Wondering how to make a reel on Instagram?
Reels are the newest feature on IG – and Instagram loves to maximize reach for its latest additions.
These short form videos are a great way to reach a new audience. Or engage the one you already have!
Want to learn how to join the fun? Let’s dive in.
What are Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels have been released in the US and 50+ other countries around the world.
Reels are 15 to 30 seconds clips that are set to music. They can be shared in the Stories and Explore Feeds – plus there’s a new dedicated Reels tab.
If you’re looking to make your first TikTok video, the good news is, you can also repurpose it into Reels.
On the dedicated Reels tab, you’ll see a feed full of the Reels from accounts you follow. You’ll also discover popular and trending accounts in there.
Just scroll down to see more Reels.
The algorithm for this feed seems to work a lot like TikTok, too. What you see is influenced by who you follow and what you interact with. And where you are located, too.
Apparently Instagram has decided I love dogs and luxury travel!
Watching Reels is lots of fun and it’s easy to get sucked in. Which can be great for getting eyeballs on your content!
Why should you make them?
I get it, there’s a lot to do with Instagram already. So why add something else to the task list?
Reels are a new feature, so Instagram is pushing them.
With the trending and popular accounts feature, you have a chance to reach a totally new audience.
They’re also easy to access in the same way as IGTV. This means people can easily find your content when they visit your profile.
Doubtful Instagram is really behind Reels? Check out what they’re telling IGers asking how to grow their accounts:
IG wants a constant stream of consistent, quality content… and they’ll reward you for it.
Reels and Stories – what’s the difference?
Understanding the difference between Reels and Stories will help to highlight the benefits of each.
First what’s similar: size. Both Reels and Stories are best in 9:16 size ratio such as 1080 x 1920 pixels. If you want to see how these compare with other formats, check out other Instagram image sizes for more on those.
But what are the differences? Here are the main ones:
- Stories disappear after 24 hours unless you add them to Highlights.
- Instagram Stories have a short window of time to reach people.
- Reels can build viewers for weeks or more, and don’t disappear.
- Reels are automatically easy to access in IG’s Reels tab.
In a way, the two complement each other. So for maximum engagement and reach, making both makes sense.
You can share a Reel as a Story. You can also share it straight into Reels. And finally, you can share it to your feed and Reels.
So, there are more chances that your Reel will get featured!
How to create a Reel on Instagram
Now that you see why to make a Reel on Instagram, let’s look at a quick Instagram Reels tutorial to see how to actually do it.
1 | Tap the camera icon in the top left of your home feed and scroll until you see Reels.
2 | Tap and hold the center button to start to record. Or tap to start and tap to end.
3 | To watch, trim, or delete the clip just recorded, tap the left-pointing arrow.
4 | You can then add stickers, drawings, or text. The slider at the bottom lets you choose when text appears in the Reel.
5 | Tap the right-pointing arrow, tap Cover, and select a cover photo.
6 | Write the caption and add your hashtags.
7 | Decide where it will go – Stories or Explore – then share and tap Done.
You can download a Reel once you’ve recorded it, and use it elsewhere. The only thing that won’t download is any music you’ve added.
There’s also the option to save a draft if you need to come back later.
Tap the right-pointing arrow while making a Reel, then tap again and hit Save as Draft at the bottom of the screen.
Editing the Reel
Instagram offers a few editing features for Reels within the app. These include:
- Speed – slow down or speed up the video (this only works with video recorded inside Reels, and before recording).
- Effects – filters that can be added before recording.
- Music – can be added before or after recording, or to previously recorded video.
- Text – can be added before recording, to previously recorded video, or to video made outside the app.
- Stickers and GIFs – can be added after the video is recorded, or to previously recorded video.
Currently, features such as polls, question boxes, and emoji slides are not available inside Reels, but I expect these will be rolling out soon.
Can you use recorded video as a Reel?
You can also choose to add video from your smartphone camera roll. In the bottom left corner, just select the camera roll.
You can now see any video stored on the phone, and choose one.
Edit the length of the video if needed to get the right time, then click the back arrow to watch it.
Now you are ready to share!
What kind of Reels to make for business?
Once you master the basics, such as the Instagram Reels time limit or the size ratio, it’s time to think about what kind of content to make.
The person behind the business
With Reels’ short format, it is easy to give a glimpse of the person behind your business.
You don’t have to start dancing or doing mad things like TikTok videos encourage!
But you can be a little more ‘you’ than in some other types of video.
Keep it fast and fun, use the effects and filters, and do something a bit different!
Share educational content
Simple tips or educational content is also ideal for the Instagram Reel size ratio and length.
5 tips on a topic, a 5-ingredient recipe, 5 new ways to apply eyeshadow – all of these are great ideas for Reels.
You can go through the basics in the short time frame. And refer viewers to your bio link for more information!
Showcase a product
Another great use for Reels is to showcase a product. This could be one of yours, or something you are an affiliate for. Or just something you love.
Reels are now shoppable, so businesses can tag products in them.
This means viewers can see what you are talking about and click to buy it!
Make sure you have strong captions and hashtags to go with the products for the best result.
Embrace the new format
Instagram Reels definitely bear similarities to TikTok videos.
But even if you aren’t a fan of that platform, you can still embrace this new format.
You’ll find loads of ways to use Reels, knowing it has the potential to be the next Stories.
Remember, Stories users went from 150 million users in 2016 to 500 million four years later.
Many big-name brands are already testing Reels with great results.
Share your thoughts in a comment: how can you make Instagram Reels for your business?