Updated: Aug 31, 2022
While scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, you may have noticed short videos known as “Reels” pop up.
Reels are Instagram’s version of TikTok videos, and they’re most popular among influencers and other casual content creators. But, some small business owners have started taking advantage of them, as well!
Small business owners can use Reels to showcase new products, tell the story of their brand, or offer tips and tricks. But, because Reels are so fun-spirited and carefree, it’s easy to get lost in the process and start creating in a way that doesn’t really reflect your brand in the way it should.
When done correctly, Reels are a fun way to open your business up to a wider audience and let your followers know more about the person behind the brand. But, they definitely should not replace your tried-and-true efforts.
Let’s discuss a few tips to keep in mind as you venture into the world of Reels!
Stay True to Your Brand Through Reels
Perhaps the best thing about Reels is the way they can help you establish your “brand.” Video content is typically more effective than other media when it comes to letting clients know who you are, what your business stands for, and what they’ll be supporting when they purchase from you.
If you can find a way to do this through Reel creation, it could help you increase your audience size and strengthen the relationships you have with your current followers!
Reels are a relatively new feature on Instagram, so not everyone is familiar with how to use them in a way that will make an impact on public perception of their small business.
Above all else, remember that Reels are meant to be fun. Showcase what makes you unique, who you are as a person, and why your followers should choose you over competitors. When used correctly, they can give your engagement a boost and help more people understand what you’re all about.
Now, let’s dive a little deeper…
Get More Views with Popular Audio
As you scroll through Reels on Instagram, you’ll probably notice that a lot of creators use the same audio clips to participate in “trends.” We’ll talk about making these trends your own later on — for now, let’s focus on the audio side of things!
When you press on the audio clip used in a Reel, Instagram will bring you to a page where you can see other videos that use it. If a viewer is a fan of a particular trend, they may click the sound to watch other peoples’ takes on it. For this reason, creating your own Reels with “trending” audio clips is one of the best ways to get as much exposure for your videos as possible!
Browse through the Reels on your Explore page or look at what other small business owners you follow have created in the past. As you do this, you may find a few different audio tracks that seem to get accounts like yours a lot of comments, views, and overall engagement.
If you find one you like and may want to use in the future, save the clip — here’s how.
First, press on the audio clip in the lower left corner of the Reel.
You’ll then be brought to a page where you can see all the other videos that use the audio clip or save the sound to use later. Press “Save Audio” at the top of the screen.
Whenever you’re ready to create your Reel, go to the Reel creation screen and press the music note icon.
On the next screen, press “Saved” to find all the audio clips you’ve saved so far.
Although putting your own spin on a viral trend can be fun, don’t focus too much on the content that others create with a certain audio clip. Remember, there’s no rule on what you can and cannot use a clip for!
You may want to browse through other videos that use the audio to get some inspiration, but always use the clip in a way that helps you stay true to your brand.
Make Trends Your Own
At any given time, there will be various “trends” that different people base their unique Reels around. These trends might revolve around showing pictures of your pets, telling stories about your life, or anything else under the sun.
It can be tempting to go with the crowd — but, what really sets you apart is making trends your own and using them in a way that reflects your small business.
For example, let’s say you stumble across a trend of people telling stories about how they’ve changed since childhood. Instead, you could create a Reel telling the story of how your business has evolved over time! Or, you might find a trend where people show off their pets. Change it around to show off your products!
While there’s nothing wrong with creating a quick, off-topic Reel just for fun, keep in mind that it’s not going to help you reach your target audience or build your brand effectively. If you’re looking to really take advantage of Reels as a unique marketing tool, make sure to keep it in line with your company’s mission and values!
Hashtags, Hashtags, Hashtags!
You already know how important hashtags are for the product photos, promotions, and IGTV videos you post on your page. But, hashtags are just as important when it comes to getting your Reels in front of the right people!
Reels are recommended based on who you follow and the content you’ve liked in the past. While your current followers and the type of content you post will affect who sees your Reels on their Explore page, the right hashtags can open this audience up even further.
The audience you reach through Reels may be different than the audience you reach through your usual content. However, if you use similar hashtags to the ones you use on your page, your Reels are likely to reach a similar audience.
Don’t Get Caught Up in the Details
Even though Reels are fun to make and can help you in your business ventures, it’s important to remember that they usually won’t bring in as many followers as your usual marketing tactics.
The best course of action is to use them as a supplemental marketing tool and showcase your business’s “personality.” Focus on what you know works, then use Reels to create fun content that helps establish your online presence!
To keep it short, don’t spend all your time on Reels. While you always want to showcase your products in the best light possible, your Reels don’t have to be perfect. They’re not about increasing sales as much as they are about showing off what makes you unique!
Using Reels to Build Your Brand
Instagram Reels give you a way to engage with your current audience and gain more exposure through fun, short video clips. But, at the end of the day, that’s the main thing you should be using them for — fun, carefree content!
Don’t stop doing the things you know work in favor of Reels. Instead, use them as a supplementary way to build your brand and get your products in front of more people. With the above tips in mind, you should have no problem creating a wider variety of engaging content without taking time away from what matters most.