Instagram Reels is a viable channel for small businesses looking to expand their reach and win new customers — without incurring typical traditional marketing costs.
In this article, we’ll share simple and creative ways to market your business with Instagram Reels.
Related: How to embed Instagram reels.
1. Share customer testimonials
Testimonial videos serve as social proof. In fact, two out of three people in a Wyzowl survey said they’d be more likely to make a purchase after watching a testimonial video. It shows the results customers have achieved with your product or service, which convinces other people to buy from you.
Creating testimonial videos is pretty straightforward. Ask your customer to record a simple 30-second recording of their personal experiences with your product, and you can offer a discount or gift as an incentive for their participation.
When the video is set, share it on your brand page. Even better, ask the customer to share it on their social media account directly so that it serves as user-generated content.
2. Showcase your products or services in action
Product demonstrations allow you to highlight the unique features of your product. It’s a chance to show why your product or service is better than the competition and convince customers to buy from you.
Say you’re selling cakes; you could create a reel of your cake at a wedding or birthday party. And if you make hand-crafted bags, you could show off someone rocking your bags at an event.
3. Create a behind-the-scenes look at your business
Sharing a behind-the-scenes video is a chance to show customers how much effort goes into making your product and services.
Say you’re a freelance writer; you can show what a day in your life looks like — from researching a new piece to drafting and editing it. Or you could show how you collaborate with your team to achieve excellent results for clients.
4. Share quick tutorials or how-to videos
Tutorials educate your audience about the numerous ways of using your product or service. This way, you help customers unlock greater value for their money, and also save the time and resources you would have otherwise spent responding to customer questions from scratch.
To create a good tutorial video, you need to know the common questions customers have about your product or service. You can gather these questions via direct messaging or using the IG poll feature.
Sort these questions to discover the most frequent ones. Then, respond to them using simple and short videos. You can pin the videos to your page to allow new and existing customers to find the answers quickly.
5. Collaborate with other businesses or influencers in your industry
Industry collaborations expose your business to new audience groups, which helps you expand your reach and acquire new customers. Say you collaborate with an influencer with 5,000 Instagram followers; that’s 5,000 new people learning about your business.
The best collaborations are with businesses complementary to your niche. That way, you can avoid the competition and get exposed to a relevant audience. For example, if you sell hand-crafted bags, you can collaborate with a shoe business or jewelry store.
Instagram allows you and the collaborator to publish co-post content — which means the reel appears on both pages simultaneously, like this.
Learn more about Instagram’s collab post feature.
6. Share quick tips or hacks related to your industry
A 2021 Conductor study discovered that educational content makes consumers 131% more likely to buy from your brand. Sharing quick hacks and tips about your industry not only educates your audience but also demonstrates your expertise — which builds trust in your brand.
You could create a weekly theme for hacks and tips. This means every week, you’ll share a simple way the audience can make better use of products and services in your industry. For example, in this reel, Diaryofakitchenlover shares how her followers can use glass pots for cooking without breaking them.
7. Share your company culture and values
Nearly 75% of respondents to a Harris Poll said they stopped buying from a brand whose values didn’t align with theirs. Brand values help you build deeper connections with your target audience because they show that you care about what matters to your target audience.
Consider creating a themed reel series for your brand values. For example, each week, you can discuss one value and share how your business practices it. Say one of your values is sustainability; share why you chose that value and what you’re doing to live up to it — whether it’s through recycling materials or using organic materials for production.
8. Create a reel to promote a new product
Using reels for product promotions will increase the market’s awareness of your latest product or service. Instagram is prioritizing reels at the moment, meaning these videos get more traction and engagement than other types of content.
There are several ways to use reels for product promotions:
- Create an unboxing video for the product
- Highlight the features of the new product
- Show the new product in action
Here’s an example from Planthouse.
9. Answer frequently asked questions
Beyond answering questions about your product, consider answering questions related to the problem your product solves. This earns you mindshare from your prospective customers — they familiarize themselves with your brand name and are more likely to buy from you when the time is right.
Use tools like AnswerThePublic and UberSuggest to discover common questions from your target customers. Then answer these questions using short videos. Even better, show how your product can solve the pain point. For example, in this reel, Dang Lifestyle shows how its target audience can combine different DANG products for skin barrier repair.
10. Share your favorite tools
This is a type of behind-the-scenes reel — only this time, you’re focusing on the tools that help you deliver high-quality products and services to your customers. It’s a way to demonstrate your expertise and show customers what goes into creating the “end products” they enjoy.
Check out this example from Sugarspun sam.
11. Share exciting news or milestones related to your business
Your business just hit a new milestone? Share it with your target audience via a reel! Doing this makes your target customers feel like an important part of your business growth, not just people you turn to for cash.
In this reel, for example, Dang Lifestyle shows off its new physical store, plus details of how customers can get there to shop for available items.
12. Feature your team members and their roles
A “Meet the Team” reel is an excellent way to give your customers a glimpse into the personalities behind your business. It allows them to put faces to the names they see on your website or social media profiles, and it can help to build trust and credibility.
Check out this example from Kanning Orthodontics.
13. Highlight your community involvement or social responsibility efforts
This is a good place to show your values in action. It’s not enough to have fancy values on your website or social media profile; you need to live up to them.
Let’s say sustainability is one of your values. In that case, you could share a reel about a tree-planting campaign you’re involved in or a recycling sensitization program.
14. Jump on what’s trending
Create reels based on Instagram trends to get more views and engagement on your content. It could be a viral audio, a video style, or a blend of both, like the #madeyoulook challenge.
Choose a trend that aligns with your brand image and values. For example, if you’ve presented your brand as warm and welcoming, don’t jump on a trend that involves being mean and sarcastic.
Also, don’t be obsessed with going viral. Rather, prioritize your sharing fun and relatable content. And try to give the trend your own creative twist.
15. Share product teasers
Product teasers are like movie trailers. They whet your audience’s appetite and build up anticipation and hype around your latest product. Having all this buzz helps you get a lot of early sales upon the product launch.
Here’s a simple example from Global Grub.
16. Create “this or that” reels
This is a pretty easy way to showcase multiple variations of the same product. Say you’re selling similar bags in different colors; ask your audience to choose which one they prefer and why.
Add a link to your IG store where your audience can shop for the items on display — like Maggy London does here.
17. Announce discounts and giveaways
Offering discounts and giveaways is a great way to attract customers to your business. It’s a win-win situation because customers get a good deal, and your business boosts social media engagements, wins new customers, and generates revenue.
18. Create before and after reels
There are many ways to use before and after videos for marketing. For example, you could share the raw materials used for production and show the finished product. Or you could share a customer’s transformation after using your product.
Check out this example from Style Meets Home.
19. Explain the “why” of your business
Explaining the “why” of your business can help customers understand your mission and values. Sharing your story and passion for your business creates an emotional connection with customers and makes them more likely to support your brand.
20. Share a get-to-know-me reel
Get-to-know-me reels are a fun and interactive way to introduce yourself to your audience. Share interesting facts about yourself and your business to help customers connect with you on a personal level.
21. Post a satisfying time-lapse reel
A timelapse is a really cool photographic technique that captures a series of images over a period of time and compiles them into a video or sequence. It shows your audience changes or progressions that may have taken hours, days, or even months to occur.
You don’t need advanced video editing skills or tools to create time-lapses. Video editing software like Veed or PlayPlay can do the job for you. Here’s a timelapse example from Ssbyayesha.
Showcase your reel content on your website with Juicer
Your reel content doesn’t have to live on Instagram alone. You can embed it into your website, so that people who do not follow you on Instagram can see and engage with it. This allows you to interact with a wider and more diverse audience.
With Juicer, you can create a central social feed for reels right in your website. Connect your Instagram account to Juicer, use the Instagram aggregator to pull content from your profile into your Juicer feed, and embed this feed into your website as a social wall.
Also, creating a complete Instagram feed embed including reels content will make your Insta wall more dynamic.