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What Do Instagram Reels Mean for Digital Marketing?

August 6, 2020

Instagram’s latest video feature is now available in the United States and 50 other countries. The Reels feature was launched in Brazil in late 2019, but earlier this week, Instagram released the feature in the U.S. So, what does this mean for brands and businesses on Instagram?

Reels by Instagram is a short-form video feature that allows Instagram users to create content with overlaid audio and augmented reality effects, similar to how a user can on TikTok.

Instagram launched their stories feature in 2016, back when there were 150 million users on the platform. Now, just four years later, over 500 million users are using stories every day. This is a pretty good indication that Instagram Reels has a bright future ahead. 

For Facebook, TikTok has increasingly grown as a threat due to its growing popularity among U.S. teens and young adults. TikTok claims more than 100 million monthly active users in the United States.

Reels is a new way to build your community and grow your reach on Instagram. This is not only a new space for brands and businesses to share creative content, but it will also be an additional way for advertisers to promote their products. Here are a few ways you can utilize Instagram Reels in your marketing strategy:

  • Create authentic content that resonates with your audience. Reels is designed to be fast and fun, with tons of special effects for creating captivating and authentic content. This is a great opportunity for businesses to show off a more personable side, which helps to build relationships and strengthen communities. You can even reach a whole new audience when your Reels show up on user’s explore pages. 
  • Share educational content. Giving your followers your top tips or teaching them how to achieve something is a great place to start. Reels can help your business to find its niche and highlight products in the form of educational content, such as sharing recipes or showing how to style an outfit.  
  • Showcase products Since Reels are being pushed out on the Reels Explore Page, this presents a huge opportunity for brands and businesses looking to drive awareness and sales from the platform. This means users who don’t follow you will see your content! While we aren’t sure how the Instagram Reels algorithm works just yet, it’s safe to say a descriptive caption and identifying hashtags will help Instagram to get your products in front of the right audience. 

We recommend jumping on Reels early while competition is still low, especially since Instagram may be giving extra spotlights to get the feature off the ground, and with the recent threat of a TikTok ban.

Influencers and brands have already started to take advantage of Reels as a way to promote products, and we think this is only the beginning. Much like we’ve seen with TikTok, it’s likely that brands will jump on the opportunity to partner with influencers to create branded Instagram Reels. 

Whatever your brand or business, there’s a creative opportunity waiting for you. For more information on Brandstar Digital’s advertising and marketing services for Instagram, please reach out to Seth Rand.

Seth Rand founded Rand Marketing in 2010 and served as CEO until August 2017. While Seth was CEO, Rand Marketing was named a Premier Google Partner and added to the Inc. 5000 list for growth as a privately-owned company. Seth was also named 40 Under 40 by South Florida Business Journal in 2016.