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Laura Nicholson

Instagram reels are here. How can you use them in your retail marketing strategy? | Hitsearch

You’ve probably noticed that Instagram has a new feature and if you haven’t, this is your PSA that Instagram has a new feature. Instagram reels is a brand-new part of Instagram that offers a TikTok-esque short form video service, presenting a fresh and exciting new way for Instagram users to showcase their content. There is no denying that TikTok’s popularity has soared during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a variety of demographics (rather than just the teens that the app is most famous for), so it really was only a matter of time before Instagram and Facebook followed suit with a similar creation to build on their own existing platforms. Arguably, Instagram reels are slightly easier and more convenient to use due to being an automatic part of the app (if you have downloaded the latest version), meaning it’s fairly straightforward to start using (whereas TikTok comes with a bit of a learning curve if you haven’t used it before) and also means there is no need for attention to move across different apps anymore. With marketers already thinking of the different ways in which they can incorporate Instagram reels into their marketing strategy, it’s probably about time you did the same. This blog takes a look at what you, as a retailer, can expect from Instagram reels and decipher how exactly you can fit Instagram’s exciting new offering into your marketing strategy to encourage traffic and conversions on your products and services. 

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Re-using your Tik Tok content (Image: @asos)

Ok, this is probably the most obvious way to quickly elevate your use of Instagram Reels so we’ll get it out of the way first. If you have already created some engaging and exciting content for TikTok (or have paid influencers to do this for you) then there is no need to do it all over again for Instagram – just make sure you upload your most popular videos onto the Reels feature to immediately start seeing some traction for your videos. Remember, marketing is all about efficiency and therefore there is no harm in re-posting your content, it is essentially just giving you a head start on an app that will soon be inundated with videos and another opportunity to showcase your products and brand. ASOS recently re-posted their TikTok content onto Instagram Reels and it wasn’t long before they were receiving upwards of 4.4 million views.

From a practical viewpoint, the video dimensions are already in a 1080x1920 format and you can often find the same audio clip in Reels, or even add new audio yourself.

Educational content

By educational content, we’re not talking chalk and a chalkboard and we don’t want to send your followers back to school, but Instagram Reels can be a fresh and fun way to educate new followers and re-educate existing, about everything from your products to who you are as a brand and your plans for the future. Posting educational content via Instagram reels is an exciting new way to show your customers that you know exactly what you’re talking about when it comes to your specialisms and convince them that you’re a good company to be buying from. Whilst regular Instagram posts can help in driving conversions and sales using their ‘tap to shop’ function, Instagram Reels is a new and exciting way of supporting these posts and pushing your products further; perhaps to an audience that wouldn’t have come across you before otherwise.

Sharing reviews

Instagram reels is going to give you the opportunity to showcase your customer reviews in a way you haven’t been able to on Instagram before, by using the effects, music and countdown features to create entertaining videos featuring positive reviews to share with your potential customers.

Creating behind the scenes content

Customers love to see a face behind the brand and Instagram Reels presents a new and exciting way of creating some behind the scenes content to give your brand that all-important personality, which can be a great way to build and nurture customer relationships. As an example, if you are a fashion retailer, you can use Instagram Reels to show you drawing up designs and cutting fabric and choosing samples, to show exactly what happens before the product is brought to the market. With options to alter the recording speed, choose from a vast array of music from the Instagram music library and play with the AR effects, there really is endless possibilities when it comes to creating videos that really align with your brand’s ethos. Behind the scenes videos can work well to bridge the gap between brand and customer, giving you a more human dimension and giving your customer something to relate to and feel like they know, like and trust you. This can be a huge sales-driver.

Creating authentic content

Whilst the Instagram grid may be a picture-perfect display of all of your company wins, we all know that not every business day is a winner. Instagram Reels present the opportunity to be authentic with your content, to show the highs and the lows of every day business and show a more human, less ‘Instagrammable’ side to your brand. There’s also a chance that by using Instagram Reels to be ‘real’ could open up your brand to a whole new audience. Reels will be discoverable in Instagram’s infamous ‘explore’ pages and new viewers will be able to ‘follow’ directly from there.

Enhance your brand’s story

As mentioned above, Instagram Reels has many different features that can allow you to really make your videos your own. From music and effects to the speed at which it plays, there is so much fun to be had when showcasing your brand. It’s rare that our world is set on fire when reading a brand’s ‘about’ page, so why not use Instagram Reels to show how your brand came about, instead? No matter how standard you feel that your brand story might be, Instagram Reels can turn it into something quirky and fun, and when customers know they are buying off a real-life human being, the sales are more likely to happen. Whether that’s pulling on heart strings, making the customer laugh, or showcasing some super-interesting facts about your brand and the people behind it, Instagram Reels can really do it justice. This wouldn’t be regular content but rather something that sits on your Instagram Reels for your customer base to refer back to. Just like behind the scenes content, it’s personable, relatable and builds relationships. And that stuff sells.

Collaborate with influencers

As a retail brand, you have probably already collaborated with influencers at some point and if you haven’t, you should definitely consider using it in your retail marketing strategy, because it’s a fantastic way of promoting your products. Although brands have utilised TikTok influencers more recently to create fun and engaging content, the main bulk of influencer marketing still sits with Instagram, so we predict Instagram Reels to play a huge part in influencer marketing strategies going forward. Whether you’re looking to work with medium-sized influencers with a smaller but super-engaged following or have a budget to go macro, using Instagram Reels as part of your latest campaign is going to show that you’re one step ahead of the game and allow your ideas to stand out against competitors. Influencers are beginning to use Instagram reels for anything from cooking new recipes, to trying out cult beauty products and giving ‘outfit inspiration’ to their followers. Therefore, as a retail brand, this is a no-brainer when it comes to new ways to sell your products.

Although it’s early days, it’s likely that if the Instagram Reels feature does take off, then many retail brands are going to shift their marketing spend and divert their attentions to this new service entirely. As a retail brand, it’s super-important that you’re staying ahead of the curve and have a marketing strategy that can adapt to the newest trends and consumer behaviours, as soon as they come about. If you’d like help developing this, then our expert team can help. Please get in touch with Hitsearch today.

If you have a business in the financial sector and would like to up your marketing game or receive some expert information about digital marketing for financial services, then get in touch with a member of our team!

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