The Insider’s Guide to Instagram Reels

Here is an insider‘s guide on Instagram reels , everything you need to know to use Instagram Reels to grow your instagram account.

A mind blowing and unexpected release by Instagram. The Instagram Reels!!! A whole different way of creating 15 seconds short instagram clips.

The Insider’s Guide to Instagram Reels

What are Instagram Reels?

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels is a new way within the instagram app, which allows you to record and edit 15 seconds clips. With a dedicated section of it’s own.

Instagram Reels on Vanity Owl

You will be able to effortlessly create innovative content to reach a new audience.

Instagram Reels doesn’t support the upload of photos but only videos.

Where to watch the Reels

Where to watch the Reels

You will find the Reels at the top of the Instagram Explore page and also in smaller rectangular sizes if you keep scrolling down the explore page.

Instagram reels on the explore page

It has a vertical scroll feature where you swipe up to see the next video.

Why do some reels have a featured label? How can I get featured on instagram reels?

Why do some reels have a featured label? How can I get featured on instagram reels?

You will notice that some reels have a “featured” label on them, this means that instagram will have featured reels to help you discover new accounts.

If you will be featured, instagram will send you a notification.

But the real question on everyone’s minds is how can you get featured on the Instagram reels.

Instagram chooses a “featured video” on the basis of how entertaining it is, if it’s original and if it could be appealing to a wide audience.


How do you make Instagram reels?

How do you make Instagram reels?

Creating a Reel is super simple.

Create a reel by creating one directly on the instagram app.

Click on the camera icon on the top left corner as you would when you want to create an IG story.

How to access reels recording and editing

Select REELS at the bottom of the Instagram camera page instead of STORY.

On the left hand side , horizontally you will find:

How to record IG reels

Music selection

This musical note icon, will allow you to access the wide instagram songs library. You can use any song to create your content.

If you create your own piece of audio, this audio will have you attributed as the author and other people will be able to use this audio by selecting “use audio” from your reel.

*Pro tip- did you know that if you create original sound, your clip will appear first on the page. This is a great feature to reach a new audience.

Speed selection

You can use this speed icon for slowing down or speeding up your video selection.

I find it that you can make the video either in slow mo or just make it hit the beat just right.

Effects selection

The AR effects are exactly the same as those that you would find when using a “filter” on your instagram story.

Did you know that you can use different ones within the same clip?

If you don’t know what these filters are, these are effects which are created by instagram or independent creators which allow you to change features on your face or animate them.

You will also be able to add stickers, text and even draw on your video as you do on stories. You will not be able to include interactive features like polls yet.

Timer and countdown

This feature is created so that recording hands free is simple and effective. This will allow you to select the amount of time you want to record for and also set a countdown before it will start recording.

After you record the first clip this next feature will be available:


The align feature will allow you to line up objects from the previous clip recording so that your transitions will look smoother.

All in all in this way you are able to record smooth , creative, single or multi clips all at once.

At the top of the screen whilst recording a line progress indicator will be visible to show you how long you have left when recording.

Create an Instagram reel by uploading your own pre-edited video.

  • To create your IG reel click on the square with the blue plus sign on the bottom left hand corner of the screen.
  • Choose your video and press upload.
  • Once you have uploaded the video you can use all the features above.

How to share Instagram Reels

How to share Instagram Reels

Once you have finished recording and editing your reel, you click on the right arrow icon. This will take you to a Share page.

IG reels sharing options

On this page you will able to :

Write a caption

Do this as you would when you share on your profile. Make sure to include hashtags and tag people relevant to the video.

Change the cover image

By pressing on ”Cover” on the image icon of the video clip you will be able to set your cover.

As a cover you can either choose one still frame from the video itself or create a separate one from your gallery by clicking on “Add from gallery”.

To save the changes click on “done” ,on the top right hand corner of the screen.

Share the Reel to the explore page

This will allow your video to be shared on the instagram explore page section at the top which is dedicated to reels.

The video will also appear on your profile in the dedicated page for reels.

You also have a “also share to feed” option

This allows you to share it to your main feed. I love that even if you share it on your main grid , you have the option to remove it and re-enstate it on your feed as you please.

At the top right you have a “STORIES” tab

This will allow you to uniquely share on your instagram stories or directly to any of your contacts in the DMs.

Share reels on your IG story

Once you are done , you have an option to SHARE or SAVE AS DRAFT at the bottom of the screen.

Instagram Reels can be shared to your followers and even to the explore page!!!

One cool thing is that if you change your mind you can make it appear on your instagram feed too.

Doing this is simple. Depending on the type of account you have:

Public IG account

You can share the reel on your profile to your followers or even go as far as sharing it to the explore page!

Your video is able to appear to more people , increasing your reach and impressions.

Also when someone will click on a song, hashtag or effect that you may have used, your video will also appear there.

Private IG account

On private accounts , sharing capabilities are limited completely to your followers.

This is great because it will keep your private status intact.

What information can be seen once the Reel is posted?

Once, the Reel is shared, views, likes and comments will be clearly displayed under it.

Vanity Owl IG reels

How to use Instagram Reels for business and marketing

How to use Instagram Reels for business and marketing

Instagram reels can be used for business and marketing to reach a wider audience by:

Creating authentic and entertaining content

These short videos have been so successful because you can easily create, entertaining content which is easily viewed no matter what the attention span.

Create strickying content with tricks such as “transitions” where you have these sudden yet smooth changes that make the video pop.

The more entertainment and curiosity you can spark in your viewer, the more successful you will be. This will keep them hooked on your feed.

By authentic, I mean something that you have created not something that everyone is copying out of a trend.

Creating more relatable content

Ask yourself if people can relate to you? You are not just a brand or business but also show off your human side.

That personal connection is the perfect opportunity to create a more engaged audience.

Creating videos which are able to be useful

Do you have useful Hacks or are knowledgable in something? This is a space where you can truly dominate on the app.

Create short how to or tricks and Hack videos which are sure to be of use and hey presto you will have an audience hooked!

This is the best time to grab the IG bull by the horns and exploit this new feature! This new feature will allow you to grow your profile and widen your reach.

Finally, Instagram has listened to all of it’s creators and created a window of opportunity to be discovered.

In my experience, I have found to have reached more people with this new feature, my views appear higher and I have noticed more people being able to see my account through reels.

If you are interested in more Instagram growth Hacks, why not read my post on 8 Instagram Hacks for small content creators

Best time to post on instagram reels

Best time to post on instagram reels

The best time to post on instagram reels is between 2pm and 3pm CDT according to Hubspot.

However, Boostedapps states that videos tend to be more popular at night between 9pm and 8am. The way they look at it is, that in the evening people tend to finally sit down and have the time to watch the videos.

People also have a tendency to reach for their phone as soon as they wake up, during lunch breaks or after work.

In a particular niche , I would suggest you test out the different timings suggested here and see what gets you the best results.

They have mentioned however, that engagement greatly depends on the day of the week you post.

Posting at 5AM CDT from Tuesday to Friday has the highest engagement. (*add 6 hours to the CDT time to get the UK timing)

Posting on weekdays around 11AM-3PM CDT and weekends around 11AM is also favourable.

Day Of The WeekBest time to post on instagram
Monday9am to 5pm
Engagement peak – 11am to 2pm
Tuesday8am to 6pm
Engagement peak – 7pm
Engagement peak – 11am to 3pm
Thursday 5am
Engagement peak – 11am to 4pm
Friday9am to 10am,11am, 2pm-4pm
Engagement peak – 5am and 11am
Saturday 9am – 11am
Sunday10am – 2pm
Time is based on Hubspot study

Best hashtags for instagram reels

Best hashtags for instagram reels

Hashtags ia a useful trick in getting more reach by popping up on the specific hashtag sections.

Here is a list of hashtags which are extremely helpful in increasing your reach:

#reelsvideo #reelsinstagram #instagramreels #instareels #reelsinsta #reelsvideo #funnyreels #reels #ukreels #ukreel #reelsinstagram2020

Can instagram reels be promoted?

Unfortunately, at the moment instagram reel videos can’t be promoted but I am sure that in the near future this option will become available.

Does instagram reels work on android?

Yes , Instagram Reels works on android.

Does instagram Reels work on iOS?

Yes, this feature is available on iOS.

Can’t find Instagram reels? Here is why.

Can’t find Instagram reels? Here is why.

Instagram Reels isn’t available to everyone as of yet but only in certain countries.

It is currently made available to 50 countries considered within the key international markets such as : US, UK, Germany, France, Brazil, India, Argentina and Europe in general.

Even though instagram has mentioned it is available to 50 countries at the moment, it has not yet specified who they are.

If you still don’t have the feature it’s because it may have not been implemented yet on your account.

So you may have to wait a little longer to be part of the Reels family.

If you can’t find instagram reels on your instagram, I advise you to check if you have updated your instagram app to the latest version.

Can you add links to your Reel?

A link option is not available.

How to disable instagram reels?

At the moment there is no way to disable the reels once you have the feature.

If you don’t want to see it all, you can use instagram from your browser or computer instead.

Tiktok vs Instagram Reels

Tiktok vs Instagram Reels

Tiktok has really taken over , it’s revamp and big exposure has opened a brand new social media platform playing field.

Tiktok has shaken things so much so that even the president of the US , Donald Trump is asking for the app to be banned.

And it’s archnemesis Instagram has stepped up their game and included a similar option within the app.

This is incredible because you don’t have to keep switching apps, but rather have an all in one.

If instagram is able to give us the type of wide exposure Tiktok does who knows what will happen to Tiktok!

A major drawback that I have noted on Tiktok is the amount of abusive and troll like comments you are exposed to. This is something that on instagram is not as common and for your mental health may well be a better option.

Something that I have noticed unfortunately scrolling through reels is that the big accounts and the famous one are still the ones who are pushed the most, in oppose to what Tiktok does.

Tiktok no matter how big or small will give people a chance to discover you.

I’m so excited about this new instagram feature , it will open up our accounts to a wider reach.

I really recommend getting in on the Reels, as instagram is known for promoting those who use their complete features.

Now is the time to seize this fantastic opportunity, could this be the feature that gives instagram that much needed shake it needed.

Instagram comes up with recent news on how reels is developing, so if your country still hasn’t got reels, be sure to check out Instagram to know when it will be rolled out.

I hope you enjoyed this insider’s edition of the new Instagram Reels feature.

If you have more questions feel free to comment below and ask me!


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