Reels are short form videos that you can add sounds, text, and effects to – *cough* exactly like TikTok *cough*

“Reels are short videos you can easily create and enjoy watching on Instagram. They are a fun way to connect with your community over entertaining videos that inspire anyone to join in. It is the best way Creators can find a community that is deeply engaged and aligned with their interests.” – Instagram

Why were they created?

In 2020, Trump threatened to have our precious baby TikTok banned in the United States. TikTok has become quite the hub for independent music scouting since its launch. Although the drama surrounding this “ban” seems to have lifted (it’s not going to happen), Instagram was fast to create a new feature that pretty much rips off TikTok as a whole.

How do Instagram Reels work?

As of right now, Reels are the best way to improve engagement and visibility within the app.

With Reels, you can record and edit short videos and add music, effects, and voiceovers to the clips you record. You can manage who can see your reels or use your audio, and discover creators on Instagram. Reels can be recorded in a series of clips (one at a time), all at once, or using video uploads from your gallery.

How to Leverage Instagram Reels

Create Compelling Content
While this one does seem a bit on the obvious side, it’s important to note. If your content is dry, slow, or simply just boring, it’s not going to do well.

Typically, your Reel should be between 30 seconds and a minute because you’re competing with millions of other pieces of content on the platform. Anything longer than a minute tends to lead viewers to scroll past your Reel. That being said, Reels can be as long as 90 seconds. If your content is truly compelling and engaging, feel free to use the 90 seconds.

Visually, make sure that your content catches the attention of viewers. There are lots of ways to do this, and below are lots of ideas you can use, but right now, quick paced, entertaining, and engaging content are doing the best.

Here are some examples:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Carly Simon (@carlysimonhq)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Saint Luminus (@saintluminus)

Not sure what to post as a Reel? Do what we’re all doing – re-post some of your best TikToks. Don’t have any TikToks? Start from scratch. Here are some tips for great TikToks that can also be used to make great Reels.

Remix lets anyone create a reel that includes someone else’s video or photo. You can also download the video or photo as part of your remix. This is a fun way to collaborate with other creators on the platform.

Instagram Reels Remix
Instagram Reels Remix 2

Reply to Comments
This is another fun way to interact with your fans. You can take comments left on reels or photos and use them in another reel.

Simply tap reply on any comment left on one of your reels and then tap the camera icon. You’ll see the comment appear as a sticker that you can use in a reel that you record or upload from your camera roll. Here is a how-to video on this process.

Use Interactive Stickers
This is another great way to grab viewers attention or engage with your audience. You can add things from “new post” or “new song” to gifs and polls. Your stickers can move or be stagnant, though we suggest if you use a sticker that it move. They are fun and easy!


Tag with Topics
This is a newer feature that Instagram has released. They are simply tags that you can add to your Reels to categorize your content. The idea is to provide the algorithm with a clearer picture of what your content is. It helps to ensure your content is getting in front of the right people.

Note that the consistency of the topics you choose is just as important. The more you use particular topics, the more your content stays organized and your brand stays clear.

IG Tags


Instagram allows you to support causes and nonprofits that you care about by adding fundraisers to your reels. When you set up a fundraiser, it will live in your bio for 30 days. During that time, you’ll be able to share the fundraiser on other posts/reels, in stories, or a Live video.

You can set it up before sharing your reel within the app. Scroll all the way down and select “Add fundraiser” and from there you can select a nonprofit vetted by Meta.











Product Tagging
This feature does require you to have a shop set up on Instagram and is really only applicable for artists who have a merch shop. If this applies to you, you can tag your merch within your Reel, which will immediately take users to your Instagram Store where they can purchase your merch/products. Here is a helpful video of how you can tag your products within your reel/photo:

Here is a list of all e-commerce sites that Instagram Stores supports.

Need more ways to come up with content? Download our 100+ ChatGPT Prompts to help you save time and defend against writers block when it comes to social media post creation!

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