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Using Instagram Reels as a brand marketer

Brands need to consider what each social platform does for them

Instagram Stories launched in August 2016 and was met largely with delight as brands protecting their highly polished Instagram feed could now loosen the belt a little with more ‘in the moment’ content that only stuck around for 24hrs. Back then this was a large shot fired across the bow of Snapchat, known for its light-hearted, fun, creative and time-limited content. Stories has since been a huge success for Instagram and brands alike as they discovered a clear difference between what content suited the Feed and what belonged in Stories.

Instagram Reels strategy

Reels allow for brands to flex their creativity by entertaining and delighting their followers. To be effective with Reels brands must understand the needs of their audience. What are they seeking from you on all of your social media channels? What are they seeking from you on Instagram and where does a Reels strategy meet your audience requirements?

Pages like Chennai Super Kings have already embraced the Reels section

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Reels requires more creative input, time and dedicated management to be executed well and this should be a careful consideration for many brands. Viral videos are often on-trend and in-moment and these trends can be fleeting. There might not be room for lengthy brand approval processes if you’re looking for highly engaging content within the Reels format. It’s best to create approved frameworks and creative process so social teams can be agile and create on-trend content that is upholding the brand strategy and driving the overarching brand goals.

We know from the past that using new Instagram features early out of the gate often leads to increased visibility and exposure as algorithms may be tweaked towards showcasing content in these new formats. This, coupled with the fact there is less clutter means that well-crafted content has a chance of boosting a brand’s reach and exposure.

When Instagram launched Stories it solved a user problem, but with the launch of Reels it feels more like the solving of a competitor problem to Instagram itself. Nevertheless, Instagram seems committed to the growth of Reels and with its release comes opportunity for brands to engage with their audience in a new and unique way.

Instagram Reels

As always, content from brands should fit soundly into a strategy and that strategy should always see content produced to fit the only the platform and the format it sits on.

The Macro Content Trend

Rather than looking at the two platforms – TikTok and Instagram, at-odds with each other, taking a step back reveals the macro trend: short-form, relatable, and less-produced videos have an exorbitantly valuable place in a brand’s story. While there will always be a time and place for content with high production value, there is also time and place for authentic and relevant content.

Being able to produce and source content quickly has always been a challenge for marketers. What that content looks like continues to change – and is now largely defined by the users, creators, and community that give brands a reason to be on social media. The platforms marketers ebb towards will be defined by the creators and content available to them. There has never been a more pertinent time to invest in short-form video capabilities on the platform side of the equation, and similarly, for marketers to invest in user-created short-form video.

Let us know what you think of the new Instagram Reels below in the comments or on reach out to us on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages

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