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10 Tips for Getting Started with Instagram Reels

Filed in Brand & Marketing Strategy — March 18, 2021

How is it March already when it was just March? It seems almost impossible that we’ve all been living through this pandemic for a full year. This time last year, we had no idea how drastically all of our lives were about to change. Much like any other year, there has come a series of trends with one coming out on top… TikTok. TikTok took the world by storm last year and it’s probably crept into your life in the form of Instagram Reels!

I know, I know… We aren’t quite there with Instagram Reels yet either, but with it becoming more and more prevalent on the platform, we encourage you to give it a try. Here are 10 simple tips to start experimenting and creating with Instagram Reels.

We know firsthand how overwhelming it can be to try and fall in with the trends, so this month’s marketing resource is dedicated to getting you started on the right foot with Instagram Reels. We can’t wait to see the content you come up with!


Rachel & Hannah

1. Find your niche.

This one is probably an easy one because you likely already have your niche! Who is your target audience? Who follows you on Instagram? What is the most popular content that you’ve posted? Once you answer those few questions, you’ll probably have a good idea of what types of content your audience is looking for. Create real, raw Instagram Reels that resonate with your audience and their interests.

2. Teach us something new.

If you can teach us something new within a 30 second Reel, give us those tips! Quick educational content performs well. We know a lot of people are hesitant to get on camera, so we have good news… it doesn’t have to be your face! Teach us something about your process or interesting things your audience might be surprised to discover about behind-the-scenes of your business.

3. Make your products shoppable.

Take advantage of the shop feature on IG to showcase your products + tag them directly to shoppable links. Not sure where to start? We’re here to help – email!

4. Pick your cover image wisely.

Choose a cover image for your Instagram Reel that fits your feed’s aesthetic. You can choose a still from your video or a photo from your camera roll. Keep in mind, you can have the preview show up on your feed, so make it something that will make people want to watch!

5. Leave it up for 24 hours!

If you don’t want to keep the Reel in your feed grid, keep it up for at least 24 hours then it can stay under the Instagram Reels tab on your profile.

6. Use your Instagram story.

Promote your Reel through your story! Story views contribute to the total view count. This way, even if your followers don’t see your post in the feed, they might catch it on your story! Your story is at the top of the feed, so people are much more likely to see it if it’s easy to access.

7. Use the music IG provides.

Use the music IG provides! If your account is set to a business account, you may have noticed you lost access to popular music and now all you have access to is royalty-free music. That’s okay! Lo-fi beats are always a hit.

8. Don’t forget closed captions.

Add text captions to make your Reel more widely accessible. You can do this through closed captions or by making a title slide. By adding captions, people can also watch your videos without having to turn their volume on.

9. Don’t share your TikToks.

Don’t post a Reel with a watermark (aka don’t share directly to your IG from TikTok. Instagram won’t push your content if it’s coming from a third party.

10. Add some spice!

Get creative. Use the text, effects, and transitions tools Instagram Reels offers to add a little spice! If you have no idea where to start, there are tons of tutorials about editing TikToks and Reels on YouTube. Here are a few we found that have tips and tricks for editing your reels!

Editing tips and tricks

Content ideas for Reels

Growing your IG with Reels

And remember… start small and start simple! Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all. To start, try something simple like a sped-up video of you creating your ‘thing’ or a video about the most common misconceptions about your industry. Happy reel-making!