Reely Good Content: The Power of Instagram Reels
Updated: Jan 26
It is approaching 2 years since the Reel feature appeared on Instagram, it was added to the platform when their competitor app, TikTok, started to quickly gain popularity by providing an endless feed of 15-second videos to its highly engaged audience. Instagram have no shame when it comes to taking “inspiration” from others, introducing the ‘Stories’ feature back in August 2016, based on the success of Snapchat.
The Reel allows Instagram users to compose short, multi-clip videos either 15, 30 or 60 seconds long, which can be accompanied by music, sound effects, and filters. The video editing tool allows the creator to browse audio, effects, control speed and apply a countdown timer. The purpose of this feature, aside from competing with TikTok, is to solely entertain the users and give them the opportunity to go viral on the explore page.
This feature has the potential to be extremely beneficial for smaller businesses and pages with less followers, as the explore page gives users the opportunity to appear in front of millions of accounts who are browsing.
Reaching your target audience organically through posting on the grid and for paid advertisement to be successful, can both be difficult to achieve without high engagement and a loyal following. This new feature gives users the chance to have their content viewed virally whilst also attracting new audiences to their brand through entertaining videos.
As we have seen over the past year, social media marketing is evolving towards a more personal, entertainment focused, quick content trend, which is important to recognise and adhere to if you want to grow engagement. However, this is understandably easier said than done. If this doesn’t align with your brand tone of voice, Reels might not be the smartest move for your company… but sometimes something a little outside your comfort zone or away from the ‘norm’ could be the difference between you and your competitors.
You can take a more professional approach and remove the entertainment element from this, giving the audience more of a ‘behind the scenes’/’day in the life’ view. If you believe that reels could be detrimental to your brand image, it is important to remember that stories are more significant to the Instagram app than reels.
To conclude, are reels worth it or should we leave the 15-second videos to the TikTok generation?
We believe that both platforms are great from an entertainment standpoint, allowing users to be creative and free with their content, but it all comes down to the individual/brand’s goals, their target audience, and their content strategy. Here at THREE2, we wanted to put the reel to the test - we posted 2 identical pieces of content, one as a reel and one as a static grid post. The results spoke for themselves, seeing a 67% increase in reach on the reel format.
Ultimately, Instagram Reels allow you to reach more users on the app, so experiment, be creative and give it a go!