How to incorporate reels into your content strategy

Instagram launched its reels feature in Australia in August, encouraging users to edit and create videos within the app. Kady O Connell shares her insights on the easy steps that brands can take to build engagement by incorporating reels into their content strategy.

If you’ve noticed the uptake in Instagram reels and have been quietly hoping it was a fad that will disappear, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Instagram reels is quite firmly rooted in the Instagram content mix now and the fact that it is favoured by the algorithm shows it is here to stay. However, instead of seeing reels as one more thing you need to be across in your marketing, try to look at it as a tool that can boost your engagement and get exposure for your brand without paying a cent in ad spend.

The other good news is that the content that is performing better is the real, ‘off the cuff’ content rather than anything too polished and professional. So there’s no reason you can’t add this to your content mix using the tools you already have. 

Are Reels right for your business?

Before committing to adding something new to your content mix, let’s take a look at why you should use reels to market your business.

Reels are a great way to connect with your audience and for them to get to know you and your business better by watching bite-sized videos. The nature of a reel is that it gets straight to the point and dishes out juicy facts quickly. It’s not the same as a video which can be long winded. Most people only watch a few seconds of a video posted on social media so it makes sense that Instagram wanted to create something much more fast-paced to keep their audience engaged. And through its research, Instagram found that people much preferred to consume a 15-30 second video that has the same story as a post they would take 2 minutes to read or a 10-minute video.

They are fun and interactive and make it much easier for your audience to consume, meaning that you’ll actually be able to do a better job getting across what your brand is all about.

How do you find the right concepts to engage your target audience?

Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of incorporating reels into your content, the next step is to find the right content to post. And really, the content won’t be too different from the content you already post on your blog and socials. It’s the formatting that will change. In fact, this is a wonderful opportunity to go back and repurpose old content you’ve already created into a reel.

So let’s say you have a blog post that landed well with your target audience. Now all you need to do is filter it down until you’re left with the core concepts. Then create a new video clip for each concept and make sure you also add in a heading.

How do you stay on brand using reels?

Like with any piece of content you create, you always want to ensure you stay on brand and that your messaging and visuals are cohesive. A great starting point is to have your brand foundations in place as this really spills out into everything, not just reels. Your brand style guidelines should be the north star that guides the tone of voice, values and what your brand stands for. As long as the content you’re creating fits with this, then your reel will always be on brand.

Some key things to watch out for are ensuring your visuals stay consistent. You have the ability to add filters, text, colours, music and more to your reel. Don’t go over the top and add in everything. Choose the fonts, colours and filter style you will use and keep this uniform every time. This will help keep your brand looking cohesive, even when the content changes each time. And with your messaging, even though this is a more casual and social tool, it’s still important that you stay on message and find creative ways to bring that same message to life.

Ideas to get started with reels

1. Behind the scenes

Show some clips of real activities that you and employees do day to day at work.

2. Your ‘why’

This could be titled, “why I do what I do” and show some clips of what makes you love your career, for example, happy clients, team lunches, etc.

3. Personal Insight

Three tips about (insert industry specific topic). Sharing your knowledge is one of the best ways to build trust and authority.

So there you have it. I hope this helps you to dip your toes into the world of reels and piggyback off of all the extra engagement it offers.

 Kady O Connell is the founder and director of Kady Creative.