On August 5th, Instagram’s newest feature, Reels, launched in over 50 countries around the world. At the same time, Trump has signed an executive order that will effectively ban the use of popular social media platform, Tiktok, in the U.S.
Loved by users for its authentic and engaging short-form video content, TikTok stood out by allowing users to express themselves creatively. According to Adweek, the platform generated “the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter” in Q1 2020.
But with social media’s biggest player stepping into the game, it is inevitable that brands will soon need to get on the new IG Reels trend. According to a 2019 survey by Mediakix, 89% of marketers found Instagram to be the most strategically important social channel for influencer marketing.
The addition of IG Reels provides an alternative content type for brands to connect with audiences in a relatable and genuine way. Instead of switching between TikTok and Instagram, brands can now centralize their campaigns in one app and marketing spend on Instagram is predicted to increase.
Eager to know more? Read on to find out how your brands can get a headstart on IG Reels and run successful influencer campaigns with Instagram’s newest feature!
Instagram Reels is the latest feature of Instagram that allows users to create 15-second videos with music, features and effects. Users can edit their videos with 4 features: Audio, speed, effects and timer. Similar to TikTok, users can select one of the many effects in the effect gallery, created both by Instagram and creators all over the world. Reels in Explore will also showcase the best of trending culture on Instagram.
In contrast to TikTok, videos on Reels are limited to only 15 seconds. Users can also choose to share their videos publicly or just with their followers. Moreover, users are not allowed to use songs outside the IG music library and can only add their original audio by recording a reel with it.
Some brands which have jumped onto the bandwagon include @louisvuitton, @balmain, together with influencers @junesixtyfive and @wonguy974. But if you’re still cautious to test the waters, here’s how your brand can run successful campaigns with IG Reels!
Short-form videos are popular with Millennial and Gen Z consumers who value authenticity and engaging content. This explains why a majority of TikTok’s audience is in their 20’s or younger.
However, Instagram is made up of a slightly older audience, with 79% of Instagram’s audience between 18 and 44 years old. By using IG Reels, brands can reach out to a more diverse audience who may be interested in short-form video content.
For marketers struggling to reach Millenials and Gen Z consumers on Instagram, focusing their campaigns on IG Reels will make it easier for them to target their desired audience on Instagram.
Furthermore, brands should recognise that IG Reels is not a standalone feature. Understanding the plethora of tools present on Instagram will be useful to launch integrated influencer campaigns with multiple media formats.
Instagram Live saw a 70% increase in usage in April following social distancing orders in the U.S. while the recent release of new font types for Instagram Stories excited many IG Story users. Meanwhile, long-form video content on Instagram is supported by IGTV which was launched in June 2018. With these various features in place, brands should be mindful not to treat IG Reels merely as “a second TikTok”.
For Instagram audiences which are not familiar with Reels yet, using other content types and features to support branded content on IG Reels will be helpful to attract views. Hence, a clever tip is for brands to share their Reels and generate awareness using Instagram Stories, IGTV and Instagram Live together.
Brands can get the best of both worlds by working with influencers on Instagram, but with experience in TikTok. The IG algorithm will likely favour well-known influencers on Instagram with an established community of followers. At the same time, influencers who are familiar with TikTok will have the expertise to create short 15 second videos with sensational content.
An example is Singaporean micro-influencer, @crysta.bel who has 23.9k followers on Instagram and 229.7k followers on her TikTok account. Known for her dancing and lip-syncing videos, her collaboration with @shopee_sg on Instagram received over 10k views.
Australian Eggs is among the first Australian companies to launch influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram Reels and made an impact with short, unique and entertaining content. The video shows many different ways we can cook eggs, and in the center is a man singing beautifully while enjoying his dish (which is made by eggs, of course). The video is a part of their campaign #EggsMyWay which targets younger audiences and captures their attention in a new way.
With around 1 billion active users on Instagram, brands can also expect an explosion of user-generated content on IG Reels, similar to TikTok. With the launch of Reels, everyone can now be a video creator. Hence, consumers are predicted to give more attention to nano-influencers with well-defined niche and real influence in the community. To boost engagement of influencer campaigns, brands should thus keep a lookout for nano-influencers and rising stars on IG Reels to work with.
We are all familiar with TikTok challenges, so how about starting the first IG Reels Challenge? #LevelUp, #OwnTheCurve or #DistanceDance are among top-performing challenges that inspire millions of audiences to watch and engage with them, and brands can totally do the same with IG Reels.
Now, creating a viral challenge on IG Reels, of course, requires a lot of factors. Brands should bear in mind that they only have 15s to engage the audience (not 60s like TikTok video), so the challenge should be quick, simple and easy to follow. As the music is limited to IG music library, brands must take extra-effort to select the most suitable background music. Last but not least, it is essential to engage Instagram influencers to raise awareness and inspire people to join. Leveraging on IG Reels features, brands can partner with Instagram influencers and create a buzz on social media by initiating IG Reels Challenges.
Last but not least, IG Reels is a new feature so there is lots of room for brands to explore! Make use of the AR filters and create your own catchy music to stand out from the crowd. With only 15 seconds to showcase your brand, it is important to deliver a short and sweet message which can make a lasting impression. An example is celebrity influencer, @jessicaalba, who posted a Reel of her dancing with her Honest Beauty masks in her garden, on a patio table, and even on her kitchen counter!
Even though some may think that IG Reels feels like TikTok, it is important not to limit your campaign to what has been done in the past. The more creative you get, the more likely you are to stand out and be an inspiration for others to follow. Start an influencer marketing campaign on IG Reels and lead the pack now!
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