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Instagram Reels: a new marketing tool for small businesses

Instagram Reels is a new marketing tool that allows you to post short video clips, up to 15 seconds long, directly onto your followers’ feeds. You can dub audio, edit video, and add instant effects before sharing your Reel. As soon as you post it, your Reel will appear on your followers’ feeds—and they’ll also be available in the Explore page for other Instagram users to check out. Instagram and its features are perfect marketing tools for SMEs because:

Since Instagram's announcement of their shift from being a photo app to prioritising video entertainment content, 91 percent of active Instagram users now engage with video content on a weekly basis.

What does this mean for small businesses ?

It’s time to get creative! A recent New York Times article detailed how Instagram’s latest algorithm favours accounts that post reels. For many SMEs, this news means pivoting their marketing strategies to include Reels as a way to ensure their engagement rate stays up. So, if you’ve been considering making the switch to video content, now’s definitely the right time! The most basic way of incorporating video into your marketing strategy is by creating a short video that showcases what your business does and how it can benefit potential customers. For example, if you run an online clothing store that sells men's accessories, then create a how-to-wear guide with product recommendations.

Some other creative recommendations on how to use Instagram Reels:

  1. Use Reels to showcase your product in action.

  2. Showcase how your product is made, and make it relatable for customers by using real people as models/actors.

  3. You can use Reels to highlight what makes your business unique or special (and make sure it's not just about the product).

  4. Showcase behind-the-scenes footage that helps customers connect with you on a personal level—like when they're making a purchase or interacting with a customer service team member.

  5. Share viral content that would appeal to your target audience and could help spread awareness about your brand (think memes, YouTube videos, etc.).

  6. Create mini-series that viewers can binge watch over time—this is especially effective if you have multiple products or services available!

To conclude, Instagram's Reels feature is undoubtedly a big step forward for small businesses that utilise the platform. It's a fun and creative way for brands and SMEs to share different parts of their business with followers, in short, engaging clips. The potential for businesses to use this tool in the future cannot be overstated: Instagram has 1 billion users, which means that an effective Reel campaign can hit a lot of people—which, in turn, means that reels are a great tool to have on your marketing roster.


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