Using Instagram Reels within your marketing activities
The popular app TikTok is under attack. Instagram is taking the opportunity to launch its own competitor in more than 50 countries: Instagram Reels. What are chances of Reels becoming a success and (how) can you use it as a company to reach your target audience?
TikTok is a platform meant for short videos. It gives mainly young people the opportunity to get creative without having to worry about video editing. TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance and the Americans, in particular, are not very happy about it.
The future of TikTok
In China, the government has the power to request company data, including data from users of the app. This is why the American president Trump wants to prohibit American citizens from using TikTok. With Microsoft, there now is an American candidate buyer for TikTok. Should the popular app fall into American hands, it (and the associated advertising market) will continue to exist.
It remains to be seen whether Microsoft is prepared to put down between USD 10 billion and USD 30 billion in order to get its hands on the US market alone. TikTok's US market today has about 100 million users, but analysts claim that it will continue to grow and that the value of the app will reach about 200 billion.
With all the controversy around TikTok, Instagram thought it was the perfect time to launch Reels. Their TikTok competitor is simply part of the Instagram app and allows users to upload and share a creative 15s video with their followers or an entire community using a variety of features.
How does Instagram Reels work?
A Reel can be easily created with the camera function on Instagram. At the bottom of the screen you select Reels, after which you will see the different features on the left side of the screen and you can get started.
Reels' features include:
- Audio: Just like on TikTok, you can make use of an extensive music library for your videos. You can also use your own audio. Depending on your privacy settings, you can also share your own audio with the community so that it can be used by everyone.
- AR effect: Instagram has been developing and expanding augmented reality or AR effects for some time now. In addition to Instagram itself, creators (the users, so to speak) also have the ability to add these effects.
- Timer and countdown: Just like TikTok, Reels also gives you a timer that counts down before you start recording, so you can put your smartphone down and be ready for your world-conquering dance before you start recording. You can also easily select how long the recording takes.
- Align: This function ensures seamless transitions between 2 recorded videos, which are then automatically combined. For example, you can change clothes in the same video or play different scenes.
- Speed: Do you like slow motion or do you just want to speed up your recording to stay in the rhythm of the music? You can easily adjust that in Reels.
Advertising on Reels
Whether Reels can convince passionate TikTokkers remains to be seen. The platform is certainly off to a great start thanks to Instagram's large user base. This also makes it a potentially interesting advertising channel.
At this moment there are no possibilities to advertise on Instagram Reels. However, you do have an almost inexhaustible source of creators who already collaborate with brands on Instagram. This is what makes Reels a great new channel for influencer marketing.
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Your own AR filters
In addition, you can collaborate with designers who create AR effects and then make them available to the entire community. In this way, a nice branded effect can ensure that your brand is spread by a broad group of users instead of one influencer.
In the past, Instagram wiped Snapchat off the map with its Stories, so Reels has a great chance of success. We already see several influencers experimenting with Reels, so it's certainly worth keeping the platform in mind when shaping your communication strategy. But if you want to join in on the hype of a new medium, don't do it. A well thought-out plan is essential for a successful advertising campaign on social media.
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