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The Real Reel — Instagram is Shifting Emphasis to Video Content

When Adam Mosseri, CEO of Instagram, posted a message to IGers addressing their concerns over the platform’s increasing emphasis on video content, he did so, of course, via Reel.

It’s no secret that TikTok has delivered quite a punch to Instagram over the past year or so, and while it hasn’t been a TKO, Insta has definitely had to bob and weave to remain a contender in the space. TikTok has been dominating the marketplace with video content, and now Insta is stepping up.

Mosseri acknowledged that, yes, Instagram is “experimenting” and “going through a lot of changes right now.” He copped to the fact that the platform’s beta of full-screen feed “is not yet good.” He also acknowledged that the platform will “continue to support photos” but “more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time.” (Sorry, Kim K.)

The truth is that online users are demonstrating a clear preference for video content. Instagram reports an 80% increase in the time people spend watching video content. Even if you’re an IG OG and love Instagram for following photos of family, friends, #Fitspo and #Foodporn, it’s time to embrace the Reel.

If you’re marketing your business on Instagram, it’s also time to get real about creating and leveraging video content. Here’s what we know: If you can grab people’s attention within the first 3 seconds of a video, they are likely to finish watching it. And when people watch your video, they are fully engaged with your message, leading to results like new followers, increased brand awareness and user engagement. Yay!

Reels vs. Videos

Creators have two choices for making movie magic on Insta: Instagram Reels and Instagram Video. What’s the difference?

Reels are short-form videos ranging from 15 to 60 seconds. You can choose between 15-, 30-  and 60-second durations for your Reel. The platform offers editing features like filters, music, sounds, etc. You can also use draw and text tools and paste stickers from Instagram’s collection. Since Reels are brief, they are perfect for entertaining and humorous videos rather than a deep dive into a topic.

Users can go to the Reels tab to scroll through their feed and view any videos regardless of their following status to the creator, making it easy for people to discover you.

Instagram Video lengths range from 15 seconds to 60 minutes. Using long-form videos give you an opportunity to create community with your viewers by going deeper into topics that are relevant to them and to your brand. This format is ideal for discussions, series episodes, demos and interviews. Under the Instagram Video tab, you can archive videos from Instagram Live events you’ve had, or you can post long-form videos up to 10 minutes (verified Instagram users can post up to 60-minute videos).

Building Your Video Library

Now that the word is officially out that Instagram’s algorithm is giving priority to Reel and Video content, it is imperative to begin building your brand’s video arsenal.

If the thought of making videos has you reeling, it’s not as daunting as it sounds. Big Chief Creative Media can help with something we call “batch content production.” Our team can shoot a bunch of content and then use it over a period of months, curating it into an array of Reels and Videos perfect for Instagram and TikTok, all backed by trending music that keeps viewers humming along.

Further, Instagram Video includes Instagram Series, which allows you to build progressive content with a series of videos. This is similar to having a video playlist, where viewers can tune into video series that inform them about your brand or other relevant topics.

There is a move in the marketplace toward a quality over quantity approach to video. Strategic video content that is integrated with your global digital marketing methodology will ensure that you attract more followers and get your message to your intended audience.

The Takeaway

We sympathize with Kim’s plea to “Make Instagram Instagram Again.” But social media has spoken, and if you don’t want your brand to be left behind, it is vital to create a good mix of text, photo and video content.

With Reels, you can increase your discoverability and reach wider audiences with short, entertaining videos. Use longer forms of video to inform your audience or broadcast live interviews.

Working with a digital marketing agency can make the whole process simpler and more effective. Big Chief has the creativity and technical know-how to bring social proof to your brand. We’re a results-driven firm that helps companies define their competitive edge using web development, social media, SEO, PPC, content, email marketing and video production. Contact us today, and we’ll get started!