I talked recently about what Instagram Reels are, and how to create one. Find that post here. In this post I’m going to teach you how to use Instagram Reels in your business.
What are Instagram Reels?
So, what are Instagram Reels? Instagram Reels are short, 15 second pre-recorded video clips you can add music and graphics to. They are different from Instagram stories because they are permanent. They won’t disappear after 24 hours. You can put them on your feed or they have their own feed where they can live.
Hey Michelle, these seem like the same thing as TikTok videos. What’s the deal?
They are very similar to TikTok videos. Instagram is trying to fight TikTok’s popularity with their own version of the best parts of TikTok. The whole goal of Instagram is to get people to spend time on the app. They’ve added these Reels to the app to encourage Instagrammers to stick around and not leave the app.
I tried Instagram Reels for my business, here’s what happened:
I’ve done 1-2 Instagram Reels every day over the past week. I have 11,700 followers as of August 2020. On my best Reel from last week I have 11k views and my lowest Reel has 5,120 views. Now in relation to what those numbers mean, I have one that almost my entire following has viewed. And the other one almost 50% of my following has seen it.
That’s nuts! Usually you have less than 30% of your followers seeing your content on Instagram.
How has using Instagram Reels affected my business so far?
On my insights under my audience and activity, there are some more interesting stats I want to share with you. Are you ready?
On Monday and Tuesday last week, I had just under 2k accounts reached per day. On Wednesday, I shared my first Reel and had 4k accounts reached, and Thursday/Friday I released 2 Reels each day and had 7500 accounts reached, and on Sunday I had 5.5k accounts reached.
Instagram is pushing my content forward because I tried Reels. ¾ of my audience is seeing my content. This is a huge increase in reach. It’s almost a 500% increase! In a week.
There are really big benefits for trying Reels at the beginning. I know that trying new things can be hard and scary. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back. I’ve made an IGTV all about how to create your first Reel, you can find it here.
Why should you try Instagram Reels in your business?
1.Instagram rewards early adopters
Hopefully you can see that Instagram rewards early adopters. When they release a new feature and you use that new feature, they will push that content in front of more eyes to encourage others to try the new features. You as a creator have a leg up because they know that you will try more things to get in front of a bigger audience.
If you do have TikTok videos you can download them and re-upload them to Instagram. However, you will want to make sure that your TikToks are only 15 seconds long.
2.Instagram Reels are new for everyone
Unless you’ve been on TikTok, you haven’t done anything similar to Reels. Tiktok just started growing in the older demographics. Everyone is trying to figure it out at the same time, which makes this the perfect time to try it. There are no experts yet!
3.It enhances your brand
These videos are a little like miniature commercials. They can be used easily to enhance your brand. If your brand is about information and teaching people, it allows you to create a short video with info about your brand. Share short tips and send your viewers to your other content.
You can also show another side to your brand. One Reel I did was showing myself as a business owner and I had my 5 kids pop in. It shows that I really am a mom of a lot of kids, and what my reality is. Reels are going to help you reach people in a different way than you have before.
4 tips for how to use Instagram Reels in your business
1.Stay on brand
Think about what your brand stands for right now. What is your goal with your brand? Use reels and any feature as an extension of that brand. And goal. Different people will watch Reels than watch your feed. Make the Reels different from your Instagram stories to cater to the different audiences.
2.Solve a problem for your customer
Think of how Reels can solve a problem for your customer. My highest performing Reel is how to get a plain background on Instagram stories. Why is this great? Because it’s a simple, actionable video with a tip that will benefit my customers. I’m simply sharing tips that I would have shared regardless, but I’m doing it on the new feature in a very short amount of time.
3.Use it as a way to get to know you and your brand better
I’ve shared earlier that I created a Reel that showcased my 5 kids. This hasn’t been my highest performing Reel, but it is a way to share who I am and me as a business. Full transparency, I’ve lost more followers using Reels than I have in a long time. But I’ve also gained followers. Guess what? I’m happy about that.
Because Instagram is putting my content in front of more people, it’s allowing me to attract those who are my ideal customer more easily. I’m honing in on my ideal audience because I’m putting myself out there and sharing who I am and what I can offer to you.I know the right people are sticking around. My engagement and my reach are so much greater than they’ve been in the past, so losing a few followers that haven’t been engaging lately with my content is just fine.
4.Don’t forget! We need to have fun
We need to remember where Instagram Reels came from. It’s inspired by Tiktok. TikTok videos are fun, they’re full of dancing and jokes. So have some fun when creating your Instagram Reels. I’m dancing in a few of my Reels and that’s fun. You have to acknowledge and accept that this is supposed to be more fun.
FYI — Michelle prediction here: TikTok videos do not completely translate to Instagram. On TikTok it’s different. There’s a whole different mindset and demographic on Instagram versus TikTok. My prediction is that Instagram Reels are going to take TikTok videos and make them more conducive to Instagram’s audience.
2 Bonus Tips for using Instagram Reels in your business from Michelle:
1- Make sure you add a captivating caption for your Reels like you would on your pictures on your feed. It gives a reason for people to comment and talk to you. Instagram will reward you for this with higher views and reach.
2- After you post, don’t forget to use hashtags. Because there aren’t a lot of reels it will be a lot easier to get on the explore page, and Instagram will be pushing your content out to more people, too.
Will you be trying Instagram Reels in your business?
Remember this isn’t a brand new app, it’s just a new feature on an app we already love. So you don’t need to be scared about trying it! Be sure to check out my Instagram Reels here. And when you make your first Reel, please tag me so I can cheer you on! I’m @iammichellegifford on Instagram.
For more business coaching from me, check out my Money Makers coaching group here!