Instagram Reels: step by step explained

With the popular app TikTok coming under fire in the U.S., Instagram figured this is the perfect time to roll out Instagram's competing feature. This new feature, like TikTok, lets you create and share short videos. Sounds familiar, right?

But what are Instagram Reels and how can you use them in your marketing strategy? Find out everything you need to know in our blog on Instagram Reels.

What is Instagram Reels?

Like TikTok, Instagram users can record 15-second video clips and edit them at the same time. You do this by adding music and effects. You can then share these reels with your followers via Instagram Stories or on your profile.

After creating the first Reel, you will get a new tab on your profile. Along with your own feed and IGTV (if using this) you will now find your Reels here.

Do you have a public profile? Then your Reels can also be shown on the Explore page.

Sample Instagram reels

Why is Instagram launching Reels?

It is no coincidence that most of the features will sound familiar to you. Instagram Reels can be seen as a direct response to the growing popularity of TikTok, which has skyrocketed in popularity over the past 12 months. TikTok, according to Adweek, generated "the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter" in Q1 2020. So it's no surprise that Instagram is taking steps to replicate TikTok's most popular features.

This is not the first time Facebook, Instagram's parent company, has tried to launch a TikTok alternative. It previously launched a standalone app Lasso, but it has not taken off so far. With its good positioning in the Instagram app and all the fame Instagram already has, Instagram Reels could have a much higher chance of success. When it comes to series-based content, IGTV has found its positioning. With IGTV, you can intune with every episode of your favorite brand. But with Reels, Instagram is filling the void of high-quality content that is still informal but visible for longer than 24 hours.

This allows you to show a more dynamic and creative side of your personality and brand.

Instagram already has more than 1 billion active users - and if we've learned anything from the introduction of Instagram Stories, it's that Instagram knows how to successfully replicate a "tried-and-tested" format.

Here's how to make an Instagram Reel

Instagram Reels is a new mode in the Instagram Stories camera menu. To access this mode, simply open the Instagram Stories camera and click on Reels at the bottom until you are in the Reels camera.

Step 1: Audio

Add audio to your Instagram Reel. Use the music library or your own audio. If your profile is set to public, people can use your audio in their own Reels.

Step 2: Speed

Have your video sped up or slowed down. The choice is yours!

Step 3: Adding effects

As with Boomerang mode, you can scroll to the other side to apply effects or AR filters to your Instagram Reels video. You can choose to use previously saved filters or scroll to the end and tap "Browse Effects." Use all your creativity!

Step 4: Timer

Select the stopwatch icon to determine how long the clips will be. If you set a timer, there will be a countdown before the recording begins. Useful if you want to make an Instagram Reel of yourself.

Step 5: Align

If you are creating a Reel that consists of multiple pieces of video, then alignment is the tool to use. This way, you can turn multiple images into a well-running video.

Time to share your creation! You can share your Instagram Reel in your Stories, in the Explore Feed and in the new Reels tab in your profile. Check out the newest Instagram Reels tab on Instagram profiles - this is where you can see your videos and drafts. Instagram users can also go here to find all your published Reels.

Here's how to use Instagram Reels as a business

Instagram Reels is a new way to build your community and increase your reach on Instagram. It's a fun and dynamic way to share (creative!) moments with your audience. At this early stage, Instagram Reels is already proving to be a place for both brands and content creators. It gives companies the opportunity to reach their target audience in a creative way.


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