Instagram Reels

It’s true – one can’t deny the similarities between TikTok and Instagram Reels. Instagram Reels is Facebook’s version of short-form video content that has been gaining popularity since it’s launch in August 2020.  Both apps offer helpful tools to edit your videos and lots of opportunities to create and share your content. Big brands have jumped on Instagram Reels with engaging and effective campaigns that cater to the younger, trend-savvy users. 

In this article you will learn how and why brands like Sephora, Burger King, Amazon Prime Video, and TOPSHOP are thriving on Instagram’s latest feature. Hopefully these examples can inspire you on how to use Instagram Reels in your own content strategy. 

Insider Scoop

Who doesn’t love a sneak peek into the second season of your favorite show? Popular streaming services like Amazon Prime Video are incorporating Instagram Reels into their content strategy to boost their promotion of their shows in short 15-second clips.

Amazon Prime used Instagram Reels for its promotional trailer of Rihanna’s #SavagexFentyShow Vol 2. which featured supermodel Bella Hadid and movie star Demi Moore, and gained 900K views and over 16K likes. While we should take into account that the mega stars’ own social followings contributed to the success of the campaign, the concept of a sneak peek is a strategy that content creators big or small can benefit from. Simply edit the most engaging 15-second clip from your upcoming video to create buzz around what your subscribers and followers can look forward to. 

Keeping up with the Trends

Short-form videos have become synonymous with viral, fast paced trends. TikTok is known for kickstarting popular challenges and the similar format of Instagram Reels has given this content type another home. 

With the addition of Instagram Reels, the lifespan of these viral trends has lengthened, giving way to new fans on a completely different platform. Burger King recently used this to their advantage by jumping on TikTok’s “Put A Finger Down” challenge and shared it on Instagram Reels where they nabbed over 200k views and 100k likes. Brands looking to jump head first into the world of TikTok and Reels should be prepared to leave any stiff corporate brand identity behind and opt for a looser, funnier side of themselves. 

Another TikTok trend that has transcended the platform is the Fashion Edit challenge. A simplified explanation of the challenge sees TikTok users fall into a chair with their outfit already laid out and once they reach the seat, their outfit is magically replaced with an even cooler one.  This trend is very popular on TikTok’s For You Page and a surefire way for clothing brands to get the engagement they crave while showcasing their latest products.

TOPSHOP jumped on this challenge using Instagram Reels and their latest clothing pieces, earning their post over 2 million views. What does this mean for you? Staying relevant with younger audiences that flock to short-form video platforms requires staying on trend, a strategy we discuss more deeply in this article. Investing some time into understanding these platforms and their trends will translate into greater engagement overall. 

Promote new products

Whether you’re a brand or a creator looking for more followers, the promotional value of a tool like Instagram Reels on an already established social platform shouldn’t be brushed aside. Plugging your brand into an existing trend is an easy yet effective way to show versus tell viewers what you have to offer. 

This strategy was recently adopted by Selena Gomez’s new makeup line Rare Beauty. Using the pre-existing trend #RareRoutine on Instagram Reels, Selena encouraged her fans to share how they use their Rare Beauty products.

In a space that’s no stranger to #ads, encouraging regular people to freely endorse and use your product is smart and refreshing marketing. Whether you’re marketing your latest merch drop or a new product, asking your existing social community to share their how-tos is a great way to engage with your loyal customers while gaining new ones at the same time

With the arrival and immediate popularity of Instagram Reels, it’s clear that 15-second videos are here to stay. Reels’ similarities to TikTok don’t require reinventing your content strategy and will help drive engagement within a pre-existing platform where you’re already developing a fanbase. If you haven’t already embraced the new Instagram feature, you may want to add it to your 2021 New Year’s Resolution list.