Reels is a new feature from Instagram, the most important new feature the platform has added in some time. For marketers, Instagram Reels offers some exciting possibilities.
What Are Instagram Reels?
In short, Instagram Reels are Facebook’s answer to TikTok. The video-sharing social media platform has taken the world by storm in recent years and revealed a significant shortcoming in Facebook’s services. Never one to let such a gaping hole in their offerings go unfilled, Facebook has developed Instagram Reels to enable users of its Instagram platform to share short videos similar to TikTok.
Reels won’t just provide users with the ability to share videos with their friends, but it will also provide users with tools for editing their clips and adding music and other sounds. Facebook has been testing Reels in select markets for a while now. It has recently rolled the feature out in a further 50 countries, including the US.
While Facebook has been characteristically quiet about the reception that Reels has received so far in other markets, the fact that it is pressing ahead with the US rollout suggests that things have gone well. However, Facebook may also be rushing this feature out due to the potential takeover of TikTok by Microsoft. If Microsoft does gain control of TikTok, it will gain a massive marketing platform overnight, and will be in a position to rival Facebook’s market dominance. Naturally, Facebook is wary of this occurring.
Educate Your Audience
One of the best uses for Instagram Reels is a tool to educate your audience. Audience education is always a difficult thing to get right in your marketing. Selling your product to an audience is challenging; trying to impart vital information and educate them at the same time is even harder. Whether you are selling direct to consumers or you are selling to other businesses, you will sometimes need to educate your audience before you can sell your products and services to them. Instagram Reels provides you with an effective way of doing this.
Reels enables businesses to create short-form videos that summarise the essential product information for a potential buyer to know and present it to them in an easily digestible format. Reels are ideal for short step-by-step guides, provided that you can write each step succinctly, and the viewer can easily understand them.
Show Off Product Reviews And Case Studies
Both product reviews and case studies are potentially powerful marketing tools. However, to get the most out of them, you need to deploy them in the right way. People might post positive reviews directly to your social media, but it can be hard to show off positive reviews of your product otherwise. After all, posting a link to a glowing product review might seem like a good idea, but your social media audience is unlikely to have much interest.
But by using Instagram Reels to showcase reviews and encourage your audience to send in their own short video reviews, you can make user reviews part of your social media marketing strategy. You can use the editing tools that Reels offers to add whatever sounds and effects you think will enhance user engagement.
You can also break down existing content and case studies into a Reels-friendly format so you can upload them to your Instagram. For example, if you have a favorite case study that you have previously published, then you can turn it into a Reel. Simply use the headers from your original content and display these as text on the screen. You can then verbally summarise the content for each section. The text will provide a visual cue to draw the reader’s attention while they listen to the words you are saying.
Show Your Audience Behind The Scenes
It is a good idea to use your social media accounts to share content with your audience that they won’t be able to find anywhere else. For most businesses, the users that follow you and interact with you on social media will be your most loyal core audience. You want to keep this group happy; you can’t put a price on long-term loyalty. It takes time and money to build a good relationship with your audience; don’t throw it all away.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you own or where you work, creating some fun behind the scenes content is an excellent way of engaging with your users and making them feel as if they are a part of your business too. For example, if you have a company that makes jewelry or custom art on commission, why not offer to create short making-of videos for your customers? If these prove popular, they will give your business a USP and a reason for customers to pick you over your rivals.
But even if your job involves sitting on your laptop all day, you should still get creative and try to come up with a worthwhile behind the scenes video. Even if you are just showing your audience around your offices/work area, it will still give your social media a friendly and more open feel.
Tell Your Story
It is hard to overstate the power of storytelling for marketing. If you can tell a compelling story and tell it in the right way, then it can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your marketing, and also help to foster customer loyalty in the long-term.
Storytelling gives you a way of differentiating your business from your competitors in the minds of your audience. If your business has a unique story behind it, this can sometimes be more effective than even your branding and logo in terms of making your business instantly-recognizable.
Keeping up with all the new features that social media platforms rollout isn’t easy. For marketers, every new tool inevitably leads to at least a couple of weeks of scrambling to get to grips with what the new tool is and how it works. Fortunately, in the case of Reels, it is actually surprisingly easy to get to grips with anything. It looks like Reels will be successful in its primary purpose, enabling TikTok-style content to spread on Instagram.