Love them or hate them, reels are here to stay. There’s no denying that if you want to grow your brand on Instagram, reels are an effective tool. These short-form videos of up to 90 seconds can be used to showcase your brand in an interesting and engaging way while at the same time attracting new followers and expanding your reach on the platform.
But, if you’re anything like me, the thought of being in front of the camera rather than behind it can be a daunting one. With that being said, you can still totally crush reels. Yes, even if you’re an introvert, which is what I’ll be sharing in this episode. I’m covering tips and strategies for creating engaging Instagram reels that resonate with your ideal clients and customers and help you stand out on the platform.
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of creating reels, let’s first discuss why reels matter. According to a recent research survey conducted by Hubspot*, consumers increasingly rely on marketing videos from brands. With video accessible on every major social media platform, consumers are learning to rely more heavily on this type of content in their research phase. The survey also found that consumers prefer shorter videos with videos under three minutes specifically falling into a sweet spot.
Instagram reels, at a maximum of 90 seconds in length land perfectly within this sweet spot, making them an incredible tool for marketers to leverage to connect with their customers.
In previous years, the Instagram algorithm heavily prioritised reels, with early adopters of the content format enjoying the benefit of greatly increased reach, exposure, and growth. While Instagram has dialed this back in 2023, reels are still an extremely popular and engaging way for brands to market to their clients and customers. The good news is that reels can easily and quickly be created within the Instagram app and, despite what many people think, don’t require you to have to dance, point, or lip sync!
So… what if you’re an introvert? You might be thinking, but Andrea, even the idea of showing up and speaking on camera makes me nervous. I get it. Trust me. This was 100% me. I was so awkward in my first few reels and Instagram stories. It took me years to start my YouTube channel because every time I hit record I’d freeze up and forget everything I wanted to say! But, with a bit of practice and some mindset work, I’ve been able to overcome this fear and show up fully for my business!
Here are some of my best tips for building confidence on reels:
1. Practice, practice, practice!
I started out by filming myself in stories, saving the story, and not posting it so I could watch it back and get used to seeing and hearing myself on video. Pro tip: The majority of people hate the sound of their voices on video! It took me a while to finally get used to hearing what I sound like to other people. When you feel more comfortable, you can stitch your saved stories together and share the video as a reel.
2. Embrace your authentic self!
A massive limiting belief I had was that I would be too boring for video and no one would care about anything I had to say. This is a common belief that holds a lot of people back. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to be someone you’re not when on camera. For example, if you’re someone who’s more quiet-spoken and serious, don’t try and be really loud and quirky when you hit record. This will come across as inauthentic and your audience will have a hard time resonating with you. Instead, let your own, unique personality shine through and you will attract an audience of like-minded people who genuinely care about what you have to say.
3. Get comfortable with silence.
This was a really tricky one for me! I’m definitely someone who feels the need to fill every second for fear of awkward silence. This is something I still have to work on today. It’s important to remember that silence can actually be just as powerful as sound. Using pauses and silent moments in your reels can help build anticipation or enhance a point while at the same time giving you a chance to gather your thoughts and energy before moving on to the next segment of your Reel.
Okay, so now that we’ve covered how to overcome introversion when creating reels, let’s discuss some specific strategies for creating engaging reels that you’re audience actually wants to watch!
The first strategy for creating an engaging reel is to start your reel with a hook.
A hook is an attention-grabbing statement designed to instantly get your audience’s attention and make them want to keep watching. Here is a template you can use: Do you want to achieve (insert ideal customer’s desired outcome), so you can (insert big benefit) even if (insert ideal customer’s pain point or struggle)? So, If I were to repurpose this podcast episode into a reel, a good hook I could use is “Do you want to create engaging Instagram reels your audience love so you can grow your brand on Instagram even if you’re a total introvert? Makes you want to keep watching, right?
The next strategy for creating engaging reels is to keep them short and sweet.
As a society, we have very short attention spans. Recent research has shown that the average human attention span in 2023 is just 8.25 seconds, shorter than that of a goldfish!** With that in mind, you should aim to keep your reels, short and to the point to maximise watch time. You can also keep your audience engaged by using quick cuts, transitions, creative text and graphics, and fast-paced editing to prevent them from getting bored.
The third strategy you can implement to create engaging reels is to set the tone with music.
Music can be a powerful tool for evoking feelings and emotions. Instagram has a large database of music to choose from and you can even import your own music if you can’t find what you’re looking for within Instagram’s music library. Choose audio that matches the mood and vibe of your reel and use it to create an immersive experience for your viewers.
The fourth strategy for creating engaging reels is to create original content.
Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri announced in a reel back in April 2022 that Instagram would be ranking for originality. Specifically, he said that the platform values original content over reposted or reshared content***. When it comes to reels, this means experimenting with original audio and exploring new and innovative ideas.
The fifth strategy for creating engaging reels is to participate in trending reels.
Every so often, Instagram users create trends on the platform that involve creating Reels using a particular sound and emulating the style of other users. As more and more people partake in these trends, they gain popularity and become viral on the platform. By joining in on one of these trends, you can substantially increase the likelihood of attracting more viewers.
Now, it’s important to note here that you shouldn’t just jump on a trend for the sake of it if you can’t somehow relate it back to your niche. Doing this is a surefire way to confuse your audience and can even lead to a loss in followers. My advice is to stick to the trends that are relevant to your business and align with your brand’s personality and values.
The last strategy I’m going to cover today for creating engaging reels is to let your personality shine through!
Reels offer a great opportunity to showcase your personality, connect more deeply with your audience, and build a strong, authentic brand. You can do this by using humour, telling stories, and sharing personal experiences to connect with your audience and build a brand that’s genuine and relatable.
Instagram reels are a powerful tool for businesses to grow their brand, reach new audiences, and connect with customers. As an introvert, the thought of creating video content may seem nerve-wracking, but with the right mindset and strategies, anyone can learn how to crush Instagram Reels and create engaging and compelling content that resonates with their dream clients and customers.
If you found value in this post and want to learn more about how you can work 1:1 with me to master Instagram marketing so you can reach more dream clients and customers, without the overwhelm, click here to apply for a free strategy call with me where we can chat more about what it would look like to work together!
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