Instagram reels are the big things right now. They are a new way to create short, engaging and entertaining video contents on Instagram. They were officially announced on the 5th of August, 2020 in 50 countries. Since then, it has become a very important and formidable tool for social media marketing and growth. They tend to have a larger organic reach than regular instagram posts, which helps to improve discoverability on the app.
Reels made their first appearance on the Instagram app in November 2019 in Brazil. Despite being described as a TikTok copycat, they have been widely accepted across the world by companies, influencers and users generally. Netflix, Walmat, Adobe, Skillshare, to mention a few, are companies who are big on using reels. They make short video content regularly to promote their products and services, and countless individuals have had their personal businesses and brands bloom off this platform in the short time it has existed. Using reels is definitely a big game changer for every musician and music related outfit.
Instagram reels were designed just like TikTok. You create a reel post, and it appears either on the feed page of Instagram where it can be seen by your already existing followers or on the Reels Explore feed tab, where you can see reel content that’s curated to you by Instagram from accounts you most likely don’t follow. But what appears on your own explore feed is influenced by who you already follow, the kind of content you already consume and your location.
Similar to TikTok, reels have a set of editing tools that allow users to create and edit short and interesting videos within the app. There are a range of things one can add to a reel video. Multiple video clips can be used in cases where one scenery is not enough, or if there's a need to represent various characters. Filters can be used to increase the brightness and contrast as well as to add a wide variety of textures, tones and special effects to the video.
Audios can be selected from Instagram’s library, or you can just use your original audio content. If you however wish to use original audio from an existing reel, it is very possible to. Similarly, your original audio can be used too by other users should they find it interesting and if you operate a public account. Augmented Reality (AR) Effects can be applied to your video as you deem fit and you can set a timer or a countdown if you wish to record your videos handsfree.
The primary purpose of reels is to entertain, and every user is limited to a maximum length of 60 secs to make an entertaining video for their audience. The clips can be recorded all at once, in a one at a time series, or selected from existing videos in the device gallery. Other features like captions, interactive backgrounds, stickers and more can be included in a reel to make them more entertaining.
Like every other post on Instagram, reels have insight analytics that let you know how each content posted is performing. Metrics such as number of likes, number of comments, saves, plays and accounts reached can be viewed and thoroughly analyzed. This helps you know what works and what doesn’t, and certainly helps with ideas on how to improve the quality of content you serve your audience with.
Quite honestly, the benefits to reels are endless for every brand out there and this is not excluded from musicians and their businesses. For a start, every song needs to get heard and every musician wants to get more awareness of their brand. Reels are a great way to build awareness for your music. With social media already creating a habit in users whereby information is obtained in small sizes and their attention span is relatively low, the chances that long form contents are listened to or viewed keeps diminishing by the hour. Reels fit into the easy watch and scroll mindset of every user these days. This gives musicians the chance to spread awareness of their craft in a short, quick and captivating way.
Reels get featured on the explore page a lot, especially if you get enough interaction on the content. This means that more potential fans can get in tune with what you have to offer and if done rightly, you can push people to any call to action you desire for your business. This also means that you’re more likely to get more engagement from your followers than you would from regular feed posts.
Another reason why you should use reels, is that they are quicker and easier to create. With the in app editor, one can make a reel in a really short time and post, compared to regular feed posts. Reels are also big on personality. So it doesn’t matter the kind of person you are, people want to see you, the human in you. I bet being on a platform that rewards you for making content that is genuine to you is a go go for every musician. What's more, reels are reusable. They can be posted across different platforms. One short video can go into your facebook feed, story, snapchat, instagram story, tiktok, etc. If a reel you made in the past suddenly has relevance now, you can simply reshare it.
Not using Instagram reels at this age and time is not the best practice for any business, especially musicians. They are an easy way to grow a fanbase, build an audience and grow a community. They are also quite a new Instagram feature made to compete with TikTok. Every growth that comes with the feature can and should be leveraged by musicians to build their brand.