Why use Instagram Reels in your social media strategy

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The face behind a brand is what users are most hungry for. They want to engage with content they relate to and feel more connected to who they buy from. 

Instagram Reels provide brands with an opportunity to demonstrate who they are in a fun, digestible way. Since the short-video format debuted in 2020, brands and creators have leveraged it to radically boost presence on social media.

What is an Instagram Reel?

An Instagram Reel is a full-screen vertical video that can now be up to 90 seconds in length. Reels equip creators with the option to embellish through an extensive array of editing tools (including filters, captions, stickers, backgrounds, etc) as well as a library of audio tracks.

A Reel isn’t the same as an Instagram Story. A key difference between the two formats is that Reels don’t disappear after 24 hours. Once a Reel is posted, it’s available until the creator deletes it. 

Users can find Reels by clicking the Reels icon at the bottom of the Instagram home page. It’s a scrollable feed full of trending Reels (similar to the For You section on TikTok). Reels can also be found on the explore page – more on this later.

Key benefits of Reels

  • Accelerates engagement 
  • Builds trust with consumers
  • Creates storytelling opportunities
  • Demonstrates brand character
  • Improves brand awareness
  • Reaches new audiences
  • Unlocks opportunities to diversify content

Win more engagement

Noticed anything different about Instagram?

The explosion of TikTok, with more than one billion active monthly users, has forced Instagram to compete by creating their own version of a catchy, short-video format. With the Instagram algorithm now favoring Reels, brands can’t rely on only using static images to build and captivate audiences.

Many content creators, influencers and brands have found that they earn more views and higher engagement rates when they post Reels. As an example, one Instragram creator discovered a 2,800+ increase in followers when they posted a Reel every day for a month. Digital marketing platform company, Later also experienced a 500%+ increase in their engagement rate since embedding Reels into their Instagram strategy. 

Short, engaging videos are now the centerpiece of social media. They’re what consumers respond to the most and are a highly lucrative tool at winning more engagement as a result. 

Further your reach

Brands who post Reels improve their chances of being seen on the explore page. The explore page, where recommended content appears on Instagram, plays a key role in enabling the success of Reels.

Because the Instagram algorithm now favors Reels, a brand is more likely to land on the explore page when including a healthy dose of Reels in their content mix. Data from Meta shows that approximately 200 million users look at the explore page daily. 

Recommended content (aka content that appears on the explore page) can introduce users to new accounts, where they have the potential to become interested browsers and then loyal customers. Real estate on the explore page is thus essential for brands to reach more users, and drive greater brand awareness – it helps initiate a users’ journey throughout the digital sales funnel

Tell your story

Reels are a great thread in the storytelling of a brand. People want to watch real people with real faces, voices, thoughts and emotions. Having employees talk directly to camera about educational issues in and around their product or industry, for example, can help build trust with consumers and foster an engaged following as a result. 

Users can more easily relate to a brand when they can interact with the faces behind it. Because Reels enable brands to show more dimension to their identity than a 2D static, sharing Reels can improve a brand’s likeability and familiarity. 

This has far-reaching impacts on a businesses bottom line. Sprout Social found that 72% of users feel more connected to a brand whose employees share information on social media, while more than 76% of consumers say they would buy from a brand they feel connected to over a competitor.

Today’s youth are tomorrow’s adults 

Think Reels are just a young person’s game? Don’t be fooled!

The mindset to not include Reels because they’re perceived to primarily appeal to Gen Z markets is a setback. A Hootsuite Digital Trends Report found that Reels have the potential to reach 10.9% of the total population aged 13 and over.

It’s not only a misconception that Reels are exclusively viewed by Gen Z audiences. Brands also harness a great opportunity when they harness a content format that appeals to younger market segments. Being seen by the youth ensures the seed of a brand’s identity is planted in the minds of future generations, enabling a customer base to continuously grow and expand. 

Remember, today’s youth are tomorrow’s adults. Don’t restrict opportunities to leverage a content format that appeals to them. 

Reel the insights to determine success

It’s always exciting to test the waters with a new content format. It allows creators to learn new creative skills, actualize passions and connect with new audiences. But how can brands determine the impact of posting Reels on their business? Does it help win new traction, leads, conversions and sales?

A data-driven approach to marketing enables brands to obtain end-to-end visibility of their marketing campaigns. Because data encapsulates a tangible metric that benchmarks the success of current outputs, data is valuable in realizing the impact. 

When determining the success of Reels, we recommend focusing on these metrics:  

  • engagements (likes, comments, reactions, etc)
  • hashtag tracking 
  • impressions 
  • mentions tracking 
  • number of video views
  • shares

When a brand’s marketing is contextualized with data, they can derive insights around what’s working and what isn’t. This is the material marketers need to make strategic pivots, additions and adjustments, by way of nurturing an engaging following. Data gives marketers and brands the fuel they need to grow and further success.

Where can the data they need to grow be found? 

Digivizer is here to help. When marketers connect their accounts in the Digivizer platform, they can wave goodbye to the tedium of having to extract performance data from multiple channels. This digital analytics tool enables marketers to harness digital performance insights across all marketing channels in one place instantly. This includes all your Reels data too!

Seize your one source of truth with your free 30-day trial today.

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