We’ve been saying it for years, but it’s still true: video, by far, gets more exposure and engagement across all social media platforms. This means users love video, so all video content typically performs best with most algorithms – after all, it captures a viewer’s attention for longer, which keeps people on the platform longer.

That’s why Instagram Reels are a REEL-y important topic for all small businesses on social media! 

…While we can’t promise that will be our last REEL-y good pun, we can promise that this blog is going to tell you all you need to know to get started using Instagram Reels for your business. Let’s go! 

What exactly is an Instagram Reel? 

Reels are short, entertaining videos where you can express your creativity and bring your brand to life. People come to Reels to participate in cultural trends, collaborate with the community and discover new ideas. Instagram Reels are similar in nature to TikTok videos, but they’re not quite the same (more on that later!)

The short version? Reels are a dynamic way for you to connect with your audience

Photos are static, but Reels give your customers a REEL chance to get to know you, your brand, and your business. 

When it comes to posting Reels for your business, the list of topics you can post about is REEL-y endless:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Share behind the scenes content
  • A day in the life
  • Answer FAQs
  • Employee Spotlight
  • Product highlights
  • Join a trend
  • Tips & tricks
  • Before & after
  • Cross-promotion 
  • Tutorials
  • Do’s and Don’ts
  • Success stories
  • Thought Leadership
  • Encouraging messages
  • Repurpose stories
  • Encouraging messages
  • Show your workspace
  • Checklist

…the list goes on! As long as your content is relevant to your business and appropriate for your unique brand, the world is your oyster when it comes to choosing the right topic. 

The same cannot quite be said for the mechanics of creating your Instagram Reel. While the Instagram platform gives you a lot of ways to be creative and customize your Reel, there are a few important rules to follow, if you want your content to play well with Instagram’s algorithm: 

Use trending music

Each time you use music, your Reel gets exposed to that specific song’s tag. It’s similar to hashtags with the potential of more reach. Different songs are trending almost every day, so be sure to use trending audio whenever possible. It’s also very important to add your music or sound directly within the Instgram app, instead of using a third-party app like Canva. Instagram won’t recognize audio embedded within your video, so be sure to add your music during the upload process on Instagram! 

Add closed captions

Since there are plenty of users that don’t keep their sound on – even when scrolling through Instagram Reels! – it’s good to put on those captions so they can engage with the sound off. Captions are also key for accessibility.

Cross-promote when possible

Whenever you can, take the time to tag other entities in your Instagram Reels. Whether it’s a team member, a potential business partner, or even a coffee shop, cross-promotion is a great way to boost your visibility, start a conversation, increase engagement, and show your followers your connections. Just make sure that any pages you tag are brands, businesses, or individuals that you want to be publicly connected with, and are relevant to the content you’re sharing. 

Create cover photos for your reels 

Your reel doesn’t have to throw off your Instagram aesthetic! Create a cover photo to maintain your feed’s layout and design. Better yet, add titles to your reel cover photos, so that your followers can easily select which reel they want to watch from within your feed. 

Make sure your reels get posted to your followers

You can organically post your Reel as-is through the Reel platform (it will then show up in your Reels tab), or also publish it on your own feed. For the most part, it’s a best practice to publish to your feed so that your current audience can engage too. This will also you to build more content and promote your account.

The more Reels, the better!

The data shows that posting four to seven Reels per week is critical for getting the attention of the Instagram algorithm. By posting Reels consistently, the algorithm will prioritize all of your content – not just your Reels! – which will increase your visibility and lead to more engagement.

Now it’s time to get started making your own Reels! Tag us us in your Instagram Reel (@mconnexions_) so we can connect with your business and see the unique, creative, compelling, and REEL-y awesome content you create. 

If you feel like you need some extra support, that’s okay – we’re here to help! We’re launching an exciting summer webinar series, and Instagram Reels will be one of our key topics! Sign up for our email list so that you can reserve your spot as soon as sign-ups are available. And if you need more immediate help, reach out today to connect with our team.