Instagram is a fun social media platform that everyone loves.
Users spend a lot of time on the app scrolling through pictures and videos of people they follow.
Instagram evolved with the launch of a new feature – Instagram Reels.
It became another option for IG users who want to watch more short-form videos without interruptions.
While this is great for regular users, it has also created a fresh opportunity for marketers and ecommerce brands as they can use IG Reels to promote their products or services on the platform
How can they do that?
That’s what we’ll talk about in this guide.
To be more precise, we’ll show you:
- The merits of using Reels for your business
- How to run ads on IG Reels
- Ways to increase your sales
So, sit back and relax because…
What are Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels are short-form vertical videos that allow IG users to express themselves with music, AR filters, easy-to-use text, and effects.
They typically last up to 90 seconds and can be shared to the user’s Instagram Feed, Stories, and Explore page.
IG Reels also have an extensive library of audio tracks users can choose from covering trending songs and snippets from viral videos on Instagram.
It’s a virtual place where people can jump on trends, discover new things, and collaborate with the Instagram community.
Here’s how Instagram describes it for business owners:
“Reels are entertaining, immersive videos where you can creatively express your brand story, educate your audience, and get discovered by people who may love your business.”
What makes Reels different from Instagram Feeds or Stories?
Well, compared to Feeds, users can see Reels from every Instagram account in the Reels tab.
And unlike Stories, Reels don’t disappear after 24 hours. They’re always on Instagram until you decide to delete them.
Let’s show you what they look like before we continue!
Now, there are two ways you can find Reels on Instagram and that’s by either clicking the
button at the bottom of the page or on a profile page.
Alright, so how do they work?
First, create a Reel by tapping the camera icon at the top right corner of your Reel tab.
There, you can record the video, add music, and select duration and more before sharing it.
If you want, you can also create the video content externally and upload it by clicking the “+” sign at the bottom left corner as seen in the screenshot above.
And your Reel is ready to be shared.
When recording videos, you can create smooth transitions to line up different objects in between clips using Align.
Users can also record hands-free by setting a timer or even change the speed of their audio and video.
There’s also the remix feature, similar to Duet on TikTok, where you can record your video next to another user.
Just like this:
And when the Reel goes live, Instagram will most likely recommend it to people who aren’t even following you.
It’s safe to say that video reels are more favorable than feed posts.
A study by Conviva showed that Reels are generating more engagements than the average Instagram feed post.
Another thing you need to know about IG Reels is that they were created as an alternative to TikTok.
After TikTok was launched in 2016, the social media app witnessed exponential growth that saw it get 100 million users within a year.
Two years later, it had hit 500 million global active users and no other social site had its features.
So in 2020, Instagram decided to create Reels as a way for them to compete with TikTok and here we are today.
Now considering there’s a social media app dedicated to vertical videos (TikTok 😉), why should you or anyone else bother about creating Reels?
To answer this question, let’s look at some of the benefits of Reels for your business.
3 Key Benefits of Instagram Reels for Brands
One of the unique things about Reels is that they’re built into the Instagram platform.
This gives room for users to learn more about your brand.
So, from the Reels, they can click your profile icon to visit your profile, read brief info on your bio and see more posts from your News Feed or Stories.
Simply put, IG Reels help give your brand reach a wider and more diverse audience.
You like the sound of that, don’t you?
Let’s look at other benefits it holds for your brand.
Benefit #1: Increase engagement
Reels can boost your engagement rate on Instagram and get more people talking about your business.
By using short-form videos that are very effective in terms of engaging viewers!
In fact, if there’s one thing we’ve seen since the explosion of TikTok, it’s that people love this kind of video content.
In a statistics report showing the average time per session spent by users on short-video platforms, Instagram Reels had an estimated 53 minutes per session.
In other words, users are spending more time on IG reels.
Here’s another interesting fact: 20% of the activities on Instagram are related to Reels.
So we’re seeing more people watching short-form videos and that can give your brand more reach and engagement.
Now, if you take a look at the IG feeds of most ecommerce brands, you’ll find that Reels have become more dominant.
Just like this one:
Also when you go through their Reels tab, you’ll see they’ve got pretty high video views and engagement.
That’s why we said they increase engagement.
And then we saw another example of a creator who shared on her TikTok account how she got a 2.8k increase in followers on Instagram when she started posting Reels.
Benefit #2: Showcase your creativity
Another benefit that Reels hold for your brand is that it helps you get creative.
As mentioned above, Reels are short videos and, as such, encourage you to be very creative so you can produce informative content for your audience in a short amount of time.
They also help you tell your brand’s story and showcase your products from a fresh perspective.
In other words, you have the creative freedom to produce content that puts your product in the limelight without being too salesy.
Some of the types of videos we’ve seen brands create include:
- Unboxing videos: A type of video that features someone, usually a creator, opening a product for the first time
- How-tos: Videos showing users how to use a product or services
- Before and after: Content showing results from a brand’s product with a before-and-after sequence
- Dancing videos: Depending on the product you have, this is a fun way to showcase your products
And there’s still more!
The point is, Reels lets you get creative and try different angles to help you promote your brand without boring your audience.
Here’s an example of an IG Reel showing how brands can get creative:
The video features a creator who mimics different personalities of people in a corporate environment.
While there’s no bold ‘buy now’ button, the brand’s product is being subtly promoted and that’s what we mean when we say Reels helps get those creative juices flowing.
Benefit #3: More visibility
Brands creating Reels can get more visibility.
It’s not hard to see why. People love short videos as we said earlier.
Also, Instagram users seem to have a soft spot for Reels, which increases the chances of your Reel being featured on the Explore page.
In fact, Reels easily get on Explore and with over 200 million people visiting the page, your brand might just be introduced to new users.
They can watch the Reel multiple times especially if it’s entertaining and share it with their friends or on their Stories.
That gives your brand more visibility.
Next, we’re going to show you how to set up Instagram Reel ads.
How to Enable Ads on Instagram Reels Step-by-Step
Aside from creating Reels content for your Instagram Feed, you can set up ad campaigns that can be seen on the Reels tab.
That means you can boost Reels so more people can see it:
- While scrolling the organic Reels content
- In their Instagram feed
- On the Explore page
Reel video ads are like regular Reels so users can still engage and share them.
They are a lot like Instagram Stories ads; you know, full-screen with the sponsored label underneath.
Here’s what they look like:
Now before we begin, here are some prerequisites you need to know or have:
- Instagram Business Account
- Access to Facebook Ads Manager
- The aspect ratio of Reels to help you with the ad format
That said, let’s fulfill our promise and show you how to kick things off!
Step #1: Choose your video
The first you want to do is select the ad creative you want to use. It needs to be very good and by that, we mean captivating and engaging.
You can record the video in full-screen vertical format lasting up to 90 seconds.
Things you should have in the video include:
- Good music or viral sound
- Text overlay
- Great hooks
At the same time, you want to avoid:
- Using licensed sounds or music
- Reels published before 15th of October 2021
- Using face and camera effects
Essentially, you want to choose a video that can fit in with regular Reels.
Step #2: Select your goal
Why did you decide to create an Instagram ad for your business?
Is there something you want your business to achieve?
If yes, you may wanna write that down as it’ll help guide the direction of your ad campaign.
According to Instagram, there are six campaign objectives you can select:
- Reach: Helps you reach more people
- Conversions: Get people to take action when they see your ad
- App Installs: Get people to install your app
- Traffic: Drive traffic to your website
- Video views: Get more views on your videos
- Brand awareness: Ensure more people are aware of your brand
So select the one that’s specific to your brand’s needs at the moment.
Why is this important?
Well, aside from it helping you with what you want to achieve, Reels ad placements only work certain objectives which we’ve mentioned already.
Where would you select these goals?
Head over to Ads Manager and click the +Create green button at the left-hand side of the page.
When you click the green button, a dialog box will appear where you can select the goal or objective of your campaign.
Once you’ve made your choice, click Continue below to proceed.
When you’re done with that, the next thing you’re going to do is…
Step #3: Set your budget
How much are you willing to spend on your campaign?
You need to decide on that and input it into the campaign.
Another thing you need to decide is whether you want a daily budget or a lifetime budget.
The daily budget means the average you spend on the campaign every day while the lifetime is the amount you’ll spend during the lifetime of your campaign.
If you select the daily budget, setting an end date is optional but if you choose the lifetime budget, you’ll have to set one.
Step #4: Select your target audience
Your target audience is a group of customers you’d like to reach and who want your product or service.
You need to select who you want to show your ad to so that Facebook shows it only to them.
Remember, your product isn’t for everybody.
Now, how do you choose your audience?
Well, click on Ad Set and scroll down to the Audience section.
There you can define who can see your ads by:
- Age group
- Demographics, interests, or behaviors
On the right-hand side of the screen, you’ll see an audience definition showing you the number of people you’re targeting and the estimated daily result.
Now, your screen will look like this if you’re doing it from your mobile device.
Step #5: Place the ad
This is probably the most important step to ensure your ads are seen as Reels on the Reels tab or other places you choose and not as regular Instagram Ads.
How do you do this?
From Ad Sets again, go to Placements.
There you will see two options: Advantage+placements and Manual placements.
Here’s what you should do next:
- Select Manual placements
- Select Instagram as the platform
- Scroll down to Placements
- Click on the Stories and Reels drop-down
- Select Instagram Reels
When you’ve done that you can now select a call-to-action (CTA), finish creating your ad, and submit it for review.
There you have it!
The new ad will go live once it’s been approved so Instagram users can interact with it.
Let’s continue, we’re almost there!
3 Tips to Increase Sales Through Instagram Reels Ads
We’ve shown you how to create Reel ads, but aside from that what you really want is for your ads to be effective.
You know, getting those sales coming in like never before.
How do you make that happen?
We’ll share three tips to make that happen.
Tip #1: Partner with the right creators
Creators are social media users who’ve built a virtual community of people who trust them.
When they upload a post, it gets lots of views and engagement from their audience.
And we’re pretty sure you want that and more, right?
If you said yes, then you should consider partnering with creators.
Over 50% of marketers said collaborating with creators helped them get more customers.
So you’re certainly in for a treat!
What will be their role in this partnership?
They’ll create user-generated content (UGC) that features your product or service.
UGC is a type of content that appeals to people because it’s authentic, not salesy, and isn’t coming from a brand.
According to 84% of millennials, UGC plays an important role in helping them decide what to buy.
Another study showed that consumers trust recommendations from influencers or people they know more than messages from actual brands.
You know, it’s just like when you see your favorite person.
How would you react?
Well, that’s how your audience will most likely feel when they see their favorite person while scrolling through the Reels tab.
They’ll feel more inclined to buy from you because of that person’s recommendation.
Here’s an example of UGC:
How do you find creators to partner with?
Through a creator marketplace like Insense.
These are the steps you can follow to find creators on our platform:
- Sign up or log in to access the Insense dashboard
- Select New Campaign
- Generate a creative brief by filling out details of your campaign
- Submit it for review
- Get matched with creators you can work with
Tip #2: Showcase your product
When creating Reels for your campaign, you must ensure that your product is visible to anyone watching.
This is especially important if you run an ecommerce brand.
Showcasing helps viewers see or understand what the product can do for them and that will eventually make them want to purchase it.
If you don’t add the product, there’s a good chance they won’t take any action because they can’t see it.
Let’s show you what we mean:
The brand’s product is both shown and used in this Reel. That’s what we mean!
The content had over 5k views and in the comment section, we saw people tagging their friends with some saying they didn’t know the brand had that product.
Now, imagine they didn’t feature the product in the video or just wrote the name as a caption.
You think as many people would have taken action?
We all know the answer to that.
Tip #3: Use the right features
Last but not least, use features that will make your Reels appealing.
In other words, do all you can so your content isn’t boring.
What are some of the features you need to use?
- Good music or viral sounds: This soothes the viewers and can get them to watch the video multiple times
- Stickers: Can help make your Reel more interactive so people can engage with it, e.g., polls or a quiz
- Captions: Ensure your viewers get the hang of what’s going on, e.g., ‘Have you tried the Skin Bar?’ from the previous screenshot. It’s usually placed underneath the video
- Text overlays: Similar to captions but placed on the video like subtitles so people can follow what they’re seeing
- Filters: These are effects that beautify your Reels and make them more appealing
Use them properly and it’ll be easy to get new customers as time goes on.
As we mentioned earlier, Reels help you showcase creativity. You want to ensure every piece of content you post is creative, quirky, and fun.
Now Over to You
And there it is – a thorough breakdown of how to make the most of the Reels feature on the Instagram app.
We know you can’t wait to put all you’ve learned into practice.
Well, we’re here if you need any help to get started.
Please, don’t be a stranger – feel free to book a demo with us so you can speak with one of our team members.
We’ll be happy to guide you in any way we can.
Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your campaign!