Big news: Instagram just announced their new “reels” feature and it looks a lot like Tik Tok! And it’s no surprise. Tik Tok has been gaining momentum over the past year with new demographics. Whereas it originally started out as a platform popular for younger junior high and high schoolers (Gen Zers), Millennials are now the most prominent group on Tik Tok. (Millennials, aka your clients and couples, also happen to be a very lucrative demo advertisers these days.)
Let me start with a quick rundown as to what Instagram Reels is and then I’ll give you 3 easy ways you can use it to better tell your brand story!
What Is Instagram Reels?
In a nutshell, it’s a new way to tell stories through video on Instagram. If you’ve ever used Tik Tok, you’ll find it to be very similar. The new reels feature allows you to record and edit together fun, engaging 15-second videos to Instagram. And just like on Tik Tok, it makes it easy to start and stop recording to edit and piece together only your favorite clips, which in turn allows you to tell a tight, curated story (rather than a series of long, Instagram stories or the longer format IGTV like we’re all so used to seeing).
What’s the Difference Between Instagram Reels and IGTV?
Technically, length and format are the big difference between Instagram reels and IGTV. Whereas IGTV allows you to upload longer format 5-10 minute videos, Instagram reels is just that — a reel, no more than 15 seconds. Because of the format and editing involved with reels, you really don’t have much time to chit chat! It’s all about storytelling through video, whereas IGTV can be more of a discussion. My best guess is that IGTV will become more about the “series” of shows or weekly Live shows and reels will become the new place to uncover trends and discover new brands.
How Do I Find Instagram Reels on Instagram?
You’ll find Instagram reels in the same place you usually go to post an Instagram story or go live on Instagram. When you open up stories, there are going to be 3 options: go live, story, or reels. Once you slide over to “reels,” there will be several side options for you to start creating a video. You can also upload your own if you have something you want to share from your phone.
If you have a filter you like to use for your stories, that same filter is also available for reels. If you’re setting your video to music, you can tap on the music icon to pull up songs and choose which lyrics you want to use and feature.
You can even set a timer that will count you in as soon as you press record. Record your video straight through the full 15 seconds OR break it up and plan out your scenes. The editing feature allows you to seamlessly create shorter videos within your one clip and then seamlessly edits them all together for you at the end.
Before you publish, you should edit your cover photo so that Instagram doesn’t just pull a random still image. You’ll also add a caption and hashtags just like you would your normal post or video on Instagram.
There’s a new discovery area too. That’s where you’re going to find other videos that your friends have created and a great place for your new videos to be discovered!
Should I Use Instagram Reels for My Business?
Yes, yes and yes. Video is here to stay and it’s an incredibly powerful marketing tool to use for your business. It’s especially powerful for the weddings and events industry, where so many of us have spent time curating our feeds and engaging and amassing new followers.
3 Ways to Tell Your Story Using Instagram Reels
Instead of thinking about Instagram Reels as yet another tool you have to learn, I want you to think about it as a NEW way to tell YOUR brand story. That’s really all it is. It’s a new tool in your marketing tool box to help you better engage with current and prospective clients. So that in mind, here are three ways you can use Instagram Reels to better tell your brand story!
1. Show Your Personality Behind The Scenes
In the same way that Instagram stories allows for you to be more authentic and less posed, Instagram Reels allows you to help others get a sense as to what you’re really like.
So maybe it’s “How I Prepare for the Wedding Day” and you show yourself doing a series of tasks (either serious or funny!) to prep for the day ahead. Or maybe it’s a video clip of you and your team setting up for an event, set to dance music. It could even be a fun tour of your office space or of your event space. Really anything goes so long as it’s helping your followers see and understand what it is that you do IRL!
2. Teach Something NEW!
You know so much about what you do. It’s a craft, it’s unique to you, and not everyone can do it. So that in mind, tell us how it’s done! Show us how you arrange a bouquet. Tell us how you should properly word an invitation. Talk about new creative, safe ways to set up a socially distanced ceremony. The key here is to leverage your expertise and know-how and to really showcase that for your followers via video. PS Educational and how-to content is also a great way to gain an entirely new audience!
3. Show Your Work & The Products You Create
All of those amazing wedding and event highlights videos from the past couple years could be super valuable with Reels. Upload B-roll type footage of the reception room or the ceremony all set up and ready to go and then pair it to a romantic or fun song. If you sell product, show it off using reels! For example, if you sell linens, maybe you pick a theme and show all of the sequins and sparkle options paired to a song like, “Diamonds are Forever.” Or if you’re a bridal salon, have one of your consultants model the latest designs and caption each of the dresses so that your followers fall in love with your products.
Get creative. Experiment. So long as you’re keeping your brand story in mind, Instagram Reels for business is a great way to go!
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