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  • Daniela Schrittenlocher

Instagram Reels - what it's all about

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Now, that we've all tested out how things work on and with Instagram Reels, let me share some facts, insights and lessons learned with you.

Instagram Reels were initially launched on August 5, 2020 in 50 countries. Instagram is still, til this day, lacking content and pushing the feature quite a bit. They do not like to be called a copy of TikTok, even though it seems like at times.

Today, there are a variety of features far past the original features available, which allow you to fully record and edit within the Instagram app. And I can tell you, Instagram likes that.

Which isn't surprising, they obviously want you to stay within the app.

The main differences between Reels and TikTok are:

  1. Instagram Reels are much more sensored than TikTok content

  2. Instagram user can stay within their well-known platform

  3. TikTok is always a few weeks ahead of Reels, when it comes to trends

  4. Instagram is trying to keep up with TikTok features and rolling them out slowly

  5. TikTok is largely favored by Gen Z - Instagram's overall audience tends to be slighlty older, targeting their main audience aged between 25 and 34 years.

These facts need to be kept in mind before deciding what platform you want to start sharing your content on. The good news are, why not maintaining both ;) and reaching an even larger audience.

After recording 150+ Reels for different industries and brands and completing the 30 Day Reels Challenge myself, I personally started to REELY like the feature.

Here are 10 lessons I've learned:

  1. Creating Reels takes more than you might think

  2. Practice makes the difference - Recording and editing Reels gets easier over time

  3. Never delete a Reel - Reels can pick up views after quite some time, even weeks

  4. Using trending sounds can increase your chances of going "viral"

  5. Instagram is always behind TikTok trends - use this to your advantage

  6. Consume to create!!! - Only when knowing what people want to see, you'll be able to be seen

  7. Don't copy others. Create your own Reels and interpret trends in your own unique way

  8. As soon as new feature are available, use them. Instagram always pushes new features

  9. Reels will introduce you to a new audience, even when you already have an established audience

  10. Reels are not for everyone and that's ok. But, you should definitely try it. Get help, if you need help.

Now, all you need to do is favor the alorithm.

But, how does the Instagram Reels algo work?

According to a recent blog post by Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, "Reels is designed to entertain you.

The most important signals, roughly in order of importance, are:

  • Your activity. We look at things like which reels you’ve liked, commented on, and engaged with recently. These signals help us to understand what content might be relevant to you.

  • Your history of interacting with the person who posted. Like in Explore, it’s likely the video was made by someone you’ve never heard of, but if you have interacted with them that gives us a sense of how interested you might be in what they shared.

  • Information about the reel. These are signals about the content within the video such as the audio track, video understanding based on pixels and whole frames, as well as popularity.

  • Information about the person who posted. We consider popularity to help find compelling content from a wide array of people and give everyone a chance to find their audience."

Source: Instagram

Currently Instagram does not have enough content on their platform and when scrolling through the Reels tab, you will soon experience Reels being shown to you again. Additionally, many people don't are new to the feature and recreate existing content.

This makes the whole experience a bit bland.

Which also gives you the change to shine!

Here are 5 best practices:

  1. Keep it short

  2. Create your own

  3. No, you don't have to dance or point fingers

  4. Get comfortable

  5. Be yourself

There are many ways to utilize Reels as a business, even without showing your face.

Click the link below if you need some content ideas:

Remember when I said get help, if you need it, here you go. Feel free to reach out and sign up for my Instagram Reels coaching program. Details below.


written by Daniela Schrittenlocher

Founder & Owner of ELAS Marketing Services LLC

Follow @elasmarketingservices for daily tips, facts and honest social media & marketing talk on Instagram.

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