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  • Writer's pictureMadison Schaller

Creating The Perfect Reel to Increase Outreach

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Reels has become Instagram’s fastest-growing feature worldwide. The feature, which allows users to film or upload short-form vertical videos that can be up to 90 seconds long, has become a key focus for Meta. Their continued faith in Reels and interest in competing with rival short-form video site TikTok, suggests that it is here to stay.


Users increasingly seek video entertainment online. Not surprisingly, HubSpot found that 78% of people watch videos online weekly. This reality suggests that people spend a significant amount of time watching and interacting with videos on the internet. As a result of this trend, creating Instagram Reels that are aligned with your brand’s character and personality is one of the best ways to increase followers and engagement on Instagram. However, Instagram Reels should not be seen as a silver bullet, and it is important to acknowledge that there can be some downsides. Keli Hern, a content coordinator based in San Diego, says “Reels sometimes doesn’t possess the same, high-quality content as a photo which can impact an account's aesthetic overall.” If an organization or brand wants to reach its maximum potential with Reels, there are three key aspects to keep in mind.


1. Measure and track insights


Once an account is set up and a few posts have gone live, content creators look at insights to track the best days and times for posts. Instagram has built-in analytics settings for a business account. This makes tracking engagement and views easily accessible for creators. By doing this, your Reels will be set up for success to reach a maximum number of people., “The performance of Reels have increased. Therefore, A/B testing is key to see which post performs best, the best times to post, and which sounds are popular,” said Ana Ybarra, a social media manager at Bay Bird Inc. “This allows you to see what your audience responds to best to push the proper content to your audience,” Ybarra added. By posting at a prime time, your video will reach a higher number of people, which ultimately boosts views and outreach. 


Certain days and times boost Reels more frequently, so it is important to see when your brand performs best before publishing a Reel. The algorithm embedded within the software of Instagram automatically boosts Reels to users'Instagram Explore pages. This boost can also create more brand awareness among Instagram users who may not have known about a brand before. 


2. Don’t overthink it 


Reels are forms of artistic expression. Reels can be a photo dump with transitions. Popular sounds can often be used and incorporated into the account to portray a specific tone for the brand. No professional photography or videography is needed to make this content, making it more easily accessible for all brands and companies. Some content ideas are as easy as filming behind the scenes or before and after shots. Overthinking can cloud creators’ minds when trying to create artistic ideas. Reels are meant to allow artistic expression and creators use this idea to fuel their minds when planning their content.


3. Switch it up


The average attention span for a human is 8 seconds. This means that users and people are easily bored. Videos are becoming more beneficial for creators to capture their audience's attention. Because people have such a short attention span, video content needs to bring variety and variation to people's feeds so they watch the full video. “There are many trending sounds in the Reels feature, and creators can use those different media clips as inspiration for their videos and content,” says Ybarra. Using different video patterns and templates properly appeals to the short attention spans of users. 


Creating a new form of content may seem intimidating and confusing for some creators. However, in the long run there is a huge benefit to using Instagram Reels to promote brands and organizations. Content is more appealing for users and allows accounts to gain a stronger following on the platform. 


By Madison Schaller


Madison is from San Diego and plans on graduating from San Diego State University in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing. For the Fall 2022 semester, she is a Digital Intern for a PR agency.


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