What’s the advantage of Instagram Reels vs Posts for more reach? This post tackles both types of content, when to publish them and how they're ranked...
5 Benefits of Posting Instagram Reels (and How to Do It)
Posting Instagram Reels should be a priority for brands eager to boost their presence. Below we explain the benefits of posting Reels and how to make your own.
“Why post Reels on Instagram?”
Good question! Like it or not, Instagram just isn’t a photo-sharing app anymore. Meta has been clear that video is key to Instagram’s future.
If you’re totally out of the loop with Instagram Reels, here’s a rundown:
Reels are looping, vertical video clips between 15 and 90 seconds long. These videos model the addictive, short-form content found on TikTok.
Prime for engagement, the benefits of Instagram Reels are well-documented for brands. Reels are also perfect for brands that are new to video content. That’s because they’re easy to make!
In this post, we break down why brands should post Reels and how to create them from scratch.
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The 5 Key Benefits of Posting Reels on Instagram
Listen: there’s a reason why we’re seeing brands using Reels like never before.
Actually, there are five reasons! Let’s dive into the benefits of making Reels on Instagram and ideas to help you come up with your own.
1. Reels Are Proven to Boost Reach and Engagement
There’s no denying how popular short-form video is. This rings true for TikTok and Reels alike.
Food for thought: 20% of all activity on Instagram is related to Instagram Reels. This is a sort of chicken-and-egg situation when it comes to engagement. People want to see short-form video content and brands that create it are rewarded with reach.
Look at any given brand’s Instagram feed right now. Chances are Reels dominate it, right? Check out Persona Cosmetics’ feed where every other post is a Reel.
Looking at their Reels tab, the brand's viewership and engagement relative to their followers is pretty high.
It’s no coincidence that Reels go hand in hand with higher engagement rates. We’re seeing firsthand how well Reels perform for brands in our network, too.
2. The Latest Instagram Algorithm Really Loves Reels
Piggybacking on our last point, the new Instagram algorithm can’t get enough short-form video.
Consider how static photo posts rarely go viral and the same goes for Instagram Stories. Reels seem to be the closest “sure thing” brand accounts have for earning engagement. This is especially true now that the algorithm is so fickle.
Heck, we see Reels go viral all the time. Look no further than your Explore page for evidence.
Check how this Instagram Reel for beauty brand Peach Slices earned nearly one million views and almost 19,000 “Likes.” For a brand with 50,000 followers, this is super impressive.
Brands can’t force themselves to go viral. That said, Reels are the most likely type of post to pop off for brands on Instagram at the moment.
3. Reels Let Brands to Get Creative When Promoting Products
Need a fresh way to showcase your products on Instagram?
Start posting Reels! Doing so can bring your products to life beyond static photos. Here are a few common types of promotional videos we see from brands:
- How-tos and tutorials
- Putting products in creative or unique settings
- Presenting multiple angles or applications of a product
And that really only scratches the surface!
One of the biggest benefits of making Reels on Instagram is the creative freedom the format affords you. This is important for brands that want to support their sales efforts through social media.
There’s no shortage of brands using Instagram Reels to show offend sell products. To inspire you, let’s break down a couple of examples!
This Reel from Sock Candy highlights how to make a quick, off-the-cuff video to show your products in action.
Check out how HiBear shows off their so-called “adventure flask” in the wild. Again, you can’t sell the cool factor or benefits of a product with static images alone.
As an outdoor brand, this sort of setting is exactly what their target audience wants to see. This example also highlights the value of featuring influencers and creators in your Instagram Reels.
Speaking of which, influencer and user-generated content Reels are also all the rage right now. After all, creators know best when it comes to what people want to see and which types of content are most likely to earn engagement.
This “versus” video from Lilly Lashes is a prime example. This video also shows how product-centric posts are great for brands posting Reels.
Fact: 84% of consumers claim they’ve been convinced to buy a product from a brand’s video. Again, there’s a non-zero chance that your target audience is watching videos before making purchases. Reels deliver the exact type of content people need to see to become customers.
4. Reels Don’t Require a Big Budget or Production Value
Another underrated benefit of Reels on Instagram is that they’re not resource-intensive at all.
Even if you have a limited time or little-to-no content budget, you can still create Reels. All you need is a smartphone to get started. This levels the playing field between brands big and small.
Unlike traditional video posts or ads that require a bunch of editing, Reels are actually more powerful when they’re informal and off-the-cuff. Besides, the format already boasts its own slew of creative tools and a music library to help videos pop.
Consider that simple how-tos and tutorials are popular among creators and brands alike. The authentic, unpolished nature of Instagram Reels is what makes them so effective.
Note that 69% of marketers that haven’t used video in the past plan to start this year. Reels are a big contributor to brands finally getting on board with video since the format is straightforward.
5. Reels Help Brands Streamline Their Social Selling Efforts
Don’t count out the selling power of short-form video.
In fact, 81% of marketers agree that video marketing has a direct, positive impact on sales.
Posting Reels on Instagram supports social selling in a big way. That’s because Reels provide a format where brands don’t have to be subtle about showing off products. Again, many brands’ Reels are primarily product-focused.
Below is an example of how Reels can support social sales through product tagging. Viewers can look up products tagged in Reels to research them further or buy from Instagram directly.
This brings up another key advantage of Instagram Reels versus TikTok. That is, Instagram actually lets you tag products within posts.
Note: In case you missed it, brands of all sizes can now tag products on Instagram. This includes Reels. All you need to do is have an Instagram shop set up and approved.
How to Post Reels on Instagram Step-by-Step
Good news: IG makes the process of publishing videos totally painless!
Below is a simple, step-by-step breakdown of how to post Reels on Instagram.
Step 1: First thing’s first: fire up the Instagram app. Go to your profile and tap the “Create” (+) icon. You’ll then be prompted to pick which type of content you want to post. Tap “Reel.”
Step 2: Next, you’ll pick a few creative elements for your Reel. Here you can decide whether to add audio, use the timer or apply effects and filters. These editing tools can all be accessed on the lefthand side of your screen. Once you’ve made your selections and are ready to film, tap the record button.
Don’t want to film your Reel in one take? No problem! You can stop recording at any time and continue to capture new clips to create cuts or transitions. Once you’ve filmed all of your footage, tap “Preview.” Here you can review your content prior to posting your Reel.
Step 3: Here you can make your final edits prior to publishing. This includes adjusting your audio, adding effects and text or creating a voiceover. When you’re happy with your edits, tap the “Share To” button in the bottom left corner. This will confirm where and how you want your Reel to be published.
Step 4: Time to make your final edits! Here can add a caption and update your cover photo to really make your Reel stand out. You can also tag people and brands in your content at this point. When you’re finished, you can either save your Reel as a draft or tap “Share” to publish.
And that’s that!
What Else Should Brands Know About Posting Reels?
To wrap things up, let’s quickly review some tips and best practices for brands making Reels.
- Maximize your viewership by posting Reels to your main Instagram feed. You’ll notice the option to “Also share to feed” whenever you publish a Reel. There’s no reason not to do so. This increases the chance for followers and first-time visitors to see your video posts beyond the Reels tab.
- Use Instagram Stories to promote your latest Reels. Just like any type of Instagram feed content, Stories is perfect for making sure your followers don’t miss your newest videos. Given how stubborn the current algorithm is, anything you can do to maximize eyes on your posts is a plus. Instagram Stories are a low-hanging way to do exactly that.
- Pay attention to your descriptions, captions and hashtags. These details “tell” the Instagram algorithm what your post is. Likewise, these details can help your Reel get recommended on the Explore page.
- Don’t be shy about posting them! One of the big benefits of Instagram Reels is that you can pretty much post them as often as you want. You might notice that many major brands on Instagram primarily publish Reels over any other type of content. There is no “optimal” frequency but here’s our recommendation:
- If you’re publishing to Instagram seven days a week, three or four of those posts should be Reels
- If you only post on weekdays, two or three Reels per week are fair game
- Flip this frequency if Reels are outperforming posts on your Instagram grid!
- Engage with other accounts to help your IG Reels rank. How the Instagram algorithm ranks Reels is kind of complicated. That said, your captions, interactions and activity on the platform all play a role. In short, engage with other accounts and Reels when you can. Sometimes it might feel like your own level of engagement is random. Trust us: this is totally normal.
- Featuring influencers and creators in Reels can boost your engagement. Fact: 62% of consumers want to see videos of real people before they’re ready to buy a product. Again, the best brands on Instagram are posting Reels featuring real customers and influencers. This explains why brands are including influencer whitelisting in their Instagram marketing strategies.
How to Instantly Level Up Your Brand’s Instagram Reels
If you want to inject some personality and creativity into your Instagram strategy, look no further than short-form video.
Because the benefits of Reels are crystal clear for brands of sizes.
From greater engagement to content that turns followers into customers, consider how you can make Reels a cornerstone of your Instagram presence.
But for brands with limited resources or creative energy, getting started with short-form video can be daunting. That doesn’t mean you should abandon Reels altogether, though.
Instead, consider how hundreds of skilled Reels creators can pick up the slack.
That’s where Statusphere comes in.
Our micro-influencer marketing platform is designed to help brands earn creator content at scale. We match brands and creators from our vetted influencer community using 250+ first-party data points. We can guarantee a high volume of guaranteed pieces of content as a result.
We've already generated 75,000+ posts on behalf of 400+ consumer brands.
Want to learn more about how our platform works? Get in touch with one of our experts to see how we can scale your influencer marketing efforts in a fraction of the time.
This article was first published in August 2021. It was last updated July 16, 2022.