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Instagram Reels: Tips and Tricks to Help You Get Started

Social Media Marketing

Instagram Reels has emerged as one of the most popular TikTok alternatives and is quickly becoming a huge part of every brand and influencer’s 2022 content strategy.  

Why wouldn’t it be?  

Reels generate 22% more engagement than regular videos. And, successful reels tend to get featured on Instagram’s Explore page where more than 50% of accounts go to discover new content.

This means that Instagram Reels is the tool you need to put your business in front of potential customers and new audiences, drive more engagement, and grow your following.  

This is why we think it should be a part of your content marketing tactics too!  

However, creating Instagram Reels for your brand or business can be daunting, especially if you don’t know how to start or what you should be making.  

But, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.  

From helpful hacks to top editing tips, this SEO company in Miami is going to share with you our favorite Instagram Reels tips and tricks that are guaranteed to step up your game and set your business apart in your niche.  

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Instagram Reels Tips and Tricks

Photo of a marketer from an SEO company in Miami scrolling through Instagram feed

Instagram Reels is a feature that’s incredibly similar to TikTok videos. In fact, it was originally coined as “TikTok’s copycat”. Despite this, many users, influencers, and brands still embraced Reels. Feel free to hop on the bandwagon as well!

1. Stay Original

If you want to gain traction, you must set yourself apart from other content creators.  

Then again, with millions of people posting on Instagram Reels daily, thinking of original ideas can be a real challenge.  

Fortunately, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to come up with new content. All you have to do is look at what the most popular types of reels are and add your own unique twist.  

Here are some tips on how to create original Reels without running out of ideas:

  • Create a storyboard: In case you didn’t know, Reels need to be well-thought-out and planned just like your grid posts. To properly plan out your Reels and guarantee perfect execution, you must have a storyboard. Start with a concept in mind, after which you define what you want your viewers to get out of it. Is it brand awareness? App installs? Once you know what your call-to-action is, you can now start writing down what you want to film. This will make it easier for you to shoot each frame and keep your video within the 60-second time limit.  
  • Use videos you haven’t published: During days when your creative juices are running dry and you can’t come up with new content no matter what you do, don’t be afraid to use old videos. Look at your gallery and check for behind-the-scenes footage, bloopers, and any other videos you haven’t posted. You can compile them together and come up with Reels to showcase your brand personality!
  • Teach your viewers something new: Reels is the perfect opportunity for your brand to teach your followers a new skill or hack that’s related to your industry or your products and services. Tutorials and how-to videos are a great way to introduce diversity to your content and provide value to your audience. If you have no idea what to share, take advantage of Instagram Stories to ask your followers what they want to know!
  • Find inspiration on TikTok: TikTok trends quickly find their way to Instagram Reels. So, stay on top of what’s popular on TikTok and then rework these trends into your Reels content.  

Keep in mind that Instagram's algorithm prioritizes content that is made directly from the Reels editor. In order to to amp up your visibility, create your original content directly from the app.  

2. Include Subtitles and Closed Captions

Having trouble widening your reach and getting more people to watch your Reels? Here’s a simple solution: Add subtitles or closed captions to your videos.  

It’s common knowledge that not everyone watches videos with sound. Some play them on mute, while there are also instances wherein people watch Reels in sound-sensitive environments. That said, putting subtitles ensures that your viewers understand what's going on in your content.  

Adding close captions also makes your Reels more inclusive and accessible, especially for those who have difficulty hearing.  

Right now, Instagram doesn’t offer automated captions. What you can do instead is to manually type in your subtitles and write down important points in the caption.  

screenshot of putting caption on an Instagram Reel

Photo from Later Blog

As your go-to SEO company in Miami, we suggest that you optimize the captions you put on your videos. As much as possible, keep them short, precise, and direct to the point to grab your viewers’ attention.  

3. Use Eye-Catching Reel Thumbnails

What better way to get people to click on your Reels and convince them to watch than to spark curiosity with your cover?

Make sure your Reels thumbnails best represent what your content is about. You can use photo editors to make your covers more enticing and help you better communicate the message you want to send your audience.  

Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Use templates: Through templates, you can easily create appealing and consistent thumbnails for your Reels. You can choose one theme for every series you make. This can build familiarity over time and get your followers excited every time they see your cover!
  • Use legible fonts: Always choose readable fonts so your audience will become more compelled to do what you want them to do.
  • Use high-quality imagery: Nothing is more off-putting than pixelated images. Grabbing your audience’s attention requires using high-quality, relevant images that help communicate the content of your Reels.  

4.  Post Reels Consistently

two cute and funny cats taking a video of themselves

Posting at least four to seven Reels each week should be a priority if your goal is to get Instagram to notice you and boost our visibility on the platform.  

In exchange, Instagram’s algorithm will prioritize showing your content on your followers’ feeds.  

The higher your visibility, the more engagement you can generate. So, you should start thinking about what to post and list them down.

You're probably worried about how you're going to produce one new piece of content every day, but don't fret! Below are some Reels ideas to help you get started:

  • Introduce yourself or feature your team members – You create a series or Reels where you feature your employees or a team and show people what they do and how they contribute to your company.  
  • Share behind-the-scenes clips of your day – A lot of people are curious about what happens behind the scenes. Give your followers exactly what they want by providing them a peek of a day in your life as a small business owner.  
  • Show snippets of your daily operations – Give people a look into how you process orders, pack your products, handle customer complaints, source your materials, etc. People love transparency. It's also an excellent way to showcase the amount of work and effort that goes into every order, making your business seem more relatable.  
  • Offer tips – Establish yourself as a leader in your niche by giving expert advice. What do your followers want to know? What do they want to learn?  
  • Feature real-life customers – User-generated content and customer testimonials can be powerful tools you can use to establish trust and further convince people to try out your products.
  • Show a before and after - There’s no better way to persuade your prospects to give your business a try than to show them before and after pictures of your customers' results.  

5. Stay on Top of Trends or Start Your Own Trend

Reels come and go quickly, which is why you must hop on the latest trends.  

Doing so not only makes your brand relevant, but it can also boost your visibility. When people look up a particular trend or hashtag on the platform, they will definitely see your Reels!

To stay on top of the latest trends, take the time to go over the Instagram Reels tab every morning and see what other content creators are doing, especially those in your industry.  

What type of content are they sharing? Are they using a particular song? Are they doing a challenge?  

Aside from scrolling through your Reels tab, you should also hop over to TikTok and see what’s trending there. If you notice a fad that’s not yet on Reels, you can be the first one to bring it on the platform!

The goal is to either be the first one to set the trend or be among the first batch to hop on the trend. Otherwise, doing what everybody else is doing will make your content look redundant.  

As the leading SEO company in Miami, we highly recommend that you stay in sync with the latest trends, though you should do it as a trendsetter. Bring something new to the table – not just follow what everybody else is doing.  

Don't be afraid to experiment and try out new ideas!

6. Share Your Reels to Your Insta Feed

Last but certainly not the least, share your reels on your Insta feed!  

If you just started posting Reels, sharing your videos on your Instagram feed can help generate more views and increase your chances of getting seen by more users and possibly going viral.  

If you don’t share your Reels on your feed, there’s a chance that your videos will not be seen by your followers.  

Did You Find These Instagram Reels Tips and Tricks Helpful?

Sharing your Reels on your feed, staying on top of trends, posting consistently, using eye-catching thumbnails, including closed captions, and creating original content are some of our favorite tried and tested Instagram Reel hacks!

Don’t be afraid to use your creativity to come up with original content for your brand. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and do something new. It’s the only way you’ll know what works and what doesn’t for your brand and your audience.  

Digital Resource is your trusted SEO company in Miami. If you're struggling to establish a strong content marketing strategy that will set you apart from your competitors, we can help you get started!

Our team of marketing specialists and SEO experts will craft a custom content marketing plan that will not only boost your visibility online but also help you achieve your business goals. Contact us today to get started!  

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