What You Need to Know About Instagram Reels
By Law Enforcement Social
April 18, 2021

Instagram Reels is a newer way for users to generate short, entertaining videos. Reels are reminiscent of what users would see and might create on social media application Tik Tok, which generally consists of content ranging from lighthearted evergreen clips to informative breaking news and educational videos. 

Reels also allow the user to add audio, music, special effects, touch-ups, text, and stickers to their videos; it truly has become a strong rival to Tik Tok over the past eight months. 

Instagram Reels made their debut in August 2020 and have since taken over the internet. Initially, Reels were only allowed to range from three to 15 seconds long; since then, they’ve expanded, giving users the ability to make Reels up to 30 seconds. 

Reels can be found on a user’s Instagram feed, the Reels home page (located at the bottom of the IG homepage), on a user’s wall, and in the stories space of Instagram. 

“Many brands have been successful on TikTok because they show their human side and give up being perfect all the time, which is exactly what TikTok users want to see. So, try to maintain the same level of authenticity in your Reels. Focus on originality and fun, rather than the quality of your videos. It could be highlighting staff individuality or bringing an ordinary aspect of your brand to life through music and motion. Doing this will lead to high engagement for your Reels videos.”


How to create an Instagram Reel

With a lack of experience, the implementation of Reels into your agency’s Instagram page can be a daunting experience. Do not worry. The Reels space is quite intuitive and user-friendly, especially for those who lack video content creation experience. 

Below is a list of steps to help you create your first Instagram Reel:

  1. Open the Instagram homepage and click the Reels icon (the clapperboard) located in the center at the bottom of the page. 
  2. You’re on the Reels homepage! Now, click the camera located at the top right of the Reels homepage. 
  3. You’re ready to create your first video. Now, here you can swipe the screen up to choose an existing video in your camera roll, or you can record brand new content. It’s up to you. Side note, you can also stop and go record with Reels, meaning you can record, pause and continue recording. 
  4. Now that you have your video, at the top of the screen, you can choose from an array of special effects options ranging from gifs, stickers, voiceovers, audio mixing, music, and text. 
  5. Hit done. Click share. And you have created your very first Instagram Reel.
  6. Lastly, remember to have fun!

IG Reels Tips

When creating Instagram Reels, it’s mandatory to step outside of the box. This is the space in social media where you and your agency can have some fun. While having fun, it’s important to understand that you are creating content that needs to be seen and heard by your audience. 

To ensure that your Reel gets the maximum amount of eyeballs to view your content, be sure to share your Reel in the appropriate spaces on the platform. It is essential to know that if you only post to Reels, your video will only show up on the Reels homepage and your Instagram wall under the Reels tab; it will not show up in the regular feed with all other content. 

To get your Reel viewed in the main Instagram feed, post it on your regular Instagram new post feed. Remember, if you post the Reel to your story, it’ll only be visible in your story. Side note – you can also directly create Reels in the story section of Instagram.

To gain the most engagement and attention on your Reel, be sure to do two things. Use timed text and add music to your video (if applicable). Timed text is great to quickly tell a story without having to throw a clump of words into a caption; it’s far more readable when text is broken up into a few sentences. 

Also, who isn’t attracted to music? Adding music to your Reel will garner initial attention, clicks and is more likely to attract more overall engagement. So next time you want to add Check Yo’ Self by Ice Cube to your Reel, do it, we’re all here for it!

Phoenix Police Department Reels

One of the agencies that have been doing Reels right (and all of Instagram, to be honest) is Phoenix Police Department. 

The department has posted over 50 Reels to date ranging from national puppy day, to national siblings day, retirements, toy drives, and more. They’ve been very good and optimizing their Reels and content to relate to digital market trends. It’s evident that they’re having fun with the platform while being informative at the same time; it’s important to find balance when offering value to your audience. 

Click here to experience Phoenix Police Department’s Instagram Reels.