Have you made an Instagram reel yet? As a family photographer, one of my main marketing tools is social media, mainly Instagram. I use it as a way to show my latest portfolio, engage with clients and other photographers, and share a look into my personal life. When Instagram announced reels, I will admit I didn’t jump right in. It felt a little overwhelming and like another thing I didn’t want to add to my plate. Recently I finally tried making my first Instagram reel and realized it was so much fun! Once I figured out the best apps for making an Instagram reel and the best ways to share it, it was pretty easy! Plus, Instagram really likes it for engagement. I want to share some tips and tricks from a newbie like me, so hopefully, you can jump right into making some reels.
A reel is a 15-30 second multi-clip video. Reels allow you to use video, still photos, effects, and other creative tools to really engage with your audience. Unlike a story that is gone after 24 hours, reels stay on your reel grid forever. Video is such a strong marketing tool that we all have the ability to use to really bring our brand to life! Once you make a couple of reels, you will realize making reels is really pretty easy. Let’s get started.
-First select reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera. There you will see several tools located on the left of your screen to edit or enhance your reel.
-You can import a video that has already been recorded on the bottom left of this page or use one of the built-in timers to record and edit your own video directly in the app.
-You can use a series of clips/stills or one long video. The maximum length of time is 30 seconds. I use an app I’ll talk about below to do this.
-Once you have completed uploading your video, you can choose a cover from a video clip or choose an image from your camera to use a cover for your reel. I often like to use an image in line with my brand if I keep on the reel on my main grid, but you can also create custom covers using the free Canva. Below is an example of what my reel grid library looks like with some cover images on them. You can see the first one was before I knew about covers.
-When uploading, you can choose to share stories, your main feed, or only on your grid’s reels portion. I typically share to the main feed, so it is seen on both my feed and reels! I may later remove it from the main grid to keep on my reels only. This is only for aesthetics reasons. I do not recommend sharing the reel with your stories. It will disappear like a regular story after 24 hours. Instead, share the reel you posted to your grid to your stories.
The number one thing that kept me from making reels had no idea what apps I could use to make them. Once I discovered a couple that worked easily, I was hooked! Below are a couple of my favorite apps and tools:
–In-Shot: This is my favorite app to use! I create my entire reel in this app and then upload it to Instagram to add music. This app lets you include photos and video, add text, fade images in and out, and speed up videos. The options are endless!!!!!
–Built-in screen record on your phone or computer: The best part of this tool is it free, plus it gives you so many options to create fun reels. I use the screen record on my laptop to make fun watch me edit videos. I think to pull the video into In-shot so speed it up. You could also use the screen record to scroll through a gallery or show clients all kinds of on-screen processes in your business.
–SCRL: This app is fun and adds a little variety to your reels. SCRL allows making videos of still photos in some creative formats.
–Canva: Canva allows you to create fun stories and covers for your reels. I use the free option!
–Pinterest: Did you know that Pinterest now has a story option? Recently I have started sharing some of the reels I made to my Pinterest story. This is a great way to make content work in more than one way for you!
Here are a few ideas to get you started on making reels:
My best advice when it comes to making Instagram reels is to keep it simple and HAVE fun! Reels are a time to show your personality and engage with your audience in a new way. Don’t overthink it! This also doesn’t mean you have to dance and point to random things in the air. You can totally do that if that is on-brand for YOU but don’t feel like you have to fall into what everyone else is doing if it doesn’t feel great for you. I am very new to making these and find myself constantly learning new tricks that make it easier. I would love to know of your favorite app or tricks you have for making reels! Check out my Instagram page to see some of the fun reels I have made so far.
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Angie Wynne Photography serves the St. Louis and surrounding areas specializing in lifestyle family, newborn, and maternity photography.
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