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How to Create Instagram Reels

marketing tips social media May 03, 2021

Instagram reels are a great tool in your content creation toolkit because they help you reach new people and entertain or educate your audience in a creative way.

Now is the perfect time to start using reels as part of your social media strategy for your small business! Since reels is a relatively new feature on the Instagram platform, the algorithm is prioritizing reels content, which means you’ll get a much wider reach with reels than with any other type of content on the platform right now.

If you’re hesitant to use reels because you see people singing and dancing and that’s just not you, don’t worry—I’ve got you covered. I will share with you some reels content ideas later in this article that don’t require dancing or lip syncing!

But first, watch the video above for a Step-by-Step Video Tutorial: how to make an Instagram reel from start to finish. 

Now that you know the basic tech behind creating your first reel, here are some tips and ideas to up-level your reels game.

Create a cover: You can design a cover using a graphic design tool, such as Canva. Covers will allow you maintain the visual aesthetic of your feed. Inside Canva, use the template for Instagram Stories and put your design in the middle of the template, so it doesn’t get cut off in the square.

Bright Idea >>> You only have one opportunity to add a cover, which is before you publish your reel. You’re currently not able to edit your cover after publishing reels.

Make sure your text is positioned so it is visible when your reel is being viewed in-feed: When editing your reel, tap and drag your text box until a line pops up with the “markers” that indicate the edge of the viewing area. Stay within those markers.

Share your reel to your feed: Toggle “on” to share your reel to your feed at the time of publishing. This will place it on your grid and will make it visible to all of your followers.

Batch create your reels: Set aside some time each week to create your reels content. This will save you time and will help you be more productive when you’re in “creative” mode. You can save your drafts to publish later.

Bright Idea >>> Remember to save every reel to your device’s camera roll before you publish or save to drafts! You won’t be able to save the audio (it can be added again later), but at least you won’t lose all of your hard work creating the video clip.

Decide the best Instagram account type for you: If you want access to top-trending popular music and some extra features, you’ll want to switch to a Creator account. If that’s not as important to you, stick with a Business account.

Here’s how you can switch your Instagram accounts: Navigate to your Instagram profile > click the three lines in the top-right corner > select Settings > select Account > select Switch Account Type. Note: it will take up to 48 hours to get access to all features after switching to a Creator account.

Bright Idea >>> Save audio clips you like when you watch others’ reels. Trending sounds are best! If you’re inspired by someone’s reel and you’d like to use the same audio clip in a future reel you create, save it for later! Here’s how: tap on the audio title that’s scrolling along the bottom of the reel > click the Save Audio button > you’ll be able to find your saved audio clips in your Saved folder under your profile.

Capture attention in the first 3 seconds: Let’s face it, people’s attention span is getting shorter and shorter. If you can capture their attention in the first 3 seconds of your reel, they’ll keep watching, and you’ll get more views and more love from the algorithm. The highest performing reels are between 7-15 seconds long. Try to keep your reel within 15 seconds; we don’t have to use the full 30 seconds just because it’s available to us. Short and simple is best.

Bright Idea >>> Trim the beginning and end of your reel if you’re reaching for your phone to turn the recording on/off. Tighten up your reel by trimming unnecessary parts of your clip.

Be patient: Reels views typically see an uptick within the first 24-48 hours of posting, and I’ve personally had reels gain traction again days and weeks later. Don’t delete them from your feed if they don’t perform well right off the bat!

Use reels to share content in a compelling format: When creating content, think of how you can turn a regular post into a reel instead.

Bright Idea >>> Here are some reels ideas for your business:

  • What’s a secret you’re not supposed to tell in your industry?
  • Share a tip, hack or shortcut.
  • Highlight a common mistake your audience is making.
  • Do a short how-to video or series.
  • What are 3 must-have products/books/podcasts your ideal client needs to know about?
  • Share a lesson you’ve learned the hard way.
  • What are 3 things your audience should stop doing right now?
  • Share a before and after transformation with photos or short video clips.
  • Share 3 of your favourite tools or resources (apps, websites, tools, etc.)

And finally, here’s my most important tip: HAVE FUN! When my clients feel overwhelmed with social media, I encourage them to ask themselves, “How can I have fun with this?” Reels is a fun new way to show up for your audience, create awareness of your brand and connect in an engaging way. 

If you’d like 1:1 support with creating reels for your small business, I’m here to help! You’re invited to schedule a FREE 30-minute Strategy Call with me and I can walk you through all the steps.

Keep shining bright!

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