Think you need a fancy camera and editing software to make an Instagram reel? Au contraire, friends! All you need is a phone and some creativity. In this post, we’re going to teach you the basics of creating an Instagram reel that will WOW your followers.
Before we get started we want to give out a disclaimer….if you have already figured out how to make a Reel and just need more advice on how to increase engagement and outreach, this blog may not be for you. This blog is targeted at all newbies. The people getting into content creation who may need some help getting started. If you are NOT new to the game check out our post on increasing engagement through reels here.
Now that we have weeded out the true beginners from the imposters, we can get started! Branching out into something new can be scary. So the goal of this blog is to walk you through the basics of filming a reel so that you can begin creating like a pro!
What is a Reel? (Told you we would cover the basics.)
A Reel is a short-form video that is uploaded to the platform Instagram. Reels have significantly grown in popularity since their release in 2020 and are currently one of the best ways to increase your following and engagement rates.
Reels are typically between 15-90 seconds and range in content. Many people follow popular trends where the video concept is the same with slight tweaks, and some creators come up with their own unique ideas.
Reels can be found when scrolling through your home page or your reel section. Since you can get wide reach with this placement, they are a great way to find new followers for your IG community.
So now that we understand what a reel is, let's break down how to make one. You can either pre-film a reel and import the videos into the platform or make it directly through Instagram. Let’s start with filming a reel directly through the app.
How to make your first Instagram reel in the app
To make a reel directly through IG, you can either select the "+" icon in the upper right corner of the home page and select "Reels” Or you can do the same from your profile, by clicking on the "+" icon and again selecting the "Reel" option.
Once you have opened the Reel feature, you can just hold down the record button and film anything you like. Or you can select the self-timer option in the drop-down menu and choose between a three-second and ten-second countdown.
This is helpful if you are propping your phone up somewhere and need to get yourself in place before you record.
In the timer option, you can also decide how long your Reel will be recorded for. You can choose to record in short spurts or all at once.
Playback speed is another feature to play around with. Your video can be in slow motion or sped up depending on the video you need to record.
By clicking the audio button in the side menu, you can choose from all of your saved audio, new trending audio, and music for your background. This is extremely important if you are filming a common trend or are lip-dubbing a recording. Getting the timing down well is key.
Once all of your clips are filmed, click the “preview” button on the bottom right corner.
This is where you can edit and play with your Reel even more. You can edit your audio, do a voiceover, add stickers/emojis, draw on your video, add text, and even include some filters.
How extreme you go with the editing process is really up to you. Some people go all out, some have a minimal approach. It depends on the content. If you are filming a casual Reel where you are just sitting and chatting with your community, at least adding some text to your screen is a good idea.
Keep in mind that on-screen interactive emojis and CTAs are only going to increase your reach. And the rule of thumb for all reels is that you should be adding some sort of trending audio at least in the background, this again increases your chances of getting seen by new users.
Once you are done editing, you click the “next” button, which will take you to a page where you can add your caption, decide what other platforms (if any) you want the Reel to be shared on, and eventually do the actual posting.
How to Make a Reel From Pre-Recorded Videos
If you decide you would rather film first and then create your Reel later, no worries, it's pretty much the same process.
Once you are in the Reel creation feature, you will click the photo icon in the bottom left corner.
Your gallery will then pop up. From here, you can select all the video clips you would like to use. Note, to select multiple clips, you have to click and hold the video.
Once all of your clips are selected you will press the “next” button on the bottom right of your screen.
From there, the process is the same as filming in the app, you will use any editing tools you would like, make any changes necessary and ultimately post your reel.
You did it! Congratulations on learning how to make a reel. It can be daunting starting out in a new form of content, but with time and practice, you will get better and better. It can be a lot of fun and a great way to increase your presence on the platform. Just make sure that you keep in mind the fundamentals we’ve talked about – plan ahead, keep it short and sweet, use high-quality footage, and mix up your content. And most importantly, have fun with it! Try making a reel every day for a week and see how your followers respond and keep in mind going forward to see the best results you should . Keep in mind the key principles we talked about and make sure your reels are creative, interesting, and engaging. If you put in the work, you should start seeing more engagement and presence on Instagram in no time. Make sure to check out our other blogs for more tips on how to optimize your reels for growth and engagement.