How To Guide – How to Use New Instagram Reels for Business

There are lots of updates and new features being rolled out across social media all the time and Instagram Reels arrived just last month (August 2020). Designed to help Instagram compete with the explosion of TikTok, Instagram Reels could be useful in your business!


Reels are located in the same place as your Story set up area in the Instagram App and are videos with additional feature like music, emojis and filters that run for between 3 & 15 seconds. You can display your Reels in your stories, on your grid and in your Reels area on your profile (you won’t have a Reels Area in your profile until you have created your first Reel).

What’s the difference between Reels and IGTV?

Reels are designed to add some fun, engagement and easy information access to your Instagram profile. IGTV are longer running videos (upwards of 15 seconds) and are designed to provide more in-depth content from your business.

Why use Reels at all?

Reels aren’t compulsory but they might be the additional bit of content you need to liven up your Instagram account. They can be used to quickly give a tour of behind the scenes or show your fans how something works. They are popular with fashion and gift brands to showcase outfits and products. They will likely attract the younger end of your customer base and allows your brand to connect on a more informal footing. They can also add content variety into your Instagram account providing multiple ways for your audience to get to know your brand and business. For example they can look at your grid, access your stories, watch your reels and IGTVs.

How do I get started?

The best thing to do is search for reels in the Explore section of Instagram to get an idea about how your favourite brands are using them. This will help you decide if they’re for you right now.


Ready to go?

Ok – first of all, head to your story creating area on Instagram (camera in the top left of your app).

You will notice there is a right to left scroll menu at the bottom of that screen offering Live, Story, Reel. Scroll to choose the reel.

Reels work almost back to front. You start by using the little menu of 3 or 4 icons on the left side of this screen to set the length of the video, speed, the music and any overlays BEFORE you add the video bit. Weird! Please note: not all accounts have the music option yet.

Start by choosing the video length (max 15 seconds).

Then choose the speed. x1 means norma speed. This is a fun feature that might help you speed up a video of you making something or sharing a demo.

Choose any accompanying music.

Add any overlay like emojis or text. It’s worth noting that TIkTok feedback shows that folks don’t really read the text overlay so if you do add it, make sure it’s in the audio of the video too…

Now you can use the video icon in the bottom middle of the screen to take your video (keep your thumb on the button). Alternatively, you can use video you already have in your phone storage or a mix of the two. A popular option is to jump from one bit of video to another – for example a before and after.

Once you’ve completed your reel, you can choose where it goes by using the white, right facing arrow next to the recording button. There will also be a preview for you to check over. Choose the cover image, any caption you want to add (people tend not to read too much here) and click the ‘Also share in feed’ button to your preference. Best of all, you can save to draft to post later if you want to create a bank of Reels in advance.