June 9, 2022

How to Make Instagram Reels That Stand Out

How to Make Instagram Reels That Stand Out

If you’ve been on Instagram lately (if you’re reading this, we’re guessing you have) you’ve probably noticed that Reels are taking up more and more space in your feed. You’ve also likely started questioning if you should be making more Instagram Reels, and we’re here to tell you YES! We’ll break down how you can create Reels that stand out and get your brand noticed.

Meta is going full steam ahead on Reels and doesn’t have plans to slow down anytime soon. We’ve been creating Reels-first social strategies for our clients for a while now, but we wanted to hear it from the horse’s mouth – how can you create the best Reels possible and what’s ahead for the feature?

Our team did the dirty work for you and attended the latest Meta seminar that covered Reels and the future of video across the platforms. We’ve broken down the highlights and learnings for you here – you can thank us later.

Why Make Instagram Reels?

Reels allow your brand to reach new audiences that traditional content hasn’t been able to. Thanks to Meta’s massive push on video format, 20% of time spent on Instagram comes from users watching Reels and video makes up 50% of time users spend on Facebook.  If you want to reach as wide of an audience as possible, Reels are the way to go.

Think Like a Creator

Always approach your Reels content with authenticity (check out our blog on how you can show up authentically on social) and originally to stand out from the crowd. Reels allow your brand to tell a more raw and relatable story, so don’t be afraid to go deep. Audiences are looking for that brand-consumer connection on social.

Tips for Short-Form Storytelling

  • The first few seconds of an Instagram Reel are crucial to capture your audience’s attention– grab their attention as soon as you can.
  • Adding text/captions is a must (you can’t have your boss overhearing your Reels scrolling while in the office).
  • Try different angles to give a new perspective from your high-polished video pieces.
  • Create a themed series to maintain interest and give your audience something to look forward to. 
  • Repurpose existing footage in new ways. We know your social team is small, or maybe your team is just you, so find creative ways to work with what you already have.
  • Identify cultural moments/memes/trends and hop on the ones that make sense for your brand.
  • Utilize the collab tool if partnering with another brand or creator to reach new audiences.
  • Don’t get stuck on following one strategy, shift and change as your account grows and develops.

How to Decide Which Instagram Reel Trends to Jump On

  • You don’t want to be the brand who hops on every trend; identify trends that make sense for your brand and don’t feel bad about sitting some out. (West Elm Caleb anyone?)
  • Save evergreen and nostalgic trends for the quieter times.
  • If you need some trend inspo, look at sound analytics and what’s happening on Reels.
  • Find creators or UGC to share your brand’s messaging paired with these Reels trends.

Good vs. Great Instagram Reels


    • Provide editorial value and alignment with Reels’ content strategy and principles.
    • Simple use of in-app features.
    • Full-story, longer-form videos.
    • Captions, where needed.
    • Example: Single compilation of game footage recap.


    • Evokes emotion and provides creative entertainment or value to your audience.
    • Bespoke to short form, visually-captivating short clips.
    • Unique angels, POV, access, and eye-catching video techniques.
    • Capture attention within first three seconds, build momentum.
    • Use trending audio.
    • Use in-app creator tools.
    • Cultural moment and internet conversations.
    • Captions, where needed.
    • Example: 20-second game recap + dynamic clip paired with stat + BTS/unique angle Reel

The Future of Instagram Reels

As you likely already know, the future of Instagram and Facebook lies in short-form video. Here are a few of the things Meta has in the works to encourage more Reel creation.

Meta’s planning to make crossposting a Reel from Instagram to Facebook available very soon. This update will make it that much easier to increase the volume of video content posted across both channels, but mainly it’s just so you can share your avocado and toast “recipe” Reel with all your hometown relatives. 

Creator Studio allows you to effectively post, manage, monetize, and measure content across your Facebook and Instagram accounts all in one place, but you can only view and manage Reels that have already been published. Meta is planning to fix this problem and house a tab within Creator Studio exclusively for Reels, making it easier for brands and creators to optimize Reels content. 

What about that LIT video piece you’ve already posted? Does that just go to the timeline graveyard, never to be seen again? No! Meta is looking to give your older videos a second life by allowing users to clip already published Facebook videos and turn them into Reels. ** Sigh of relief**

And there you have it folks, so let’s start dishing up the creativity and get to filming some Reels content! 

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