So if you’re scrolling on Instagram recently you can’t help but notice a new feature that has appeared – Instagram Reels. Read on to discover everything you need to know about Instagram Reels for your interiors business. How to create them, why you should use them, and a list of ideas to help you with topics for creating Instagram reels content.
What are Instagram Reels?
Firstly let’s start with the basics – What are Instagram Reels. Reels is a new way to create entertaining, quick-fire video content on your Instagram feed which lasts just 15-seconds. Video content is simply exploding across social media and Instagram won’t be left behind. The ever-rising trend of short video content started through Snapchat and Instagram countered by creating the stories feature. Now with the popularity of quick-fire video content on Tik Tok Instagram has brought out Instagram Reels.
How to Create a Reel?
Firstly make sure you’ve updated to the latest version of the app and then head over to your Instagram Stories. Swipe along the bottom of the screen to choose between the video options which now include Live, Stories, and Reels.
You can record reels live or upload a pre-recorded video. You can live record one continuous video or stop and start to piece together multiple short clips as one video. When you’re on the Reels screen you’ll see some icons to help you create more engaging videos.
Audio allows you to add audio tracks to your video. There’s a huge selection of music to choose from. Instagram makes suggestions for you and you can browse your favorite artists, songs, or music genres in the search bar to find the perfect track to match your video. A word of advice here is that I highly recommend that you use the tracks within the app. If you don’t you may find that your Reel gets removed due to copyright issues – even if it is one that appears in the app’s music listings.
Unfortunately, the Instagram gods have conspired against me and I don’t have the audio feature on my account. In spite of not being listed as a known bug I can see from various forums that there is plenty of people out there with the same problem. I also have this problem on some of the accounts I manage whilst I can use it perfectly on others.
I’ve tried all the usual troubleshooting for issues which simply include turn the phone off and on and delete and re-install the app. None of these have worked. I’ve also tested on another iPhone and an Android phone but no luck so far. So as much as I’d love to use the Instagram music library I’m currently uploading with other copyright-free library music. I have reported the issue and I suggest you do the same if you have this problem too.
Since I wrote this blog I’ve come across a few hacks and workarounds that can make music on reels work for you. Here are a few for you to try. Let me know in the comments if any of these work for you
- Try tapping in the place where the button should be just above the speed button. This has been known to bring up a playlist to use. So in effect, the music function is there but the button doesn’t show.
- Switch to a creator account. You can do this in “Account” in settings. Once you’ve done this wait a few days and the music should appear. Creator account is similar to business however gives you access to a lot more analytics and a few more features. Find out more here
- Use the audio from another Instagram reel. To do this simply find a reel using a track you’d like to use. Tap on the audio and the option will come up to “Use Audio”, tap and you will open up a reel where you can upload your video to play alongside the music you’ve chosen
- Add ‘original music’ from another source. Use another video editor app such as a wave. Video or inShot to edit your video. In these apps, you can choose from hundreds of library music tracks
- Change your Instagram category in settings. Choose something not too business-related. Rumour has it the music licensing rules may be different for some businesses and Instagram is limiting the options to business accounts because of this. Again you will need to wait a few days to see if this takes effect. Thanks to Lesley at Pfeiffer Design for sharing this one with me!
The speed icon controls the speed of your video allowing you to speed up or slow down. Speeding up a video to get a fast moving piece of content really does suit this style of media.
Tapping on the effects button changes the menu to show a row of effects that you can choose from. Scroll through and test the effects to choose for your video. Tapping on the effects button also starts to record the video. So it’s worth getting to know the effects before you actually start recording.
Using the timer helps if you are self-recording giving you time to get into position before the video starts and record from your phone hands-free.
The final icon in this list is Align which appears in the live record mode. Tapping on Align takes the last frame from your previous clip and applies it as an overlay over the next clip in your video. This makes for very smooth cuts and seamless transitions. For example, when people do those quick outfit change videos and they always appear in the same spot, no cuts or jolts – this is the tool that makes it happen. Test it out and see what you think.
Text and Stickers
You can also add text and gif stickers just as you can in stories. If you’re looking for interior design themed stickers head over to my Giphy Channel to choose some.
Publishing your Reel
So now you’re ready to publish your video. I’d always recommend saving a copy of your video to your phone as well as a draft. When you download it to your phone it will remove the audio but you can easily add it back on again. This gives you the opportunity to review and make sure you’re really happy with your video before publishing.
The publishing screen looks very similar to IGTV. So if you’re already familiar with this you should find it quite straightforward. Choose a cover image for your reel. Similar to IGTV you can either choose a still from your video or upload a picture from your camera roll.
If you want to use an image from your camera roll you’ll need to have the image already in there to select so if you don’t then save your video as a draft so you can add this later.
You can choose to share yours just to your Reels page or to your Reels page and your feed. The image you choose as your cover will be the image that shows on your feed and in your Reels page.
After you publish or save your reel for the first time the reel icon will appear above your feed to show people that you have Instagram reels to view. You can also now go to your reels and share your video to your story or send it to another Instagram account.
That’s all there is to it so get creating!
Why You Need to Use Instagram Reels?
Whenever a new feature is released on a social media platform it’s a good idea to use these features and build them into your content plan as soon as you can. The objective of using any social media is to use it to showcase content that will make your business visible to the app users. This way you can build a following and fans that you can later invite to buy your product or service. Take a look at my blog for Instagram tips to grow your following or head over to my instagram services page to see what my clients say about growing their Instagram with me.
As you may well know it’s not as easy as it once was to get seen on Instagram. Instagram is busy and competitive. Because of this it now only shows your content to a small percentage of your followers. However, when a new feature comes out on Instagram they really want you to know about it. Instagram now prioritizes Reels content over other content such as still photos or even IGTV. If you’ve been scrolling through Instagram recently you’ll notice lots of Reels coming up in your feed. You’ll also notice the new Reels explore feed is now front and centre, encouraging you to scroll through that content first. As you can see from this picture reels take up about two-thirds of the space on the explore feed. Like I said – Instagram really wants you to see these videos!
There you have it – the exact reason you should be using reels – because Instagram is making them more visible. So for a better chance of being visible make content that is already a front runner in the Instagram algorithm.
I’m also saying this inspite of myself as I’m really not a fan of Tik Tok style videos. I find them busy, confusing, and kind of exhausting. However, if you want to get more visible on Instagram you’re going to need to use them. I’m hoping Instagram creators will bring a bit more style and grace to this form of content so I might find the short-form videos a bit more enjoyable on this platform. I’d love to know who your favorite creators are for Reels so leave me a message with their account handle in the comments.
Amazing Instagram Reels Ideas for Interiors Businesses
As always I’ll repeat the mantra that the best kind of content informs and inspires. A tip to discover Instagram Reels ideas that work is to search #interiordesign on Tik Tok where you’ll find endless interiors videos. Take a look at what is popular and trending in the hashtag to help develop some ideas. Here are some Instagram Reels ideas you could try
Inform and educate
- Reviews – Quick look around a new product, design showroom, hotel room, or restaurant
- Design hacks – Teach some how to tips and tricks
- In the studio – a quick look behind the scenes
Inspiration and aspiration
- Moodboard ideas – here’s one I made earlier
- House Tours
- Quick room changes
- Styling a coffee table, dining table, shelfie, bed, or sofa with cushions and throws
- Flower arranging
- Compare rooms – Ask your followers to comment on which they prefer
- Ask for opinions on design choices – fabrics, finishes, hardware, etc
Quirky Video Ideas
- The quick fire content format lends itself to quirky little moments which are oddly satisfying to watch. Here are some ideas to try.
- Strangely satisfying – Stirring paint, painting walls, wallpaper hanging, using power tools, stencils
- Stop motion animations and transitions. Try speeding up, slowing down and adding transitions and effects into your videos
- Funny moments – As with Tik Tok people don’t take life too seriously on Reels! Try creating a fun prank or film your pets doing something cute or silly – in a beautiful interior of course!
So that’s my guide to Instagram reels for your interiors business. If you’d like to, grow your Instagram feed, add more video into your content planning, whether it’s short pieces for social media or longer testimonials and house tours to share with potential clients take a look at the Instagram services page to see how I can help.