Instagram Reels: New Advertising Tool

All the time, social networks are fighting for the love of internet users. Big platforms are doing their best to attract new ones, as well as retain old users through new developments, interesting innovations and trendy features. One of those new features is Instagram Reels, and we’re here to tell you more about this great advertising tool.

Nowadays, video content is gaining more and more popularity, it’s been proved by Kantar research. They have surveyed more than 900 marketing experts about their media budget allocation in 2022. It is interesting that the top 3 media types that are expected to see the biggest positive change are directly related to the topic of our article:

76% of respondents expect to increase their budgets for online video;

71% of marketers and agencies are going to increase their spending on branded content by influencers;

70% will increase their budgets for ads on social media.

Sounds like a great combination of trends! Instead of lagging behind influential marketers and agencies, it would be much more effective to heed their opinion and follow the example. Let’s go get to know Instagram Reels!

A few things you have to know about Instagram

In 2021, Instagram reached 1.3 billion users worldwide. And the largest share of 32% falls on the solvent category of users aged 25-34. Although the growth of the Instagram audience has slowed down in recent years, the level of users’ paying capacity and advanced monetization tools help Instagram bloggers to increase their sales and income every year.

TikTok has overtaken Instagram in terms of popularity, especially among young users. The desire to keep up with the trends and to retain users has clearly spurred Instagram towards adopting a short video feed format. This is how Reels appeared, which in fact is an analogue of videos on TikTok.

What are Reels?

Reels are short clips (up to 60 seconds) posted on Instagram. They appear both in a dedicated tab in the account and as recommendations in user feeds. Instagrammers can retouch their videos or improve them with visual effects, masks, music, etc. 

These vertical full-screen videos appear in all sections of the social network. When a user clicks on a video, the user is taken to a separate video feed with a vertical scrolling option (just like on TikTok).

How to create a Reel

You create a Reel just like you create a post, start a live session, or post a Story. First, click the “+” icon. Instagram will offer you a bunch of formats, including Reels.

You can add a video from your device’s gallery or record a new clip. There are tools to add some text, apply filters, retouch, insert music, or create collages. 

If you can’t see a Reels icon, try updating your app and wait a bit, sometimes the Instagram updates are being implemented gradually. But you are still able to see short videos of other users.

What is the difference between Reels and TikTok?

The first and the most important one: TikTok is a separate platform, Reels is a tool inside Instagram.

Another difference is in the length of the video: on TikTok, the video can last up to 3 minutes, in Reels — one minute.

What is the difference between Reels and Instagram Stories?

  • Reels won’t disappear in 24 hours, on the contrary, it will keep living in the dedicated tab of your account.
  • Reels can last up to 60 seconds, and Stories are limited to 15 seconds. 
  • Reels miss some features unique to Stories. For example, you can’t add a location or a question-answer form. 

Why does a business need Reels, and what content will work?

Reels is a great tool to remind your followers about your products and services. It’s also useful for engaging with people who haven’t followed you yet, that’s how you can tell them about your business. These short videos give you an opportunity to reach a wider audience, and for users to find new brands and authors through creative video content.

When you search using hashtags, Instagram shows the Reels videos first. Apparently, the social network is actively promoting the format. As a result, Reels are more likely to get a better reach and attract more new users than regular posts.

Moreover, since Reels has appeared recently, there is less competition within this format. And it means you still have a chance to occupy your niche.

You can advertise in Reels anything that was previously promoted on Instagram or TikTok (if you had experience with it). After all, in fact, these are the same advertising stories and posts, the only difference is that the recommendations are included for free.

Type of content for Reels:

  • How-to videos and step-by-step guides;
  • backstage, internal processes of the company;
  • videos with product use cases;
  • contests and giveaways;
  • answers to buyers’ questions.

And don’t be limited to one format, always try something new and test different ideas.

How to use Instagram Reels for selling and promoting products

In the Reels format, you can create targeted ads via the Facebook Ads Manager. Ads will appear in a user’s Reels feed alongside other videos. They will show up like usual Reels (but with a button). And the more native the ad, the higher the chance a user will react in a way you expect them to.

You can also purchase ads in Reels from influencers.

Reels tool has a tiny inconvenience: you can’t insert a clickable link into a regular clip. That’s why Affiliate marketing and similar methods aren’t too efficient here. 

However, you can employ unique promo codes. Invite users to buy a product with a discount using your unique promo code and get paid for these “individual orders”.

And, of course, you can always leave a verbal or written call to action (e.g., “DM me”, “visit the website” etc.).

A few more tips:

  • Use a catchy cover for your Reels video. It can be a frame from a video or a separately uploaded picture. People, bright colours and unusual angles attract users’ attention. You can put an inscription on the cover that demonstrates the main idea of the video: it should be short and easy to read.
  • Just like on TikTok, people are searching for entertainment, thus the following formats are popular: dances, lip-sync and jokes. Educational content work as well.
  • Follow the trends on the Internet and create your own ideas.
  • Use masks, filters and Reels effects — they are pretty eye-catching.
  • Add relevant hashtags.
  • Think about the right time for posting Reels. Analyse when your target audience visits the social network more often — and post videos at this time.
  • When posting a Reel, remember to click “Also share to feed” so more of your followers notice it.

Stay trendy, and may your traffic burst!

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