Engage, Entertain and Inspire: Unlocking the secrets of Instagram Reels for Beginners

Alfie Lloyd

Alfie Lloyd

14th June 2023

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In recent years, social media platforms have revolutionised the way we share and consume content. One such platform that has captured the attention of millions is Instagram, with its dynamic features and extensive user base. Among the many tools available on Instagram, Reels have emerged as a powerful and engaging feature of the platform. In this blog post, we will delve into the basics of ‘what is a reel on Instagram?’.

cubes stacked ontop of eachother The Definition of Instagram Reels: Understanding the Basics


Instagram Reels can be described as a short-form video format that allows users to create and share entertaining, engaging, and informative content within the Instagram app. Reels enable users to record and edit videos up to 90 seconds long, incorporating a wide range of creative tools, effects, and audio clips.

With Reels, you have the freedom to showcase your creativity, talent, or brand message in a concise and visually captivating manner. By leveraging the power of this feature, you can engage your followers and potentially reach a wider audience beyond your existing follower base.

With its short-form video format, extensive editing tools, and audio library, Reels offers endless possibilities for showcasing talents, telling stories, and promoting brands. By understanding the definition and basics of Instagram Reels, you can harness the power of this feature to captivate your audience and make a lasting impact in the ever-evolving world of social media.

a pointing arrow How to create and share a Reel on Instagram


As you may be new to reels, and this is probably the main reason you’re reading this blog post… let’s look at a comprehensive step-by-step guide to walk you through the process of creating and sharing a reel on Instagram, by the end you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tools to create captivating reels that leave a lasting impression.

Step 1: Accessing Instagram Reels

To create a Reel, follow these steps:

    1. Open the Instagram app on your mobile device.
    2. Tap the camera icon in the top-left corner or swipe right from your feed to access the camera screen.
    3. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll find various camera formats (e.g., Live, Story, Reels). Select “Reels” from the options.

Step 2: Familiarise yourself with Reels Tools and Features

Before you start recording your Reel, take a moment to explore and understand the different tools and features available:

    1. Audio: Choose a popular song or audio clip from the vast library provided by Instagram or use your original audio.
    2. Effects and AR Filters: Apply various effects and augmented reality filters to add visual enhancements and creativity to your Reel.
    3. Timer and Countdown: Use the timer feature to record hands-free, and the countdown helps you prepare before recording starts.
    4. Speed: Adjust the playback speed of your video to create slow-motion or fast-motion effects.
    5. Align: Maintain consistency in your videos by aligning objects or actions from one clip to the next.

step 3: Recording and Editing Your Reel

Follow these tips to record and edit a Reel on Instagram:

    1. Tap and hold the capture button to start recording. You can record multiple clips up to 30 seconds in total.
    2. Use the editing tools to trim clips, add effects, adjust speed, and align actions between different clips.
    3. Tap the audio icon to select the desired audio track for your Reel. Adjust the volume of the audio if needed.
    4. Experiment with effects, filters, and text overlays to make your Reel visually appealing and engaging.
    5. Preview your Reel to ensure it flows smoothly and delivers your intended message effectively.

Step 4: Adding Captions, Hashtags and a Cover Image

To optimise the discoverability and impact of your Reel, consider these steps:

    1. Add captions or text overlays to provide context, highlight key points, or engage your audience.
    2. Include relevant hashtags in the caption to increase the visibility of your Reel. Research popular hashtags related to your content to maximise reach.
    3. Customise the cover image of your Reel by selecting a frame that best represents the content. This will be the thumbnail displayed on your profile and in the Reels tab.

Step 5: Sharing and Promoting Your Reel on Instagram

Once your Reel is ready, it’s time to share it with your followers and beyond:

    1. Tap the “Next” button in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
    2. Add a caption and relevant hashtags to increase discoverability.
    3. Choose whether to share your Reel to your feed and/or the Explore page.
    4. If you have a public account, your Reel may also appear on your profile’s Reels tab.
    5. Tap the “Share” button to publish your Reel.


a video icon The difference between Reels and Other Video Formats on Instagram


Instagram Reels offers several advantages that make it stand out as a preferred video format compared to other options on the platform. Firstly, Reels allow for concise and captivating storytelling within a 30-second time limit, making them perfect for capturing and maintaining viewer attention in today’s fast-paced digital landscape. Normal videos tend to be longer in duration, making it more challenging to capture and maintain viewer attention. Users may be more inclined to scroll past or skip longer videos, resulting in lower engagement rates.

The extensive editing tools, effects, and audio library available within Reels empower creators to unleash their creativity and produce visually appealing content without the need for professional editing software. Using external editing software can be time-consuming and may require technical expertise that not all creators possess.

Additionally, Reels have their own dedicated Explore page, enabling content to reach a wider audience beyond the existing follower base. This enhanced discoverability can lead to increased engagement, brand exposure, and potential follower growth. Normal videos, on the other hand, may be less shareable due to their longer duration and potentially more specific content. This can impact the potential for virality and reach a wider audience.

a boosting rocket Using Instagram Reels to Boost Brand Awareness and Reach


Instagram Reels have become a powerful tool for your marketing strategy by boosting brand awareness and expanding reach on the platform. With their short and captivating format, Reels offer brands an opportunity to engage with their audience in a visually appealing and entertaining way. By leveraging the creative editing tools, effects, and audio options, brands can showcase their unique personality and storytelling abilities. The dedicated Explore page for Reels enhances discoverability, allowing brands to reach new audiences beyond their existing follower base. Furthermore, Reels have a higher chance of being shared, increasing the potential for virality and exponential reach. Brands that consistently create high-quality and relevant Reels can effectively grab the attention of users, generate buzz, and establish a stronger presence on Instagram, ultimately boosting brand awareness and extending their reach to a wider audience.

a hill with a flag ontop Overcoming Challenges: Common Mistakes to Avoid with Instagram Reels


Instagram Reels have emerged as a powerful tool for content creators and brands to engage their audience, showcase creativity, and boost visibility. However, like any new feature, there are common mistakes that can hinder the success of your Reels. By being aware of these challenges and avoiding them, you can maximise the impact and effectiveness of your Reels. Let’s explore some of the common mistakes to avoid when using a reel on Instagram 

          • Lack of planning and Storytelling: Random and disconnected content can confuse viewers and fail to leave a lasting impression.
          • Ignoring the editing and visuals: Take advantage of the available editing options to add flair, creativity, and professional polish to your Reels.
          • Ignoring trends and staying static: Stay current by exploring trending Reels, hashtags, and challenges in your niche. Incorporate these trends creatively into your content while staying true to your brand’s identity.
          • Neglecting engagement and community interaction: Ignoring comments, failing to respond to messages, or neglecting engagement with other creators can hinder the growth and reach of your Reels.


In conclusion, Instagram Reels have revolutionised the way users engage with video content on the platform. This dynamic feature allows creators and brands to capture attention, showcase creativity, and connect with their audience in a concise and visually captivating manner. With a maximum duration of 30 seconds, Reels offer an ideal format for telling stories, sharing talents, and sparking inspiration.

As you embark on your journey of utilizing Instagram Reels, remember to plan your content, incorporate engaging visuals and audio, stay updated with the latest trends, and actively engage with your audience. By avoiding common mistakes and consistently delivering high-quality Reels, you can make a lasting impact and leverage this feature to its full potential.

So, go ahead and start experimenting with Instagram Reels to express your creativity, captivate your audience, and make your mark in the dynamic world of visual storytelling on Instagram.

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