Level Up with HDY: Instagram Reels

22nd January 2021

Members of our account and creative teams recently hosted a killer Level Up masterclass on Instagram Reels, with an expert look at the social media platform’s latest feature. If you missed it, here’s a crash course with everything you need to know. 

What is Instagram Reels?

Reels is currently taking centre stage as Instagram’s latest offering. Giving TikTok a run for its money, the new feature allows users to create fun and engaging short videos (15-30 seconds) with a range of filters, stickers, audio and special effects.

In just four years, TikTok has amassed 500 million global users, seeing a surge in popularity over lockdown. The short-form video is here to stay, and with 10 years on the scene, Instagram has a head start with over one billion users worldwide.

Where can I find Reels on Instagram?

Just tap onto the Explore page on the app, where you’ll also find a bunch of stuff Instagram reckons you’d like. Following lots of fitness gurus? You’ll probably find loads of health and wellness content here.

Instagram’s Explore Page algorithm uses AI and big data collection to serve you content similar to what you engage with, and content your followers like. This means your brand’s content isn’t just reaching your followers, but also the combined follower lists of everyone engaging with your brand page, improving your visibility and reach. This will enable you to build brand engagement in a fun, dynamic way

Features of Reels

The ability to add filters to our pictures and videos is nothing new. Whether you’re looking for a quick way to smooth your skin or to give yourself bunny ears, there’s bound to be a face tracking filter for it. But now, we can create our own filters, and with the growth in augmented reality technology, the possibilities really are endless.

The use of popular music in content has often been a stumbling block for social media marketers. Instagram’s latest licensing agreements have opened up a library of songs so you can search for and add music to your Reels. 

What is the difference between Instagram Reels and Stories? 

Like TikTok, Reels has a stop-start editing function built in, allowing users to create cuts showing different angles, products, people and places. Reels also allows you to repurpose pre-made content, giving your videos more bang for their buck. 

In contrast to long-form video counterpart IGTV, Reels is set to remain as a vertical only platform for now.

The hierarchy and evolution of engagement

The humble grid photo was once Instagram’s only content offering, and as the platform grows, this format is steadily declining in engagement. Grid videos came along and swiped away their engagement, paving the way for Instagram Stories. Keen to topple TikTok’s crown, Reels are now being pushed to the top of the engagement hierarchy, making it the optimum format to attract greater exposure. With people more likely to reshare, the right Reel has the potential to go viral. If you’re looking to level-up your organic social media, Reels is a must – it’s outperforming all other content on Instagram.

What’s the future of Instagram Reels?

Instagram is planning to roll out e-commerce features for Reels, making it easier to shop directly from videos. The e-commerce offerings are available globally on IGTV now and will start tests on Reels later this year. IGTV currently allows viewers to tap items they see in videos and complete their purchase either through Instagram’s direct checkout feature or the seller’s website. 

How can HDY Help?

Our team of social media specialists can help you elevate your existing content, or start your Reel’s journey from scratch. We’re here to approach Reels from two viewpoints – combining amazing content, with the strategic approach designed to increase your social conversions. We can optimise the activity to meet your end goal, and support a Reels plan that actually works.

Our creative content studio team has recently expanded, and our in-house videography, photography and animation teams are on hand – whether it’s quick, reactive content that you need, or you have the luxury of time to create high-end, scroll-stopping visuals, to take your content to the next level. 

We can cater to your brand’s requirements. Get in touch with our team to find out more about how we can make Reels work for you.