How to Use Instagram Reels for Your Business

We’re talking about Instagram Reels, how to make them and what you can do to make them go viral.
Fanbytes | How to use Instagram Reels

In 30 seconds:

  • Let’s get to grips with Instagram Reels. We’re taking you through the steps to produce engaging, viral-worthy content through this latest feature.
  • Reels vs TikTok: what’s the difference and what’s best for your brand? Let’s compare.
  • Want your Reels to go viral? We’ve jotted down some essential tips to help you get your content booming.

Instagram reels work

Since social media giant Instagram introduced the new short-form video tool, creators everywhere have been using Instagram Reels to grow their businesses. These days, the more dynamic, visual video content you can put out there, the more likely you are to gain traction, get better ROI and grow brand awareness through your marketing campaigns. 

Short-form videos like Instagram Reels do exactly that.

Instagram has seen an 80% increase in users spending time watching video on the platform since 2017, so they’ve known the rising popularity of videos for a while. They’ve now started to nurture it by introducing Reels and other video-friendly features. 

What are Reels on Instagram?

Instagram Reels are short, snappy, entertaining videos that last up to 1 minute on Instagram. Reels videos are fun, engaging and sometimes educational. 

You can create a reel through your account on Instagram to give your followers a snippet of information, some exciting news, a bit of humour, or just to say hi (more on this later). 

Remember, anyone can create a reel, no matter what kind of account you have (business, personal or creator). 

Why your brand needs to get on Instagram Reels (like, now)

So what are the benefits of using Instagram Reels? 

Video is king. Video posts on social media get 48% more views, and 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service than any other medium. Instagram Reels are one of the newest ways of getting effective video content out there, so it’s a great opportunity to capture people’s attention before your competition catches up.

Moving pictures draw people in, and it’s this that sells. 87% of video marketers reported that video gives them a positive ROI. Including video in your marketing campaigns will put your brand out there and increase conversions. 

Reels specifically are particularly effective within Instagram compared to other kinds of Instagram posts. Companies have reported better engagement through posting Reels, with examples including the NBA announcing they had an average 22% higher engagement rate on Reels compared to different styles of Instagram posts (including Instagram Stories and grid posts). 

How to use Instagram Reels

Ready to create a Reel? Well, hold your horses and take your thumb away from that record button. We want to give you a few insider tips before you start creating, so that you have the best shot at viral-worthy videos.

Get inspired

Take a look at the Reels section on your Instagram app. That’s this icon.

Instagram Reels icon

Start looking through your Instagram feed to get a feel of what’s trending and how people use audio, effects and transitions on Reels. This should be your biggest source of inspiration. Seeing how influencers and other Instagram accounts interact with the app will help you distinguish trends and develop your own ideas. 

Think about your goals

Knowing what your brand needs is where you should start. If you want more engagement, you’ll want to create an Instagram Reel that asks questions. If you want to boost brand awareness, you might think about starting a trend that will create User-generated content (UGC). If you’d like to boost your ecommerce sales, you could try multi-clip videos that showcase your products in their best light.

Some Fanbytes favourite Reel ideas

Stuck for new reels content? Here are some of our favourite social media marketing ideas that work for many businesses on Instagram Reels:

  • Go behind the scenes. Whether introducing your team, showing your workspace, or sharing your working methods, giving your audience an insider’s perspective will help them relate to you and your brand. This is particularly useful if you’re a small business, as it helps your audience root for you.
  • Create a tutorial. Share your brand through your expertise. Add value to someone’s life or work, and they’ll want to engage with your company even more. This is a useful form of content to share across to your main profile grid, as you can use the “finished product” as inspiration.
  • Share an order packing or an unboxing. Anticipation always gets people’s attention, so using these as themes for your next reel will help hook potential customers. Creative tools at your disposal are time-lapse and voiceovers, or ASMR.
  • Seamless transitions. Instagram users love content that’s a little aspirational, but still realistic enough to achieve. Have fun with cutting different clips together to showcase seamless transitions between products – for example, wearing different outfits (if you’re a fashion brand) or “before and after” cooking (if you’re a food brand).


Once you’ve let the inspiration sink in and you have some ideas, it’s time to start creating.

How to create a Reel

Open the Instagram app: and let’s go through the steps to making a Reel. 

Step 1

There are three ways you can start creating a Reel. 

  • The first is through the Instagram Reel section. Tap the Reels icon at the bottom of the screen, then tap the camera icon on the top right. 
  • The second is through the Instagram home screen. Tap on the + icon at the top right of the screen. Then select “Reel” from the drop-down menu. 
  • The third is through the story’s camera. When you tap on your Instagram profile to add a story, it brings up the Instagram story camera. Through this, you can select “Reel” at the bottom of the screen. 

Step 2

You can now record a section of your reel or select a video from your camera roll (click on the “+” icon at the bottom left of the screen). 


Step 3

You’ll see a few different icons on the left of your screen. These are:

  • Audio – Where you can add a sound or song to your Reel. You can also edit which part of an audio clip you want when you select this.
  • Length – Where you can choose the length of your Reel between 15 seconds, 30 seconds and 60 seconds.
  • Grid – You can change the layout of the video here. 
  • Speed – This changes the speed of your video so you can do fast or slow motion. The default speed is 1x, but you can switch to .3x, .5x, 2x, 3x and 4x.
  • Timer – Use this to countdown to the start of your video. 

Fanbytes | icons on the left of your screen

Step 4

Start recording your first clip. Many videos that make it to Instagram’s explore page are made up of multiple clips. Think about how you’ll transition from the first clip to a second video: this might include covering the camera with your hand, turning around or putting the camera down (so you can pick it up in your next part of the video).  


Once you’ve recorded your first section, you’ll have another option available on the left that allows you to align your next clip to the previous one.

Fanbytes | Align your next clip

Step 5

Edit what you have. By tapping the back arrow, you can review what you’ve done and make any changes to your previous clips, including editing the original audio. 


Step 6

Once you’re happy with your Reel, you can tap “Preview” and see the full video. You’ll then get the opportunity to add more effects. The options at the top include:

  • Download – You can save the video to your phone. 
  • Audio – This allows you to add any music or sounds post-recording. 
  • Effects – If you want to put any AR effects or filters in, you can still do so. 
  • Stickers – you can add stickers to enhance the Reel. 
  • Drawing – You can make notes or draw on the Reel.
  • Text – This is where you can add text like captions of what you are saying or labels for specific points you make. 


Fanbytes | Add effects to your Instagram Reel

TOP TIP: Many people watch content with their sound turned off, so adding subtitles is a great way to boost your audience reach.

Step 7

Tap “Next”. You’ll then be able to select the cover for your reel. This will appear on your Instagram profile. You can choose whether it appears in your Reels feed only, or if you share it across to your Instagram grid.

Step 8

Write an engaging caption and include relevant hashtags. Make sure to tag any accounts involved and tap “Share”. One useful update is to create an Instagram Collab to credit any other creators in your video. We talk more about Instagram Collabs and how to use them here.

That’s it! You’ve made your Reel and are now well on your way to boosting brand awareness on the platform.

Psst, want to know how to go viral?

These three tips will help you create engaging content that will skyrocket your Reel’s visibility on Instagram.

1. Create a Hook.

Instagram’s algorithm for Reels factors in likes, comments, watch-throughs, and rewatches. So you need to be getting people’s attention and keeping it for the entire Instagram Reel. Gen Z’s attention span is around 8 seconds, and Millennials’ is only 12.  

2. Include relevant Instagram Reels hashtags.

Reels’ optimum amount of hashtags varies from business to business, but it’s good to include a few relevant ones. Having over 10 can set you up for the best growth on the platform, but you want to make sure you keep your hashtags varied. So, pick a handful of hashtags that are quite general for your industry, a few that have medium popularity and some that are more niche. 

3. Make it fun.

73% of people want to see “entertaining” videos on social media. So give them what they want. Engaging videos are often the most enjoyable, so find ways to get that excitement drummed up in your viewer. Check out the Instagram music library for popular tunes to soundtrack your video, and keep abreast of fun trends you can join in on.

Reels vs TikTok

TikTok was downloaded 656 million times in 2021 alone. It’s become the fastest growing social media platform and is catching up to Instagram quickly. Many people have said that Instagram Reels is simply a way of competing with TikTok’s short-form vertical videos, especially as many Instagram accounts repost their short videos from TikTok as Reels content. However it’s worth noting the differences between Reels vs TikTok. 

Instagram Reels dimensions are 1,080 x 1,920, the same as TikTok. However, TikTok offers more to creators looking to add special effects, whereas Instagram keeps their video editing tools simple. For example, currently Instagram Reels offer no in-app version of TikTok’s popular “stitch” feature. 

TikTok also lets you record for longer. The choices for Instagram Reels are 15-second, 30-second or 60-second videos, whereas TikTok’s preset options are 15 seconds, 60 seconds or 3 minutes. If you want to record a video that’s longer than a minute on Instagram, you will need to create an IGTV video.

Instagram generally fosters a more “curated” aesthetic, so many brands keep their Instagram Reels more polished than their TikTok videos, to keep their content in line with what users like best about the platform.

Should I post on Reels or TikTok?

It really comes down to what platform is right for your brand and your audience. The amount of Gen Zers on TikTok has now surpassed Instagram, but it’s nevertheless often worth using Reels in your marketing strategy to continue your growth on Instagram if you have already established your business presence there.

Frankly, both Instagram Reels and TikTok are hugely beneficial for your business. Getting to grips with how you can create short-form content for your customers on both channels is key to better KPIs and brilliant brand-boosting campaigns. 

Cut! That’s a wrap

You’ve now got the knowledge you need to make attention-grabbing Instagram Reels that catapult your brand into your audience’s explore feeds. It’s time to start recording. 

Staying up to date on social media’s newest features is key to getting your brand out there. They will help you produce better-performing content, increase metrics including your traffic and sentiment, and get fruitful returns on your investment. 

We’ve got everything you need to keep up with the fast-paced, changing environments of multiple social media channels. Get in touch today to find out how we can take your brand to the next level with the latest strategies for winning the hearts of Gen Z on social.

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