A Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Instagram Reels

A Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Instagram Reels

Published on 18th of September 2023

Videos are the best way to get your brand or business in front of an audience. If you already use Instagram Stories, adding Instagram Reels to your strategy is simple thanks to their similar interface. It's also a great way to grow your following and engagement on the platform.

What are Instagram Reels?

Reels are a new format on Instagram, enabling you to create, share, and view multiple 15-second videos. In this guide, we'll show you how to do this comfortably.

  • 1. Choose your music, speed, and filters wisely

    person holding silver iPhone 7 near wooden pot holder

    You can create your first Instagram reel in just a few easy steps. All you have to do is open the Stories camera and select "Reels" from the list of options on-screen.

    Before you shoot your video, look for a song in the Instagram music library to go with your reel. Alternatively, if you have original audio that fits the mood of the clip, you can record it for use in editing.

    When you share your reel with original audio, the audio will be credited to you. If you have a public account, other users may create their reels with your audio by choosing “Use Audio.”

    As with Instagram Stories, you can choose one of the many effects in the Instagram Effects Gallery, record several clips with them, and then combine them to create your final video.

    You can also change the speed of a video or audio clip. You may want to gradually increase the speed to punch up a portion of a video, for example. Or slow down a portion for added drama.

  • 2. Create your video with some uniqueness

    The next step is to record your Instagram Reels, which is almost the same as recording a video for Instagram Stories—just click and hold the Capture button. When you're recording, a progress indicator will appear at the top of the screen.

    You can also record your videos as a series of clips, one at a time, all at the same time, or from pre-recorded videos from your gallery.

    It’s important to be unique and creative with your reels. You can add GIFs, stickers, or text to your video clips once you're done recording. You can also choose the points in the video where you want these effects to appear.

  • 3. Share your video with the world

    man near building

    Once you’re satisfied with your end result, press the Next button to share your clip.

    When you share Instagram Reels, you may add hashtags and a caption, edit the video thumbnail (even add a cover from your camera roll), tag your friends, and choose where you’d like it to be shared (unlike Instagram Stories, Reels have many sharing options).

    You can get your work on Explore if you have a public Instagram account. This way, it has the chance of being viewed and discovered by lots of people on the platform.

    You can also share the clip with your followers by posting it to your Instagram feed. Under the new reels section on your profile, posts of this nature will be easy for old and new clients to view. The post will include your username, caption, hashtags, music, and any effects that you might have used.

    If your account is set to private, your videos will only be shared with your followers. People will be unable to use the original audio in your reels, and they won't be shareable with non-followers.

11 best hacks for creating engaging Instagram Reels

  • 1. Only share unique and creative content

    You can further increase your chances of attracting a larger audience by creating unique content that will show up on the Reels tab in Explore.

    Instagram announced that it gives priority to videos that were not visibly recycled from third-party applications. Instead of using this feature to share recycled content, try focusing on creating original and engaging content for your followers in the Reels editor. This might enhance content visibility.

  • 2. Include closed captions

    We know that 85% of Facebook videos are viewed with no sound, so adding captions to your visual content makes sense when it comes to reaching more people on any social media.

  • 3. Get rid of the TikTok watermark

    Instagram has revealed they prioritize original content over videos repurposed from other apps. If you're thinking of lifting a TikTok video to be turned into an Instagram Reel, it's a good idea to get rid of the watermark from the app first.

  • 4. Keep your captions brief and sweet

    man in black suit jacket holding iphone

    Once you exceed 55 characters in the caption of an Instagram reel, "… more" will appear afterward for viewers to click and see the rest.

    Pressing the "... more" button doesn’t pause the reel; instead, it opens the subtitle and darkens the video, making it more difficult for your audience to read your caption or watch your reel.

  • Like on TikTok, trends come and go here pretty fast. Take a couple of minutes every morning to scroll through the Instagram Reels tab and see what other content creators are sharing. You can also visit their profiles, so you can learn all the latest trends.

  • 6. Share your reels to all your feeds

    With the rate of views videos are getting on Instagram, you need to take advantage of all the tools to encourage people to view your content. Sharing your reels directly on your feed will increase its potential for going viral because more people will watch the clip.

    Don't forget to share your reels to your Story. If you want to increase your reach online, it makes sense to share your reels wherever possible. Sharing promotional content can be a great way to overcome any limitations and increase your reach.

    Try sharing outside of IG as well—other social networks like Twitter, instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, etc.

  • 7. Optimize on-screen text placement

    One important factor to consider when adding subtitles or extra text is placement.

    If it's difficult for your audience to read the on-screen text, they might miss the meaning of your video or scroll right past it. This means that wrong text placements can be a major engagement block.

    A great way to solve this would be by adjusting the size or position of the text according to the visuals.

  • 8. Find your niche and post regularly

    selective photography of woman holding binoculars looking upward outdoors

    Discovering your niche and posting frequently are two essential steps to get on more people's radars with Instagram Reels.

    You'll find plenty of Instagrammers with diverse interests and hobbies. If you're looking to market your business effectively, look for a niche that will best suit your needs.

    Remember: there is a niche for everyone!

  • 9. Create value and share educational content

    You might not know this, but there's a lot more to the reels beyond just the newest dance trends. Tons of creators work hard to bring informative, educational content to their audiences.

    This kind of content is valuable and helpful for building brand awareness. It also positions your brand as an expert on a given subject.

  • 10. Include relevant hashtags

    Adding the right hashtags can be a good strategy to make the algorithm understand your content and feed it to the right audiences.

    After choosing the most suitable #tags, you can reveal insights about the performance of your reels—like Shares, Plays, Likes, Comments, Saves, and Accounts Reached. These tags have a huge impact on the metrics.

  • 11. Use sounds from the Instagram library or create your audio

    person playing guitar

    One of the best tips from Instagram is to use music from the library or produce your own audio. This will make more people engage with your reel because audio-containing clips are more attractive.

    Finding the right track for your video can be tough but the good news is, there's a big music library on Instagram to get you started.

Key takeaways

Instagram Reels are a powerful and relatively new strategy you can employ for growing your following and market reach on Instagram. With a solid strategy, video reels can be one of the most effective ways to capture attention while generating organic followers.

If you're not sure how to increase your visibility on the platform, consider sharing your Reels in as many places as possible on the internet.


Published by Stormlikes.com

Stormlikes is the ultimate solution to your Instagram growth. We're the pioneers of viral Instagram marketing so make sure to explore our products or venture down the rabbit hole that is our blog. You'll find hours of learning materials related to Instagram marketing and other social media.

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