Instagram is undoubtedly the best place to build connections with your audience.
With over 1.3 billion users, Instagram allows brands to connect with their potential shoppers, build a relationship, and grow a loyal following. This is why brands need to jump on every new feature released on the platform, including the latest content format—Instagram Reels.
After Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, stated in December that Reels would be Instagram’s biggest focus in 2022, there’s no doubt you’ll want to adapt your content.
Instagram Reels allows you to create interactive videos, add effects, and stitch the video together, right within the app. This content has an Explore page of its own, where people can view different Reels based on the kind of content they like, and engage with the profile more.
As an ecommerce store, Reels are a great asset to help you with your customer acquisition and amplify your social media growth. Let’s dive into why Instagram Reels are worth investing in and how you can create Reels for your Shopify store’s Instagram profile.
What are Reels on Instagram?
Instagram Reels is a video feature that showcases short-form video content (ranging from around 15-second up to a minute). You can record and share these short videos right from the app or upload Reels videos from your camera roll onto your Instagram account.
They’re designed to be a short, fun way to share original content with other Instagram users (who now number over one billion). Users can access Reels from the Explore page and through the dedicated Reels icon at the bottom of the screen on the app home. While scrolling, you’ll experience a seamless transition from one video to the next via the Reels feed.
Reels come with a host of creative tools you can use to overlay text, stickers, and AR effects (or filters), as well as add original audio or Instagram music library tracks to your video clips.
Benefits of using Reels on Instagram
Instagram has positioned Reels as a discovery content, which viewers can swipe through and watch. The platform shows your Reels to consumers whose browsing history and preferences match the kind of content you create. This way, your visibility to new and relevant audiences is high, allowing you to acquire them as followers.
For example, if you have been liking posts on home décor, you’re going to start seeing a lot of Reels from brands that sell home décor, getting you to discover their products!
Instagram overall is just trying to be this Swiss Army knife of a social media channel, and Reels is right now the main fork in that. They’re just trying to really push for it.
Tyler Moore for Glossy, social media manager at Truly Beauty
Using this interactive video format, you can create your content right within the app—no extra software or equipment needed. You can make use of the filters and effects to transform a simple idea into a killer visual. Reels work much like making a TikTok marketing video.
Other benefits include:
Product tags so people can shop your products from a Reel
Call to Action buttons on Instagram ads that link to Reels
Reel ads to reach and engage with your target audience
Reels tab where users can browse reels content
As an online store, start creating Reels right away to reach new audiences and build a presence quickly. Instagram’s Reel creation tools make it easier for anyone to get started with this format. With the range of filters, effects, and transitions available, you can create a fun Reel in no time!
How to create an Instagram Reel
Creating an Instagram Reel is real simple (pun totally intended). There are five basic steps from start to finish, and this Instagram Reels tutorial will guide and illustrate the options for each stage.
1. Set up
Click the “Create new” button in the top right corner. Instagram will open your camera, and you’ll have to grant it access to your camera and microphone. Then, scroll across to the Reels option at the bottom of the screen.
Next, it’s time to record! If you choose to upload a pre-recorded video, you can swipe up and select it from your gallery. If you choose to upload, skip to Step 3.
Tap or hold down the record button symbol at the bottom of the screen to record your Reel. When you’ve finished recording, either tap the button again or let go of it.
When you pause or stop recording, a new option called Align appears.
With this option, you can overlay a lower opacity image of your last frame to help you line up your camera as you record. For seamless transitions, this feature is crucial.
After you’ve finished recording, hit the Preview button (iOS) or the + symbol (Android). You’ll be taken to an editing screen if you’ve previously used the Instagram Stories camera.
You can add text, stickers, special effects, voiceover, and drawings to your video. You can also add an audio track. Use your imagination!
Upon finishing editing your Reel, click the “Share to” button to open a window where you can add a caption and set sharing options:
In case you don’t want to share the Reel on your public Instagram feed, you can toggle the setting “Also share to feed” to Off. You can also label the Reel as a paid partnership in the advanced settings, which is important if you’re working with influencers.
5. Share your Reel!
All that’s left is to hit the Share button to make your new Reel public!
Share your Reel post to your Instagram Story to improve engagement with your Reel. In this way, if people miss your in-feed post or do not often explore Reels, they’ll be able to find it in your Story (for 24 hours at least).
Types of Reels
There are a lot of ways you can use Reels to help increase the reach of your Shopify brand. Here are six types of content you can experiment creating:
1. Product how-tos
Show shoppers the different ways they can use your products with a Reel. Such content allows consumers to visualize the different uses that one product has and makes them eager to purchase the item if they are already interested.
Product how-tos are a great way to introduce your brand to new audiences as well, since it doesn’t overwhelm the shopper with too much information about the brand in general.
2. Give inspiration
You don’t just need to stick to your own products when creating Reels. You can broaden your scope to also create Reels that pertain to the needs that consumers have within your industry.
Use your Reels to give shoppers an idea of how they can improve their lifestyle and establish yourself as an expert within your industry.
For instance, many furniture brands are creating Reels to show how people can do up their houses for work-from-home scenes and even transform it back to the lounge once their workday is over.
On the other hand, if you have an online fashion and clothing store, you can make mini-videos on different ways to style your collection or showcase how your customers are donning your clothing range.
3. Behind the scenes
Give shoppers a look into who you are and who your brand is by creating a behind-the-scenes Reel. Use the video to show how you came up with specific designs or products, the inspiration behind them, and even how they are made. These behind the scenes can also include peeks into how your team collaborates or the culture among your team members.
This look inside your brand can make you more relatable. Viewers would perceive your brand to be more transparent, making them want to be associated with you.
Do you have a new campaign or new product coming up? Use Reels to give a 15-second peek into the new release. You can create a teaser of the design, some planning or preparation clips, or even give clues and ask your viewers to guess what you’re launching.
With such a teaser, you can hook new audiences to the mystery and make them follow your profile so they can learn about the product or campaign better.
5. Show how it solves problems
Consumers loveing the fun content being shared as Reels. You can create such lighthearted content too by making creative Reels about how your brand makes people’s day better or how it solves a specific pain point.
Use your Reels to show how people’s lives would be without your products, or show how your products add to your shoppers’ life. For instance, if you sell coffee, you could create a Reel on how people experience their day without coffee, and then show how life is with coffee.
6. User-generated content
You don’t need to create content from scratch to make your Reels. Tap into user-generated content, showing how other customers are using your products. Such content is sure to build credibility, since it won’t be pushing any polished and marketed content.
Instead, these Reels will be more authentic and from the viewpoint of a customer. Due to this, your UGC Reels will get better reach and allow you to build credibility for your brand.
We’ve seen Reels receive up to 50% more organic visibility compared to feed posts. Posting Reels is a great way to take advantage of the algorithm and get your brand in front of more people.
Trilce Jirón, CEO of TBS Marketing
Tips for creating your own Reels
At first glance, creating a Reel may seem super complex. But, with a quick tour and testing, you can master the art of stitching together different clips and creating magic out of your Reels.
Here are a few editing tools and elements available to anyone creating a Reel:
When recording a Reel, you can stop and change your frame and start recording again. On the left side of the record button, you can find all the clips you recorded and remove or rearrange them to stitch together your video. This makes it easy to create engaging, multi-clip videos in minutes.
Add separate audio like a voiceover, a famous track, or even music to your Reel. You can choose from a library of music or pre-record a voiceover and add them to your video.
Speed up or slow down parts of your video or audio to create the vibe you’re looking for, whether you want a slow-mo video to capture emotions and focus on your product or to make your video sync to a specific beat. You can either keep the original video speed, increase it by up to five times, or slow it down by up to 0.5 times.
Choose from Instagram’s extensive library of filters and AR effects to transform your video and bring your creative ideas to life.The Instagram app has filters like a green screen that allow you to add a natural-looking background to the subject in your clip.
5. Timer and countdown
Add a timer for when you want the app to start recording. This allows you to put your phone on a stand or tripod and record hands free.
If you’re focusing on a specific object and creating separate clips that use different backgrounds, you can use the align tool while shooting to align the object within the frame.
Use Reels to increase your Instagram reach
We hope this guide helps you get started with Instagram Reels and allows you to leverage this content format to build brand awareness and acquire new shoppers for your Shopify store.
With Instagram’s growing user base, it’s important for Shopify stores to keep an eye out for new features and use them from the get-go. Instagram favors new users of their features and boosts their profile for new audiences as well as their existing follower base. By using new features as they’re released, you can get the Instagram algorithm to favor you.
Want to learn more about using Instagram to sell more? Don’t forget to check out these guides:
Ready to sell on Instagram? Tap into the power of Instagram Reels!
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Instagram Reels FAQ
What are the pros and cons of Reels on Instagram?
Some pros include increasing your organic reach and getting more engagement on Instagram. Reels are also easy to make, and you can find detailed insights about your Reel content, like accounts reached, number of plays, likes, and more.
How are Reels different from Stories?
The big difference between Reels and Stories is that Reel content is permanent. You can find past Reels in the Reels tab of the profile grid of your public account. Stories disappear in 24 hours.