Your brand’s social media strategy is one of the most important marketing tools in your digital marketing tool belt. Once you’ve identified your most effective channels for content creation, you need to know how to use them.
As a social media marketing channel, Instagram is a valuable source of engagement for businesses. We are going to talk through not just the IG reel, reel content for your target audience, but even mention the power of the Instagram story for your business.
Keep reading. Your followers and potential customers will thank you. Yes, even your Tik Tok followers.
When you’re scaling a business, it’s important to know which channels will help you to grow. Instagram is a popular video marketing platform and still rising still as a social media presence especially with some new changes coming to the algorithm this year. The Instagram reel is a newer IG feature designed to keep the app relevant against contemporaries like the powerful TikTok.
Have you ever thought about how a business can utilize Instagram reels content as a marketing strategy?
Knowing how to use growing features inside reels helps your marketing efforts make an impact on revenue. There’s a lot of competition out there though.
Follow this guide to make sure your reels can stand out in the crowd with a targeted list of 10 proven Instagram reel strategies to increase followers, get eyeballs on your most entertaining and educational content, and turn the short video into your best video content online.
What Are Reels?
If you’re not familiar with reels, they’re short videos that loop. When a user scrolls Instagram, the video plays until they scroll away. They’re only 15, 30, or 60 seconds long, so they need to be up-front and eye-catching.
The easiest way to find reels on Instagram is to go to the Instagram reel tab in the app. This will show you reels from profiles you follow and automatically recommend others. You can also find them on the explore page, or by searching profiles directly.
To come up with exciting Instagram reels video ideas for your business, it’s good practice for new creators to watch a few before making their own. Once you’re ready, the steps to making your own reels couldn’t be more straightforward:
- Choose the ‘+’ icon in the top corner of the app to add a video
- Select the reels option
- Choose length (15, 30, or 60 seconds)
- Choose audio
- Record clip
- Edit with effects and creator tools
Why Use Reels for Branding & Marketing?
Reels are an effective way to reach an audience outside of your current followers. 50% of Instagram users find reels through the explore page. You can have videos featured on the explore page to reach a whole new audience.
According to recent statistics, reels get 22% more engagement than traditional videos. These figures come from NBA franchises who’ve found considerable success with Intsa reels. The same kind of numbers has been reported by large brands like Nike and Louis Vuitton, too.
Graph demonstrating increase in account reach from Reels (Source)
10 Proven Instagram Reel Strategies for Follower Growth
To get maximum engagement from your reels, there are a few essential tips you should know.
Choose Your Audio Wisely
Adding audio to your reels is a simple button press away. The music note symbol on the reels creation screen will open a list of songs you can add to your video. Pick a song that fits the tone and message of your clip.
Remember the reels are only 15 or 30 seconds long, so you’ll need to pick an appropriate part of the track to play. If you don’t want to add music, you can use the live audio of the video or add voiceover tracks.
Show Your Brand Identity
It’s important to show your customers who you are as a business. Your values, beliefs, and where your business came from. Reels are a great way to tell your story in a short and easily shareable format.
It’s a popular strategy right now to do a “glow-up” reel. This means showing where you came from to where you are today in a short time-lapse. For a brand, this could mean showing the growth of your affiliate program or the expansion of your team.
People enjoy hearing the human stories behind a business. It can lead to a deeper engagement between you and your customer base. Reels are a much more effective format to get this message across than articles.
Behind the Scenes & “Making Of”
When it comes to content, you need regular and varied posts to keep up interest. This is a full-time job for a content creator. So, businesses don’t give this job to anyone. Focus on the growth with a hired content creator who is living, breathing, and cares about the growth of your channels.
It’s boring and repetitive if all of your reels are ads or product promos. Behind-the-scenes videos are a great way to keep up your content variety.
Giving your audience a deeper insight into your creative process can be valuable. It helps build a connection between you and your customers. It also lets users appreciate how much work goes into your products or creations.
Individuals & Personalities
Let your customers know who the people behind your brand really are. Letting customers see the personalities within your team helps them connect on a more personal level. If you have people in your business who are dying to get in front of a camera and shout about it, let them.
If you want to show more about your business with these reels, you could try interviews with staff. You can even use this for team-building exercises. Why not have a reel of your team doing a dance challenge? Don’t be afraid to have fun with it, as long as your team is on board.
Teases & Reveals
Hype is an essential tool for marketing. Nothing is better for generating hype than social media teasers and product reveals. The short format of reels is great for showing off your unique features and form factor.
In the run-up to a product launch, this can be especially useful. If you know your customers are anticipating your new product, showing teaser images can be powerful. It gets people talking about your launch.
Reward Your Followers
Rewarding your followers is a great way to generate loyalty to your brand. You want people to come back and watch your Instagram reel videos regularly. Enticing them with the occasional discount code or offer will lead to more repeat engagement.
If you have a brand store on Instagram, this lets you tag products in your posts. This means you can promote offers with the product right under the customers’ fingertips. You can use this to sell directly through the app or redirect customers to your ecommerce store.
Timing Is Everything
The timing of your posts can be as important as the content. Instagram has its own set of analytic tools. You can use these much like your ecommerce analytics tools to see things like rates of engagement.
Identify the times of highest engagement with your posts. This is when your followers are most active. The trick is not to post at the peak of activity. Instead, you want to post your Instagram reel when most of your users are coming online
This means you’re always offering new content to followers and will increase your shares and views. Generally, the best times to post are between 9 am to 4 pm CST, Monday to Friday. Your engagement might differ depending on the locality of your core audience.
Best posting times analysis in PST by eclincher (source)
Reel Structure Guide
You only have a short time to get your message across with a reel. It’s crucial that you structure your reels well. The structure will depend on if you’re using the shorter 15-second video, the 30-second option, or the 60-second option.
- In the first three seconds, you need to tell your audience what they’re about to see or hear. On-screen text or stickers can be an excellent way to show this up-front.
- The next three seconds are your main event. Show your impressive product reveal or whatever you have planned.
- The next three to four seconds are about adding value. Any stats you want to get across or information you want to convey should go here.
- End with a strong call to action. This could be product-related or just asking followers to engage with your posts and stories.
- The first three steps are the same for a 30-second video. Then, instead of ending with a call to action between 14 and 15 seconds, you introduce a cliffhanger: This helps keep down your bounce rate.
- After this, you can add in more product information or answer FAQs like what is cloud communication? etc.
- Resolv your cliffhanger with a knowledge drop or reveal.
- Move on to the call-to-action.
- This is a new feature and you can thank TikTok video clone for the extra digital real estate. Remember the steps above.
- You’ve got double the time, so use it wisely drawing the them in with an enticing “Watch til the end” or ask a question that they will want to stay for?
- Your music should also align for 60 seconds so your options might be more limited here.
- Keep it simple, entertaining, and/or educational. You will want a hook, an intro, your valuable content, and conclude with a call to action. (Do you want them to subscribe, hit the link in your bio, or drive to a series you’re creating to stay tuned for the next video?
Replays & Share Factor
Replayability is important to drive up engagement and increase your follower count. There are three main categories of video that receive a lot of repeat engagement and shares.
- Viral videos: funny clips that will be shared and shown off to friends.
- How-to videos: tutorials and step-by-step guides will get rewatches if they contain useful information.
- Tips & tricks: “life hacks” and tips videos will attract rewatches as people refer back to the processes involved.
Replays are useful. They don’t just boost the numbers on existing reels. They also get people coming back to your profile. This means they’re more likely to see and engage with your new reels.
Part of your Instagram Reels strategy should include allowing for remixing your reels, sharing, and allowing the promotion of your content on others’ Instagram story which should allow for further promotion on the Facebook story of your target audience.
10. Engage With Your Audience
Interestingly, one of the main ways you can boost your follower count is to engage with your current followers. Liking and replying to comments can be a valuable tool to increase engagement.
Show up in their DMs and really understand their businesses. Breaking down silos in comment management really does help you move the needle, but make sure you are authentic about it.
You can’t fake authenticity so stay away from those spammy companies looking to get you followers or promise the world.
One simple trick you can use is to do this when you post new content. Look at your previous high-engagement posts and Instagram insights. Then reply and like comments when you post a new reel. Followers will get a notification and return to your profile.
If you have a reputation management tool like eclincher, then all your comments will funnel into an inbox so you can reply and understand engagement a lot easier. If you don’t have a 3rd party software for this, then use what is available to you in the app.
Engagement helps to boost your numbers on new reels, meaning they’ll get recommended to more users.
As we’ve seen with AI for sales, embracing new technologies will help you get the most out of your followers. There are software tools that can help you get mentions in users’ Instagram stories and more.
Most marketing strategies will warn you not to look for overnight success. With Instagram reels, there is still time to tap into this promise land. The nature of viral videos means that, especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs, good reels can really boost your brand.
Share your Instagram Reels success stories with us down in the comments. If you need assistance centralizing your social media management efforts and reducing the time you spend creating and planning social media content, be sure to check out our favorite, eclincher, for an all-in-one business solution social media marketing software.
eclincher offers a free 14-day trial, no CC, tons of free advice, personalized demo. Their customer service is bar none and value is off the charts in terms of what you get vs what you pay. It’s worth a look.
This article was co-written by Jenn Guidry. Connect with her for partnerships, speaking engagements, and future digital marketing collaborations.