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Instagram Reels: Tips & Tricks to Making Engaging Content

As we predicted, Instagram Reels content is already becoming a big part of brands’ and influencers’ 2021 content strategy. And like we mentioned on our Instagram, posting four to seven Reels a week is crucial for receiving Instagram’s attention. By posting Reels consistently, Instagram’s algorithm will prioritize your content, which will increase your account’s visibility and lead to more engagement. 

Don’t worry, we already know what you’re thinking, “four Reels a week is a lot!” We know. Posting that many Reels a week is a lot for us too. Coming up with four to seven Reels to post a week won’t be easy, but we’re not here to hang you out to dry. Let’s check out the six ways you can create Reels without running out of content ideas. 

Let’s get started!

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Instagram Reels Content Tips #1: Storyboard

The good thing about short-form video content is that it can be both scrappy and thought out. Unlike Instagram Stories, Reels should be planned just like your Grid posts. Reels allow you to switch up your content without having to regurgitate your Grid posts, Stories, or Instagram TV content. Reels can be their own thing, which is why storyboarding helps you plan out your ideas for the perfect execution. 

Start by coming up with a concept for your Reels and then define your goal of the post. For example, what do you want your followers to get out of it by seeing it? Once you figure out your call-to-action, create a shot list, aka what you want to film, and start shooting. Knowing what you’re going to film for each frame will make it simple to shoot and help keep your video within the 60-second Reels time limit.

Instagram Reels Content Tip #2: Behind the Scenes aka “BTS” Shots

There will come a time when you’re fresh out of content ideas and when that time comes, don’t give up. Think back to any videos you shot that you didn’t use in the actual reel, Instagram Story, or Instagram TV posts themselves. Compile that footage to share some behind-the-scenes-styled Reels with your audience. 

This footage can consist of either a sequence of bloopers, what it takes to make one of your products, day-to-day operations featuring your team— the list goes on! Your brand personality can shine through here and help build a deeper connection with your audience. 

Instagram Reels Content Tip #3: Teach a New Skill 

Reels are perfect for providing educational content to your followers. Reels give you enough time to explain how to do something from start to finish. Using Reels for a tutorial or a quick how-to video helps beef up your number of posts per week while giving your followers more content variety. And if you’re having trouble coming up with tutorial ideas, head over to your Instagram Stories and crowdsource your audience. 

As we mentioned in our Instagram polls post, creating relatable content is key to increasing your audience’s engagement. Ask your audience what types of tutorial videos they want to see from you. For example, a tutorial teaching your followers a new way to style their hair, a simple smoothie recipe, or how you get the perfect bleach dye job for one of your brand’s products are great thought-starters. Check out PLANOLY’s how-to Reels videos for inspiration for creating educational content with Reels. 


Instagram Reels Content Tip #4: Commit to Reels 

In our Marketing Tips for 2021, gaining favor with Instagram comes by using its features. Brands and creators who use all of Instagram’s in-app features see more visibility on Instagram. So like we said, posting Instagram Reels consistently helps the Instagram algorithm prioritize your content. 

Still, we know posting four to seven Reels a week can be intimidating, which is why if you’re just starting work your way up to that magic number of posts. Note: Just because you’re new to creating and posting Reels doesn’t mean you can cheat by reposting TikToks to your story. Make sure you're sharing Reels content instead to help land yourself a spot on the Explore Page. 

Instagram Reels Content Tip #5: Understanding TikTok to Master Reels 

Committing to creating Reels content doesn’t mean you can slack on staying up to date with the latest TikTok trends. TikTok revolutionized the short-form video industry. Many creators recycle their TikTok content to Instagram Reels. Many of the same trends, including the dance challenges, music, and sounds first seen and heard on TikTok, are finding their way to Instagram Reels shortly after. And since there’s a direct correlation between high-performing content on TikTok translating to Instagram Reels, you must have a grasp on what’s popular so you can leverage and rework it into your Reels content. 

Instagram Reels has a plethora of music in its music library, many of which are on TikTok so that you won’t miss out on the latest trend because of a lack of tools. Instagram Reels has grown a lot since it first came out and will only improve the more brands and users use it. Learn more about the tools here. 

Instagram Reels Content Tip #6: Leveraging Influencer Relationships 

Instagram Influencer relationships are just as important and effective on Reels as they are for Grid posts and Stories. Find the influencer or creator most relevant to your brand and work out a new partnership relationship with them. Not only will working with an influencer to create Reels content for your brand increase your number of followers, but it will help you build stronger relationships with content creators to work with in the future. 

Start by finding influencers well-versed in the video content space. Working with someone who already knows what they’re doing will end up in a better final product that you can share to your Grid or Reels tab to gain followers for your brand and the creator you’re working with. 



Instagram Reels Content Tip #7: Using Performance Insights to Create Content that Resonates with Your Audience

Instagram launched Reels Insights where users can view the number of accounts reached, views, peak concurrent viewers, likes, and saves. Available for Instagram Live too, users have the ability to see how their Reels and IG Live content is doing in real-time. This not only helps creators see which of their Reels performed best but helps them understand what type of Reels content is working and getting the most audience engagement. Understanding why a Reel performed a certain way gives you the opportunity to pivot and create more content that's relatable to your audience. 

Plan Your Reels on PLANOLY

Ready to plan and schedule your Instagram Reel? Try PLANOLY's Reels Planner. Simply upload a video on your PLANOLY Web Dashboard or Mobile App, add a Cover, then schedule. Due to Instagram limitations, you cannot auto-post Reels, but have no fear! You can also turn on notifications for PLANOLY, and we'll remind you when it's time to post.

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After reading our tips, you can see that making Instagram Reels isn’t much different from coming up with any other Instagram content type. Remember to come up with various content ideas distinct enough from your Grid content and other video content. You do not want to copy and paste from one Instagram feature to the next. 

We hope our tips and inspiration have you posting four to seven Reels a week in no time!

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Carrie Boswell

Carrie Boswell is the Digital Marketing Content Specialist at PLANOLY. She is always finding ways to include pop culture and the Gen Z perspective into the content we create for marketers and small business owners.

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Instagram is putting a lot of importance on their Reels feature! In this post, we'll share some tips and tricks on how to create amazing Reels content!

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