Instagram Reels

Hey Dr Digital. My friend got kicked off TikTok, and now she’s moved her videos over to Instagram Reels – what are Reels and do I need to get on it too?

Doctor Digital Says

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As video grows and grows in dominance across all platforms, each brand is finding ways to deliver differentiated video offerings, or in some cases blatantly copy the others and brand as their own. Whatever the method, the marketing is after the same end: more video content posted more often keeping people captive on the channel.

Way back when in social media dog years, Vine was the original short video service. We loved it, and it seemed to be the future for micro-video makers. Vine didn’t make it through the startup valley of death, but it proved that citizen video makers were keen, and businesses and influencers would follow. Enter the gorillas, Facebook/Instagram with Stories which had been largely ripped from Snapchat. Then little upstart TikTok came on the scene with seemingly no branded or ephemeral agenda, no rules, no secretive algorithms, just space for people to go crazy making videos – and the world loved it.

Unsurprisingly, Instagram, and Facebook loved it too, and soon they were beta testing like no-one was watching…which was true in the case of Facebook. Their video Lasso died a quiet death, but Instagram’s rose to the top, and Reels has joined the Stories and IGTV family across 50 countries now.

Making Reels is pretty simple. Tap the camera icon or go to Add to your story. Have a look at the bottom bar and at the right, you will see the Reels option. From here you can choose a range of creation options like music or audio upload, capture speed, filters, special effects, and clip length (you only have 15 seconds.) Now you’re good to record. You can even edit multiple clips together by continuing to hit the middle button. When you are done, you can trash, cut, or re-order. If you want to switch from front to back camera, just touch the screen.

One thing to remember, if you haven’t set your video to private, it can be downloaded by others and cut into their videos and broadcast. Have a think about what that might mean for your content. Ready to post? You can post to your Stories, or into your feed, but you can also post to Explore, which is a public folder so others can find your genius, share and enjoy.

Reels are pretty fresh, so they aren’t being weaponised for business yet in terms of favoring boosting and algorithm pumping, now is the time to get in with your business and play. Metrics for Reels are plays, likes, comments, and shares so you can measure your impact in an organic way – for now. The same way you would use any video for business is the same way you use Reels: playful, fun, purposeful, educational, showcasing what you do and why, sharing your work with your customers, and celebrating what you do.

If video is part of your business marketing strategy, is always strategically good to get in early with new channels and offerings and build your audience with the new tools, it also means you can iron out the bugs and get your skills up before the masses arrive.


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