The Rise of Reels

Following the popularity of micro-video platforms such as TikTok, which became the most downloaded app of 2021, other popular social media platforms soon followed suit, and began enabling short-form videos on their sites.

In an attempt to keep up with its competitors, Instagram launched Instagram Reels in August 2020, since becoming Instagram’s fastest growing feature internationally, with nine out of every ten Instagram users admitting to watching videos on the platform at least once a week.

Quickly beginning to overshadow all other content on the platform, it’s no secret now that short-form videos boost organic engagement rates – recent stats show that the typical Reel receives 22% more engagement than a regular Instagram video. The platform’s algorithm dictates which videos are shown to users on both the Reels tab and the Explore tab, which are the go-to place for discovering new content.

With the right hashtags and some quality footage, short-form videos can be a great tool to help businesses can reach their target audience organically. The Faust team have rounded up our top tips for getting started with Reels – from filming and editing, to for organically growing the reach of your content!

How have we been using them?

At Faust PR, we have long been advocating for more integrating Reels into our client’s social media strategies. Perfect for sharing clips of their latest trendy event, or highlighting the local area around a new development, Reels can help to capture your brand in a more organic way than paid adverts, helping to grow followers and comments on your content.

Tips and Tricks

Love the look of Reels but don’t know where to start? Here are our top tips:

  • Not ready to tackle a brand-new Reel? Condense your existing videos into short clips! If you can capture your audience with a short snappy Reel, they might then be more interested in heading over to your website or YouTube channel for the longer version of the video.
  • The perfect length for a Reel? Anywhere between 3-15 seconds. Though this may seem short and you may be tempted to use the full 90-seconds allowed, to maximise the number of views that your content gets, it’s better to keep it short, ensuring that your audience will watch the full video!
  • Find an audio you love – the sound you use can hugely change how your content is perceived by the audience, so make sure to choose an audio that suits your message. Though Reels posted on business accounts have access to a full library of ready-to-use license-free audio, this is a great opportunity to experiment with doing a voiceover! If this audio is relatable and can be applied in a range of contexts, you could even create the newest trend!
  • Find a hook – why should people watch your video? Having a hook can help the Reel to attract your target audience. This could include starting your content with a video which you will go on to answer, as this will keep your followers engaged until the very last second!
  • Don’t worry about professional kit, simply film clips on your phone! IG Reels don’t need to be super slick and professionally edited – a decent phone camera is a good place to start. This also makes it much easier to create content on the go and capture your events live!
  • Edit clips on Instagram – this will give you access to audio that you can use, including applying Instagram’s fun effects and transitions to your content, and enable you to create a video that is perfectly created for the platform.
  • Make it visually pleasing to increase engagement – for example, filming vertically is of key importance, as this will optimise the quality of your content and be more visually appealing to the audience than a horizontal video, which the Instagram feature has not been designed to accommodate.