Instagram Reels: What Marketers Need to Know About Creating Short Videos

November 11, 2021

When Instagram introduced its new feature in 2020, we had a gut feeling that it is going to blow up. Like Tiktok, Instagram reel focuses on short videos. Instagram reels allow users to record 15-30 second long videos. Like the trends and challenges on TikTok, Instagram also embraced trends. From the "Buss it" challenge to the new Aurora trend, Reels has created some amazing trends. Many brands are trying out Reels for marketing and you should jump on the bandwagon to gain that extra exposure too.

The jewellery brand "The Morphostone" is run by a young woman from India whose business recently blew up because of a viral Instagram reel.

Instagram reels for business can scale up the sales. Your brand will get exposure just like "The Morphostone". Reels are the best way to get your brand seen straightaway.

What are Instagram Reels?

According to Instagram - Reels is a new way for anyone – people, creators and businesses – to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram.

Reels were introduced by Instagram as an answer to the popular app TikTok. It was one of a kind app that let users upload short videos. Instagram reels also let users record and edit 15-second or 30 -second multi-clip videos with audio, effects and new creative tools in  9:16  portrait mode. Reels became a huge hit because it is expressive as well as entertaining. People can express themselves while entertaining the viewers. A reel by @vievsmee or Vivian went viral. It was entertaining because it was part of the " dangerous" trend but it also called out the sexist workspace.

NOTE: Instagram reels are only mobile. It means you can't watch it on your computer without the help of a third-party app.

How to find reels on Instagram?

Finding the reels option on Instagram was easy at first because Instagram placed the button where the search button used to be. However, after a few updates, you can find the Instagram reels option by

  • Go to 'My story"
  • Swipe left  to select "Reels"


  • Tap on the reels button at the bottom of the screen
  • Select the "camera"  button

It will also help you to add a new reel.

Features of Reels

 Image Source

What sets Instagram reels apart from others are the defining features. From its unique editing tools to timers, reels have a bunch of cool things you can use to make an exciting reel for your business.

  • Video length - The features of Instagram reels are present on the left side of the screen ( you can change the side according to your comfort). Video length is the icon with 15 or 30 written on it. You can create a reel of 15 or 30 seconds.
  • Audio - The music icon on the reel screen is all about audio. You can search for audio from the music library or you can add original audio. If you like an audion of a reel then you can "Save" the audio. Later while making Instagram reels for the business you can use it. Moreover, if your ad has original audio like voiceover or music then others can also save it and use it for their reels. Having impressive original audio can make you popular on the platform when people start using your original audio from Instagram music library.
Image Source
  • Speed: Another important underutilized feature of reels is speed. You can change the speed of the video clips from slow motion to fast motion as you please.
  • AR effects: AR effects means the augmented reality effects. It is also called filters in simple term. You can select one of the many effects in the Instagram effect gallery, created both by Instagram and by creators all over the world. If you want to use Instagram reels for business then using AR effects is a must. Many creators use in-trend filters to gain more audience. And the surprising thing is it works!
  • Timer: Out of all the features available on the left side of Reels, the timer is at the bottom. It is an efficient feature that can help you record video clips easily. You can set the timer to record any of your clips hands-free. Once you press record, you'll see a three-two-one countdown before your video starts recording.
  • Video layout: Like in the "stories" there is also a layout feature in reels, you can use to add different videos on one reel. It is a cool and exciting new feature that everyone can take advantage of.
  • Align: Align is arguably the most useful aspect of Instagram reels because it helps with transitions. You can move from one shot of the camera to the next. It's popular with Beauty and makeup creators who like to do outfit changes. @LeonieHanne is an expert in this matter. She has mastered skilful transitions.

How to create a reel on Instagram?

If you want to take advantage of reels then you need to know how to make it. It is no rocket science. Anyone can figure out how to make reels.

  • Open Instagram
  • Log in to your account
  • Tap on "Your story" at the left-hand corner of the screen.
  • Choose "Reels" at the bottom of the screen.
  • Select how long you want the video to be - 15 secs or 30 secs
  • Select the music you want to add from the Instagram music library, or you can add "saved" audio from other people's videos. You can also upload your own original audio.
  • Select the effects you want to use.
  • Set the timer if you want to use the camera hands-free.
  • Press the record button and start shooting.

The great thing about reels is that you can shoot in breaks. You can align a lot of clips together to make a reel. Moreover, you can also use pre-recorded video from your camera roll. Once you have recorded the reel, you can add text, stickers and tags to it. While TikTok allows only 100 characters, Instagram allows 2200 characters which give you a lot of room to add tags and captions.

  • Once you save a reel, you can post it
  • Select a cover photo for the reel
  • Add captions and then tags

Your reel is ready!

Instagram reel algorithm

Instagram reels do not provide a lot of option when it comes to analytics. You can only know how your reels are performing through likes, comments and views. Moreover, Instagram has added the importance of a post as a metric as well, if audiences "save" your posts or reels then it will perform better. According to Hubspot, the Instagram reel algorithm is based on three factors -

  • Accounts you follow
  • Your location
  • The content you have interacted with.

Social media is fast becoming the launchpad for many businesses. Reels are something you should deploy in your marketing strategy to maximize your exposure.  

How to share reels?

Sharing reels is as easy as making it. If your account is public, you can share your reel to a dedicated space on Explore page. But if your account is private then you can only share your reel with your followers by posting it to your feed. Businesses, brands and creators mostly have public or professional accounts because it is easier to be discovered that way.

When you share reels featuring certain audio, hashtags or effects, your reel may also appear on dedicated pages. For example, if you have used the Aurora filter that is all rage now,  whenever someone clicks on that Aurora audio, hashtag or effect your video will appear in that section.

When you share your reel, it becomes live on the Reels tab on your profile. You can also choose to make your reel appear on your main profile grid. Mostly when =creators post something new they share it with stories. You can share your Instagram reels on "my Story" but like all stories, it will be live for 24 hours only.

Why you should use Instagram reels for marketing?

The first video feature that IG tried out was IGTv. It wasn't a huge success because user experience demanded shorter videos. When TikTok innovated the short video trend, Instagram wanted to try it out as well. As soon as reels as introduced it became a huge success. From micro-influencers to high-end brands like Louis Vuitton, everyone hopped onto the reels. Louis Vuitton made reels based on the viral TikTok trend of dropping phones and outfit changes. It gained millions of views on those reels. The highest viewed reel had 8.6 M views. Not only popular brands but small businesses also use reels to gain popularity. Here is why you should start using Instagram reels for marketing-

Bigger audience

Facebook and Twitter may have a large number of users, but videos on  Instagram hit differently. In the United States, most of the Instagram users are Gen Z or Millennials. If your target audience is either one of them, the job on Instagram is easier. Reels are popular among young people, so you have higher chances of reaching your intended audience through reels than through an image.

Higher chances of getting  noticed

The reach you can achieve when you use Instagram reels is higher than when you post a picture or an IGTv video. On social media, everyone is busy scrolling through data and content. Reels have the perfect length, that is why people love watching them on their feed. New brands, small businesses, even newbie content creators have seen a huge amount of growth just by regularly posting reels. Through innovative ideas and creative reels, the word can spread out about you. Many users have reported a jump in the number of followers just after a hit reel.

Easy to create a brand identity

Instagram is one of the prettiest apps in the store! Among all social media apps, it was Instagram that focused on Pictures. Now the platform is slowly shifting towards videos. If you want to create a brand identity, then there is no better place than Instagram. You can create an aesthetic Instagram feed that matches your brand. But now you can do more with reels. Use the video clip to share your brand ideas, ads, moments etc. Look at Rekk Prod, for example, they are a video production and drone videography brand based in Paris, and they gained immense popularity after their reel for Jetsurf.

Tips to create viral reels for your brand

Yes, Instagram reels are all the rage right now. Your explore feed will have a dedicated section just for reels. But to create reels that actually brings you more engagement and followers you need to follow few tips. You can either have a full-blown marketing strategy for Instagram Reels, or you can follow simple ideas.

  • Use audio that is in trend: Originality is always appreciated but if you can't create your own audio then use audio that is in trend. A number of songs have become popular just because of Instagram reels and Tiktok - WAP, UP, Masked Wolf's Astronaut in The Ocean, Aurora etc. The advantage of using viral audio is your reel will be saved under the dedicated section for the particular music.
  • Challenges: Tiktok and Instagram gained notoriety because of challenges. Bottlecap challenge, WAP challenge, UP dance challenge, and many more. You can always undertake the challenges and add a unique spin to the reels.
  • You can use timed text: The great thing about Instagram reels is you can add timed text to your videos.  But make sure you place the text within the 4:5 vertical frame of the feed. If you place it outside the frame, the text will be chopped off when it shows up in the feed.
  • Edit the length before you add the text. Once you have started adding text to the video you will not be able to go back to edit the length of the videos. You also won't be able to swap out the footage unless you are willing to redo all the text. So, edit the length and trim the reels before moving on to adding text and stickers.
  • Post the reels on "Reels" as well as on Feed. The more your content is visible across the platform the better it is for you.
  • You can repurpose your TikTok videos and share them on as Reels as well.
  • The new feature 'remix" on Instagram is similar to Tiktok duet that allows you to make reels with other creators.
  • You can also make reels with the help of photos it doesn't necessarily have to be clips shot on your camera.


Creating and sharing reels is a piece of cake. But everyone on Instagram is using the same filters and camera to shoot their video. If you want to stand out then Offeo has a solution for you. With the help of this video making tool, you can make scroll-stopping content in just a few minutes. Offeo is the answer to all social media needs - from video ads to intros, it can make it all in a span of 3 minutes. You can download the video and share it wherever you want! Animation? do not worry we got you covered. Even if you do not have the previous video-editing experience you can make short attractive animated videos for your Instagram profile. Welcome to the next generation of video-making. Give Offeo a try, and surprise your audience with dynamic content.  

Written By

Create Stunning Videos Easily

Skyrocket your video marketing efforts today

OFFEO Video Templates

Create stunning animated social media videos in afew clicks

Related articles