How To Make A Reel On Instagram In 4 Easy Steps

Instagram Reels can be your ticket to grabbing attention and boosting followers. 

With the likes of Khaby and Lionel Messi breaking records for views and likes respectively, this Instagram feature is giving TikTok a run for its money. Khaby’s 289 million views and Messi’s record-breaking over 24 million likes on a single Reel are a testament to its power. 

Your brand simply can’t afford to miss out on this feature. 

To reach new audiences and beat out your competition, you must master the art of creating Reels (and make them well)

So, in four simple steps, we’ll share how you can make an Instagram Reel that wows your audience and skyrockets your engagement.

But first (for the uninitiated)—

What are Instagram Reels? 

Instagram Reels are a medium for creative expression in bite-sized brilliance. 

Think of them as mini-masterpieces for your brand, allowing you to craft short, engaging videos that showcase your personality and storytelling skills. These dynamic clips of up to 90 seconds are the gateway to creating trending content.

They act as a canvas for your brand to showcase its authentic values to build a community of loyal followers. 

Whether you are a budding ecommerce brand, a serious SaaS tool, a scaling agency, or an independent storyteller, Reels empower you to connect with your audience in a fun and relatable way. 

Think of it as a medium where you can connect with people visually and make it more interesting with music, effects, and your unique flair. 

What’s more, Instagram Reels are highly favored by the platform’s algorithm so much so that they have a dedicated tab on the mobile and desktop app. It can help you grow your audience quicker than other platforms and features if used smartly since accounts that don’t follow you can also discover you in the explore and Reels tab. 

With that out of the way, let’s look at—

How to make an Instagram Reel in 4 easy steps

While making a terrific Instagram Reel is an intricate process, it boils down to 4 simple steps. These include:

  1. Storyboard your Reel idea
  2. Upload your video clip(s)
  3. Edit the footage
  4. Upload it 

But like we said earlier, making reels is an intricate process. So, let’s break down each step so you can create only the best content for your brand.

1. Storyboard your Reel idea

If you don’t thoughtfully plan out your Reel content, you are setting the stage for failure. So, before you start creating your Reel with audio, filters, and stickers, you must lay the groundwork and design the story behind it. 

Start by addressing these key questions:

  • What content themes and tones work best for your business or brand? Is it fashion, food, or tech? Is it friendly, authoritative, or informative?
  • How can your Reels seamlessly integrate with your other Instagram content like your feed and Stories?

Then, identify your target audience and the content that resonates with them, be it tutorials, behind-the-scenes, product updates, or a day in the life at your workplace.

As you explore the app and its features further, take note of visuals, text, trends, and aesthetics that could inspire your content. Once you’ve honed in on the direction for your reel, create a storyboard, breaking down the necessary clips for your concept. It provides a visual preview of your Reels and establishes a clear roadmap for execution. 

Remember —  a carefully crafted plan sets the stage for captivating content.

2. Upload your video clip(s)

Method 1: 

Open the Instagram app on your phone. Then, go to the Reels tab which is at the bottom of your screen.

Once there, you will find a camera icon at the top right corner of the screen. Click on it and start recording your video. Alternatively, you can select multiple videos from your gallery to create a reel or pick images to create a montage.

If this seems overwhelming, you can also use Instagram’s ‘templates’ and ‘made for you’ feature that appears when you click on the gallery button at the bottom left of the above screen.

Method 2: 

From your home page on the Instagram app, click on the “+” button placed at the bottom of your screen.

From there, your gallery will show on the next screen. At the bottom in a small bar, you’ll have 4 options — post, story, reel, or live. Click on the Reel button.

Once you do that, you will be able to choose photos and videos from your gallery to create your reel. Otherwise, you can choose one of the 3 options from the top of the screen — ‘camera’ to shoot your video, ‘templates’ to opt for pre-made aesthetic videos from top content creators, or ‘made for you’ to get a readymade Reel from your Instagram stories archive.

Method 3:

Go to your profile by clicking on the right-most icon at the bottom of your home screen on the Instagram app.

From there, click on the ‘+’ button at the top right corner. Once you click it, a list of options will show. Tap on the ‘Reel’ option.

Then, follow the process detailed in the above points.

Method 4:

Open the Instagram app. Once you are on the home screen, simply swipe right to open your camera. At the bottom of the screen, you will find the Reel option. Click on it and follow the instructions shared in the points above.

3. Edit the footage

Once you have selected all your clips, you need to make your reel pop to grab more eyeballs. Fortunately, Instagram has plenty of inbuilt features that allow you to do just that. 

First, let’s start by looking at the features at the top of the screen.

  • Music: You can choose from an extensive library of music Instagram offers or you can simply use the original audio from the video you have taken. The app even lets you decide on voice controls, enhance your audio, use voiceover, or import audio from your phone library.

(Quick tip: Try using trending audios in your reels to reach a wider audience. You can find them in the reels tab. Scroll till you find the upward facing arrow {↗️} near an audio.)

  • Filters: Next, you can choose from a plethora of filters to make your reel visually stunning. Of course, this isn’t mandatory but you can still browse through the options for better aesthetics or even use premade filters with special effects.
  • In-app stickers and other features: Right from fun stickers to closed captions, polls, gifs, and more, you can up your Reel’s appeal quotient drastically by using these nifty features. However, remember not to overdo it or your video may appear dated and tacky. Still, don’t let it stop you from experimenting and exploring these tools.
  • Text: Have something to explain? Want to add a short caption to your Instagram Reel directly? Using the text feature is your opportunity to do so. You can choose between various fonts, text colors, and text effects.

Apart from these features, you can also choose the speed of the video.

You can also fix your transitions, crop videos, and replace the video to match the audio by simply swiping up on the video page.

At this point, you will have finalized your video. To check if it looks good to go, simply click on the arrow in the top right corner. It will take you to the publish page.

Now, tap on the ‘Preview’ button (like in the screenshot above) to see what the final product looks like. Don’t like it? Go back and tweak it till you are happy.

On the same page, you can click on the ‘edit cover’ button. It will lead you to the screenshot below.

Now, just long press and drag the cover image till you are satisfied with its position. Click ‘Done’.

4. Upload it 

With everything in order, you only need to add the final touches before you upload your reel.

Add an entertaining caption that converts, and use relevant hashtags at the end and location to improve your reach further.

Now hit ‘Share’ so your followers can watch your latest content. Want to increase your reach even more? Share your reel to your story.

What are the best types of reels?

Brands can leverage various types of Instagram Reels to connect with their audience and showcase their personality. Here are most effective types:

1. Behind-the-scenes Reels

These give your audience a sneak peek into your brand’s inner workings. It builds transparency, humanizes the brand, and fosters a connection with your audience.

2. Product Showcases

These highlight key products or services in a visually appealing way. They boost product visibility, educates customers, and encourages purchasing decisions.

3. Tutorials and How-Tos

You can share valuable information related to your products or industry. Such reels establish your brand as an authority, add value to the audience, and increase engagement.

4. User-Generated Content (UGC) Reels

UGC reels showcase content created by your customers using your products. They encourage community participation, build trust, and serve as authentic testimonials.

5. Challenges and trends

Your brand can participate in popular challenges or trends within your niche. Doing so keeps your brand relevant, increases discoverability, and showcases your brand’s playful side.

6. Storytelling Reels

Such reels involve narrating a compelling brand story or share milestones. They help establish an emotional connection with your audience, build brand loyalty, and create a memorable narrative.

7. Educational Content

These are great for sharing insights, tips, or industry-related knowledge. It positions your brand as an educational resource, enhances credibility, and attracts a curious audience.

8. Collaborations and influencer partnerships

You can collaborate with influencers or other brands to reach new audiences, leverage influencer credibility, and enhance brand visibility.

Make more trending reels to build your brand’s social media community

Instagram Reels are ideal for brands seeking to grow their online presence. 

As we’ve explored the various types of Reels, from behind-the-scenes glimpses to engaging challenges, the key takeaway here is versatility. Brands can authentically connect with their audience, showcase products creatively, and stay ahead of industry trends by creating versatile content that has something to offer for everyone. 

With a strategic approach to planning and storytelling, Instagram Reels offer a dynamic canvas for brands to leave a lasting impact. So, seize the opportunity, experiment with different Reel types, and let your brand shine.

Want to take your Instagram game a step further? Try Keyhole’s social listening tool to get a competitive advantage.

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