How to Make Instagram Reels: What Small Businesses Should Know

Posted on February 23, 2023 | Updated on February 23, 2023

Because of the wild success TikTok has had recently, other social media platforms have created their own features to emulate that growth. YouTube — though famous for its longer video content — made a Shorts option where users could clip their favorite videos. Instagram, too, released a new element to the app that perhaps is the closest to rivaling TikTok in its use, called Reels. With it, businesses can combine Instagram’s picture- and video-posting abilities to achieve the most advertising success. But is learning how to make Instagram Reels easy?

Luckily, the answer is yes — even to the most tech-unsavvy of people out there. Making basic Reels is as easy as learning how to push a few buttons. However, small businesses will need to know the best marketing strategies on Instagram to make the most out of their posts. Going viral is perhaps one of their most significant opportunities for success. While there’s no popularity recipe, a few tips can encourage more views and conversions. Here’s how to make Instagram reels, along with some ideas for improving reach.

How to Make Instagram Reels — The Essentials

Reels are Instagram’s response to TikTok and research shows small businesses should start taking advantage of them. The entire population of those who consistently use Instagram watch Reels, which could reach 2.5 billion people in 2023. Additionally, it’s the best place for influencer marketing and was the second most-downloaded app in the first quarter of 2022. This post format also garners 22% more interaction than regular videos. Convinced to start making these clips yet? Here’s how to make Instagram Reels.

1. Create a Business Account on Instagram

Assuming the company’s owner or social media manager has already downloaded Instagram, they should first switch to a business account. Doing so will allow them to cultivate ads, schedule posts, view their interactions, and customize their page with a profile picture featuring the logo and buttons users can interact with to encourage conversions. Fortunately, this, too, is quite easy to do.

First, go to the account’s profile and click on the three small lines at the top right of the page. Then, click the Settings button with the cog next to it. From there, navigate to the Accounts section and scroll to the bottom — there should be blue text that says “Switch to professional account” there. After clicking it, the app should provide options to describe the organization, choose how to identify it and add niches so the right audience can find the account.

2. Find the Reels Option

To make a post, locate the plus sign within a box at the top right of the app. On the profile page, it will be next to the three lines that led to the Settings, but on the main feed, it’s next to the heart that shows notifications and the text bubble where direct messages will appear. After clicking that button, the device’s camera roll will show up. But to make a Reel, look to the gray bar that should pop up at the bottom of the screen.

That bar will show the types of posts the account can make. Those who just downloaded Instagram should get the option to post Reels right away, but if someone already had it and can’t see the option, updating the app is likely necessary. From there, simply scroll over to the Reels option to start filming.

3. Start Filming

Once getting to the Reels section, the screen will show camera options. There are options to add music, get filters, respond to comments, change the amount of filming time, speed up the capture, change the layout, use a timer or try out the dual feature to use the selfie and back camera simultaneously. Using those features will be up to the poster, but to start out, just click the white circle at the bottom of the screen to begin recording a reel.

If the camera starts in selfie mode, double tap the screen to switch to the back camera. Also, the amount of recording time will be at 30 seconds initially, as indicated by the fourth button on the left side of the screen. To increase or shorten this time, click the option and select from 15, 30, 60 or 90 seconds. The second-to-last button will add a timer, so the user can set the device somewhere and get in the shot before the capture starts.

4. Do Any Necessary Edits

If the person filming wants to include multiple clips, hit the Next button after finishing the first video and hit the Edit clips button. There will be options to add other videos by hitting the plus sign, edit those snippets and include transitions. From this screen, there will also be more buttons that allow them to save the Reel, add music and filters again, include stickers, draw on the video or write. Once the video is ready, hit the Next button again.

5. Post the Reel

On this screen, there will be options to write a caption, tag other people or businesses, add a location, include a fundraiser or share the Reel to the account’s Facebook page. The poster can also change the cover photo by selecting a moment from the video or uploading an image.

Once all those sections are filled out as necessary, it’s time to hit Share. The Reel is ready to go!

Wondering how to make Instagram Reels? Click the Post button in the app and get started.

Tips for Increasing the Success of Reels

Though Reels make up just 22.1% of the content users post on Instagram, they have the highest reach opportunity — 33.8% of all post types. But just because an account posts a Reel doesn’t mean they’ll automatically get the engagement they want. There are a few best practices to help a company make the most of its new video content.

1. Follow the Trends

Songs, hashtags, other viral video formats — all these things can add to the popularity of the organization’s content. Using hashtags is a must for all posts on the account since they help users who don’t follow it find it through the algorithm or through places they commonly browse. People can also discover the Reel by looking through all the videos posted with that song in it, which can lead them to the business’s account.

Borrowing from other viral trends can also boost the number of people who see the Reel. But users don’t want to see a repeat of something they’ve seen 400 times before — being unique is what captures their attention. Include a spin on the trend that successfully advertises the product or service to get the most out of it.

2. Ask Viewers Questions

People love something they can sit back and watch, but it’s also vital to provide times when they can interact with the company. For example, ask viewers how they would style the pieces in a video featuring its newest fashion collection. Additionally, use the platform to answer any questions people have. Doing so can relieve the worries of any first-time customers by showing the organization is there to help them.

3. Create Shorter Reels

There will be occasions for longer Reels — such as a new service or product drop — but they don’t all have to be lengthy. In fact, that may hurt engagement. Users don’t want to sit through a 90-second video to get the necessary information. Instead, creating engaging and snappy content is more likely to increase engagement.

Include more information in the caption than in the video since people would rather skim through what they must know. While the content should be useful to viewers to get Instagram to promote it, making it shorter can encourage more people to watch and convert.

Learn How to Make Instagram Reels to Grow a Business

Marketing is less of an exact formula and more trial and error. What works today may not do as well for future campaigns. However, learning how to make Instagram Reels can offer a valuable way to use an already-valuable platform.

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About The Author

Cooper Adwin is the Assistant Editor of Designerly Magazine. With several years of experience as a social media manager for a design company, Cooper particularly enjoys focusing on social and design news and topics that help brands create a seamless social media presence. Outside of Designerly, you can find Cooper playing D&D with friends or curled up with his cat and a good book.

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