If you’re one of the many people who questioned the long term appeal of short-form video content (don’t worry – you weren’t alone), TikTok has probably proved otherwise.

The video sharing app has exploded in popularity, and that’s in part because it’s a brilliantly simple idea.

This is why other platforms are following TikTok’s lead – Instagram included.

In 2020, Instagram introduced its ‘Reels’ feature which is, to all intents and purposes, almost identical to the TikTok offering. Users can now create bite-sized, highly shareable videos which typically fall into music or comedy genres.

Here’s how to get the most out of this increasingly popular feature.

1. Learn From Other Users & Analytics

One of the best ways to get started with Instagram Reels is to learn from other users.

Jump on the app and have a browse. Reels appear in the discover section (accessed by pressing the hourglass icon) and are labelled as ‘Reels’ at the bottom.

Have a look at what others are doing. You’ll want to create your own style, but there’s nothing like being inspired by people who are already doing it. Analyse your posts as well as posts of other users, compare the data to see what works best.

video stats

2. Use Storyboards

The best short-form video is no different to the long-form stuff when it comes to planning.

Reels which catch your eye have almost definitely been storyboarded – unless they were a happy accident (that’s pretty rare, to be fair).

Have a think about what story you want your reel to tell and draft it out. This will make the shooting of the video far easier and help you get your point across perfectly.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

The best TikTokers spend lots of time practicing their videos.

This is particularly important with short-form video because it’s over so quickly. You literally have mere seconds to grab the audience’s attention and convey your message or tell your story.

With that in mind, your delivery needs to be spot-on, and that’ll only come from practice. Either do this in front of the mirror (the classic way), or by shooting videos on your phone and watching them back.

Practice definitely makes perfect when it comes to Reels.

4. Repurpose Your Content

If you want to give Reels a try for digital marketing purposes (plenty of brands are latching onto this idea already), you can do a lot worse than repurpose content from elsewhere.

That content might be longer-form videos, blogs or social media posts. Whatever it is, try turning it into short-form video for Instagram. Social media posts in particular will suit this form of video.

Repurposing content for Reels is one of the quickest ways to create a bunch of videos for this platform, and it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

Wrapping Up

It’s early days for Instagram Reels, but there’s no time like the present to jump on board and give it a try.

Our tips above will help you make the most of short-form content on Instagram. Get it right, and you could find more engagement than you would with standard Instagram posts.