Instagram Reels. If you’re on the app, you’ll know about them. If you follow us, you’ll have seen ours. It’s a relatively new feature that the world of marketing has had to get to grips with. They’re short-form pieces of video content that you can edit together through the app. You can add clips from many videos and put your own audio over the top or choose a song from Instagram’s music library. The opportunities are, as they say, endless.
They are scarily like TikToks, yet, unlike TikTok, the Reel has more content to contend with on its own platform. There are some key differences to using Reels over TikTok, the biggest being the amount of exposure a single Reel can get on Instagram. Your clip can be uploaded to the specific section for Reels, to your grid, on the explore page, and shared on yours and others’ stories. That’s a lot of potential eyes. Having been released in mid-2020, becoming an Instagram Reel star may feel like the last thought as there’s not been enough time to see the rewards. Reels are all about connecting with your audience and allowing them to see behind the scenes. So, if there is a chance that this will be the thing to get you the most traffic – why delay?
If there is one reason your startup should be producing Reels content, it’s this: they’re short. They take little time to create (once you’ve gotten the hang of the process) and there's no need for any fancy equipment to make them look great. Authenticity is an important element to convey to your audience, so filming and uploading directly from your phone means you’re like them.
To pull that curtain back further and gain more brand trust and loyalty, the type of content you put on Reels can have a big impact. Meeting the startup is a popular one. Humans are nosy and being able to see the people behind the startup is a big deal. Your target audience wants to put a face to the name and know who they’re supporting. A brief introduction through a video as short as a Reel feels less daunting than a 10-minute ice-breaker vlog, doesn’t it? Showing yourselves and a little bit of your personality in the introduction will do wonders to develop your community. In the same vein, sharing snippets of your office space, whether you work remotely or not, will also give your authenticity a boost.
Reels is a wonderful place to showcase what your startup has to offer. Think of a Reel as a shop window: you want to display your products in the best light possible, and the creativity allowed through these videos is an effective route to take. On Instagram, users are scrolling down the high-street for anything that catches their eye, meaning users who don’t follow you yet will find you. By including relevant hashtags, descriptive captions, and text overlays, the algorithm will show your content to the right audience. 50% of Instagram accounts use their explore page to discover new startups every month, there is no reason that you can’t be one of them.
A Reel is another fun way to announce new products, sales, and promotions. As we know, users don’t tend to respond to heavy promotion and pushing of sales, so keeping it light and authentic is the way to go. Humanising your startup by jumping on the latest memes and adapting them to announce something is a technique that often goes down well. Startups have seen success on platforms like Instagram and TikTok by focusing on having fun and throwing perfection out the window.
Educational content is popular on Instagram as users want to know the latest hacks and ways of doing things with ease. If you can show them how to use your product before they get it, they’re more likely to make a purchase. Users will also be searching for the solution to a problem they’re having and a short, to-the-point video on how this product will help is all they need.
In addition, it can be an exclusive place for your followers. Some startups have taken to creating series of Reels that is only posted to their Instagram account. We all want to part of something that no one else knows about and making Reels can tap into that. You can band together with a loyal following who will tune in weekly, monthly, or whenever you see fit to post, that are more than likely to turn into customers if they feel a part of your story. If you double those efforts by including collaborations with influencers, you’ll be seeing your exposure on the up.
As with a lot of your social media, it’s about creating your own hub for your startup and your target audience. You want to make them feel like there’s a connection and you can do this with ease by resharing their Reels. Encouraging your audience to get involved by creating calls-to-action through Instagram is a sure-fire way to boost engagement. We all get a little thrill when someone we admire, or support, interacts with us on social media and getting your followers to create content for you capitalises on that. You can create a specific hashtag and ask to be tagged for more visibility – all gaining your startup more exposure.
So, in answer to the age-old question, ‘to Reel or not to Reel?’ The answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’