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  • Writer's pictureKarissa McEneff

Using Reels to grow on Instagram

Happy Friday! Hope you had a good week.

I've spent most of my day creating Instagram Reels for the various accounts I manage. As a self-confessed Instagram Reels addict, I'm here to share my top tips with you for using Reels to grow on Instagram.

What are Reels and how do they work?

If you are posting on Instagram and not getting the reach or engagement you want, Reels are for you. In an effort to compete with TikTok Instagram is now massively prioritising Reels in the Feed and on the Explore page. As a result, Reels are getting a lot of traction at the moment and static images are not performing as well. If you are totally new to the concept of Reels they are basically either 15-second or 30-second videos with audio.

Inshot is a gamechanger!

If you haven't heard of the app called InShot download it now! This is a free app you can use on your phone to edit your Reels. You can add a voiceover or music, trim clips, alter the speed of the clips, add text and so much more. I recommend uploading your video and editing it here before uploading it to Instagram Reels. Make sure your clip is either 15-seconds long or 30-seconds long or some of it will be cut off when you upload it to Instagram. The video can be less than 15 or 30 seconds - it doesn't have to be bang on.

What do I post?

Similar to the content strategy for your Instagram posts, you need to plan your Reels in advance. Please don't post on the fly - it is so stressful and you really need to think about what you want to post in advance. Go to the Instagram Reels tab (screenshot below). Get inspired by the content other people are creating and see if you can apply this to your business. You can also just come up with your own creative ideas.

What results can I expect?

If you have a smaller Instagram account aim for 500-1,000 views on your Reels as a starting point. Instagram will send you a notification once your reel has 500 plays and again when it has 1,000 plays. I spoke on my stories today about how I have a food Instagram page that I hadn't posted on in a year up until a few weeks ago. I started posting Reels and most of them have more than 500 plays, with one of them reaching 1,700 plays last weekend. I have gained lots of new followers too off the back of posting these Reels.

Is the cover image important?

The answer is yes - design your cover image in the size 1080x1920px and make sure your text is placed in the centre of the design. The top and bottom of your cover photo will be cut off in the feed. The image below shows how your cover photo appears in the Reels tab versus in the Feed. Having a great cover photo will encourage more people to click on your Reel. I recommend using Canva to design this. You can also select a frame from your video to use as your cover image.

Do you have any more questions about Reels? I'll do Part 2 of my top tips for creating Reels in next week's newsletter. In the meantime, you can send me an email or drop me a DM on Instagram if you have any questions about creating Reels for your business.

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