How to Create Reels on Instagram

Instagram makes it easy to create Reels using its tools. But if you’re completely new to Instagram Reels, this guide will teach you how to create Reels on Instagram that build and engage your audience. You can create Instagram Reels in five simple steps:

  1. Plan your Reel
  2. Shoot your Reel
  3. Edit your Reel
  4. Post your Reel
  5. Promote your Reel

We’ll review each of these steps in more detail below.

A Beginner’s Guide: How to Create Reels on Instagram

Here, we break down the steps to create an Instagram Reel, from the initial conception to sharing your video. 

Step 1: Plan the Reel

Woman recording herself playing an instrument for an Instagram Reel

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko via Pexels

Reels can have different purposes. Some are purely for entertainment, while others are educational or promotional in nature. Your first step is to decide the purpose of your Reel, which will help you plan the tone and substance for its content.

A good rule of thumb is to vary the content of your Reels between the different purposes you want to focus on. For example, if you create three new Reels a week, you might have two brand awareness Reels and one entertainment Reel. Then, you might toss in a promotional Reel a couple of times a month.

Take some time to plan a content calendar for your Reels. Brainstorm ideas you want to cover and put them in spots on your calendar where they make the most sense. 

Then, work on your first real. Jot down your ideas and create an outline for its content. Be sure to detail what shots you need to take, the approximate length of time you’ll need for each shot, and any other details that can help nail down the concept. 

Step 2: Shoot the Reel

To shoot your Instagram Reel, you have two options:

  • Shoot using the Reels editor: The Reels editor is best to use when you don’t have heavy editing and want the quickest shooting method. The editor also times your video to ensure you don’t go over the maximum amount of time. To do it, tap the Reels icon at the bottom of the app. Then, tap the camera icon in the top right corner. When you’re ready to shoot, tap the recording button and tap it again when finished. Or, hold and release the button to capture timed snippets for your video.
  • Shoot the Reel off-platform: If you have a lot of heavy editing to do before piecing your Reel together and uploading it, this is the better option. Shoot the Reel with your phone camera, a video camera, or an editing app. Then, you’ll use your choice of editing software to create the final video before uploading it.

Step 3: Edit the Reel

Man editing an Instagram Reel using video editing software

Photo by Ron Lach via Pexels

If you shot your Instagram Reel off-platform, you’ll need to upload it by going to the Reels tab and tapping the camera icon to get to the Reels screen. In the bottom left corner, tap the square to add your video. 

If you used Instagram to shoot your video, you’re ready to edit. Instagram offers filters, effects, and music to add to your video. You can also upload and edit video clips by speeding them up or adding varied effects to each. Aim for the ideal length for Instagram Reels to engage your audience (7 to 15 seconds for most, 30 to 60 seconds for some, and up to 90 seconds for content-rich Reels).

Alternatively, you can use a different video editor before uploading your Reel to Instagram. Be sure to avoid using music in your video that’s not your own before uploading to avoid copyright issues. Instead, add music using Instagram Reels music options once you upload your video to the Instagram Reels editor. You can also find some free music clips to use online, but do your due diligence to ensure that you’re not violating copyright.

Step 4: Post the Reel

After editing, add your Reel’s caption, tag people if needed, add relevant hashtags, and change other settings, such as adding automatic captions and where you want to post your Reel. You can also edit your Reel’s cover, which viewers will see before clicking on your video. Once you’re ready, tap the button to post your Reel to Instagram.

Step 5: Promote the Reel

Get more views for your Reel by promoting it on and off Instagram. On Instagram, share your Reel to your Story, tag people who might find it interesting, or boost a Reel with paid promotion.

To promote off-platform, share your Reel to other social media platforms, like your Facebook page or Twitter. You might also promote your last 2-3 Reels in your business’s weekly newsletter. 

Engage Your Audience with Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels are beneficial for Instagram engagement. They can grab an audience quickly and have the potential to go viral faster than a traditional Instagram post. Upload quality Instagram Reels consistently to give your audience fresh content they can latch onto to focus on growth and engagement. 

Here are a few more resources you might find helpful as you develop your Instagram marketing strategy:

Creating Reels for Instagram involves five straightforward steps, from planning your Reel to shooting it, editing it, posting it, and finally, promoting your Reel to boost its visibility. To grow your Instagram audience and ensure more people see your carefully created Reels, install the Instagram follow button on your blog or website to make it easy for visitors to follow you with a simple click.

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