Instagram reels and why you need them

In case you haven’t heard, Instagram has a new toy which it is very excited about. It’s called “Instagram Reels”, and it’s a bit like TikTok. While TikTok has dominated the 18-24 year old market in the UK, Instagram is more popular with those aged 25+.

An Instagram Reel is a 15 second video with captions that pop in and out. You can combine shorter clips, add graphic effects – like glitter that follows you around – and filters. Users with personal rather than business or creator accounts can add music from a huge library.

You might feel reluctant to learn another new tool. Perhaps you have only just got to grips with creating regular feed posts, coming up with fresh daily Stories and participating in a few Instagram Lives. I was resistant too…for several weeks. Then I begrudgingly gave it a go.

My first Reel was watched 860 times, my second one 646. At the time of writing this I have only created four Reels. Number three had 1,928 views and number four was watched 1,297 times, less than 24 hours after it went live. Not bad for an account with just 1,673 followers!

To put all of that into context, my most popular Instagram posts receive ~80 likes, whereas most of them have only ~35 likes. Instagram are prioritising Reels in your followers’ feeds, and making them visible to even more people from Explore.

So how can you use Instagram to sell shoes? New independent shoe brand Otto + Ivy creates clever Reels showing how versatile each shoe style is. In each Reel, founder Laura’s outfit changes whilst her shoes remain the same.

You can follow suit with styling suggestions, announce product launches or even price drops with your Reels. The bonus is, you can put Reels on your feed, and post them in your Stories so customers have three ways in which to view this content.

Your Reels don’t have to be perfect. There are plenty of how-to guides online, and you will improve the more you do. Give them a go and let me know how you get on.