Instagram Reels have been around for a while now, and are often cited as Instagram’s counter to TikTok, but are Reels really worth putting the effort in to?
Short, video format seems to be a trend that isn’t going away, and Reels fit this category nicely. At a maximum of 60 seconds long you need to be engaging, get your message across quickly, and add value to the viewer, all in a short space of time. Reels are generally viewed as a source of entertainment rather than for gaining information so you need to pay specific attention to how to make your content entertaining, it might give information as well but if its primary goal isn’t entertainment then people will scroll straight past.
Reels have the advantage of being saved directly to your grid as well as the IG Reels section. Your followers will be notified on their feed that you have produced new content, but it will also show to many people who aren’t in your network when they are checking out IG Reels. This exposure to other audiences is probably the biggest advantage to Reels. People are more likely to see your Reel if you use trending sounds, they follow the hashtags you have listed, or your Reel is creative and interesting enough to get people to stop and watch – if enough people watch your Reel you could be featured on the explore page, generating even more engagement opportunity.
If you like to keep the look and feel of your grid quite precise then Reels can be a draw back. When posting a Reel to your grid, Instagram will use a frame from the video as the cover shot, which can leave things looking a little messy. This might not be the look you want and so Instagram have now, helpfully, added a cover photo feature. You can now add your own cover photo to your Reel. Whilst it’s a little more work, it will ensure that your grid stays looking great.
So, whilst learning a new feature on Instagram might not be your favourite thing to do, if you want to grow your audience then it’s probably worth it. Reels are a great way to have fun and get creative, whilst also building visibility and more engagement.