The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Getting Real with Reels: How to Increase Brand Awareness with Instagram Reels.

Social media has leveled the playing field between small business and large corporations. Social media allows small business to get their products and services in front of many with minimal cost. But just like anything in life, social media is continually evolving. What was hot and trending today can be long gone tomorrow. The new trend now is video content. Users are tired of seeing post with cute graphics and products. People want to see the face or team behind the brand. They want to know you are an actual human! This my friends is where Instagram Reels comes to the rescue. 

What are Reels?

Instagram rolled out their reels feature back in August 2020. This feature was set to rival the success of Tik Tok.  Instagram users can record, edit, share, and view up to 60 seconds worth of video content. What makes this feature fun is the videos can be backed with popular sounds, music, and transitions.  Reels originally started as stories feature but have now evolved into their own platform for content. 

Instagram Reels in 3 Steps - How to Increase Your Reach in 15 Seconds –  Fanpage Karma Blog

Photo Via Fanpage Karma Blog

Why Are Reels Important?

While Reels were created to directly compete with TikTok, its primary purpose is to entertain. Reels help to create more visibility for small businesses with minimal effort. About 70% of Instagram users follow one or more brand on the platform.  If utilized properly, small business can cheat the Instagram algorithm and use it to their advantage. Instagram is currently favoring video content over stagnant posts. This means that video content will garner more engagement which will then push this content in front of more users. More users +more engagement =more opportunities to convert sales. 

Best Practices:

When creating content that will help beat the algorithm so make sure to mindful of the following. 

  • Create content that is funny, engaging, interesting and entertaining
  • Make sure to post high quality videos. 
  • Do not recycle content that shows the Tik Tok Logo, Instagram will make this content less discoverable

How to make an Instagram Reel

The process to create an Instagram reel is simple. You can see how to make a reel in under 10 minutes here

To recap this is how to create a reel:

  1. On your profile page click the plus sign in the top right corner. Select the Reels option.
  2. Record your video
  3. You can choose to add audio to the video by selecting the music note feature 
  4. Edit your video to your liking (add transitions, filters etc.)
  5. Preview your video
  6. Save and select a cover photo
  7. Be sure to add a captivating caption with relevant hashtags 
  8. Post!
Instagram Reels tutorial: A beginner's guide | Creative Bloq

Photo Via creative Blok

Types of Reels 

Reels tend to fall in one of the following categories: Value based, Vulnerable, Advertisement, and Entertainment. Let’s take an in depth look at each of these reels. It is important to remember that reel types can be combined.

Value Based

Value bases reels are reels share information with their viewer. These types of reels tend to educate. This can be in the form of a tutorial style, or a voice over, or just captions on the screen. The goal is to give the viewers something they did not know before and add value to their time. Business owners can utilize this to demonstrate how their products work.  This can also provide an opportunity to provide knowledge on your industry. An example of this can be seen here. In this example the company is educating viewers on how to take of their skin post vacation. They are also demonstrating how to use the products they sell. This is a combination of value and advertisement. 


This style reel is where you share something personal with your following. This does not mean that you must share something you are not comfortable with. However, users on social media like to see that business are human and long to make a human connection with them. This can be done by showing a glimpse into your daily life, or how your business first started. Even sharing your past hardships and what you overcame to get your business. You can view of this style reel  here . In the example you can see how the owner is not selling any of her products or services. Instead, she is using this reel to connect with her followers and thank her team. Let me reiterate, this allows people to connect with you!


This one is self-explanatory. This a reel where you directly promote your product or service. This can be done by combined the value-based style or even the entertainment style. Check out this reel that I created for my own business . Now in that reel I combined advertisement my products while making it entertaining. It’s my most viewed reel! I also utilized the technique of taking a popular sound and making it work for my business. My pumpkin peel is well known for its spicy application so when I heard that sound I thought it would be the perfect reel for my Perfect Pumpkin Enzyme Peel.


This style is pure fun. Although It has nothing to do with your business, it is still related to your business in some way. You can do this by searching a popular sound or tend and figuring out a way to make it work for your business. This is my favorite style because you really et to show your personality and have fun. Being a business owner is already stressful enough so it’s nice to let loose.

Strategies: Let’s Bring it Home

  • Set clear goals for your Instagram Reels content
  • Create a schedule so you can remain consistent in posting
  • It’s easier to batch reels content and film on one day (just change your clothes)
  • Have good lighting in your videos
  • Remember to search for popular music/ trends and see how you can incorporate them into your business. 
  • Use relevant hashtags for your business I cannot stress this tip enough
  • Take the time to write a well written caption. It’s one thing to have an awesome reel and then a half-written caption.
  • Be sure to include a call to action. Use your reel as a funnel not a doormat. 
  • Lastly have fun! Being a business owner is already stressful! Trust me I know firsthand. As a result you will translate better on camera if you are having fun. 

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Category: Social Media Marketing 101