Instagram Reels Explained

Instagram Reels are short-form videos with their own feed and typically reach more people than a traditional feed post. They are a great way to organically reach a lot of people and have a high rate of engagement to boot. 

How Long are IG Reels? 

Instagram Reels can be up to 90 seconds long. This update was recent, and I wrote a blog post covering it previously. Read about the update here. 

Pro tip: Just because you CAN use 90 seconds doesn’t mean you should. People’s attention spans are short. Like, goldfish short. 

4 Types of IG Reels for Business

There are tons of ideas out there about how to use Instagram reels and the type of content you can make. However, most of them can be broken down into four main categories: educational, entertaining, promotional, and about you. 

Educational Reels

Educational Reels are great for building trust and they are especially popular for service-based businesses. That being said, you can definitely use educational Reels in any industry. These are twofold – you want to build trust in your business and serve your audience. 

Want an example? Here’s one.

Entertainment Reels

Entertaining Reels are typically inspirational or funny. These are great for making your business more “likable” – and adding some entertainment value to the other types of Reels will help them go further online. People prefer to share things that entertained them.

Here’s an example of how that can look.

Promotional Reels

Promotional Reels are exactly what they sound like. They are Reels that you use to sell your product or service. These will perform better if they have some entertainment value or social proof. 

You can pair promotional reels with trending or original audio. Click here for an example.

About You Reels

About You Reels are an important element for creating a connection between you and your audience. They need to tie back to your business in some way, but this is one of the places where you can really let your personality show – especially if you are the only person in the business or the primary face online. 

Not sure how to do this? Check out this example.

Instagram Reels vs TikToks

Many of you have probably heard about TikTok – the short-form video app that is largely considered to be one of the best places to potentially go viral online. A lot of dancing. A lot of Gen Z. 

And this is true! But there is actually a lot more to TikTok than dancing people in their teens and early twenties. TikTok has revolutionized the way we expect to interact with social media. It’s For You algorithm is freaky accurate. This may be a large part of why Instagram is changing its algorithm and displays. 

Should I Focus on Reels or TikTok?

I recommend focusing on Reels first and then TikTok for several reasons. 

There are more people on Instagram than TikTok. Yep! Even though TikTok has been downloaded more in the past year than Instagram, Instagram boasts 1.3 billion users while TikTok has only 1 billion

You can do more things on Instagram than TikTok. Yes, both apps have short-form videos and stories. But Instagram also has single and multi-photo posts, guides, lives for people with less than 1,000 followers, highlights, and more space in your bio to convert people into followers. 

Note: I do greatly enjoy the playlists feature on TikTok and would love to see Instagram adopt something similar in the future as that would be a GREAT organizational tool. 

You have to have 1,000 followers to put a link in your bio on TikTok unless you give them business registration information which I have NO interest in doing. 

Short-form Video on Social Media is Here to Stay

Short-form videos like Instagram Reels, TikToks, and YouTube Shorts are here to stay. About 30% of marketers intend to invest in it more than any other 2022 trend. 

Because of this, it is essential to begin incorporating short-form videos like Instagram Reels into your marketing strategy. 

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