2020 has been a year of over-consumption for most Australian iso-dwellers. We’ve been feeding our minds (and bodies) with copious amounts of content (and sourdough). Recently, our ever-shortening attention spans have been fed another delicious dish to satiate our ever-increasing appetite for more video content – Instagram Reels.

So, What Actually Is Instagram Reels?
Reels are 15-second snappy videos set to soundtracks that can be filmed and edited within Instagram using a bunch of excellent AR (augmented reality) features and tools. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s essentially an Instagram-localised version of iso-dance-phenomenon TikTok (more about that over here). Similar vibe, different video length (TikTok gives you up to 60 seconds) and perhaps more importantly, using it gives you the opportunity to spring clean your app collection (by using just the one app for all your social needs). This new feature is in the same place where Stories are made (top left of the IG home screen), which we’d argue is Instagram’s way of telling us to use this as a real-time content maker (not something overly curated and edited on external programs).

Should My Business Use Reels?
When something new and shiny pops up in the world of social media, it's tempting to assume you MUST jump on board. Before you do, consider if it's the right medium for your brand. How is your target audience going to respond? Will they even see it? While these fast-paced, multi-clip edited videos are often geared towards engaging a 20-something audience, you can still make them work for you and your customer (even if they’re a little more seasoned).

Buffet’s Tips for Creating Reels
There’s no need to fall into the trends – you don’t have to dance, sing or lip-sync to be successful on this channel. Use it instead to create original, intriguing and relevant content for your brand – it should tell its story in its relevant tone of voice. So, what should you post?

  • Reuse and re-edit old content. Dip your toe into the Reels pool with something you’ve published before. Cut and edit something old to refresh it, spruce it up with a backing track or new filter.
  • Keep it relevant. Sure, make it fun, quick and full of energy, but it doesn't hurt to sneak in some info about your brand too. Pouring wine? Show the label! Chopping potatoes? Tag the producer! You’re taking the time to create these 15-second masterpieces, so make it worth your while to get your message across.
  • Microcontent is always intriguing. Oozing cheese, bursting egg yolks, bubbling Champagne. Don’t let BTS go unnoticed, if there’s one place you should be sharing this type of content, it's on Reels.
  • Keep the tunes on-brand. If you wouldn’t play it at your venue or it isn't relevant to what’s happening in the vid, then maybe rethink it. There’s a huge database of music to choose from, so don't just go with the latest top-40 banger.
  • Understated but engaging overlays. As tempting as it may be to fill your videos with a bunch of text, animated gifs and stickers, remember, simple is key. To make sure your message isn't lost or crowded with too much traffic on the screen, keep the font colours and styles within your brand guidelines and use stickers that are unobtrusive and relevant to the messaging. The title will be key to getting the audience to watch your video, so choose titles that are punchy and intriguing.


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