How to Use Instagram Reels to Market Your Small Business (Without Dancing, Pointing, or Clicking)

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Instagram Reels – should you jump on the new marketing trend or stick with what you know?

Instagram Reels are a powerful marketing tool if used correctly. But the problem is, how can you use Instagram Reels to market your small business without dancing, pointing, or clicking when that is all we seem to see on Reels? Well, stick around because I’ve got plenty of non-awkward Instagram Reels ideas to share with you!

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels are the newest kid on the Instagram block. Essentially Instagram’s version of TikTok, these short videos are designed to be fun, snappy, and engaging. Instagram Reels are a new way to record 15-30 second multi clips videos with audio, music, effects, and new creative tools. They are designed to be entertaining, educational, and fun.

Why should you be using Instagram Reels to market your small business?

When Instagram invests in a new feature, they want the world to see it. When you adopt that feature early, your content gets seen by more people because Instagram is highlighting the feature. Given that Instagram Reels are the newest feature that Instagram has rolled out on the platform, there is a huge marketing opportunity for users who adopt this feature early. Instagram will be prioritising users who utilise Reels. Instagram has recently announced that they will also be adding Shopping to Reels globally.

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So, should you jump on the Instagram Reels trend to market your business?

Short answer: You absolutely should experiment with Instagram Reels to market your business. My general rule of thumb is simple: Every time Instagram launches a new feature, you need to adopt it early!

Long answer: While I believe you should be adding Reels to your social media strategy, you don’t need to do it how everyone else is doing it. You can still stay true to your brand voice and personality.

If, like me, you’ve been put off by the pointing, dancing, and clicking. This is for you. Hear me out…

If dancing in a midriff top feels a little off brand for you…

If reducing your expertise to a 15 second clip of you pointing at text and clicking your fingers while you change outfits, doesn’t appeal to you…

If miming to Dua Lipa while you try to share your professional services makes you feel a little uncomfortable…

Then I’ve got news for you.

You can do it your way.

Don’t get sucked into the idea that to be successful, you need to be an exhibitionist. Sorry to everyone who likes those videos. There is sincerely no judgment from me on this. I just believe that if there is another approach to Reels that feels authentic to me, I would like to head in that direction. And for anyone who wants to come along- keep reading.

When Instagram adds a new feature and you just got the hang of the last update.

Here are 5 easy content ideas for Instagram reels that you could use to market your business today.

No dancing.No pointing. No singing. No awkwardness.

1. Share tips and tricks

You can speak directly to camera or you can use music and text. Remember people may be watching without the sound on so I recommend using the text function to highlight key points. Remember that adding value is the foundation of your marketing strategy, even though the delivery format in Reels may be different.

Lala Reels Tip: At this point, you can’t use music and speak to camera at the same time unless you film with music on in the background or upload your own pre-edited videos to Reels.

2. Take your followersbehind the scenes

Show behind the scenes of your workday, share your process, shipping products, sneak peeks of new products/services/work, making your morning coffee, showing your process etc.

Lala Reels Tip: Use the speed and trim functions to make this snappy. The best Reels are fast-moving. A lot like me at the gym. Fast. Very fast.

3. Before & aftertransformations

People love a good before and after and Reels are perfect to showcase that. Timelapses and speed functions in Reels are a super fun (and easy) way to showcase a before and after transformation of your client, a project, or a product being created.

Whether you’re a makeup artist, a builder, an artist, or a hairdresser, you can use Instagram Reels to show a before and after transformation of your work.

Lala Reels Tip: Film within the Instagram App and get creative with the editing tools in Reels to make these transformations feel fast and fun.

4. Repurpose yourInstagram content

This is a super effective marketing strategy that often gets overlooked. Remember that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel with your content. Look through your Instagram content that you’ve already shared. Start with your best performing content and then create a Reel on that topic.

For example: One of my top-performing posts was on how to streamline and batch tasks for your marketing. I could create a Reel of me speaking to the camera sharing these tips. In addition, I could screenshare me doing one of these tips and create multiple Reels on this one content piece.

See how many times you can repurpose your existing content! Hint: If it’s evergreen, the shelf life is longer.

Lala Reels Tip: If you are repurposing, remember that you can’t use the Reels editing features when you upload videos direct from your device (filters, speed etc).

5. Highlight other brands you love

Collaborative marketing is a powerful (and cheap) way to access a broader audience who may be interested in your products or services. For instance, why not try a bit of a shout out to some other brands, businesses, or profiles you love and share why you love them? This is an easy, helpful, and organic way to connect with your audience and build your audience at the same time.

Lala Reels Tip: At this point, you can’t tag profiles or share links in Reels but you can tag users in your caption. Screen record the profile you are highlighting and use text to share their name.

Predictions for Instagram Reels in 2021?

One can only speculate what Instagram has in store for Reels, however if their approach to Stories, Shopping, and IGTV, is anything to go off, we can hazard a guess at what is next. Here are a few of our predictions.

1. Shopping in Instagram Reels

Instagram has recently added a shoppable function to IGTV which means it is not too far-fetched to think shopping in Reels could be a possibility. Instagram has quickly built a powerful e-commerce platform which means they would be pushing to make almost every part of the app shoppable. It’s an entertainment, educational, e-commerce platform. My bet is they will take on Netflix next! 😉

2. Advertising for Instagram Reels

According to a recent report, 75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website or making a purchase, after looking at an Instagram ad. You can now run ads on IGTV so it makes sense for Instagram to broaden advertising into the Reels feature too.

Hot advertising tip: You can retarget profiles who view your Reels. Stay tuned for more information on that.

3. Refine the algorithm

Currently, the engagement on Reels is high (and organic!). The algorithm is still being worked out which means there is a bit of mystery around how to work with and leverage the algorithm at this point. On the flip side, this means there is a huge opportunity for brands who jump on the bandwagon before Instagram dial in the algorithm for this feature. Once Instagram refines the algorithm, the Reels you will see will be more personalised and sophisticated.

Here are a few things that the wizards over at Later think could also be on the cards:

  • Influencer partner marketing
  • Video length extends to 60 seconds
  • New and improved video editing tools in Reels
  • Video collaboration opportunities

I’m sure that Instagram has MANY other features in store for us and as marketers and small business owners, I sincerely believe we need to be flexible in our strategies and approaches. Nothing is set and forget. It’s important to adopt new features, whilst still maintaining our brand consistency and authenticity.

I am reely excited to see the Reels you create (see what I did there?)

Go get em

Lala