In the social media world, everyone is talking about Instagram Reels and for good reason - Instagram head Adam Mosseri has confirmed, despite backlash from the likes of the Kardashian sisters, Instagram is shifting toward a format that prioritizes video content. We are increasingly recommending Reels programs to our clients, as we’ve seen great results across different industries and markets when we create these short, engaging videos, and it seems to be the future of the app, which began as a photo-sharing platform.
Of course, creating a video, even a short one, requires more creativity and attention than most static, in-feed Instagram Posts, and as we’ve been posting Reels for nearly two years now, we’ve gleaned a few learnings on how to use them most effectively for our clients.
- Short Reels that highlight one theme or message perform best. It’s easy to overthink Reels and try to cram too much information into a single content piece. Often, it’s best to take a step back and remember that social media users are already inundated with content, and to capture their attention, it’s best to focus on one key message, or if needed, a short list of 3-5 points to ensure Reels are watched to completion.
- The video content doesn’t have to be perfect. Of course, we want our Reels to look good. However, most Reels are filmed on a smartphone and users are not put off by clips looking unprofessional or amatuer, as authentic, raw content can actually perform better on Reels than very polished content. Through creative editing, adding text and music, etc. we can take an uninteresting video clip and make it into a successful Reel.
- Lean into the fun side of Reels. Many of our clients work in the corporate or real estate world, and posting content that could be a little irreverent or off the cuff, including trending music or humorous meme-like content that would never be found on their company website or in a meeting with executives, can understandably make our clients nervous. However, companies that lean into the funny, sometimes brash, Lizzo-infused side of Reels see much better results than clients who choose to play it safe. For example, when we experimented with a silly audio for client West Edge, we saw more than three times the views we usually earn.
- Try different tactics and monitor your analytics. Instagram provides good data on how many people view, save and share Reels, so we like to experiment with length, editing style, music, etc. to see what type of videos our audience engage with more. For each client, different tactics can resonate with our followers, so there’s no one size fits all Reels strategy.
Here are a few more Reels we love that we’ve created for our clients:
We wanted to generate excitement for Fenton’s final construction stages and upcoming grand opening. By using a series of photos matched with a relevant audio, we were able to transport followers into that important moment for the project, and although it was amongst the first Reels we created for the client, it generated more than 5k views and 200 interactions.
The Sistah Shop opened on Juneteenth weekend. To celebrate its opening and importance to Atlantic Station, we created a Reel showcasing The Sistah Shop’s space and emerging community. With over 20k views and 2k interactions, it has become a highly successful Reel for the client.
Since West Edge is currently under construction, we developed the idea of West Edge Wednesday to show our followers a closer look at the property. Working with the onsite West Edge team, this has also been helpful for putting a face to the name. This specific Instagram Reel resulted in 2.2K views, 60 interactions and very positive feedback.
If one of your goals is to get more eyes on your content and reach new audiences, you should seriously consider investing in a Reels program.