Instagram is one of the best places to build connections with your audience.
With more than 1.3 billion users, Instagram allows brands to connect with their potential shoppers, build relationships, and grow a loyal following. This is why brands need to jump on every new feature released on the platform, including one of the more recent content formats: Instagram Reels.
Instagram Reels allows you to create interactive videos, add effects, and stitch video together, right within the app. There’s also an Explore page, where Instagram users can view different Reels based on the kind of content they like, and engage with the profile more.
For ecommerce store owners, Instagram Reels are an excellent tool for customer acquisition, social media growth, and marketing strategy in general. Ahead, dive into why Instagram Reels are worth investing in, and how you can create Reels for your Shopify store’s Instagram profile.
What is Instagram Reels?
Reels is an Instagram feature that showcases short-form video content (up to 90 seconds). You can record and share these short videos from the app with the Instagram camera, or upload existing videos from your camera roll to your Instagram account.
Like Instagram Stories, Reels are designed to be a short, fun way to share original video content with other Instagram users (who now number over one billion). However, unlike Instagram Stories, Reels do not disappear after 24 hours, enabling you to post Reels and continue generating views and business long afterwards.
Users can access Reels from the Explore page and through the dedicated Reels icon in the Instagram app at the bottom of the screen. While scrolling through the Reels feed, you’ll experience seamless transitions from one video to the next.
Reels come with a host of creative tools you can use to edit clips, overlay text, stickers, or AR effects, and add your own original audio or audio clips from the Instagram music library.
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Benefits of using Reels on Instagram
Similar to TikTok, Instagram Reels allow viewers to swipe through and watch an infinite series of videos. The platform shows your Reels to consumers whose browsing history and preferences match the kind of content you create. This way, your visibility to new and relevant audiences is high, allowing you to acquire them as followers.
Instagram overall is just trying to be this Swiss Army knife of a social media channel, and Reels is right now the main fork in that. They’re just trying to really push for it.
Using this interactive video format, you can create your content right within the app—no extra software or equipment needed. You can make use of the filters and effects to transform a simple idea into a killer visual. Reels work much like making a TikTok marketing video.
As such, Instagram Reels can be a powerful tool in your overall Instagram marketing strategy. Specifically, you can use Reels for your ecommerce store to:
- Explain your products. Instagram Reels can be videos of product demonstrations, answers to frequently asked questions, how-to explainers, peeks behind the scenes of how a product is made, and tips and tricks for using your product. It can help build trust in your company through increased transparency, and also incentivize a sale—by tagging products in the Reel, viewers can shop from the video directly.
- Increase organic reach. The Instagram Reels algorithm shows users new content, particularly content from individuals or companies they don’t already follow. This provides a prime opportunity for your videos to reach brand new audiences. Moreover, Instagram’s Explore page has a section dedicated solely to Reels. If your content is particularly relevant, engaging, or viral, the Instagram algorithm might push it to the top of the Explore page—allowing it to achieve a huge reach. All that new viewership happens organically without the cost of an expensive advertising campaign.
- Build your brand. Engaging, entertaining, recognizable videos will foster positive associations with your brand among viewers. Like other forms of content marketing, Instagram Reels can make viewers feel an emotional connection to your company that leaves a lasting impression and entices them to return to your page or store.
How to create Instagram Reels
Creating an Instagram Reel is very simple. There are five basic steps from start to finish, and this Instagram Reels tutorial will guide and illustrate the options for each stage.
1. Access Instagram Reels
Click the “Create new” button in the top right corner. Instagram will open your camera, and you’ll have to grant it access to your camera and microphone. Then, scroll across to the Reels option at the bottom of the screen.
Next, it’s time to record! If you’re creating an Instagram Reel from a pre-recorded video, you can swipe up and select it from your camera roll or gallery. If you choose to upload, skip to Step 3.
2. Record your Instagram Reel
Tap or hold down the record button at the bottom of the screen to record your Reel. When you’ve finished recording, either tap the button again or let go of it.
When you pause or stop recording, a new option called Align appears.
With this option, you can overlay a lower opacity image of your last frame to help you line up your camera as you record. This feature is crucial for helping you create seamless transitions.
3. Edit your Instagram Reel
After you’ve finished recording, tap the Preview button (iOS) or the + symbol (Android). You’ll be taken to an editing screen if you’ve previously used the Instagram Stories camera.
You can add text, stickers, special effects, voiceover, and drawings to your video. You can also add an audio track. Use your imagination!
Upon finishing editing your Reel, click the “Share to” button to open a window where you can add a caption and set sharing options:
If you don’t want to share Reels on your public Instagram feed, you can toggle the setting “Also share to feed” to Off. You can also label the Reel as a paid partnership in the advanced settings—a crucial step if you’re working with influencers.
5. Share your Instagram Reel
All that’s left is to hit the Share button to make your new Reel public!
Share your Reel post to your Instagram Story to improve engagement with your Reel. This way, if people miss your in-feed post or do not often explore Reels, they’ll be able to find it in your Story (for 24 hours at least).
Types of Instagram Reels
There are a lot of ways you can use Instagram Reels content to help increase the reach of your Shopify brand. Here are six types of content you can experiment creating:
1. Product how-tos
Use Instagram Reels to show shoppers different ways they can use your products. This content allows consumers to visualize the different uses that one product has and makes them eager to purchase the item if they are already interested.
Product how-tos are a great way to introduce your brand to new audiences as well, since it doesn’t overwhelm the shopper with too much information about the brand in general.
You don’t just need to stick to your own products when creating Reels. You can broaden your scope to also create Reels that pertain to the needs that consumers have within your industry.
Use your Reels to give shoppers an idea of how they can improve their lifestyle and establish yourself as an expert within your industry.
For instance, many furniture brands are creating Instagram Reels to show how people can do up their houses for work-from-home scenes and even transform it back to the lounge once their workday is over.
On the other hand, if you have an online fashion and clothing store, you can make short Reels on different ways to style your collection or showcase how your customers are wearing your clothing range.
3. Behind the scenes
Give shoppers a closer look at you and your brand is by creating behind-the-scenes Instagram Reels. Use the video to show how you came up with specific designs or products, the inspiration behind them, and even how they’re made. These behind the scenes can also offer insight into how your team collaborates or the culture among your team members.
By humanizing your brand, behind-the-scenes Instagram Reels can make you more relatable and give consumers the transparency and confidence they need to buy from you.
4. Teasers and sneak peeks
Do you have a new campaign or new product coming up? Use Reels to give a 15-second peek into the new release. You can create an Instagram Reel with a teaser of your product design or some planning or preparation clips. You can make your teaser Reels more interactive by asking your viewers to guess what you’re launching based on tantalizing clues.
With a teaser or sneak peek Instagram Reel, you can hook new audiences to the mystery and convince them to follow your profile in order to stay informed about the product or campaign.
5. Problems and solutions
Whether as a funny meme or a how-to video, consider creating Instagram Reels with entertaining videos highlighting how your brand makes people’s lives better or solves a specific pain point.
You can use Instagram Reels to show how people’s lives would be without your products, or show how your products enhance or streamline some aspect of their routines. For instance, if you sell coffee, you could create a Reel on how people experience their day without coffee, and then show how life is with coffee.
6. User-generated content
You don’t need to create content from scratch to make your Reels. Instead, consider tapping into user-generated content (UGC) that highlights how customers are using your products. Such content is sure to build credibility in ways even the most polished marketing content can’t.
To create Instagram Reels with user-generated content, you can either collect and edit content customers have shared with you on other platforms, or use a third-party app like Repost (iOS or Android) to share someone else’s Reel to your profile.
We've seen Reels receive up to 50% more organic visibility compared to feed posts. Posting Reels is a great way to take advantage of the algorithm and get your brand in front of more people.
Tips for creating your own Instagram Reels
At first glance, creating a Reel may seem super complex. But, with a quick tour and testing, you can master the art of stitching together different clips and creating magic out of your Reels.
Here are a few editing tools and elements available to anyone creating a Reel:
When recording a Reel, you can stop and change your frame and start recording again. On the left side of the record button, you can find all the clips you recorded and remove or rearrange them to stitch together your video. This makes it easy to record videos with multiple clips in just a few minutes.
To enhance the impact of your Instagram Reels, be sure to add an audio clip like a voiceover, a famous track, or even music to your Reel. You can record original audio, or consult Instagram’s music library to add trending audio to your Reel.
Speed up or slow down parts of your video or audio to create the vibe you’re looking for, whether you want slow-motion videos to capture emotions and focus on your product or to make your video sync to a specific beat. You can either keep the original video speed, increase it by up to five times, or slow it down by up to 0.5 times.
Choose from Instagram’s extensive library of filters and AR effects to transform your video and bring your creative ideas to life.The Instagram app has filters like a green screen that allow you to add a natural-looking background to the subject in your clip.
5. Timer and countdown
If you’re recording yourself or creating a timelapse video for your Instagram Reel, you can add a timer for when you want the app to start recording. This allows you to put your phone on a stand or tripod and record hands-free.
If you’re focusing on a specific object and creating separate clips that use different backgrounds, you can use Instagram’s align tool while shooting to align the object within the frame, creating a smoother, more seamless image.
Use Reels to increase your Instagram reach
Now that you understand how to use Instagram Reels, consider leveraging this content format to build brand awareness and acquire new shoppers for your Shopify store.
With Instagram’s growing user base, it’s important for Shopify stores to keep an eye out for new features and use them from the get-go. Instagram favors new users of their features and boosts their profile for new audiences as well as their existing follower base. By using new features as they’re released, you can get the Instagram algorithm to favor you.
Want to learn about using Instagram to sell more? Don’t forget to check out these guides:
- 30 Creative Instagram Bio Ideas for 2023
- A New Link in Bio Tool That’s Worth Using
- How to Get More Instagram Followers: 17 Ways to Grow Your Audience
- Instagram Story Ads 101: Everything A Business Needs to Know
- 370+ Top and Trending Instagram Hashtags To Increase Likes and Follows
- The Best Time to Post on Instagram (by Industry)
- How Often Should Your Business Post on Instagram?
- Getting Started on IG: A Beginner’s Guide to Instagram Marketing
Ready to sell on Instagram? Create your first Instagram Reel today!