When Instagram Reels first launched, many users treated it like TikTok 2.0. They posted their videos on TikTok first, then reuploaded that same content to Reels. Now, Instagram is saying, "Hey, stop that."
On its creators' account, the company announced it would be on the lookout for recycled content and stop recommending it to users on the Reels tab.
I mean, they've got a point. Some videos lose their quality when they're reuploaded and become blurry, which can dissuade viewers. With this new approach, brands can provide fresh content that generates more engagement, and Instagram can improve its Reels adoption rate.
So, now that you're tasked with making Instagram Reels, get inspired by these examples below.
1. People's Revolt
What better way to make your first Reels than by introducing your followers to your team? In this video, People's Revolt does three things right. First, they use a viral sound in their video, which can help them reach more users.
That sound also includes a call-to-action to business owners and encourages them to engage with the post. Given that the company offers digital marketing and PR services, it's a great way to connect with their target audience.
They also keep the video simple. No fancy props or design – just the sound, the team, and the copy. It's really all you need for a good Reels video.
2. Sassy Woof
If you want another way to introduce followers to your team, take a page out of the ‘90s TV show playbook, like "Full House" and "Family Matters." That's what this brand did.
Sassy Woof introduced its staff (which included one furry boss) with the Full House theme song playing in the background – it's the pawfect approach (don't look at me, they started with the puns first).
3. Anima Iris
For your next Reels video, consider pulling the curtain back and showing your followers behind-the-scenes content. In this example, luxury purse brand Anima Iris gives followers a peek into the product shots for an upcoming campaign.
Consumers want brands to be more authentic, and content like this does can humanize your brand and help build a stronger connection with your audience.
It's also an effective strategy leading up to a launch, as it builds anticipation and excitement within your following.
Who said you need fancy lighting and equipment for product marketing?
In this video, Glamnetic uses a simple setup to market its makeup corrector pen, the latest product launch from the brand.
One benefit of using Instagram Reels is the music embed feature. As long as it's available in Instagram's library — which most songs are — you can use any song you want in your video. It doesn't constitute an official advertisement, so you are not restricted by copyright laws.
Yes, this is an example of the recycled content that Instagram will now make less discoverable. You can clearly see the TikTok watermark, but that aside, this is a great example of the type of content brands should be embracing.
It's product marketing but it's a little more subtle. In this video titled "How to Style Our Mini Handbags," a model styles the handbags with different outfits, showcasing the product's versatility.
If your team doesn't have the resources or time to dedicate to brainstorm Reels content, consider outsourcing it.
In this instance, Apple commissioned creative studio Incite Design to make a how-to video using the iPhone 12. The end result is a quick tutorial of two Apple products that highlights the phone's slo-mo effect, a key product feature.
When in doubt, share some tips and tricks with your audience. They add value to your audience and present another opportunity to gain some credibility.
MissionRecruit executed this well with this video, which gives women three ways to dress for their next interview. As an employment recruitment firm, this type of content is in perfect alignment with the brand.
The best part? The Reels video also doubles as user-generated content (UGC), as they featured pictures from influencers.
When it comes to social media, Netflix doesn't take itself too seriously.
They've succeeded in tapping into what viewers want and how they want it. Their Reels content is no different.
This hilarious skit is meant to show the point of view (POV) of a plant looking at someone crying over a show on Netflix. It's so simple but if the comments under the post are any indication, Netflix hit the nail right on the head.
Just as sounds go viral on short-form video platforms, so do special effects like this one. When the opportunity strikes, join in on the fun.
The time limit for a Reels video is 30 seconds. It's also just the right length for a teaser video to create anticipation ahead of a new launch.
It's a cooking show, so they could have just created a montage of what the course will cover. Instead, they took an interesting tidbit from the course and used that to attract viewers.
Another important detail to note here is the use of captions. Accessibility should always be top of mind when creating any content. Beyond their importance for deaf or hard-of-hearing people, non-native English speakers can also benefit from captioned videos. And let's not forget those who regularly watch videos on mute or may be watching your Reels in a loud environment.
Captions broaden your video's reach, so there's never a reason not to use it.
Creativity is a core tenet of Adobe's brand identity. So their Reels, and most of their social media content, celebrate their users' creativity.
This is another great example of user-generated content. For it to work, the UGC has to match your brand and audience.
In this video, the artist takes a trip back in time and shows how Adobe Photoshop has evolved over the years. One might look at this video and think, "What's the point?"
Well, not every piece of content you make is meant to lead to a direct sale. Sometimes, a sale isn't the goal. Sometimes, the goal is to build brand awareness, foster a community, or create stronger messaging. In this case, Adobe is already a household name, so these posts may inspire and celebrate, rather than promote.
I love a numbered list. I know exactly what I'm getting and there's no surprise.
And from a marketer's standpoint, this type of content is easily repurposed. Let's say you had a listicle with this information. Well, now you can use that same information to create a 30-second Reels video.
You can also use this format to direct traffic to your blog post by introducing a few items from the list and inviting your followers to read the full list on your website.
There are so many ways to play with Instagram Reels. Try some sounds and effects and see what resonates with your audience. Once you get in a groove, you'll see how easy it is to make short and effective video content.