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How To Make Instagram Reels in 5 Easy Steps

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How To Make Instagram Reels in 5 Easy Steps

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels are all the rage. Well, TikTok is THE rage, but Instagram Reels are catching up. What makes these short burst videos so captivating? And more importantly, why is our culture to infatuated with endless scrolling and micro-bursts of content? Well, we’ve been trained to love it. And after pounding a massive mug of coffee, we’re ready to share what we’ve learned.

Just like our daily lives in advertising, we know you need to get someone’s attention first, then give them value to keep them sticking around. If you don’t catch them, they’ll keep swiping and you may never see them again.

So where do you start? How do you make a video someone actually cares about? Here’s Instagram Reels in 5 Easy steps.

1. Write Your List

Yeah, this seems simple… but you wouldn’t believe how hard this step is for most people. Why would you bother winging it when you can be the expert in your field? It all comes down to planning. Also the irony of a list-based blog teaching you how to write a list is a little funny. With that said, think about your objective and write down 5 simple concepts that are captivating. It can be opinion-based (the best sandwiches I’ve ever had) or information-dense (5 Ways to Integrate Organic Social Media Posts Into Social Ads). So get out the pen and paper, and start writing that list.

2. Film Your Video

This one is a bit more challenging for those unfamiliar with social media trends… or obsessively filming themselves like we do on a regular basis. The benefit of the new User Generated Content aesthetic happening everywhere, is the fact that simple and crude filming are encouraged. That means holding your phone and doing a selfie video most likely will perform better than a thought-out cinematic masterpice. That’s just how advertising goes these days!

We advise filming in short snippets. Why? Because it’s easier to remember your lines, it’s easier to edit, and you can keep it short and sweet. Film only what you need and avoid unnecessary fluff that will make life a little more difficult.

Lay it out as follows:

  1. Introduction – Why you’re doing a video, restating the title of your list.
  2. The short and sweet 5 items of your list. That means naming the sandwich or the bit of information you want the viewer to know. Then give a sentence or two more information to add more weight to it.
  3. Outro – Restate the title of your list, ask if people liked what they saw, then give them a call to action. The call to action can either be to visit a website, to call, or even to leave a comment and  follow you. Closing with a call to action gets people to do what you want, when you want it!

3. Edit Your Video

Editing Instagram Reels takes a little practice, but they’ve made it a totally accessible user experience. Unlike complicated programs from Adobe or masterclass level video editing software, Instagram Reels let you click, drag, and adjust in real-time.

  1. Start with your intro video, but trim any fat before or after you speak. Again, short and sweet!
  2. Start editing in your supporting point videos, making sure they’re in order.
  3. Drop in your outro video slide.
  4. Add audio! You can do lo-fi instrumental hip hop (our fave) or a variety of genres. What works great now is TRENDING audio through Instagram which will get you more views. Watch other videos, click the song title, and you can use it in your reel! Just be careful that it doesn’t distract from your message.
  5. Turn down the volume of the added music/trending audio. We want to hear YOU.
  6. Add in subtitles! They’re automated and it’s incredible. Click the square with the smiley face and hit “subtitles.” Easy peasy. 
  7. Review your video to make sure it makes sense in context.
  8. Get ready to post!

4. WAIT! Check the timing of when you post.

Blah blah blah algorithm, we get it! But seriously, if you’re excited to post something and aren’t thinking, you might be posting at 1am. If you throw your new masterpiece into the void, the Instagram Reels Gods may not be so generous. There is nothing worse than great content lost in the algorithm.

So first, scroll to see if your friends are actively posting around this time. Then go back to your other posts and see when you got the most comments or likes. Lastly, think long and hard about your objective, if the people you want to see it will have an opportunity to check their phones, and take a deep breath.

Did you find your sweet spot? Was it 6am or 9am? Maybe it’s 3pm when people are ready to leave work, but they’re doomscrolling (one of the best times btw). 

If the world makes sense to you, it’s time to post!

5. Post, Assess, Repeat

Like everything, Instagram Reels are constantly changing. We’ve seen companies try to mimic TikTok over and over again. Instagram and its Meta Mother, are doing everything in their power to claim relevance and dominance over their competitors. And for good reason. Who can make the BEST social media platform?

Post your reel, and watch for the next 10 minutes. Is it working? Are people liking it? Did you hit some magic sweet spot and get THOUSANDS of views in a few minutes? This is part of the learning curve.

Lastly, do you like what you’ve created? If not, adjust! If it hit, try to mimic that style and keep it going. 

Instagram Reels are about making captivating content, picking a niche audience, and being their source of value. 

You did it! Good job!

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