A One-Stop Guide to Instagram Reels banner

A One-Stop Guide to Instagram Reels

Social media platforms are constantly changing due to the evolving users expectations. New and fresh ways have been introduced to create and share content, and the most recent addition every marketer should be aware of is Instagram Reels.

We have put up a comprehensive guide to help you understand what Instagram Reels are and how your business may benefit from this new feature. Ready to dig in?

What we’ll cover:

  1. What are Instagram Reels?
  2. How to Create Your First Instagram Reel
  3. How Does the Instagram Reels Algorithm Work?
  4. How to Access Insights From Instagram Reels
  5. How to Incorporate Instagram Reels Into Your Business

What are Instagram Reels?

Basically, Instagram Reels are Instagram’s attempt for creators to produce engaging content through short videos, which seems alike to those TikTok videos that have gained explosive popularity earlier.

We are all familiar with what Instagram has offered previously; posts, stories and IGTV videos. In contrast to those features, Reels are a more fun and casual option for creators to publish short clips that might not fit to the theme of their feed and yet is still very discoverable and engaging. These bite-sized videos are around 15-60 seconds long with visual effects and audio that are easy to digest, allowing viewers to scroll through quickly.

Reels has its own tab on Instagram which can be found by tapping the Reel logo at the bottom middle of the screen or you can find it appearing on the Explore section as well. Instead of only watching Reels from accounts you follow, the tab is filled with clips that are trending, similar to what TikTok does on their For You page.

cute cat reels

Users who created Reels have the option to display it on their main feed or not, but every user has their own personal Reels feed on their profile page which showcases all clips they have created.

Creating Your First Reel

First and foremost, open Instagram and tap the plus icon on the upper right corner of the app. Then choose ‘Reel’. This will be what you will be getting.


You can upload a video that you have recorded or edited earlier by tapping the square icon on the bottom left corner which leads you to your camera roll. Alternatively, you can directly record the Reel on Instagram by pressing the recording button.

Before the recording starts, you can decide on how long the clip would be, either 15, 30, or 60-second long. The Reels can be done by recording several snippets, you can start and stop recording to record another situation, change camera angles, or any other clips. You have the option to delete, trim or re-record your previous snippet if you are not happy with it.

There is also a speed adjuster to slow down or speed up your Reel to match with your background music or effect you have chosen. Timer is also available for those of you who want to record yourself when no one is around.

instagram align-button

Another interesting feature is the Align button which allows you to make sure the camera is concentrating on the same angle that you left off, which create a smoother transition from one snippet to another snippet.

Once you’re done recording your Reel, tap the preview icon on the right side of the recording button, and you have the option to add effects, filters, wordings, scribbles, music for the background and even add your own voice-over. See how cool that is!


Due to its infinite lifespan, it is important to note that creating Reels should be reviewed carefully because of its higher exposure compared to Instagram Stories that can disappear after a day with limited reach. Reels are also more interactive than Stories as viewers may search for them through hashtags or audio, leave comments and engage more.

instagram caption-page

For the final step, you can write your caption, adjust the cover photo, tag people, and add a partnership label if your Reels fall into a branded content. It’s now time to show off your work! You can add Reels to your Feed, Stories and your profile’s own Reels tab.

How Does the Reels Algorithm Work?

One of the tips to grow your Reels engagement is knowing its algorithm. Instagram’s algorithm changes once in a while but below are some helpful insights from Instagram that helps your Reels to be featured on the Explore tab or promoted as a suggested post.

Instagram recommends that brands and creators produce Reels that are:

  • Creatively amusing and fun
  • Motivating or inspiring
  • Unique and experimental
  • Incorporating the usage of tools such as fonts, video effects, and even filters
  • Using music in the background
  • Recorded or compiled with a portrait or vertical mode which overall grabs the attention of audience by delighting them or making them laugh.

There are some Reels that are unlikely to be featured and suggested by Instagram such as Reels that are:

  • Having low-resolution and blurry
  • Recycled from other video apps that contains the logos
  • Created with border around the clip
  • Having text that covers most of the picture or video taken
  • Not meeting the Community Guidelines by Instagram

How to Access Insights From Instagram Reels

Insights are important to measure how successful your Reels are and to create more content that your audience will surely love.

Visit the Reels tab on your profile page and open a Reel to observe how a certain Reel is performing. Moving on, tap the icon with three dots on the bottom right corner of the page, and choose ÒInsightsÓ. You can see all the Reels analytics metrics which includes Accounts Reached, Plays, Likes, Comments, Shares, and Saves.

However, it is worth noting that Insights are only available for professional users. But don’t be concerned! You can easily switch your account to a Creator or Business mode through settings, no matter how small your account is.

instagram insights-data-1
instagram insights-data-2

You will have a better sense of how many audiences truly enjoyed your videos thanks to the insights. For sure, you will know the magic is working when you upload a Reel that receives a lot of likes, comments, saves, and shares.

How to Incorporate Reels Into Your Business

If Instagram Reels are not on your brand’s radar, you should reconsider your strategy for social presence. In this digital era, things are evolving faster than ever where trends may emerge overnight, and it is the creators and influencers who are early on the game that reap the benefits.

Now that you have understood how to create Instagram Reels, it is time to think about how you can increase brand awareness and connect with consumers strategically.

1. Create fun yet authentic content

This provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to demonstrate a real and more human connection, which is beneficial for developing genuine relationships with consumers while boosting audiences.

Being honest with followers or audiences is one of the powerful methods to gain trust and reflects the brand’s values and personality. But don’t forget that videos made should be fun too since Instagram Reels is definitely not about hard-sell marketing, but more of a way to create that connection with viewers which leads to a higher engagement.

2. Share tutorials or educational videos

Education is another important aspect you can develop through Reels. A platform where most of the users are Millennials and Gen Z would love to be educated in a quick and easily digestible way. The more educated your viewers are regarding the product you are trying to sell, the higher the chance for them to make a purchase.

Some ideas to educate your audiences may be in the form of creating short how-to tutorials that show the steps in using your product or service, or you can share educational content that relates to your business. One example would be videos informing essential travel tips if you are operating a travel agency, or a tutorial on how to style an oversized shirt in six different ways if you are running an online fashion store.

Educational Reels may even help establish your business as an expert on the particular industry, and your page could be the go-to source for that particular community.

3. Showcase products

Have you ever ordered something online and failed to meet your expectations? We all have been there. So showcasing the products you are selling in action would be a huge advantage to gain the trust and meet the expectations of your potential buyers.

Examples to showcase your products if you run a pants business may be in the form of recording models or influencers wearing your pants and ask them to walk around the streets or anywhere. This allows potential buyers to know exactly what the fit would be like and how comfortable they are wearing it. If you are running an eco-friendly business that sells reusable shopping bags, you may create a Reel that shows the amount of items it can hold.

Before publishing your Instagram Reels, remember to provide details on how to purchase your item or service on the caption. Example of it could be like ‘Click the link on my profile to buy’.

Some further ideas that brands are benefiting from Instagram Reels include:

  • Jumping on the latest trends in your brand’s industry
  • Sharing tips and tricks
  • Create an exclusive sneak peek through Reels only
  • Using popular music as a background sound
  • Doing giveaways or giving promos
  • Incorporating trending hashtags
  • Interviews or testimonials on your product or service

Over To You

As Instagram Reels have become a crucial element of the Instagram user experience, we could expect to see much more updates on the video editing features and insights right from the app.

No matter what your brand or business is, there is a great opportunity waiting for you on Instagram. So it’s time to raise your Instagram video marketing game, and there’s no better way than utilizing Instagram Reels right now. Begin creating brief, easily digestible video content to expand your Instagram audience and Happy Reeling!

Putri Setiani
Putri Setiani

Putri Setiani is a final year undergraduate student at the University of Melbourne pursuing her Bachelor of Commerce, with a focus in Finance and Marketing. She is currently working as a Business Development intern in a fast-paced e-commerce company. Intrigued by the realm of digital business and technology, she explored data analysis, digital marketing and financial technology. Her interests lie in the limitless opportunities companies can adopt through digital innovation, along with cultivating creativity and making strategic business decisions.