How your brand can craft Instagram Reels which stand out from the crowd

Kim Lawton is the founder and CEO of Enthuse Marketing Group, a woman-owned small business based in New York City. Kim has 25 years of proven experiential operations and marketing experience spanning branded consumer products, and she has cross-functional expertise in both creative development and marketing campaign activation, measurement, and management.

Facebook recently released a new feature for Instagram Reels called “Remix,” which lets users collaborate via side-by-side videos. Although some still criticise the app as a copy of TikTok, it’s clear that the technology giant wants to continue investing in and expanding on the possibilities of video content.

The State of Digital Publishing predicts that video will account for 82% of internet traffic by 2022, so it’s no surprise that companies like Facebook are taking an interest. About 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool, and 93% of marketers say it’s an important component of their overall strategy. As a fellow marketer, you’ll need to focus some energy on this format to meet audiences where they are.

Creating 15- to 30-second videos on Reels is one of the best ways to start video marketing. The feature offers a host of audio, visual, and text-based editing features that you can use to tap into current trends. And when you use popular sounds, hashtags, and effects, you’ll appear more often on the Instagram Explore page. By creating unique content that appeals to your target audience, you’ll be able to see success like National Geographic and Sephora.

Four strategies for stellar Reels

Although Reels aren’t able to be sponsored or “shopped” right now, Facebook will likely open monetisation options for companies soon. After all, users on Instagram are more likely to follow brands than users on TikTok (where influencers are king). That’s why making Instagram Reels an integral part of your social media marketing efforts will pay off in the long run.

Ready to get started? Follow these four steps to make standout Instagram Reels of your own:

#1: Express your brand’s personality with audio

Audiences have little time to spare for ads — even when those ads are carefully crafted and highly targeted. According to a study from Infolinks, 86% of survey participants were “banner blind” and failed to recall any meaningful details, like which company or product was advertised on webpage banner ads.

Fortunately for brand marketers, consumers are far less adept at tuning out audio. You can almost certainly still recall the “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle from McDonald’s, and your head is likely packed with the catchy radio songs and melodies adopted by local businesses where you grew up. You can create a consistent, unique audio experience for audiences by working on your sonic branding and rolling it out across various consumer touchpoints, including Instagram Reels.

#2: Preserve your Reels’ authenticity

Too many brands aim for perfection and create content that’s highly produced or stylised for Instagram. However, users prefer to engage with Reels that are relatable and entertaining. Plenty of Instagram users yearn for the early days of the app, when there was far less social pressure. Some are even campaigning to “Make Instagram Casual Again.”

With so many brands and influencers in an arms race to promote a polished presence on the platform, strive for a healthy dose of authenticity. Show your mistakes, your blooper reels, and your out-of-the-box ideas. You might be surprised by how much people like seeing genuine content from your company.

#3: Tell a story

Lots of brands have realised the importance of social media video “hooks.” After all, you only have a moment to pull the viewer in before they continue scrolling. Once you’ve captured their attention, you need to continue the narrative with a middle and an end.

When you create a Reel to showcase a product, for example, you need to follow the arc of any successful story. Outline the problem, introduce your product, demonstrate what it does, and then resolve the situation. If you own a boutique car wash, for example, you might start with scenes of a neglected vehicle, shift to shots of it being cleaned, and conclude the video with a glamour shot — the big reveal.

#4: Experiment with different features

Reels offer all kinds of intriguing features, including a wide variety of filters, augmented reality effects, sounds, and several new video formats. Remix, for example, is often used to copy other people’s Reels.

While Remix is commonly used for dance challenges, there are all kinds of different ways to use the feature. Your brand could post reactions to users’ videos featuring your products, or you might encourage users to Remix your content for a chance to win prizes.

The increasing popularity of Instagram Reels and TikTok reiterates how vital video content is right now — and will be moving forward. Although Reels currently lacks monetisation options, that will likely change shortly. Get ahead of the competition by creating standout video content for Reels using these four simple steps.

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

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