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How to Use Instagram Reels To Grow Your Business In 2023

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Instagram Reels have exploded since launching in 2020, with an estimated 1.5 billion monthly viewers of Reels content. As visual social media continues to dominate marketing, Reels present a major opportunity for businesses.

But are you using Instagram‘s short-form video feature effectively?

This 2,300 word guide will teach you how to leverage Reels to reach new audiences and increase brand awareness in 2023. I‘ll share:

  • Exactly how Reels fit into an Instagram marketing strategy
  • Creative ways to use Reels for business growth
  • Optimization and analytics tips for improving performance

As a leading Social Media Marketing Strategist with over a decade of experience driving results on Instagram, I‘ve seen firsthand the power of Reels. Read on to boost engagement and sales with strategic Reels content.

What Are Instagram Reels and Why Are They Important?

For those less familiar, Instagram Reels are short, entertaining videos under 90 seconds long designed for mobile viewership.

Users can record clips straight to Reels or upload existing videos, getting creative with offerings like:

  • Audio tracks
  • AR filters
  • Interactive stickers
  • Text overlays
  • And much more

But why have Reels become such a priority for brands and creators?

Reels Are Heavily Prioritized by the Algorithm

As Snapchat and TikTok lure younger users away, Instagram is betting big on Reels to keep and grow their audience.

And the algorithm loves it. Instagram dishes out major traction to accounts using Reels over traditional posts.

In fact, Adam Mosseri announced that Reels could make up a majority of Instagram feeds moving forward.

Offer New Opportunities to Be Discovered

Over 500 million Instagram users watch Reels daily. Reels often appear for viewers in the "Featured" and "Top" sections of the Explore page.

This gives brands chances for their Reels to take off virally. Tapping into buzzworthy moments translates to rapid organic reach.

instagram reels example

An example of a business being discovered by new audiences through the Reels tab

And when viewers enjoy a brand‘s Reel, they are likely to check out their full profile and become a follower.

Even old Reels can continue accruing views and engagement over time as they get recommended to more users via hashtags and topics.

Increased Interactivity Compared to Feed Posts

Reels allow brands to get creative with dynamic video effects, interactive stickers (polls, questions, quizzes), viral sounds and trends, making it easy for viewers to publicly engage.

Followers can use features like:

  • Duets
  • Remixes
  • Comments
  • Profile tags
  • Hashtag challenges

Driving this visible engagement builds community and brand loyalty.

Now let‘s explore how to create Reels that convert.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Instagram Reels

Crafting Reels that stop scrollers in their tracks takes both creativity and strategy.

Follow this simple how-to process:

1. Access Reels Creation

  • Open Instagram
  • Tap the (+) plus icon to upload
  • Select "Reel" at the bottom

You‘ll enter the Reels tool. Choose to either record directly or upload a pre-made 15 or 60 second video from your camera roll.

2. Edit Your Reel Video

Make edits to optimize your video:

instagram reels editing features example

  • Trim/Crop: Cut down length or zoom in
  • Effects: Overlays, AR filters, text, stickers etc.
  • Speed: Alter to sync movement with music
  • Audio: Enhance with soundtracks
  • Timer: Set a hands-free recording countdown

Get familiar with trending effects and tracks used widely across Reels for inspiration.

3. Write Your Caption

Draft clever, interest-piquing captions. Ask questions to spark conversation.

And leverage relevant hashtags – but don‘t overdo it. Between 5 to 10 ranked tags is ideal.

4. Post and Analyze Performance

Once uploaded, watch how your Reels perform with Instagram‘s built-in analytics.

Iterate and adjust your strategy based on which pieces of content resonate best.

Creative Ideas and Best Practices For Business Reels

Driving results with Reels is about mastering creativity mixed with performance optimization.

Here are my favorite tips for success:

Hook Viewers Fast

You have mere seconds to grab attention. Use startling visuals, dynamic motions, or intriguing text/graphics to open strong.

Feature Products Visually

Showcase offerings in visually striking ways. Highlight hero products, focus on textures/angles, display real customer photos, incorporate employees.

Build Hype

Tease new launches, deals, content etc. coming soon to get fans excited.

Encourage UGC + Reviews

User-generated content like customer reviews and visuals is beloved by the algorithm. Repost for authenticity.

instagram reels ugc example

Example of a brand highlighting UGC in a Reel

Collaborate With Nano/Micro Influencers

Work with niche influencers in your industry to expand reach. Vet data-backed options on platforms like Ainfluencer.

Interact With Followers

Increase engagement by asking questions in clips or running polls. Reply to comments.

Post At High-Traffic Times

Plan a consistent publishing strategy for when your audience is most active. Typically 9-11 AM and 7-9 PM.

Analyze Performance

See which Reels styles/topics perform best. Identify areas for growth across captions, visuals, audio etc. then optimize.

Reporting Features For Monitoring Reels Analytics

Optimizing the performance of Reels requires keeping a close pulse on built-in analytics.

Instagram offers robust reporting on:

Account Insights > Content > Reels Tab

Analyze Reels-specific metrics like:

  • Reach
  • Accounts reached
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Saves
  • Shares

Segment by individual pieces of Reel content over the last 90 days to identify your best and worst performers.

You can also view more granular stats on your reels like Views by Follower Status (Followers, Non-Followers etc).

Reel Insights

Dive deeper into metrics on each published Reel:

instagram reels insights example

Isolate top clips driving results over various time frames. Check Plays, Likes, Comments, Saves, Shares and Audience Retention graphs.

Monitor this intelligence to craft content informed by performance data.

Reels Use Cases and Examples From Real Brands

The most effective Reels align closely to a brand‘s offerings, personality and audience.

Let‘s explore some stellar examples from companies effectively using Reels:

Showcasing Products in Action

Outdoor gear brand Huckberry highlights new inventory dropping soon in their #ShopHuckberry series:

@youtube

Short clips quickly display garments and equipment while building anticipation.

Behind-the-Scenes

Eyewear icon Oliver Peoples gives fans an inside look into their design studio creative process through a day-in-the-life style Reel:

@instagram

Pulling back the curtain makes brands more relatable.

User-Generated Content

Health magazine Women‘s Health reposts UGC visuals from their loyal community:

@instagram

The authenticity and diversity of the user content Shane shares builds trust and goodwill.

Thought Leadership Education

Business coaching platform One Coaching uses Reels to deliver value by distilling actionable lessons:

@instagram

Positioning as an expert hub pays dividends over time.

The opportunities are endless. Get creative with formats that align to your brand identity and offerings.

Key Instagram Reels Mistakes To Avoid

While the creative possibilities may seem endless, it‘s important to avoid common pitfalls:

Forgetting a Strong CTA

Prompt viewers clearly on any desired action/next step.

Only Using Text Overlays

Stacking a bunch text on a static image looks overly promotional. Incorporate actual video.

Not Using Audio

Without an engaging soundtrack, Reels risk falling flat. Leverage popular songs or recorded voiceovers.

Overdoing Hashtags

Though tags help, no need to cram #30. Curate 5-10 strong ones.

Inconsistent Posting

To build momentum, stay disciplined in publishing on a regular posting cadence.

Ignoring Built-In Analytics

Neglecting key data makes intelligent optimization impossible.

Not Promoting Reels Elsewhere

Plug great Reels on other channels (Stories, feed, email) to maximize eyeballs.

Review these common missteps to avoid shooting yourself in the foot.

FAQs Around Instagram Reels

Have additional questions around mastering Instagram Reels? Here I tackle some frequently asked topics:

How often should you post Reels?

I recommend starting with 2-3x a week as you build consistency. From there, scale to daily as your strategy matures.

What is the ideal Reels length?

Aim for 30-60 seconds. Long enough to share something meaningful while short enough to align with viewer habits.

Can you post Reels to your feed?

Yes! You can enable Reels to be shared as feed posts. Toggle on settings when uploading.

How do Instagram Reels ads work?

Instagram Reels ads allow for promoted clips in between organic content a user is watching. They are auction-based and optimized for conversions.

Is there Instagram Reels monetization?

Not yet for most businesses. However qualified creators can earn through ad revenue share + bonuses. More options coming!

Have a specific question? Feel free to reach out.

Tap Into the Power of Reels This Year

As short-form, mobile video consumption grows exponentially year after year, brands must meet audiences where they are.

And presently, hundreds of millions of eyes are glued daily to Instagram Reels.

The tips in this in-depth guide should provide a blueprint to begin effectively incorporating Reels into your content strategy. Start publishing consistent videos showcasing products, insider looks, UGC, and more.

Just remember – creativity and performance analysis are equally crucial. Use Instagram‘s robust analytics to identify what resonance and double down from there.

At the end of the day, Reels represent unmatched opportunities to flaunt your brand personality, engage directly with customers, drive website traffic, boost followers and sales.

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Do you have or know of a stellar example of a brand absolutely crushing it with Instagram Reels? Share them with me on Instagram @handle!

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