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Social Media and UGC

What are Instagram Reels? Plus 3 Brands Winning with Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels are a new Instagram feature that allows users to make short, captivating, and fun video clips to entertain or attract new followers. The main qualities of Instagram Reels are the short duration of the clip (60 seconds); an extensive variety of customizable options to add a unique flair, chain different clips together, or make a showy transition. In an uncanny way, Instagram Reels are very reminiscent of the similar TikTok format which led people to draw warranted comparisons. So, what is it that caught users’ interest in sharing and filming videos of this type? First and foremost it’s the simplicity of use and interactivity.

Why Are Instagram Reels and TikTok Style of Videos So Popular?

TikTok and Instagram Reels are easy to use – which has led to a huge increase in user-generated content in this format. By simply pressing the button, users can start their own recording and fiddle with available filters, effects, and angles on the fly. The beauty of it all is that you can create a visually remarkable clip without any prior knowledge of video editing. With an easily approachable toolset of available customization options, people are not only far less likely to be scared off but also are facilitated to be creative and engaging. Speaking of TikTok, the overwhelming success that the company has gained in the past year hasn't gone unnoticed. Overwhelmingly, people value short and action-rich video clips far more than static imagery or long-winded videos.  And so far, these videos are performing well. Based on a preliminary survey of 50 leading brands, Reels are resonating well with their audience as well as gaining traction with Instagram's algorithm.

Instagram Reels Engagement Data
Instagram Reels are already gaining traction as many brands are seeing high engagement compared to their followers.

Demographic Aspect and Common Misconceptions

As Instagram diversifies its product, we can likely expect more people to be drawn to the platform. Even if your target demographic hasn't been overwhelmingly engaged on Instagram, this form of content might be the ticket for attracting new communities to your brand. And while both TikTok and Instagram seemingly skew young, this misconception can be harmful – every generation and demographic seems to resonate with short-form video content overall.

There is also the sheer expanse and reach that is potentially waiting to be tapped into. The latest data on the daily user count of Instagram is staggering. More than a billion active users are scrolling, liking, story-ing, and sharing. Instagram is already considered one of the main funnels for digital marketing. With this new addition, we could see not only resurgent popularity but also a new way for product advertising that will be an irrefutable aid in gleaning even more success.

Companies That Utilize Instagram Reels to The Fullest Potential

Already, brands are experimenting with Reels. Since many already have a presence on Instagram, testing this new format is easy, accessible, and enticing as people enjoy this video format. These three brands have shown independently that Instagram Reels have the potential to engage the audience in an authentic way, with minimally produced content.

1. Redbull

Redbull is always at the forefront of innovation when it comes to community-driven marketing. Their campaigns are appropriately filled with energy, drive, and ebullience. No wonder that they quickly adapted and adopted the new Instagram trend and used it to their advantage in the form of quick-burst clips of breathtaking stunts. Evidently, this type of media suits their product really well and you can be sure that they won't be abandoning it in the foreseeable future. Their latest Reel has gathered a ton of positive responses since it accomplishes the two main constituents of great user-oriented content - short and enthralling.


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legends say he's still sliding🔥 w/ @krisskyle #redbull #redbullkeepitreels #bmx #sliding

A post shared by Red Bull (@redbull) on Aug 8, 2020 at 11:51am PDT

2. Wish

Wish has become almost synonymous with great deals. It garnered an envious amount of success in the last decade. One of the biggest reasons is their clever marketing campaigns and TV advertising that oftentimes include popular soccer players and other celebrities. Wish strives to display its platform as a very “relatable” and authentic platform. Although many of their TV advertisements do boast a pompous showcase, their Instagram account does more grounded content. The latest reel does exactly that. It doesn’t blow confetti in your face but, instead, focuses on Justin Kastner’s musical aptitude and accentuates the feel of the video with fleeting transitions.


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And now the Reel fun begins on Instagram with @justinkastner 🎶 🎹 #wishapp #wishshopping #fridayvibes #reels #reelsinstagram

A post shared by Wish (@wish) on Aug 7, 2020 at 4:20pm PDT

3. Revel Nail

Nail polish, cosmetic products, and Instagram are like indissoluble elements of one entity. If you have ever thought about or are currently considering diving into cosmetics, omitting Instagram is tantamount to the cardinal sin. Now, Revel Nail has been very mindful of their strategy. They didn’t waste any time whatsoever and dipped their toes in a new Instagram feature right away. How did it play out? Let the post speak for itself. By showcasing a “behind the scenes” of their brand, they allow their followers to feel as though they are getting an intimate look into Revel Nail. This allows the brand to build up a true community out of its followers. In the long run, this will prove to be a major benefit.


View this post on Instagram


Welcome to Revel Nail’s Reels! We’ll be keeping it casual in this space, sharing some behind the scenes action, bloopers and of course...the occasional sneak peek 👀✨🥳 #reels #reelsinstagram #revelnail #yesrevelnail #diynails #diymanicure #beautyhacks

A post shared by REVEL NAIL (@revelnail) on Aug 6, 2020 at 3:25pm PDT

Reels further reinforce the trend that audiences prefer scrappy, less-produced content that is authentic over highly-produced, out-of-touch content. Either showcasing a product with the help of already established influencers, finding user-generated Reels already discussing your product, or devising an engaging content piece from the ground up, Instagram Reels may continue to rival TikTok as it faces an uncertain future in some countries. The trend around this type of media content is not going to subside in any capacity in the near future. No matter your TikTok strategy, it's become clear that short-form video is worth investigating and investing in through 2020.

Marie Barnes is Marketing Communication Manager at Adsy and a writer for gearyoda. She is an enthusiastic blogger interested in writing about technology, social media, work, travel, lifestyle, and current affairs.

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