The Ultimate Guide for Instagram Reels
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Marketer’s Guide To Instagram Reels 2022

August 17, 2022

Launched in 2020 in response to the popularity of TikTok videos, Instagram Reels continues to provide users with an easy way to create entertaining, engaging videos that deliver massive brand reach.

Instagram Reels are videos, less than 15 minutes in length, that allow users to add soundtracks, visual effects, stickers, product tags, and more to their video content.They appear in the main feed, Reels tab, and Explore section of Instagram. Reels is now the only video format available to most mobile Instagram users.

Find out how recent updates, including the July 2022 Reels Video Merge, will affect brands and marketers, plus step-by-step instructions for creating your own Reels, in the guide below.

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Why Do Instagram Reels Matter To Marketers?

The Instagram updates (July 2022) mean that nearly all videos will now be published as Reels.

The latest Instagram update changes the conversation about Reels.

The “Reels Video Merge” update means that, in most circumstances, all videos uploaded to Instagram will be in the Reels format and be considered a “Reel.” 

Both Instagram videos and Reels have a solid history of helping brands expand their reach and engage users on the platform.

  • More than two billion people use Instagram at least once a month, and most of them (90%) follow a business and watch videos weekly. 
  • 81% of Instagrammers search for products and services on the platform.
  • Two-thirds of Instagram users say that the platform allows them to interact with brands, and most people will gladly watch a business video if it’s less than 60 seconds long.
  • Reels excel at boosting brand reach – the average Reels reach rate in 2022 is 20.59%, and some audiences see reach averages as high as nearly 40%.
  • Successful Reels may get chosen to appear on the Explore page, where some enjoy a reach rate that exceeds 100%.
  • You can turn your Reels into ads that appear in the main feed, Stories, Reels tab, and Explore page.

Please note: to be eligible for advertising, Reels must be 60 seconds or less with a 9:16 aspect ratio. Reels that use a 3rd party IP for copyrighted music, GIFs, stickers, or camera filters in a Reel are not eligible for conversion to ads.

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Can video marketing really boost your ROI?

According to a 2022 report by OptinMonster, videos and increased ROI go hand in hand.

  • 72% of customers say they prefer to learn about a product or service by watching a video. 
  •  84% of people admit they were convinced to buy a product or service by watching a business video. 
  • 79% of people admit they were convinced to buy or download a piece of software by watching a business video.

Videos prove effective as marketing tools, time and time again. So why is it that more businesses don’t publish more videos – more often?

Many companies would like to publish more videos but don’t due to time and resources — which is where Instagram Reels comes in.

Despite the fierce competition and changes to the social media landscape since its inception in 2010, Instagram continues to grow and maintain its position as one of the top social media platforms worldwide.

Moving forward, it’s clear that Instagram’s promise to pivot to a video-focused platform is happening. While you can still share photos on Instagram, data shows that the videos you post to Instagram get the most engagement and reach.

 With the latest announcement that all videos will now become Reels, the format is likely to become the #1 focus of all marketers using the platform to connect with customers and potential customers.

Check out your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram insights from one dashboard Sharelov Social Media Analytics

How Instagram Reels Make Video Marketing Easier

Despite the overwhelming success of video marketing on social media, many businesses don’t publish new videos very often. A 2022 report by Wistia provides insights into why.

Avarage Video Engagement Rate

What prevents your business from publishing new videos?

  • 36% – time limitations
  • 26% – not enough resources/company size
  • 18%: time
  • 8%: technical limitations

Reels provide an advantage to brands that are short on time and resources by making it quick and easy to publish captivating videos — without a production crew, professional cameras, or the need to block chunks of time for filming and editing. 

With Reels, you can film with your phone, then take a couple of minutes to add tools, effects, and features before tapping “publish.” The Reels format includes everything you need to elevate basic videos recordings, such as:

  • Templates (new!): Now you can use a template to borrow the structure from another Reel as a starting point for your own video. Audio and clip placeholders are included in templates, and all you need to do is drop in your video and give it a quick trim.
  • Stickers: Many of the stickers you know and love from Instagram Stories are included in Reels, such as polls, emoji sliders, and quizzes.

You can add text overlays to your Instagram Reels. For example, ABC News uses an overlay to share a headline in the video below.

  • Audio soundtracks and sound effects or Audio Import to add your own audio or voiceovers.

Audio can make Reels much more interesting and fun to watch. For example, Oreo pairs a soundtrack with cookies and cream in the video below.

  • Product tags: Whether you’re an affiliate creator or have your own products set up on Instagram shopping, you can place your links in Reels videos to drive more conversions.

Its built-in audio, effects, and marketing tools mean you don’t need a multi-camera setup, professional lighting, or any expert knowledge of video production to create successful marketing videos for your brand.

For example, dog apparel and accessories creator Sassywoof publishes simple yet highly entertaining videos that dog lovers can’t resist, mostly filled with cute dogs or product samples.

Sassywoof videos typically earn thousands of likes and hundreds of comments.

Reels example Sasswoof reels

Source: Sassywoof on Instagram

Small brands aren’t the only ones taking advantage of reduced production requirements for Instagram videos. Many companies, such as Vanity Fair, publish interviews that aren’t complicated to film.

Reels example vanity fair interview

Will Reels enhance your marketing efforts on Instagram? The size of your audience may determine whether or not Reels can help you improve your KPIs.

How Instagram Reels Affect Engagement Rates

Until now, Instagram videos generated about 2X more engagement than other types of posts, and Reels videos saw even higher engagement rates (22%), even post-pandemic.

Reels average engagement rates fluctuate according to the size of your following.

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Generally speaking, smaller accounts get the highest engagement rates, according to a 2022 report by Social Media Insider.

Reels engagement rates by audience size (prior to July 2022 merge):

  • Less than 5,000 followers: 3.79% average engagement rate
  • 5,000 – 10,000 followers: 3.72% average engagement rate
  • 10,000 – 50,000 followers: 2.24%  average engagement rate
  • 50,000 – 100,000 followers: 1.51% average engagement rate

Reels have always been an excellent way to boost interaction between brands and consumers, and we expect it will only accelerate now that all videos have access to the audio soundtracks, visual effects, and marketing tools that Reels provide.

INSTAGRAM REELS ENGAGEMENT RATES

How Instagram Reels Affect Brand Reach

Reels can be seen by people who don’t follow you, and they show up in the Reels tab, home feed, and Explore section. This makes them an excellent tool for brands that want to expand their reach and build larger followings on Instagram.

The average reach rate for Reels is 20.59%, however, you may see significantly higher or lower rates depending on the size of your audience.

Reels Reach Rates:

  • Less than 5,000 followers: 39.46% average reach rate
  • 5,000 – 10,000 followers: 30.06% average reach rate
  • 10,000 – 50,000 followers: 16.85% average reach rate
  • 50,000 – 100,000 followers: 10.70% average reach rate
  • More than 100,000 followers: 26.19% average reach rate

If you’re looking to expand your reach, Reels can deliver a massive boost that may help you add more followers to your audience.

INSTAGRAM REELS REACH RATES

What Do The Latest Instagram Updates Mean To Marketers?

The July 2022 Reels updates mean that you’ll have more tools and features available to help you create and publish successful videos on the platform.

The most significant update, the Reels Video Merge, means that nearly all future videos will automatically be published as Reels.

Why use Instagram Reels?

Reels Video Merge

In a July 2022 announcement, Instagram head Adam Mosseri explained that, from that point on, all Instagram videos will be Reels.

Mosseri Reels updates announcement July 2022

Source: Twitter

“In the coming weeks, new video posts shorter than 15 minutes will be shared as reels. Videos posted prior to this change will remain as videos and won’t become reels.”

Meta statement 07/21/22

Here’s what the Reels Video Merge means to marketers:

  • Marketers will need to wait to learn exactly how the Reels Video Merge affects engagement and reach rates, however, it’s most likely that rates will be equal to or better than the previous rates.
  • People can share your Instagram photos in their own Reels remixes unless you opt-out.
    For some brands, this is a welcome change – – who wouldn’t want their brand photos shared!?! However, some businesses and brands won’t be too happy to see their content freely available for sharing, especially when it involves copyright-protected works.
    To disable public sharing of your Instagram photos, go to options in the settings menu and turn off remixing permissions. If you prefer to allow or disable sharing on a case-by-case basis, you can turn off remixing on the individual photos.

Create Instagram Reels More Easily With Sharelov Marketing Collaboration at its Best

New Instagram Reels Video Enhancements

New video enhancements make it quicker and easier to publish successful, or even viral, Reels.

  • Reels Templates let you easily make your own Reels using templates that inspire you and your team.
    You can access Reels templates by going to Reels tab > camera icon > templates option.
  • Remix Improvements allow you to create a Reels remix from photos and green screens.
Reels remix example 2 Meta

Source: Meta

  • New formats allow you to add another video link to the end of a Reel and use effects such as picture-in-picture and green screen filming.
  • A new dual camera allows you to film yourself and your environment at the same time, which can save a significant amount of time in the editing process.
  • Add Yours sticker, which was previously only available in Stories, is now also available in Reels. The Add Yours sticker lets users respond to your Reels video prompt with their own video.
    When people respond and share their Reel, your account gets an attribution sticker (a link to your profile) so people know where the thread started — which is very helpful if it becomes a trend and goes viral.

    add yours sticker for reels

    Source: Meta

  • Cross-posting from Instagram to Facebook: If you have an account on both Insagram and Facebook, you can share your Reel to Facebook to increase the size of your audience.

  • Facebook Reels Insights for Creator Studio: If you post Reels on Facebook, you can now access improved insights, to help you understand how they are performing on Facebook. The new insights include:
    • Reach
    • Average watch time
    • Total view time

reels insights creator studio

From Mosseri’s and Meta’s announcements, it looks like there are no updates that will prevent you from continuing your social media marketing — exactly as you have been — on Instagram. But the updates do prompt you and your team to create better, more engaging videos.

Nothing in the Reels wheelhouse is overly complicated or difficult to learn, making this an opportunity to get your team on board with video marketing on Instagram.

To learn more about the types of stickers and tools you can use in Reels, check out Sharelov’s guide to Instagram video here:

Marketers’ Guide To Instagram Videos in 2022

How New Reels Updates Affect Your Content

Find out how Reels will affect your existing and future content in the section below.

Will videos have shorter maximum lengths now that they’re all Reels?

The Reels Video Merge does not limit the length of your videos. According to Instagram, all videos that are 15 minutes or shorter will be Reels, however, you can still upload longer videos.

All of the details aren’t clear yet, but Mosseri did mention that you can use Instagram web to upload non-Reels videos, so if you find that your phone or tablet won’t allow you to upload longer videos, simply head to Instagram on your web browser where you should be able to upload them.

How will the recent updates affect your existing content?

All your previous videos will remain as is and will not be converted to Reels. All your previous videos will remain as is and will not be converted to Reels.

How will the recent updates affect your copyrighted images?

All your photos will have sharing enabled, which means anyone can take your brand photos and republish them in their own Reels remixes. If you don’t want them shared in other people’s Reels, you’ll need to head to the options menu to disable remix sharing.

Now that all videos are Reels, will Instagrammers expect you to get in front of a camera and dance with disco lights on?

Let’s hope not!

Seriously, even though the Reels format provides a large suite of tools to make your videos more entertaining, you can continue doing whatever type of video works best for your audience.

How New Reels Updates Affect Your Content

Find out how Reels will affect your existing and future content in the section below.

Will videos have shorter maximum lengths now that they’re all Reels?

The Reels Video Merge does not limit the length of your videos. According to Instagram, all videos that are 15 minutes or shorter will be Reels, however, you can still upload longer videos.

All of the details aren’t clear yet, but Mosseri did mention that you can use Instagram web to upload non-Reels videos, so if you find that your phone or tablet won’t allow you to upload longer videos, simply head to Instagram on your web browser where you should be able to upload them.

How will the recent updates affect your existing content?

All your previous videos will remain as is and will not be converted to Reels.All your previous videos will remain as is and will not be converted to Reels.

How will the recent updates affect your copyrighted images?

All your photos will have sharing enabled, which means anyone can take your brand photos and republish them in their own Reels remixes. If you don’t want them shared in other people’s Reels, you’ll need to head to the options menu to disable remix sharing.

Now that all videos are Reels, will Instagrammers expect you to get in front of a camera and dance with disco lights on?

Let’s hope not!

Seriously, even though the Reels format provides a large suite of tools to make your videos more entertaining, you can continue doing whatever type of video works best for your audience.

How To Create Instagram Reels For Your Business Or Brand

Ready to start creating Reels? Whether you’re looking for new ideas or are ready to start publishing, the easy instructions below will help you get there!

How To Create A Reel

Here’s how to record or upload a video to create an Instagram Reel.

  1. Tap the “+” icon in the Instagram app.
  2. Scroll to the button and tap “Reels”
  3. Begin recording or upload a preexisting video.
    1. To upload an existing video, tap the camera roll icon and select the video from your camera roll.
    2. To record a video, tap the record icon to begin, then tap it again to stop recording. Then tap the back arrow icon to watch, trim, or remove the clip, then tap “Done.”
  4. Add stickers, drawings, and text to your reel by tapping Preview on iPhone or the arrow icon on Android. Then use the slider to edit when you want the text to appear.
  5. Tap share, then “Cover, to choose a cover photo and add a caption to your Reel.
  6. Your Reel will publish to Explore unless you tap “Stories” at the top to indicate you’d rather share it to your Story instead.
  7. Tap “Next,” then “Share.”

Coordinate-Instagram-Reels-Campaigns-With-Sharelov

How To Add Music Or Sound Effects To A Reel

Here are two ways to add soundtracks to your Instagram Reels.

  1. Begin by following steps 1-3 from the “How To Create A Reel” section above.
  2. Add a music sticker.

Or:

  1. Begin by following steps 1-3 from the “How To Create A Reel” section above.
  2. Tap on the tools menu while recording to search for a song in the Reels library.

How To Add A Voiceover To A Reel

Here’s how to add a voiceover to your Instagram Reel.

  1. Begin by following steps 1-3 from the “How To Create A Reel” section above.
  2. When you finish recording tap the play icon at the bottom.
  3. Tap the microphone icon at the top.
  4. Tap or hold the red button to record audio over your video.
  5. Tap “done,” then finish sharing your Reel by following steps 4 – 7 in the  “How To Create A Reel” section above.

How To Remix A Reel

Here’s how to create an Instagram Reel remix.

  1. Tap the three dots at the bottom of the Reel you want to remix.
  2. Tap “Remix This Reel,” then choose whether you want the clip to appear at the same time as the original video or after it.
  3. Tap the Layout icon to choose a layout, or keep the one you have.
  4. Record your Reel.
Reels remix example from Meta

Source: Meta

How To Use A Reels Template

Reels Templates let you use the same music and timing as another Reel, replacing the photos or video clips with yours. 

To use a template, you music include music and at least 3 clips.

  1. Tap the 3 dots on the bottom of the Reel you want to use as a template.
  2. Tap “Use as template.”
  3. Tap “Add Media” then choose your photos or videos in the order you want them to show. You can replace them by tapping a clip and “Replace media” to select a different photo or video clip.
  4. Tap “Next” to preview and share your Reel.

After you publish a handful of Reels, the process becomes quicker and easier. 

The simplicity of Reels production makes them an excellent way to publish compelling and engaging content without investing a lot of time, resources, or money.

How To Get Your Reels In Front Of More People – How The Instagram Reels Algorithm Works

Once you begin creating brand videos, you’ll probably want to enjoy that wide reach it’s famous for so you can connect with new people who may like your page and buy your products or services.

Understanding exactly how the Reels algorithm, which is different from Stories and posts, works can help you expand your reach and engagement much quicker.

When considering what will show to users, the Reels algorithm attempts to determine how like it is that a person will:

  • Watch the entire Reel
  • Hit “like.”
  • Say that it was entertaining or funny
  • Head over to the audio page to create their own Reel from the same audio track.

The top factors that influence Reels placement include:

  • Whether a user has engaged with your Reels in the past.
  • Whether they’ve had interaction with the content creator.
  • Details about the Reel such as its popularity, audio, and video content.
  • Details about the creator, including how other users interact with them.

Engagement is everything! Interacting with viewers in your comments section can help get your Reels better placement.

What happens when you get so many comments that it’s difficult to respond to everyone?

If you don’t respond to comments and interact with viewers, it can harm your standing with the Reels algorithm. But how can you possibly keep up when comments begin flooding your feed?

Marketing software such as Sharelov can help you manage your Instagram comments from your main dashboard. This help you keep track of them and makes it much easier and quicker to respond to everything in a timely manner.

How To Manage Instagram Comments To Increase Followers And Engagement

You can give Sharelov a try for free, and check out the community dashboard feature (plus more tools to make Instagram marketing easier & more effective) for yourself. 

The algorithm won’t be forgiving if you ignore the people who interact with your Reels, so consider preparing in advance by joining Sharelov!

Respond-to-Instagram-comments-quickly-from-Your-Sharelov-dashboard

Issues that can hurt your ranking with the Reels algorithm include:

  • Poor video quality
  • Videos with watermarks (avoid cross posting from platforms such as TikTok that contain watermarks).
  • Political content
  • Published by political or government figures

Instagram Reels is the main video format used by the platform since July 2022. Reels provides you with a way to create unique, entertaining, and compelling videos by adding audio, stickers, and effect that can dramatically improve your engagement.

Reels is most successful for brands looking to expand their reach and gain more followers, and understanding how its algorithm works will help you boost your reach over time.

To learn more about how Instagram algorithms work for posts, Stories, and videos, check out the Sharelov guide:

What’s Happening With The Instagram Algorithm And Feeds in 2022

Instagram Reels Deliver More Opportunities For Marketers

Reels, launched in 2020 to compete with TikTok, is the main Instagram format for videos now that the Video Merge update has launched.

Although you don’t have to make your videos any different than what they have been, Reel provides an opportunity to step up your game when it comes to reaching, engaging, and converting Instagram users.

Reels are easy to use and quick to publish, which can help brands cut down on production requirements and publish more often.

What do you think of the Reels updates? Is it easier to have only one choice of format? Or do you get lost in all the features and tools? We’d love to hear how Reels have helped your brand (or not) on the platform — please feel free to tell us about it in the comments below!

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