11 tips for Instagram Reels! Promoting your handmade brand online using Reels

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I wrote this post with content ideas on how to promote your handmade brand online using Reels and got all these wonderful questions during the workshop I ran with cubers that went with it!

So I have compiled them all together for you so that you can learn more about posting your own Reels!

11 tips for Instagram Reels

1. How do I make a Reel?

Well, that’s a good one! Video coming soon!

2. How do I add text and have it show up nicely.

Adding text is tricky, you need to get it in the right spots to make it shine. I recommend centering all your text, and being consistent with how you decorate it (fonts and colours). Keep it towards the centre of the video and consider that on your feed it’s only going to show a little taller than a square so try and keep it within that amount of space.

3. Should I post to stories or my grid or just the Reels tab?

Up to you. I think you want to be creating evergreen content with Reels (content that doesnt get old) whereas stories are fleeting and only last for a short time…. That said, why use the normal story features when you can use the reels features instead? If you’re planning on uploading a timelapse to your story, you may as well create it as a reel so you can use the additional features and the boost that Reels are receiving.

When you post to your feed, you’ll have two options. Post to your Reels Feed alone, or in addition to posting on your main grid. Again, this is personal preference. I would recommend deciding what kinds of content you want to post on which feature and sticking to that.

4. Do I need hashtags?

Yes! Hashtags are like the filing cabinet for Instagram! Adding hashtags helps people find your content and also helps Instagram know who to show your content to… it needs you to tell it so it doesn’t start showing formula 1 racing posts to people interested in anime drawing tutorials…. makes sense when you think about it right?

And because I know your next question is “how many hashtags” I will answer it for you here…. If you were given $30 to spend on advertising, would you spend all $30? or just $10…. If Insta gives us 30 chances to categorise ourselves, we should use it! But we should make sure to make those 30 count by making them niche and specific to the audience you want to create…. so if you’re brand isn’t about dogs, refrain from posting to dog related hashtags…. it’s like fishing, you need to use the bait the fishy wants if you wanna catch it right?

5. How do I get music on a business account?

Everyones burning question. The short answer is that you can’t. Sorry. The long answer is that you can export your reel (or create your reel) into an app called INSHOT which allows you to do things like remove sound from video and add royalty free music in the background. You can then export that and import it back into Instagram giving you “original sound”.

The other option, is to use “original sound” from another account. You could watch some reels and wait until you find music you like and when you tap on the music credit it will say “USE AUDIO” at the bottom and allow you to use that audio in your Reel! Woohoo! If you’re looking for ideas on where to find such audio? Look at other business accounts… perhaps big ones! If they are making reels they will have already done the work for you πŸ™‚

Here’s a little video to show you!

6. How long should my Reel be?

Instagram allows Reels from 1-30 seconds. You can change the length between 15 or 30 seconds in the app, but you don’t have to use the whole 15 seconds if you want to make it a little shorter just finish the reel before using all the time uup.

7. Can I use a video I already recorded as a Reel?

Yes! You can upload existing videos to make your reel, which is great as you can record as you go through the making process without worrying about opening instagram, then you can cut the videos together later to make your reel! I’ve even made reels from videos I had sitting in my phone from months ago! Just add the video like you would add a normal story photo or video (bottom left) and then you’ll be able to make it shorter in the app.

If you want to remove sounds from the video (because maybe the background was noisy) you can load it into INSHOT app, press on the sound icon, then delete your sound and export the video.

8. Can I make a Reel with still photos?

Instagram will only allow you to upload videos, however you could use INSHOT or CANVA to create videos of your still images, and then load those into insta. I would recommend uploading actual video though, photos are unlikely to get the same engagement as they are still…. but you could get creative with it and make it interesting!

9. Can I make the Reel but post it later from drafts or via my scheduling app?

Yes! You can save your Reel as a draft. Make the reel, progress through the screens and instead of posting you can save as a draft underneath. You could also save the video (on the screen where you add text) and upload it later, but do note the music won’t attach so you’ll need to add that in again later.

If you use a scheduling app, you could then upload your video and shedule it with your caption etc. BUT, when it comes to posting DONT post it like a normal post, as you wont get all the Reels Goodness! Post it as a Reel using your saved caption instead πŸ™‚

10. What order should I do things in order to create my Reel?

  1. Decide what your Reel is going to contain
  2. Choose your length
  3. Choose your music (make sure to adjust the preview so it clips in a good spot, sometimes making it a little shorter will make the reel end in a more suitable part of the song you are using…. I find that reels that can repeat (ie, the song loops) work really well as often you don’t realise you’ve watched it twice when it’s done effectively which is increasing your replays which Insta loves!)
  4. Set your filters (note you’ll need to set them for every clip)
  5. Set your timer for your clip. This will make the camera record for a specific amount of time and is also where you can set a countdown timer so you can have a few seconds before the video starts recording.
  6. Align. Once you’ve added one clip, you will notice there is an additional button called “align” where you can try to align whats in the frame with the last frame from the video. Really good if doing transition style videos.
  7. Add text and use story editing features like stickers and drawing. This is done in the next screen.
  8. Decide whether to post to stories or the feed
  9. If the feed you can then set your cover photo (what will show on your feed), write your caption, add your hashtags and POST! Woohoo!

11. What should I post?

Reels are all about sharing fun content, so think about what you love about what you do, and start there…. chances are your followers also love what you love about your art! If you would like to see my ideas on posts you can do today to promote your handmade brand on instagram, check out this post.

I hope these tips were helpful for you!

Be sure to include the hashtag #cuberreelschallenge on your post so we can check out your Reels!

And if you would like to book a mentoring session to work out your own content strategy for your brand and go through the ins and outs of Instagram you can do so here.

Got more questions? Ask below and I will add them into the post!

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