January 12, 2021
Instagram Reels! Reels came to the scene back in the Summer of 2020 and since people have either LOVED them, HATED them, or been mega confused on HOW the heck to use them. In today’s show, we’re answering YOUR biggest questions you’ve had about Reels. We are tackling why Reels are even important, and what they actually can do for your business. We give you a walkthrough tutorial if you’re SUPER confused and don’t even know where to start. We tackle questions like “Should I post reels to my regular feed or not?” “Should I be using hashtags with Reels?” “What do I do if I don’t have the music feature?” “Should I focus more on Tik Tok or Reels?” AND the biggest question you have when it comes to creating Reels…. What the HECK do I even make Reels about?”
Are you ready for Instagram Reels 101?
It can be overwhelming, we understand, especially with Instagram releasing guides, and now feels like Instagram/Social media, in general, is trying to compete and is overwhelming for the consumer. It’s important to realize that you don’t have to do everything. It’s better to do one thing really well than do a bunch of other things mediocre. Focus on one or two instead of all of the platforms at once. There are a million things you can do, but just focus on one thing at a time, one platform, one skill, and then grow from there.
There is a difference between Reels and Tik Tok. Since Tik Tok came first and a lot of business owners were hesitant to jump onto the Tik Tok game, we think a lot of that caution has transferred over to Reels. There are misunderstandings of what Reels can do for your business, especially being on the Instagram platform.
View Reels as marketing. One of the questions we get asked a lot is, “Yes, Reels get a lot of views but are you actually seeing business inquiries from those views?”. First step back and realize, if you are getting 5k views on a Reel and on a normal post only getting 1k, that is 4k more people getting eyes on your stuff that normally wouldn’t. That is huge, whether you initially see those business leads, sales, or inquiries right up front that free marketing is insane. Instagram has not been that powerful for free marketing for years. Don’t downplay those views, they might not immediately convert to sales, inquiries, or leads, but you’re getting fresh eyes on your stuff.
The Reels algorithm works by targeting certain people that are interested in that specific topic. You’re getting interested people and ideally your ideal client. That is a big freaking deal!
When you look at the numbers, Instagram pushes the most recent updates because they want user consumption to be huge and last longer. If there is something new, Instagram pushes it. We can easily tell by when we scroll on our feeds, half if not most are Reels. Try it, scroll on your feed, and see how many more Reels are showing up and fewer posts.
That is why we are seeing the viewership numbers skyrocket, they are getting more views than IGTV or a normal post. If you had an option to create something that got less or more viewership, why would that even be a question? Unless you don’t want to grow on Instagram, but then why are you interested in this episode?
If there is a question between creating a post on Instagram versus a Reel that potentially has the power to go farther and have more longevity? Then that is something to consider, even if you yourself, personally don’t like it, you have to look at it objectively and see which is performing better. Looking at it from a scientific/analytical perspective is helpful, asking yourself which will do better? We have noticed Reels from weeks ago are still getting liked. Instagram used to be a one-time thing, it never had longevity like blog posts or Pinterest pins that have longevity to continue on in its lifetime longer than just that day. Whereas Instagram before was you post every day and then that was it, but now with Reels it could still be popping three weeks from when you posted it.
Instagram is pushing it, we have been on our accounts and have liked a Reel and literally, two days later it is on our feed again. That never happens with Instagram posts. If you are trying to be smart and grow your business, you have to be savvy and look at the science and analytics behind it, that Reels are getting a lot of engagement.
It’s approaching it with a business mind rather than an emotional mind and thinking about what is my ROI and what is my return on investment. You might think this will get me a lot of views but will it get to my ideal client? That is the biggest question, is this reaching the people I want to reach? It depends on what you are creating, if you are just creating crap that doesn’t make any sense to who you are trying to target for your business, you will get random viewers. The great thing about Reels is that the algorithm shows Reels to people who are interested in that topic.
It is important for people to sit back and realize if you are creating the right content, it is going to get in front of the right people, your ideal clients and audience, you’re going to get a lot of followers from the number of views if you are creating quality content. You will get inquiries and sales, it might take a little bit longer to really start picking up, but we do think Reels are powerful for your business. It is not a waste of time if you are doing it right.
Pull up the app of Instagram and there are two different ways to go to the Reels section to start posting.
There are a few sections when you get to the Reel section, the top there is length- you can do 15 or 30 seconds of recording. We’ll see if they get on the Tik Tok train and let you do 60 in the future.
Next is audio (some people don’t have that and we will cover that), that is where you can choose the song you want to make your reel to.
The next is speed, that is where you can either speed up your video or slow it down. That’s really cool if you want to do a timelapse of you cleaning your room. Changing the speed of your Reel to be different.
You can do effects, as you use Instagram effects on your story you can also put those effects on your Reels so you can look pretty with your filter.
The last section at the bottom is a timer, this is how people do those Reels where they are snapping and then all of a sudden in a different outfit or cut it uniquely. It gives you the ability to edit a Reel, so you don’t need an app outside of Instagram. With the timer, all that means is you get to choose between a countdown of three or ten seconds. Three seconds to click it and position yourself however you want, ten seconds obviously gives you more time. The best thing about this is, for example, you only want two seconds recorded of yourself and then want to cut to something else, you can adjust that slider on the timer countdown where you hit the three-second countdown, set the timer to two seconds, and then you can adjust it again. This way you can do fun little cuts.
If you want more in-depth tutorials, first of all, practice, give yourself a couple of Reels that you want to create without pressure to post it. Just for you to learn the system. Then look at other tutorials to learn more. It may take some time, but give yourself grace and space. Get out there and try!
When we were just posting photos, we felt like every day we needed new content. With Reels now, there is so much potential in your camera roll. You could look back two years and find videos and stories that you could repurpose for a Reel. Get creative and know there is so much potential in your camera roll. At least twenty Reel ideas in your camera roll right now!
Pretty simple answer, Reels do so MUCH better when you post them to your actual feed.
We don’t know why, we just know that Instagram pushes them into the algorithm so that people see them in the explore page a lot more when you post them to your feed. We have seen people do tests (stating that they are) where they post the same Reel in their posts and then to their just to their Reel section. It won’t do as well when it is only posted to your Reel feed.
The point is, it does better if you post it to your feed.
YEP. You can still put up to 30 hashtags just like normal posts. We recommend posting your hashtags in the comments immediately after posting your Reel. If you search any hashtag or keyword, Reels come up as well as posts. So hashtags do help. Hashtag searches are just as usable on Reels as they are on feed posts.
Use the app In Shot. Screen record any sound you want to use. Bring it into In Shot as a music track (exporting audio from a video) and put it on top of your video footage. Edit from there. Even if you do have music sometimes this app is great to be able to edit videos a certain way that you can’t do in the Instagram app during your Reel creation.
We’re not quite sure who does and who doesn’t have this feature, we have heard business accounts don’t, not sure if true. The Heart University account does not have it but we both do and our business accounts as well.
It is frustrating if you don’t have the music feature, but use In Shot and then you won’t have to rely on editing them in the Instagram section. You can do a lot in the Reels section, however we love to use the app In Shot on our phones.
Another fun hack you can do is screen record any sound or song you want to use in a video and in IN Shot you can upload any video as a track and extract any audio from that video. Then edit from there.
We do that when we want a lower track volume for a voice-over. Or we have done it when we want to combine multiple sounds from a Tik Tok or something else. It’s always great to use the music feature if you have it because it gives credit to the artist, so if you do use this option we strongly encourage you to credit the artist.
If you don’t have the music feature this is your best option to use In Shot and then credit the artist when you can.
What industry are you in? Who is your ideal client? What are they struggling with? How does YOUR service or product solve that client’s problem?
This is content creation and marketing, not even just about Reels.
No matter what you’re creating (insta post, stories, reels, blog, etc…) it’s your job to create content that attracts the attention of your ideal client, SERVES them with value (education, inspiration, encouragement, etc…), and puts you front of mind.
When we say “education,” a lot of people assume that means business education or teaching other peers in your industry. NO. Education just means getting specific on WHO it is you’re serving and giving them the value they need/want. What are YOUR ideal client’s problems right now?
If you are a wedding photographer right now, they are engaged couples who have no idea how to plan a wedding. Especially with Covid, they are even more unsure. There are a lot of pain points and problems for your ideal client, you as the expert needs to stand up and educate them, serve them, help them, and solve their problems. That is the biggest thing. Put yourself in your ideal client or customer’s shoes. Then think what do they not know that they should know, what do they struggle with, what can I serve them with that will change their life? That will get rid of that creator’s block.
The only reason you should be creating Reels is to inspire, educate, or relate with your ideal client. You’re not trying to necessarily attract others from your industry. That’s why it’s important to go back to the questions we asked above.
Go to your explore page and watch other people’s Reels. Get inspired and allow that to help you trigger ideas for your own business! There are a lot of Reels out there that are not just dancing and pointing so paying attention to the ones that you do like.
Humor cuts deep. If you can hit a relatable funny bone it will do a lot better. See what other people are doing. Create a note in your phone of any funny song, or clip you’ve heard and get creative on how you could put your own spin on it.
TikTok is more for entertainment and appears to be a younger crowd. People are on there wanting to binge-watch funny and interesting short videos late at night or while bored. Although you can ABSOLUTELY get traction with education on TikTok, it’s a little more difficult than Reels for business owners for a variety of reasons. Primarily the conversion rate. On Tik Tok, it is hard to convert from that app to your website. Instagram is more known for business.
For Reels, you are in an all in one app (conversion and click rates are AMAZING since you’re not trying to convert from one app or platform to another). Even within Instagram, it goes to your Instagram within the app.
People tend to be looking for more educational, helpful, and interesting content on Instagram since that’s the culture it has created and promoted. Tik Tok is more sit back and scroll. The use of hashtags and people sharing Reels. There is more searchability, conversion, and shareability on Instagram than Tik Tok. Especially since you have all your links, info, portfolio, more content on Instagram. Easier for people to find, click, convert, and discover.
Tik Tok is also a bit less personal. Tik Tok doesn’t have the ability to do stories, where Instagram can and gives you the relatability factor. It’s important to know the difference between the two.
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WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
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