Instagram Reels: The ultimate guide for businesses

3 Instagram Reels promoting different events – a DJ set, a block party, and rock the block

Did you know that a whopping two billion people interact with Reels every single month? Instagram Reels are short videos up to 90 seconds in length that you can make and share on Instagram. Different from Instagram Stories, Reels are the perfect way to let your creativity shine and engage with your followers in a fun and exciting way. They’re also becoming increasingly important for Instagram growth and a successful social media strategy.

Nine out of 10 Instagram users watch videos on the platform every week, and Reels posts get 22% more interactions than standard video posts. Whether you are an influencer or a business, Instagram Reels should be a core component of your social media management strategy. In this step-by-step article, we’ll show you everything you need to know about making, editing, and growing your Instagram Reel content. Let’s get started!



What are Reels?

Instagram Reels are short-form videos that allow users to create and share 15-60 second video clips. Instagram Reels offer a way to express creativity, entertain, and engage with the Instagram community — think of them as Meta’s version of TikTok. Reels provide various editing tools — such as adding music, effects, and filters — to enhance the content. You can record multiple clips, add text, stickers, and filters, and align clips for seamless transitions. Reels are a popular feature for showcasing talents, creating viral trends, and reaching a wider audience on the platform with entertaining videos. To access Reels, you can either click on the Reels icon at the bottom of the screen or click on the Reels tab on a specific profile.

A screenshot of the Adobe Express Instagram page with arrows pointing to how to access Instagram Reels

How to make an Instagram Reel in five easy steps

Making and posting Reels is simple, and with this step-by-step tutorial, even beginners can make one in no time:

  1. Open Instagram and tap the plus (+) icon at the bottom of the screen to create a new post. To make that post a Reel, use the bar at the bottom to scroll over to the Reels tab. Choose one or multiple photos or videos from your device’s camera roll, and use the sliders at the bottom of the screen to trim their length. Tap “Next.” Alternatively, if you want to record your Reel in-app, hit the record button at the bottom center of the screen.
  2. Tap “Add clips” to add additional clips to your Reel, and “Edit” to trim your individual clips.
  3. Enhance your reel: Tap the music note icon on the top right to add music, sound effects, or original audio, the stars icon to add a photo filter, the smiling sticker icon to add animated graphic elements, and the “Aa” icon to apply text.
  4. Add transitions by swiping up and tapping the bar in between each clip. You can also add the previously mentioned enhancements to individual clips here by tapping each clip.
  5. When you’re done editing, tap “Next” at the bottom right. Choose a cover image from your Reel to display on your Instagram profile feed, then add an engaging caption below, and scroll down to tag people or products in your Reel features. Tap “Save draft” to save your Reel and finish it later or tap “Share” to post.

Six tips for making engaging reels

If you want to make Reels and use them to grow your audience, each one should be interesting and engaging enough to draw in future followers and subscribers. Follow these tips to get the most out of your efforts:

1. Be creative

Use Instagram Reels to experiment with different types of content to see what engages your audience. For example, you can use text overlays to showcase quotes or add captions since 69% of people don’t use sound when watching videos in public places. You can also use props, transitions, special effects, or interesting camera angles — such as a hands-free approach — to make your Reels stand out.

Take advantage of the Instagram Reels algorithm by staying up to date with the latest trends and incorporating them into your Reels. Use popular sounds and hashtags to increase the discoverability of your Reels and increase your chances of them popping up in people’s Instagram feeds. Keep an eye on which short-form videos are popular in your niche or industry. If a particular Reel resonates with you and your niche, consider remixing and reacting to this reel to boost engagement across accounts.

3. Tell a story

Use your Reels video to tell a story or showcase a process. Use captions or voiceovers to provide context and keep your audience engaged. For example, home renovation accounts make short videos detailing the different stages of the renovation process.

4. Be authentic

Don’t be afraid to show your personality in your Reels. Audiences appreciate authenticity and are more likely to engage with content that feels genuine. For example, creating a behind-the-scenes Reel is a great way to demonstrate authenticity and let viewers into your life.

5. Use editing tools

Use editing tools like filters, effects, and transitions to make your vertical videos visually appealing. Consider creating a unique cover photo — either from scratch or from a template — to make your Reel really stand out. Don’t forget to adjust the aspect ratio of your videos to best fit the Instagram Reels format. You don’t even have to record your Reels in the Instagram app. You can use Instagram Reels templates and video editing tools from sites like Adobe Express and upload your videos on IG or TikTok when finished.

6. Analyze your results

It’s hard to please the ever-changing algorithm. The best thing you can do is keep track of your Reels performance using Instagram’s analytics tools and Insights. Use this data to inform your future Reels content and improve your video content strategy. Make sure to use a public account to reach more people.

Editing your Reel

Once you’ve recorded your Instagram Reel, it’s time to take it to the next level by editing it using the Reels editor. Here’s an overview of some of the editing tools available to you:

Best practices for making successful Reels to grow your audience

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Instagram Reel FAQs

How long can Instagram Reels be?
Instagram Reels can be between 5 and 90 seconds long.
How can you make a Reel with photos?

To make a Reel with photos, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Instagram app. Tap on the Reels icon, then the camera icon, then the button that looks like your most recent photo with a plus sign (+) on it. Alternatively, tap the plus sign (+) at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Select the photos you want to use in your Reel and arrange them in the order you want them to appear.
  3. Add any music or effects you want to your Reel.
  4. Tap on the "Share" button to post the Reel.
How do you repost a Reel on Instagram?

To repost a Reel on Instagram, you can follow these steps:

  1. Find the Reel you want to repost.
  2. Tap the three dots in the top right corner of the Reel.
  3. Tap on "Repost."
  4. Add any caption or tags you want to your Reel.
  5. Tap on the "Share" button to repost your Reel.
Can you download Instagram Reels?

This depends on the download setting the account owner has set for a Reel. If downloading is turned on for a Reel, here’s how to download it:

  1. Tap the Reel you want to download.
  2. Tap the paper plane icon on the bottom right of the Reel.
  3. Tap “Download” at the bottom of the screen.
How should you add captions to Reels?
You can add a caption to your Reel after you have finished editing it, right before you post it. When adding captions to Reels, keep them short and to the point. You can also use hashtags to help people find your Reels.
Can you see who watched your Reels?
Yes. To see a list of people who have watched your Reels, go to your Reels profile and tap on the "Views" counter.
Can you get paid for Reels?
Yes. Instagram Reels Play is an invite-only bonus program that lets you get paid for Reels if you have a business or creator account and meet certain requirements.