Content
When it comes to growing and engaging their audience, brands on Instagram need to be a little more creative than their Facebook or Twitter counterparts.
When marketing your product on Instagram Reels, brands should aim to provide authentic and informative content rather than placing their primary focus on the actual product. Your goal should be to create a highly entertaining video that does a great job at subtly promoting your product.
You can use Reels to showcase your deep understanding of a particular topic. This could be anything from the ‘top places to travel in the world’ to ‘how to style a T-shirt in 5 ways’.
By sharing informative content you can position yourself as an expert on the topic and allow you to own the niche entirely.
As an example, let’s look at Apple’s Reels content. It is no secret that Apple is a technology company, but the content it shares with its viewers are primarily geared towards educating them. This ‘How to’ video explains how to shoot vibrant portraits and has garnered nearly 1.2M views.
4. Showcase Products
For businesses and brands looking to increase sales, Instagram Reels is a great opportunity. With the latest update, Instagram announced that the Reels are shoppable. This means businesses can showcase their products and tag them directly.
Moreover, it allows viewers to directly shop without ever leaving the Instagram platform. They can select the “View Products” button to either buy within 3 clicks, save, or learn more about the featured products.
Many Instagram businesses were already featuring their products in their Reels, so adding the product links in Reels will now help to boost their revenues and can be used along with other ways to bring traffic to their page.
For example, Agolde, a premium denim label is using the Reels shop feature to allow viewers to browse and purchase their products.
5. Advertise on Instagram Reels
From June 2021, Instagram advertisers can choose Reels for the placement of their Instagram ads. Similar to Stories ads, the Reels ads will also be full screen and vertical, and will appear in between individual Reels.
With this new placement, brands will be able to reach targeted audiences as they scroll through trending Reels.
As with regular Reels content, these ads will loop and can be up to 30 seconds. People can comment, like, view, save and share Reels ads. Reels ads will appear in the most popular places which include the Reels tab, Reels in Explore, and Reels in the feed.
Several brands are already using this new form of advertising as they seek to reach a broader audience, allowing people to discover inspiring content from brands. For example, BMW uses Reels ads to promote its latest car model on social media.
In a nutshell, your business should start taking advantage of IG Reels to grow your audience and increase sales.