How to Make Instagram Reels for Your Store


Fri Oct 28 2022

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A Step-by-step Guide to Create Reels on Instagram and Grow Your Retail Business

With over 1.4 billion users, Instagram is the best social media platform to grow your retail business. It allows you to reach new audiences, build strong relationships with your customers, showcase your products in an engaging way and ultimately increase sales. However, while talking with retailers worldwide, we discovered that they often struggle to find the right strategy to grow their Instagram profiles, usually wondering what type of content to put out there and which app features leverage on. In our article How to Use Instagram for Retail Business we’ve covered the basics, but now we want to dive deeper into the hottest Instagram content format: Reels.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you must know that Reels are Instagram’s main focus right now. After being launched in 2020, Instagram Reels has grown exponentially, pushed by the algorithm and used by influencers and big brands worldwide. These short and fun videos have quickly become addictive for users and a powerful tool to grow your business.

But how to make Reels for Instagram? What type of content should they include? How long can Instagram Reels be? We’ve decided to answer all your questions and doubts with an easy-to-follow and practical guide on how to make Instagram Reels for your store.

What is a Reel on Instagram?

Let’s start with the basics: Instagram Reels is a video feature that showcases full-screen vertical videos with a length that can range from 15 to 90 seconds. They can include multiple video clips cut and stitched together, and you can record and share these videos directly from the app or upload them on Instagram from your camera roll.

Reels come with a sweeping library of audio tracks (from trending pop songs to sound-only and snippets of other users’ voices), as well as many other creative tools to personalize your videos— filters, captions, stickers, and much more.

Reels are different from Instagram Stories as they don’t disappear after 24 hours. They remain live on your account unless you delete them on purpose. All the Reels published from an account are visible on the dedicated section of the profile, accessible from the special reels icon.

The good reason to be using Reels is that they are favored by the algorithm and pushed in front of the users at all times: users can access Reels from the Explore page, but also from the special Reels section at the bottom of the screen. Here, users can scroll seamlessly from one Reel to the next, discovering trending content of accounts they don’t follow yet.

Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels

The benefits of using Reels are endless and as an independent retailer, you should really make the most of this feature. Read on to learn how to practically create Reels on Instagram.

How to Make a Reel on Instagram

Creating your own Instagram Reels is quite an easy process once you get the hang of it. To help you out, here’s a step-by-step guide with detailed instructions and visuals.

Step 1: Select Reels

To start creating your Reel, simply go to your Instagram profile and tap the Plus icon on the top right of the screen. Your camera will automatically open and you can select the Reel option at the bottom of the screen.

Instagram Reels_Select Reel

Step 2: Record your Reel

Now it’s time to roll with the content. At this point, you have two options: record your video directly from the app or upload it from your camera roll, by tapping the icon on the bottom left corner.

In case you decide to create video footage directly on Instagram, just press the record button at the bottom of the screen. You can record your video all at once or as many separate clips: while recording, you can tap the button to stop recording and then tap it again to start recording a new clip. In this way, you will end up with many different clips tied together.

If you decide to upload the content from your camera roll, simply select the clips you want one at a time, choosing Add from the top right corner.

When you’re ready and all your clips are uploaded or recorded, click Next. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to Edit your clips: you can trim, reorder, delete and watch them, perfecting your video.

Instagram Reels_Record
Instagram Reels_Record 2

Step 3: Edit your Reel

Before recording, it’s useful to know what available settings you can use to set up your reel for the best content creation. Luckily, you do not need a reel editing app and you can do everything from one interface. Here’s what you can do with each feature: 

  • Audio: you can add an audio track from the Instagram library, or upload your own. You can choose which part you want to include too.

  • Effects: you can apply different filters and VR effects.

  • Speed: you can change the speed of your video, speeding it up or slowing it down.

  • Layout: you can adjust the layout of the video in case you want to add more clips on the same frame.

  • Timer: this is a helpful setting to use before recording from the app, as it lets you set a timer that goes off before you start recording and set a time limit for the next clip.

  • Dual: you can record video using front and rear cameras at the same time.

  • Align: this is another helpful setting to use before recording from the app, as it allows you to line up objects from a previous clip to the next one— a really important feature to create seamless transitions between clips, such as with changes of outfits or locations.

Instagram Reels_Edit

Step 4: Add the Final Touches to your Reel

Once you’ve recorded all your clips and you’ve clicked on the Next button, there’s still one editing step available before publishing your Reel. Here you can add text, drawings, and stickers. You can add a filter or a music track if you haven’t done it before too.

At this point, you can also download the full Reel to your camera roll if you want to use it later: simply tap the download icon on the top left corner. Just be aware that the music won’t be saved with it and you’ll have to upload it again.

Instagram Reels_Final Touches
Instagram Reels_Final Touches 2

Step 5: Adjust the Settings of your Reel

The final step before publishing is the one that allows you to write your Reel caption and adjust all settings. Here’s what you can do:

  • Edit the cover: you can change your Reel cover, by choosing a frame from the video or uploading a different image from your camera roll.

  • Add a caption: just like any post, Instagram Reels have captions. Make the most of it, adding value to the video content. 

  • Tag products: if you have an Instagram shop, remember to tag the products featured in the video, so it’s easy for customers to find them.

  • Tag people: tag collaborators and featured people, in order to favor content sharing.

  • Rename your audio: if you have used your own audio track, here you can decide which title to give it.

  • Add location: geolocated Reels are easier to be discovered from local communities, so always include the location.

  • Also Share to Feed: with this button, you can decide if you want your Reel to appear also on your feed, as any other post, or if you want it to just appear in your Reels tab on the profile. We suggest you always opt in for it to be displayed on the feed too for maximum visibility.

Instagram Reels_Settings

Step 6: Share your Reel

OK, now it’s time to go. Simply click Share and your Reel will go live. Congrats!

Now it’s time to learn some tips to make the most of your Instagram Reels.

Content Ideas for Instagram Reels

OK, now that you know how to post a Reel on Instagram, you might be wondering what kind of content you should cover in your Reels. Possibilities are endless and the best thing is to let your creativity flow. To help you start out, we’ve put together a few ideas you can experiment with. They’re the most used by retailers and have proven to be successful in engaging the community.

  • Product focus and explanations

Video content gives a great opportunity to display your products in detail, showing their structure and finish, as well as how they can be worn and styled. You can reveal the detailed embroideries of a shirt and the colorful lining of your best-selling coat, or show how a crossbody bag can contain a woman’s daily essentials. This type of content can make users eager to buy your products or to come to the store with a better idea of what they need.

  • Styling tips and total outfits ideas

As a multibrand boutique, you have the opportunity to combine different products and styles together to create inspiring looks. Just as you do with your window’s mannequins or with your in-store customers, use Instagram to share styling tips and total look ideas that your customers can re-create with a mix of products bought in-store and their own. This type of content encourages multi-item purchases and can be really powerful in building a community that feels inspired and looked after.

  • Behind-the-scenes and team content

Instagram Reels are great for sharing raw content of what happens behind the doors of your store and within your team. Showing the human side of your business is essential to make customers feel closer to your store, its story, and its values, and to make them feel more engaged overall. Use video content to reveal what happens when customers are not around, be funny and spontaneous, let your team speak, and invite customers to have a look at the highs and lows of running a small business.

  • User-generated content and community involvement

Complementary to the point above, you can also use Instagram Reels to involve your community directly: create footage of the coming and going inside the store, ask your customers if they’re keen to show their outfits to the camera, or ask them a few questions about their favorite pieces of the collection. Make sure to collect all user-generated content too, so you can build creative videos where your customers are protagonists.

  • Local inspiration

A business profile doesn’t have to be focused on products only: think about how you can broaden your topics to inspire customers in other ways. You can give them tips about the neighborhood maybe, suggesting cool spots for a coffee and a light lunch after they’ve done their shopping.

  • Teasers and Promos

Don’t forget that Instagram Reels can also be used as a proper marketing tool, sharing promotions available in-store or teasers about new product launches and upcoming events.

Tips to Make Successful Instagram Reels

Before you go on and work your magic in creating the next viral Instagram Reels, let us share with you a few more tips and tricks to make your Reels successful on Instagram.

  • Use trending audio

Make sure to use trending audio as part of your Reels, as this helps incredibly with visibility. If you scroll through the Reels section of the platform you’ll see many creators using the same audio tracks: when a part of a song or a snippet of a creator’s original voice goes viral, adding it to your Reel will allow you to be discovered more easily. Why? Because Instagram users often search by sound, and also because the algorithm pushes what’s on trend. 

  • Inspire, don’t try to sell

Always remember that people open Instagram to be inspired— increasing sales might be your final goal, but you’ll never reach it if you don’t offer inspiring and useful content to the users. Don’t be too salesy and alternate product-focused content with something more creative.

  • Post consistently

As usual, consistency is key with Instagram. The platform loves engaged users and creators, so try to be consistent with your posting. Keep nurturing your Instagram Reels section with different types of content and ideas and always remember to cross-promote your content also through Stories.

  • Collaborations

Our final advice is to experiment with collaborations. Whether with an Instagram influencer, one of your brands, or another local store, joining forces with another profile can be beneficial in many ways— it allows you to reach new audiences, create more varied and unexpected content, and build important relationships in the market.

We hope you found this guide on how to make Instagram Reels for your store useful! If you want to check out more business tips, visit our Magazine section.

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