Let’s face it, short-form video content has taken the world by storm. We’ve seen it with TikTok, and now Instagram is having some sort of identity crisis trying to copy TikTok. But why shouldn’t they, given how successful TikTok has been? It’s no wonder Meta has gone ahead to produce a similar product for both Facebook and Instagram.
Meta introduced Instagram Reels in August 2020. Since then, Instagram Reels have become an effective way to engage audiences globally.
Hootsuite conducted a study on their own Instagram page to see whether Reels were more effective than traditional videos. They received 300-800 likes per post with Reels compared to 100-200 likes per post with traditional videos. Reels boosted their visibility and follower count too.
Considering the effectiveness of Reels for businesses, this article will show you how to create a winning Instagram Reels marketing strategy.
UGC or User-Generated Content refers to any content – be it text, video, images, or reviews – created and shared online by users of a particular brand’s products. UGC brings your brand promise to perspective. Instagram Reels are a customer favorite for sharing reviews and opinions concerning brands and their products.
When actual customers use your product and love it so much to share content about it, they create social proof for your business. It’s like tapping into influencer marketing. Only this time, the influencers are your customers.
Target audiences find UGC more trustworthy than other branded content because these people who promote your brand are users of your products themselves. They aren’t affiliated with your brand in any way.
See how GoPro reposted a piece of UGC below:
To tap into the value of UGC for your Instagram Reels marketing, first determine what you want the content to accomplish. Ask yourself, “What would I like each piece of content to say about my products, services, and company culture?”
Secondly, provide an incentive for your community to participate in the UGC campaign. For example, create a giveaway or special discount when one posts Reels with a few pre-determined hashtags.
Finally, search for these hashtags on your Instagram Reels. Repost the UGC that best reflects your brand and brand promise. Be sure to respond to most of your community’s content to encourage them to create more.
After each campaign, it is important to evaluate the engagement of user-generated content (UGC). This evaluation should include checking the status of your social media plan. If your social media plan generated excellent results, it can be replicated in future campaigns. However, if the plan produced mediocre results, adjustments should be made to improve future campaign outcomes.
The other thing about UGC is that it helps you identify the type of content your target audience is interested in. For example, analyzing the conversations your customers are having online about your product or niche can inform your content creation strategy. This is a critical part of your eCommerce, B2B, or SaaS marketing strategy.
Therefore, don’t just look for and pick UGC that would make great Instagram reels content. Use the insights from the UGC to inform other aspects of your business operations like content creation, product enhancement, and customer support.
People enjoy Reel content when they find it relatable, authentic, and unstaged. As you create your product video clips, strike a balance between creating professional product Reels and coming across as a product ad.
Authenticity is what gets people to engage with your content. Most Instagram users are there to kill free time. Making your Instagram Reels fun and relatable will both entertain them and keep them coming back for more.
Use Reels to reveal new product releases. If you have restocked some products, build fresh excitement by creating product release videos on Reels.
Additionally, create educational videos around your products. It’s good to switch it up a bit. Since most content on Instagram is entertaining, educational videos capture the attention of audiences.
As Buffer has demonstrated above, you can make how-to videos showing the best ways to use your products. You can also tell them the specifications to look out for when buying products similar to yours. This allows you to address customer pain points and showcase your products as a fitting solution.
Remember to use all the creative tools at your disposal on Reels. Add music from the music library and add smooth transitions and effects. Make use of the editing tools, too. Create both 15 and 30-second videos in your Reels to educate potential customers about your brand in the most authentic way possible.
Your Instagram marketing strategy should include who you are as a brand and what you stand for.
For example, if your company has a cause it supports, Reels are a great platform to showcase your role in the said cause. Create a compelling storyline highlighting the problem your brand has identified and how this problem affects the world. Then show your audience how your brand is providing a solution to this problem. This encourages audiences to support your brand.
You can also showcase your core values at work. Check out how HubSpot emphasizes its “good boss energy” in the workplace with the Reel below. That gives the audience the impression that Hubspot values positive culture in the workplace.
When you add such Reels to your social media marketing strategy, you will win the hearts of the online community. That increases your chances of turning them into paying customers.
One of the best ways to show the authenticity of your brand is through behind-the-scenes content. Take your audience behind the curtain and let them see what your production process is like.
Reveal this process in a fun and relatable way. Use the creative video techniques discussed above to let your followers in on your little secrets.
Another way to take your community behind the scenes is by taking them into your office. See how Hootsuite did this in the image above.
Record short videos showing the flow of your office from the entrance to the offices and the eatery or lounge. You can use hashtags like #theoffice, for example. This kind of social media content makes your audience feel closer to your brand.
Instagram Reels are a great way to engage your target audience and build a solid community. Engaged community members become promoters of your brand to others. For a successful Instagram Reels marketing strategy, tapping on user-generated content builds your audience’s trust in your brand.
Strike a balance between professionally made and fun, authentic videos to keep your Reels entertaining and relatable. Show your audience why they should invest in your brand by highlighting your core values. Finally, take your community behind the scenes and show them the processes and the places behind the products they love.
Follow these tips, and you’ll create stunning Instagram Reels that can help you grow your business. Good luck!
Nico Prins is the founder of Crunch Marketing, an SEO agency for Software as a Service companies. The company supports the SEO efforts of scale-up and enterprise firms in EMEA, APAC, and other regions.