An In-Depth Look At Instagram Reels

            Instagram is one of the most utilized social media platforms in the world. They didn’t garner this reputation by being dauntingly innovative. No, they are extremely consistent, especially if intended to be utilized as a social media platform for a business. One of the platform’s most recent editions, Instagram Reels was implemented to grand its users more versatility in how they share on the platform.

            If you have already seen some reels on Instagram, you might have already been able to draw the comparison yourself, the new feature bears more than a passing resemblance to the recent titan of social media Tik Tok. This is not a coincidence or intended to be all that subtle for that matter. Instagram has had success in mimicking the formats of other social media platforms in the past, and they aren’t shy about it. They have no reason to be. Instagram’s success story has been built from taking formats and introducing them into their expansive user base, creating a new hotbed of accessible content.

            With Tik Tok’s numbers only growing and its user demographic expanding, its no wonder that Instagram wants to tap into one of the only markets that Tik Tok hasn’t come to dominate, advertising. Oh sure, there are adverts on Tik Tok and even paid content, but few social media platforms have been able to demonstrate the numbers and the reach that Instagram has been able to consistently deliver.

            How does one utilize Instagram Reels, though? Much like other similar apps, you can shoot, record audio, and edit the footage all from within the app. Additionally, you can utilize filters and effects, as well as add things like close captioning onto the video. Content creators on the app do recommend that you center your text, though, as the formatting tends to cut if off it is positioned elsewhere.

            Once you’ve finished and created a thumbnail image or for your Reel, it will be available to watch on Instagram. The Reels pages don’t just show your followers your Reels, though. Reels are provided to Instagram accounts based on an algorithm.

            Algorithms can be tricky things, as those of you who have utilized Tik Tok may well know. And this can be doubly true of an Algorithm while it is still young. Thankfully, we have a few tips and tricks for you to promote your content within the algorithm and to avoid it getting buried.

            Things recommended by Instagram to get picked up by the algorithm include: Using creative tools from within the app, using vertical video, and using music specifically from the Instagram music library or recording an original sound. Instagram also recommends being entertaining, inspiring, and experimental but those are rather vague and subjective pieces of advice and we find their open statement a bit unhelpful in terms of appealing to a computer algorithm.

            Things you are going to want to avoid according to Instagram: Having a blurry or low resolution. Instagram seems disinclined to include poorly made quality content amongst their suggested content, for some reason. They also are unlikely to endorse videos with a border or have the majority of the screen covered in text. Additionally, and obviously, any content that violates Instagram’s community standards will see little to no promotion.

            Instagram also confirmed that videos with obvious marks that have been re-uploaded from other platforms, like something with a Tik Tok watermark, per se, then they are a lot less likely to be discovered by the algorithm. So no double-dipping if you have more than one account that can provide short videos for entertainment, you got to make them original for both. Or you could just use one of the handful of programs that removes the watermark and repost all the content you want. It’s yours to do with as you please.

            Instagram, unsurprisingly, has also provided tips on the best ways to use Reels for your business. Instagram has been pushing a business-friendly model for quite a bit now. The Instagram shop has even been integrated within Reels so people can purchase the products right from the Reels you post, quite a boon if the algorithm just pops you up on people’s pages if you’ve never heard of their product before. Showcasing your products in such a fashion is actually one of their tips on better business through Reels. Your customers, new and old, will just be a couple of button presses away from ordering your newest and most interesting product.  For this reason, many companies choose to buy Instagram accounts that already have a large audience in order to promote their products faster.

            Another tip for promoting your brand via Reels is to create educational content. Instagram advises that this creates an air of expertise that people will generally seek out similar content. Using Reels in order to establish yourself as a voice within a particular product or brand is sure to make you stand out a ton more than you were before.

            The last tip they have sort of touches on issues we had before where it’s more platitude than constructive, but we will pass it on all the same. The tip is to make authentic content that your audience will relate to. This is not bad advice, technically, but becomes a sort of cyclic because if the content is created to advertise a business, then it is inherently ad, not authentic content. Is it possible to create authentic content, that advertises your business? Yes, but not if your goal was to create an ad from the beginning.

            We have no doubts that Reels will be just as successful as the other tools and features that have been implemented on Instagram and for the same reason. Instagram has very much become its own sustaining market, where businesses go to create social media content and where consumers go to view business-oriented social media content. In many ways, it is like the shopping mall of social media platforms and choosing to embrace that, rather than disguise it, does have an odd sort of honesty to it. Admittedly an honesty that gives your mom’s friends who sell health shakes their own form of Tik Tok, but honesty nonetheless.

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