Marketing Strategy

How to Use Instagram Reels to Engage Your Customers

by Gooten Editorial Team on Sep. 24, 2020


By now, we've all probably heard about Reels, Instagram's answer to TikTok. But what is it, and how can it help boost the bottom line of your eCommerce business?

After launching just six weeks ago, Reels has received mixed reviews, mostly with unfavorable comparisons to TikTok. The Reels situation feels similar to the Instagram Stories launch, which also yielded a similar comparison to the Snapchat Story functionality. While Instagram Stories had a rocky start, it quickly surpassed Snapchat in user adoption and features.

Only time will tell if Instagram users adapt to Reels and migrate over from TikTok, but it's still worth learning about and adding to your brand’s content strategy especially as you're putting together your content calendar for the holidays.

What is Instagram Reels?

Reels is an Instagram feature that allows users to create and upload 15-second videos. Users set these videos to music and can add text, special effects, and stickers before sharing with followers. Individual Reels appear in followers' feeds and live collectively in the Instagram 'Explore' tab.

Instagram is also testing new interface layouts that incorporate access to Reels from the homepage so users can easily watch videos. While Instagram built Reels to support creators and influencers, even brands that don't invest in influencer marketing can benefit.

Why Should I Use Instagram Reels?

Reach new audiences: Reels makes it easy to connect with your current followers and build brand loyalty while also reaching new audiences. When you create a Reel, you can upload it to your brand's feed and the 'Explore' tab.

Increase engagement: Depending on your post frequency, audience interaction, and other factors, Instagram will prioritize your Reel in your current followers' feeds. The 'Reels' section in the 'Explore' tab personalizes videos to each user, so your content can appear for users already looking at products similar to yours. You can even use hashtags or specific songs to increase your likelihood of appearing in the 'Explore' tab.

Easy to use: The best part? You don't have to create new content using Reels. You can repurpose any videos, including those created in TikTok, by uploading them to Instagram Reels.

How to Create Your Own Reel

There are two ways to create your own Reel; uploading older video content or using Instagram's camera and editing features to create a new video.

  1. Scroll to the camera feature
  2. Scroll to the "Reels" label at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select the music note icon to choose music. You can customize the part of the song that you want to use.
  4. Get ready to record by clicking the countdown button to record hands-free, or add your own pre-recorded clip or video by selecting the bottom left camera roll.
  5. Tap the speed icon to change the speed of your video.
  6. Tap the effects icon to add visual filters.
  7. Use the align button (bottom icon) to align your clips for a more seamless transition.
  8. Select the right-hand arrow button to write your captions and share to your Reels and/or Stories. Be sure to add hashtags to make your video more searchable.

How Will You Use Reels to Boost Your Business?

Now that you know how to upload Reels and reach new audiences, the possibilities are endless. What's your plan for using Reels? Now's the time to start thinking about new content vehicles, just in time for the holiday season. Let us know at hello@gooten.com!