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Mastering Instagram Reels: How you can do it!

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

Ever since TikTok was banned in India during the month of June in 2020, Instagram reels emerged to be the knight in shining armor for the country’s dilapidated online chaos. Although Instagram launched its reels as a ‘test run’ in several countries, it officially became part of the Instagram community in August of 2020. Although reels consisted primarily of reuploaded Tiktok’s initially, it eventually became a video sharing platform used by millions of people in India, stirring up their own trends. Here’s all you need to know about reels and how you can utilize them for your content curation purposes.

Since the renaming of long video sharing was renamed from ‘IGTV’ to just videos, it is also important to differentiate between the two and learn the difference between them. While reels are maximum 30 seconds long, the duration of a regular video can be upto 30 minutes, giving you more time to add in your points. One thing to note, however, is that regular videos might not acquire as much engagement as a reel would, so sorting out your content and its duration is also eminent.

Instagram Reels allows its user to create short 15 to 30 second videos. Along with this, reels also allows its user to edit, remix, add effects, use filters, and even use audios that yield in entertaining, engaging, and insightful videos. There are four major categories of reels that brands and influencers mainly use to communicate with their audience:

1. Informative Reels

These reels fall under the educational category. These kinds of reels use modern trends and audios to make learning/spreading awareness more fun! This is an excellent way for small businesses or brands to curate informational content. This is usually done through content written on the reels, and compiling short, less than 5 second clips together to make one reel that is usually 30 seconds long. Here is an example of an informative reel:

Screenshot of three informative reels on an orange background. The content of reels explores information related to cars.

2. Entertainment Reels

These reels are for the sole purpose of humoring the audience, these clips are usually innovative and can consist of things like: Dancing, comedy, food videos, etc. This is one of the largest categories on Instagram and several brands and influencers use entertainment reels for content and virality. Here is an example of an entertaining reel:

Screenshot of an entertaining food-related reel and its caption on an orange background. The content showcases dishes prepared by the creator’s sister.

3. Remix Reels

This side-by-side video viewing is a feature similar to Tiktok, but has a distinct name: Remix. These reels are more interactive and engaging, as it enables one user to ‘duet’ the other’s and respond/ add on to the reel. This has not only enabled users to revert back to each other, but also has enabled people to make videos ‘together’. Here is an example of a remix reel:

Screenshot of a green-screened reel: a person talking about a dating app profile as their background.

4. Green Screen Reels:

These reels are usually done with a background and the object placed in front of it, similar to remix, this is also used for reacting and or commenting about a topic that is not in the form of a video, most of the time, the green screen is used to react to memes, articles, photos, etc. Here is an example of a green-screened reel:

Graphic: Instagram opened on a phone with the plus icon magnified. The icon is used to create a new post.

Now that we know reels consist of distinct categories, let’s talk about the benefits of using it, and how you can use reels to make content you love!

Since reels are short and average viewer span is 3 seconds, it can be a little challenging to send your message across to a viewer, try to keep your content in the 15 seconds range, short and sweet. Additionally, start off with something catchy, that would immediately grab the attention of the viewer and make them want to continue watching your reel.

The explore page as well as the reels in Instagram are highly promoted so it will definitely reach maximum engagement and reach non-followers, who can visit your profile and figure out who you and your brand are!

Want to get started and create your own content? Here’s all you need to know about creating reels:

Step 1: Click on the “+” button on top right of your profile, then click on the reels option

Illustration of a page opened on the Instagram ‘New post’ feature with the ‘Reel’ option selected.

Step 2: when this takes you to the camera page, select reels by swiping left on the bottom

Camera page, showing the reel option

Step 3: Choose your effect, music, and reel length

Illustration of an ongoing camera recording in the Instagram ‘Reel’ feature.

Step 4: Tap on the reels icon to begin recording, there are multiple ways that you can do this: tapping and holding the record button, tap on the record button and then record the clip, select timer, this will automatically set the duration for you and record! Easy as 1,2,3!

Illustration of a finished recording of a ‘Reel’ on Instagram.

Step 5: After the video is recorded, you will be given a preview, go over it and check to see if everything is good to go, you can even add text, voiceovers, stickers, etc. in this process.

Illustration of the ‘Share’ page on Instagram, used to share a ‘Reel’ once recording is complete.

Step 6: write your caption, use relevant hashtags so your post gets discovered and you are good to go!

Illustration of the ‘Share’ page on Instagram, used to share a ‘Reel’ once recording is complete.

Reels not only make your content viable, credible, fun, entertaining but also discoverable, impactful, and influential, they speak for you and help you convey your message! With endless creative possibilities that often go viral and become trends, you expose yourself to possible collaborations with influential brands and people as well as getting your voice out there!



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