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How To Use Instagram Reels – Ultimate Guide 2021

What are Reels on Instagram? Instagram Reel is a short-form and vertical video that you can publish to your feed or your Instagram Reels feed. You can set up to 30-seconds per video, or you can also go for a 15-second video, whichever you think is suitable for your content.

It’s a new way to create fun, unique and engaging video content. The feature is available in more than 50 countries, and that includes Malaysia.

Not to be mistaken with IGTV or Stories, published Reels on Instagram are videos that are easy to come across as they are located in the third section of your Instagram profile. Reels Instagram is more lively and productive when showcasing your business’s personality to your audiences.

Do short and fun videos sound familiar to you? IG Reels could be considered a straight clone of TikTok, which has become so popular amongst the Gen-Z generation users.

Instagram Reels’ popularity is growing everyday, and brands are already using it to help build their audience list. Source EndGadget

So it’s predictable that Instagram will take the plunge to replicate TikTok’s most demanding features-especially in areas where TikTok is not mainstream like Brazil.

One of the most significant benefits of Instagram Reels is that you can expand your engagement by adding video content into shorter and compact sizes for your target audiences. Short-form videos are the best example of great marketing. It’s specific, compelling, brief, and engaging.

Creating a Reel is not that hard. You can play around with the feature and produce some incredible and professional-looking videos that will amaze everyone that watches it.

Not sure how? Read further as we’ll share with you how to use Instagram Reels and how to make Reels on Instagram, as there are a few tools and features you can use to spice up your videos. Once you master the technique, your video will be the talk of the town!

So, What are Instagram Reels?

Reels first launched in Brazil before potentially rolling out elsewhere allowing Instagram to nail down its customization and onboarding strategy. Source TechCrunch

As we mentioned previously, Reels IG lets you publish 15-second multi-clip videos with audio and effects on your Instagram profile. It’s similar to TikTok as both are engaging and fun and more appealing to the younger generation.

TikTok is the number one social media downloaded on Apple Store and positions itself as the sixth top social media site right behind Instagram.

Both Instagram and TikTok do have their differences — which platform you prefer really depends on your audience, brand, and marketing goals. Source Later

Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, has been intending to challenge TikTok for quite some time now.

It seems that Facebook tends to use its competitors’ best features and integrate them into its app.

Reels on IG allows you to share your reels with your followers on Feed, and if you have a public account, you can make your Reels available to the extensive Instagram community through Explore. Reels in Explore provides any user the opportunity to become a creator on Instagram and gain new followers on a global stage.

Reels could give your brand higher chances of success thanks to its prime positioning within the Explore tab and all the familiarity and exposure that comes with it.

There are over 1 billion active users on Instagram. If we’ve learned anything from Instagram Stories, it is that Instagram knows how to recreate a tried-and-tested format that can be a superhit.

Brands like Sephora have worked together with Ryan Porter and created their first Reel for makeup lovers, and gained more than 1.9 million views.

While it’s a great idea to connect with your audience with influencers or celebrities they love, Walmart surely knows how to do it right. Walmart’s social media feed is filled with various influencer collaborations that attract their audiences with super fun and engaging Reels.

Louis Vuitton’s Instagram Reels are high quality, stunning, and super creative. Source MSU Programme

According to Instagram Statistic Louis Vuitton reports that all of their Reels have gone viral, averaging nearly 7 million views.

Your Instagram feed is the deciding factor that influences a user’s impulse to click the “follow” button. The best Instagram Grid Ideas and interesting content are the two major elements to get new followers to follow you.

How to Create Your Instagram Reels

If you’re not sure how to add Reels to Instagram, or how long can a Reel be on Instagram. Here are the essential elements for creating original and engaging Instagram Reels.

We’re going to share a few examples of what Reels are or what they look like, and hopefully, this will help you familiarize yourself with it.

1. Create Reels while Watching Other Reels in the Explore Page

You access the Reels camera from the original Stories camera. Source Social Examiner

To create Reels while exploring other peoples’ Reels, all you have to do is click on the camera icon on the top right of the screen, and you’ll be taken to Create mode.

2. You Can Also Access Create Mode from Your Home Page

You can easily create Reel from your Home Page. Source Heyorca

You can also access Create mode from your Home page by navigating to the Instagram camera at the top left of the screen. Then slide to the Reels option at the bottom of the screen. From there, you can start recording and editing your first Reel.

3. Uploading Pre-Recorded Videos that Live on Your Phone

Instagram Reels allows you two options to create a reel; press and hold the record button to capture footage, or you can upload video footage from your camera roll. Reels can be recorded in a series of clips – one at a time or all at once.

You can also use a pre-recorded video that is saved on your device’s Gallery. Source: Heyorca.

To upload pre-recorded videos from your phone, you need to click the gallery icon on the bottom left of your screen, or you can swipe up. You can only upload videos on your Reels as the image upload is not yet available on Reels.

If you need to discard a clip, tap the trash can icon and confirm the selected clip to discard. Source Social Media Examiner

After you have selected a video to upload on Reel, you can start by editing the video with the trimming tool by tapping on the scissor icon at the bottom of the screen. The clip will play continually, and a bar at the top right of your screen will show what percentage of time your video has used up.

You will see options at the top right of your screen to add Instagram Stickers, add text or draw on the clip. This is similar to Instagram Stories, where you can doodle or add a sticker of your choice.

When you’re happy with your clip, click on the upload icon at the top right of the screen.

You can continue to add more clips until your 15 seconds are up by replicating the steps above.

4. Filming a Video Directly from the App

Recording a Reel directly from your Instagram App will give your video a better resolution. Source PlannThat.

Of course, you can film your video directly using Instagram as you did with Stories, as it helps enhance your video’s resolution. To do this, you will need to hold onto the Instagram Reels button at the center of the screen while you’re in create mode.

Keep in mind that you need to select this option before you start recording your videos.

5. Using Videos Recorded in Your App + Pre-Recorded Videos Together

You can also stitch in-app videos and pre-recorded videos together on Reels. Source Social Media Examiner

If you want to use videos that you already recorded in your app together with pre-recorded videos, you can create them with a combination of in-app and pre-recorded videos too.

6. How to Edit Your Instagram Reel

Choose a variety of cool effects from the Instagram Library to create a more engaging and fun Reel for your audiences. Source New Future Creative

Instagram Reels has various editing tools to creatively edit your videos as you prefer to make them as engaging and entertaining as possible.

If you’ve uploaded pre-recorded videos from your gallery, you can only use the Music editor feature to add music to your video. While all others are exclusive and strictly for the video created from the app and need to be chosen before you start recording.

Follow these steps and edit your Reels video.

Audio – Search for a song from the Instagram music library to play over your clip. You can also record your original audio by simply recording a Reel with it.

Speed – Choose the playback speed of the clip. You can either select slow-motion or fast-forward.

AR Effects – Select one of the many effects in the Instagram effect gallery. You can record multiple clips using different backgrounds and effects.

Tap on the clock icon to set a timer for recording so you can do hands-free recordings. Source Social Media Examiner

Timer and countdown – set the timer to record your clips hands-free. Once you press the record button, you’ll see a 3-2-1 countdown before the recording begins for the amount of time you’ve chosen.

Align – Line objects from your previous clip before recording your following clip to help create a consistent transition between moments or adding friends into your reel.

7. How to Add Music to Your Instagram Reel

You can have access to the audio (or music) feature on Reels. Browse through suggested audio clips, popular music, or genres to use in your video. Source Social Media Examiner

To add music to your Reel, start by clicking on the music icon to acquire the audio editor. You can peruse through the various categories that Instagram has lined for you or use the search bar if you’ve already got a song title or artist in mind.

Once you’ve chosen the song, you can use the audio editor to select the portion you want to feature in your recording.

Drag your finger along the audio trimmer at the bottom of the screen. Instagram also offers suggestions for where you should insert your audio. And these are indicated by the colored notches on the trimmer.

There are thousands of songs available on Instagram Library. Source Later

If you want to use someone else’s audio or music for your Reel, tap the audio on the Reel from the Reels Explore Page, then select Use Audio.

8. How to Adjust the Playback Speed of Your Recordings

When recording a video directly from Instagram Reels, you have the option to slow down or speed up your clip. Source WPFAqhub

When recording a video directly from Instagram Reels, you can either choose the slow-motion or fast-forward feature. All you have to do is click on the play button icon in the editor menu section and select the speed you favor.

9. How to Add Instagram Filters to Your Reels

You can apply a filter to your Reel to create more interesting effects. Source Cool Mum Tech

Just like Instagram Stories, you can also add filters to your Instagram Reels before you film a clip for a reel. Select the Smiley Face icon and select Effects from the left navigation. This will open a series of effects and filters at the bottom of the screen next to the shutter button. Scroll left or right to select the effects or overlay to add to your clip.

When you are filming several clips in Instagram Reels, the filters will switch back to the default after recording your footage. Thus it would be best to use your choice of filters each time you start filming a new clip.

If you want to explore what filter is available for Reels, scroll to the extreme right until a magnifying glass appears and click on it to explore all the available effects.

You can scroll through the list by searching via the categories at the top to narrow down your options. Or you can also click the magnifying glass at the top right of your screen and start searching by keyword.

For a more helpful tutorial on how to add a custom green screen to your Instagram Reels, check out this video here.

10. How to Set a Time Limit on Your Instagram Reels Recording

You can set a timer for each clip you want. Source HootSuite Blog

This is a valuable feature when you need to stitch two or multiple clips together into one Reel.

By tapping into the time icon, you’ll be able to decide the duration of your clip before recording it. A bar will appear to show you how many seconds you have left, and the slider allows you to set the length of the clip you’ll be adding.

After setting the time limit, click on the Reels button to begin recording. A 3-second countdown timer will pop up before the recording begins.

11. How to Align Multiple Clips in Instagram Reel

Use the align icon for smooth transitions of your clips. Source Social Media Examiner.

The align tool ensures your phone or tab’s camera is in the same position before recording your subsequent clip. This will make the transition from one clip to another appear more seamless.

Select the align icon before recording your next video snippet. Source Social Media Examiner

Just make sure that you select the align button before recording your following clip snippet.

Check out this helpful tutorial by Parker Hill on how to properly use the align tool on Reels.

Keep note that the alignment editor will only appear when you already recorded at least one clip.

12. How to Publish an Instagram Reel

When your Reel is ready, tap on the right-pointing arrow icon at the bottom of the screen next to the frame-by-frame player of your video to publish it. Source Social Media Examiner

Sharing a Reel is pretty easy, just like sharing any other kind of post on Instagram, and it can be done in just a few easy steps.

In Instagram’s new update, the Reels feature can be found easily in the middle of the menu bar at the bottom of your Instagram profile screen.

To publish your Reel, click the right arrow on the Reels recording icon. Over here, you can review your full clip before deciding to publish it. You can still edit and customize the video at this stage by adding text, stickers, and animated images.

Cover image is the large image in the center of the screen. Source Social Media Examiner

Once you are happy with your clip, tap on the right arrow at the bottom of the screen and select a cover story for your clip. You can use your cover, or you can choose a media from the Instagram library. Just like posting a new post, you can add captions and hashtags so your video will be discovered by users that have the same interest and niche as you.

To share your Reels to your Stories, tap on the Stories button on the Share screen and tap the Share button. Source Social Media Examiner

You can share your Reel to your Story, but the video will disappear after 24 hours if you share it on Story. And if you want to post it to your Instagram Feed, use the toggle to turn the option on.

When everything’s ready, tap the Share button. You can also save your Reel as a draft and share it later.

To check your published Reels, go back to your profile and tab on the Reels icon located at the bottom of your screen.

Conclusion

So that’s it. Now you know what is an Instagram Reel and how to use reels on Instagram to build your social media marketing and presence for your business.

The Instagram algorithm hacks will now deprioritize Reels created in TikTok with a TikTok watermark and favor original Reels content instead thus creating a new opportunity for creators to reach new audiences.

If your brand already has a strong presence on Instagram, there may be a chance that Instagram Reels can help with your brand’s success. Many major brands have already joined the Reels bandwagon, and created their exciting and engaging Reels. With the intention to engage their existing Instagram audience with new features and content.

The endless scrolling navigation can hook your audience and make it easy to view your content.

Does your business find Instagram Reels exciting and a perfect alternative to other video-sharing apps?

Drop us a line at One Search Pro and we will tell you everything you need to know about using Instagram for business — from setting up your account to creating a winning strategy.

We can also help you with other marketing needs to help improve your brand’s online presence and awareness.

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