Instagram Reels: A Quick Guide

By IssuuSeptember 4, 2020Last updated on September 6, 2020Editorial

A Quick Guide to Instagram Reels

Earlier last month, Facebook introduced a new feature that had everyone talking, Instagram Reels. Another day, another social media tool to add to the list. Such is the life of the social media marketer. But hey, look at this as that opportunity you’ve been looking for to get ahead in the game. The sooner you pick up the newest skill in the marketing scene, the better chance you have of getting in early enough to capitalize on it. And Issuu is here to give you a super-quick guide on what Reels are and how you can best use them for your marketing needs!

What are Instagram Reels?

Have you heard of TikTok? Of course you have, you’re a savvy marketer and it’s one of the biggest cultural touchstones at the moment. Well, turns out Facebook and Instagram have too, cause Reels is their response to TikTok. Instagram has taken a lot of lessons from TikTok and has rolled out Reels to give its users the ability to create short, 15 second video montages. You can overlay the videos with copyrighted music, speed-up or slow-down clips you’re recording, and add one filters/effects.

How do I use Instagram Reels?

  1. Go to the camera on the Instagram app

  2. Click on the option of the bottom of the screen that reads “Reels”

  3. On the left side of the screen, you’ll see the options to pick the music for your video, slow down or speed up the recording, add an effect or filter, and set a timer for how long you want the video to be.

  4. On the bottom left, you can view your phone’s gallery and upload any clips you want to include in your video.

  5. Hit the record button at the bottom.

  6. Once you record a clip, you’ll see an arrow on the bottom left that includes this clip. If you click it, you can either delete that take or trim it.

  7. Hit record again to include another section to your video.

  8. On the top left, you’ll see the classic Instagram options to save the video, add stickers, draw on your video, or add text.

  9. Once you’ve gotten your montage to be what you want, hit the bottom right button.

  10. Write a caption, then share to the Reels page and your story!

How Does it Compete?

After taking some time to play around with Reels, it seems as if it doesn’t quite make a match for TikTok. The effects options are fairly limited, as the above-listed options for effects are the only things you can do, compared to TikTok’s wide array of tools. You can’t make a duet video or use green screen like in TikTok. The editing features are also a bit clunkier than the simplicity of TikTok’s. Also, there is no option for “friends only” sharing available if you have a public account. If you have a public account, your video will go on the explore page.

How Can I Use it For Marketing

This feature provides a really useful opportunity to get your brand’s content onto the Instagram Explore page. Since it’s still early days and most people won’t make the full switch yet, it’ll give you a better chance to improve visibility. Instagram wants to promote this tool as much as possible, so it’s a win-win situation for you and them to collaborate and be seen!

About the Issuu Blog

Connecting content to people, the Issuu Blog seeks to cover the topics of interest to our community—from tips to trends to best practices. See how Issuu can transform a single PDF into a high-quality campaign that connects on Facebook, Instagram, and across the Web.