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Instagram Reels: what it is and how to create a Reel

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Instagram Reels: what it is and how to create a Reel

Instagram does not stop releasing news to please users and one of the latest that it has released (and that we have been waiting for a long time) is Instagram Reels, the copy of Tik Tok that allows you to create, edit and share short videos.

This novelty is something that you should consider when incorporating or not this type of content to your Instagram strategy, since Instagram likes that we take advantage of all its functionalities and create content in its different channels (IGTV, stories, feed and Reels ).

Instagram Reels: what it is, how to create your reel, content ideas and tips for your reelsCLICK TO TWEET
Therefore, in this post I tell you what Instagram Reels is, how you can start creating your own Reels to take advantage of this new Instagram tool and what content you can share. In addition, I have also added a section of tips to create your Reels.

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What is Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels is a new Instagram feature that allows you to create videos of up to 15 or up to 30 seconds with music, effects and creative tools .

The format of these videos is vertical, like that of the stories, but it is not ephemeral, it is shared on your feed or on your profile, in the Reels section.

Where can I see Reels?
You can view Reels from other accounts from two places:

From the profile of the account in question , you will see that the Reels icon appears in the accounts that have shared a Reel. Click on it and you will be able to see all the short videos that that account has shared.
From the Discover section you will be able to see suggestions made by the algorithm according to the accounts you follow and your interests. If you enter one, you can swipe from the bottom up to see more short videos.
If your account is public and you have shared a Reel that you are liking, it may appear in the Discover section for other accounts to see and find you.

Why use Instagram Reels?
There are several reasons why I recommend you try this new type of format in your Instagram strategy.

Humanize your brand
The video format is a great tool to humanize your brand, especially when it is you or your team that appears in the videos . We can transmit more in a video, which can be seen and heard, than through a text or an image.

Entertains and amuses
It allows you to create fun, original and entertaining videos that connect with your audience (and with new users).

Right now, it has a lot of visibility
At the moment Instagram is giving a lot of visibility to these videos (surely you will get more views than stories or in the feed). It has a lot of logic, it has just released a new functionality and wants it to work well among its users, so I recommend that you take advantage of it.

If you look at the discover section or the page of some hashtags, the section in which Reels appear is much larger than the section in which the feed posts appear.
Format and specifications of Instagram Reels
Instagram videos have the same format as stories, vertical videos with a 9:16 ratio .

If you record from your mobile in vertical format, you will not have a problem because most videos record in that size.

For cover images , create them with a 9:16 ratio as well . I make them 1920 x 1080 pixels.

How to make a Reel?
To create your Reel you must access your Instagram account and, from the news section where you see the publications of the accounts you follow, swipe to the right as if you were going to make an Instagram story .

You’ll see three options appear : Live, Stories, and Reels .

Select the Reels option and we will see the options that appear:

Duration : We must select if we want a video of up to 15 seconds or up to 30 seconds.
Audio : You can choose a song for your Reel.
Speed : You can select the 1x option to make the video look normal, the 2x or 3x options to make an accelerated video or the 0.3 or 0.5 options to make a slow motion video.
Effect : You can choose between the different effects that we have available for Instagram Stories.
Timer : You can select a 3 or 10 second countdown and choose the time you want it to record without having to press the record button.
Align : This option will appear after recording a clip or part of the video in case you want to continue recording by aligning what appears in the video.
If you record a piece of your Reels, you can see it again by clicking on the arrow to the left . If you don’t like it, you can delete it and re-record that clip by clicking on the trash can icon.

Once you have recorded your Reel and it is the way you like it, click the arrow to the right and you can save it, add gifs, stickers or emoticons, draw and add texts. Both the gifs and the texts you can select in the time bar when you want them to appear and when you want them to disappear.

If you already have it, click on the right arrow again . Write a text (add hashtags in it to give it more visibility), choose a cover and it is ready to share or save as a draft.

Ideas for content on Instagram Reels
If you do not know what to share in Reels and that is why you have not yet taken the step to use this tool, here are 12 ideas for your content.

Before and after
You can use the Reels to show the difference before and after using a product or performing some type of treatment.

Behind the scene
It is a resource that is very popular because it allows you to see what is behind your brand or business . Show how you work (you or your team), how you prepare something necessary for your business, the tools you use to do your work, etc.

Changes of clothes
For fashion or lifestyle stores it is a fun option in which you can take the opportunity to show the latest that has come to the store or that you have bought. Make videos of different combinations for a specific occasion or to show that with the same garment they can make different outfits .

Tips or tips
Even if we have little time (maximum 30 seconds) you can give some short tips, like 3 tips for (which can be 3 or can be x), to help the users who follow you with something practical .

Informative content
You can use the Reels to give information about something related to your sector in a clear and direct way. So your followers can learn or understand your sector better and have more information when buying products or hiring services.

Do / Don’t
Sometimes we think that doing something is okay, but it is not. You can take the opportunity to talk about bad practices or errors so that you present it and then give it a good solution that allows it to achieve the same effect without the need for bad practices.

Mistakes to avoid
As with tips or tricks, we can also talk about mistakes that you should avoid. You can make it a list type or choose the ones that you consider most important and describe them a little, to make them understand why it is a mistake that they should not make.

Myths and realities
It is a good way to talk about certain myths in your sector or profession to disprove them and spread reality . You can even make a section in which you share a myth every x time and invite people to leave you more myths in the comments.

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Services or how you can help
Share the services you offer or how you can help a person with each of these so that your followers know what you can do for them.
You can also share the steps to follow to do your job , that is, from when you are hired until you end the service or the maintenance phase is reached.
Trends or news
If you want to stand out as a professional in your sector, it is a good idea to share the trends or news that have appeared . You not only offer them your services or products, but also keep up to date.
For this Reel you can use the green screen effect to place background images that help you explain the news or trends in your sector.
As with the tips, you can share practical content by teaching some tricks that have to do with what you do or with your industry .
You can record short tutorials of a tool or application in your sector to help your followers know how to use it.
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Tips for Instagram Reels
Finally, I want to share 10 tips for your Reels and optimize the time you spend on this Instagram tool.
Record multiple reels in one day
Recording a Reel, especially at the beginning until you get hold of the rig, may take some time. My recommendation is that you choose a day and record several Reels to have them and publish them when you have decided.
You can save these Reels in drafts , to finish publishing them the day you want, or save them on your mobile to upload them later.
Mix different videos
Above all, at the beginning, mix videos of different themes (all obviously consistent with your sector and your Instagram account) and in different ways (that you come out, that you record the screen, with music, with your voice, etc.).
In this way, it will be easier for you to know what your audience likes to create new content.
Have a list of ideas
To avoid that you are going to start creating your Reels and not know what to do , I recommend that you have a list (in an Excel, in Notion, in your mobile notes, in a notebook or wherever you want) with content ideas for perform .
You can watch Reels or TikToks from other accounts for inspiration (always get inspired, never copy).
Recycle content
It is not necessary that we are always creating new content, but you can take some content that has worked well for you in your feed or your blog and that you have shared in another format, give it a spin and do a Reel talking about it or about a part.
Beware of margins
Although they are not very large, you should bear in mind that Instagram Reels has margins that we must respect so that it does not cover anything important.

At the top , a very thin bar will appear with three options: an arrow to exit the Reel, the word Reels and the camera icon to create your Reel.
At the bottom, your profile photo and your profile name will appear, the first line of the text that you have shared next to the more option, the song you have used for your Reel and the icons for like, comment, send and the ellipsis (for more options), on the left, and the number of likes and comments that Reel has, on the right.
If you put texts, stay away from the camera a bit
If you are going to add texts and you don’t want to be covered up, move away from the camera a bit to make more space. In this way, you will have more space to add texts without disturbing or covering your face.
You can save your Reels as a draft and publish them whenever you want
Once you have finished recording your Reel, you can publish it or you can save it as a draft to finish publishing it later .
The Save as Draft option appears just below the Share button.
If you save a draft, when you go back to your Reels tab you will find a folder , which only you can see, with all your drafts . You can select the one you want by clicking on it and publish it, or select from the Select option that appears in the lower corner to delete the draft or drafts you want to delete.

Create a cover for your Reels
When you upload your Reel, Instagram will choose a capture of your video as the cover. You can change it by choosing another frame of your video or by uploading an image from your mobile image gallery.

I recommend that you create a cover with your brand colors and the theme of your Reel to give more information to the user who has just arrived at your Reel.
To upload your cover , create your Reel and in the last step, click on the word Cover that will appear at the bottom of the thumbnail of your Reel and select Add from reel.

Save the music you like from other Reels
We now have the option of saving the music we like from other reels to have it at hand and be able to use it in new content without having to search for it again.

To save a song, click on the song title and on the save icon . When you go to create a Reel, click on the music and before the list of songs a button will appear to access your saved music.

Share your Reels in the feed or in stories to give it more visibility
So that your audience knows that you have published a new Reel, I recommend that you share it through different channels such as stories and your Instagram feed (as long as you have it contemplated in your feed design).

It is possible that Reels is not for all accounts, that it does not work well, but the reality is that to be sure of this you have to try it.

If it works well for you or you like it and you think your audience does too, incorporate it into your Instagram strategy. If it does not work for you or you see that it does not suit you or your brand, then it is better not to force it and stop sharing this type of content, focusing on other content such as feed or stories.

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