Why you Should be Using Instagram Reels to Market Your Small Business in 2023

January 6, 2023
Laura Smith

If you’re an Instagram user, it’s extremely likely that the massive rise in video content on the platform hasn’t gone unnoticed. Despite being traditionally known for hosting users’ carefully filtered snaps, Instagram has taken a leaf out of TikTok’s book and decided to focus quite heavily on short, snappy videos also known as Reels. Undoubtedly, this new feature (which was first introduced in 2020) is due to the extreme popularity of TikTok amongst Gen Z. 

Though these Instagram Reels and TikToks are stereotypically known for focusing on trending dance routines and comedy skits, they’re actually a fantastic way to engage your audience as a small business, so they certainly shouldn’t be dismissed.

Curious about introducing Instagram Reels into your small business’ social media marketing strategy? Read on to learn more about some of the benefits that we think make posting Reels so worthwhile.

Are Reels necessary for Instagram?

If you’re looking for the short answer - it’s yes. Video content has seen a soar in popularity across all different social media platforms but especially Instagram. If you want to keep your account relevant and continue to engage your followers, then Instagram Reels are the way forward.

Can Instagram Reels further your reach?

Wondering about what social media reach is, and why it’s important? Reach is the amount of unique users that are seeing your content. This is achieved through sharing relevant, unique content as well as using hashtags, encouraging your followers to share your posts and tagging other users. As a small business, having a strong social reach is important as it can help get your products seen by more people, resulting in more followers (and hopefully more sales!). 

This is where Reels come into play - these can help further your social reach as they are a relatively new addition to Instagram, so they are prioritised by the platform and shown to more users to encourage more people to take part and have a go at creating them themselves.

The Exclusive Reels Feed

Aside from Instagram prioritising Reels on users’ main newsfeeds, there’s also the added benefit of the Reels feed. 

Next time you’re scrolling on Instagram, press the video icon in the bottom centre of the screen. Here, you’ll be able to scroll through the exclusive Reels feed and see the content other users have been posting. Not sure what Reels you should be making? Having a browse of this feed is a good way to get an idea of the currently trending content and find some inspiration for your next video.

Show the face behind your brand

Looking to start making Instagram Reels for your business, but not quite sure where to start? A great way to engage your followers is to introduce yourself and show them the face behind the business. This makes you seem real to your customers and is a fantastic way to build trust and brand awareness.

a small business owner

Share your business’ story. Here are some Reel ideas to get you started:

Get to know me video: First things first, introduce yourself to your followers! Share a bit more about yourself and your business and put a face to your brand. Bonus points for if you’ve got a beloved pet who’s your working from home companion - your followers will love to see your furry friend!

Day in the life of a small business owner: Vlogs (video blogs) are an ideal way to give your customers further insight into what it is that you do. Think about what it is that your business has to offer - could you film yourself gardening, cutting hair or decorating cakes? From packaging orders to cleaning your desk area, you never know what your followers might like to see. Top tip: add a voiceover before posting to narrate your day and explain to your followers what you’re up to. 

Working time lapse: Creating artwork? Typing away at your desk? Either way, time lapses showing brief snippets of your working day make for really popular Instagram Reels as they give followers a sneak peek behind the scenes. They’re also another way to showcase your products.

Our top tip: When creating Reels, try to save the sales pitch. Your followers are scrolling through Instagram for a bit of escapism, and will have come across plenty of paid ads and affiliate links. Whilst these are both excellent ways to boost traffic to your site, we’d recommend making your first few Reels quite lighthearted and fun - think using some of the popular audios and having a go at some of the trends.

Show your products to your followers

Though we recommend using Reels as a less sales heavy form of marketing, that doesn’t mean you should shy away from showcasing the products or services you have to offer. Try to avoid thinking of your Reels as direct advertisements and try to have some fun by creating informal content whilst still showing your business’ offering.

Wondering what sort of Reels to make to promote your small business?

Transformation videos: before and after videos can show the positive progress your business has made for customers. 

Quick, snappy product videos set to trending audios

Tutorials: Share your expertise through “how to” and quick tips and tricks videos.

Answer your frequently asked questions: Similar to tutorial videos, this a great way to share your knowledge but also support your customers - further establishing your brand as a trustworthy one.

The Instagram Reels Algorithm

Similar to TikTok, Instagram tends to show users the content that they have previously shown interest in seeing through likes, comments or shares. This algorithm is based on post content such as hashtags, the audio used and even the quality of the video. 

It’s for this reason that we strongly recommend using hashtags that are relevant to your business to help you attract further followers, but also try using trending audios in your videos to further your reach.

Can followers share Instagram Reels?

Yes - another perk to posting Instagram Reels is their fantastic shareability. In contrast to Instagram stories that only last for 24 hours, Reels will remain on your profile until you archive or delete them. This also means that if your latest Reel isn’t an initial hit, that doesn’t mean that the Reel algorithm won’t push it into potential followers’ news feeds and explore pages in the future. 

Aside from this, Reels can also be shared to users’ stories and with friends. So, next time you create an engaging, informative or funny video don’t be surprised if you’ve got plenty of re-shares!

How often should you post Instagram Reels?

Similar to TikTok, Instagram favours accounts that post regularly. We’d recommend posting three times per week. Whilst Reels may require a bit more work than static imagery, it’s important to remember that the Instagram algorithm currently favours Reels, so try to plan your content accordingly. 

Looking for more marketing tips for your small business? Check out our other blogs and reviews, all aimed at supporting startups and small businesses.

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