All About Instagram Reels

The COVID-19 pandemic has made great changes in the world. It changed how people connect, learn, shop, and work. A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong highlighted that everything has gone online. The lockdowns and social distancing measures made people realize the comfort and convenience of staying indoors with their loved ones.

According to a social media agency Hong Kong, one major change that happened recently is the rise of short-form videos. It started with TikTok, a short music clip app, that boomed around three to six months after the coronavirus outbreak. Many social media platforms tried to clone and mimic the app because of its popularity.

A video marketing agency Hong Kong recorded a list of the said TikTok clones. These include YouTube Shorts, Snapchat Spotlight, the short-lived Twitter Fleets, and Instagram Reels. Of all these clones Instagram Reels offers the best TikTok competition. Let’s find out all about Instagram Reels!


Reels are 60-second music clips. These entertaining videos are easily discoverable on Instagram because they show on a dedicated Reels tab, Explore tab, and IG feeds. Using the Instagram camera, users can record a reel all at once or in a series of short clips. They can also upload Reels from the gallery of a device.

To start creating Reels, press and hold the capture button and choose “Create Reels.” When creating Reels, Instagrammers can do the following edits:

  • Add AR effects
  • Add audio
  • Align objects
  • Control Speed
  • Use a countdown timer

If an Instagram account is set to public, Reels can be shared on Explore, feeds, and the Reels tab. If an Instagram account is set to private, Reels can only be shared on the followers’ feeds. Unlike IG Stories, Reels do not disappear after 24 hours.

There are several ways to watch Instagram Reels. First, users can browse their feeds and click a post showing the Reels icon to view it. Second, they can visit the Explore tab to unveil more Reels. Last, they can search for Reels using hashtags.

Recently, Facebook also enabled the Reels function on its main platform. It will allow seamless sharing of Instagram Reels on Facebook feeds, group pages, and watch. It will also boost Reels usage to all Facebook and Instagram followers.


Like IG Stories, Instagram Reels are designed to be viewed in full vertical screens. It is because most Instagrammers used mobile devices to access the app. It is, therefore, recommended to shoot Reels directly on mobile to stick to their optimal dimensions.

If you will be creating content for Reels using a camera, the recommended aspect ratio is 9:16. The frame should be sized at 1080 x 1920 pixels. Always remember the caption at the bottom fifth of a Reels video. So, it is best to avoid having important visual elements in this section.


Instagram currently has 2 billion monthly active users (MAU). As the platform shifted into a phot-and-video-sharing app, Reels have a lot of potentials to reach a large audience base. Short-form videos have been a hit on the platform. In fact, Stories average a daily 500 million usage. Instagram Reels was first tested in Brazil as “Cenas.” It has increased Brazil’s Instagrammers by 4.34% after the launch. On the 5th of August, 2020, Instagram officially launched Reels to 50 countries.

Around 20 out of 30 NBA teams use Reels and had great success gaining 22% more engagements. The Los Angeles Lakers gathered the most Reels engagements with 6.8 million views in one Reels video. The team’s Instagram Reels videos have an average engagement of 385 thousand.

Many other brands shared the same success. Nike, for one, averages 4.6 million views per Reels. This year, 70% of Instagram marketers are looking to increase their ad spend in Reels. It is because the IG short-form video format receives a rate of 22% more engagement than regular IG videos.



The Growth of Live Streaming and Short-Form Videos on Facebook

Have you ever heard of Mari Smith? Since 2007, she has been a leading voice in the digital marketing industry. According to a social media agency Hong Kong, if Facebook is considered the king of social networks, Mari Smith is the “Queen of Facebook.” It is because she has helped a broad range of well-known businesses with their Facebook, Instagram, and social media strategies. 

Mari was named as one of Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencers. The global media company described her as a preeminent expert on Facebook. She was also the author of “The New Relationship Marketing” and co-authored “Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day.” These books paved the way for a large Facebook community, Mari Smith’s Social Scoop.

Even Facebook has asked for Mari’s help. She was headhunted and hired to become a consultant of Facebook Blueprint’s certification program and lead Facebook’s Boost Your Business Series. Here, she was able to level up key marketing approaches for brands and businesses. With these experiences, Mari shares her unique insights about the growth of live streaming and short-form videos on Facebook.

Facebook Live Streaming and Chatbots

According to a video marketing agency Hong Kong, Mari believes that a combo of Facebook Live and chatbots can produce the best results among ads and campaigns. Over the last q12 months, live streaming gets the best organic engagement and reach. The main key is consistency. By broadcasting the best content, education, and tips regularly, organic reach will start to climb significantly. Mari suggested partnering these live broadcasts with call-to-actions that get your audiences into the DMs. From there, you can maximize opportunities by implementing chatbots. 

To help improve one’s approach to live streaming, Mari mentioned that it is best to use the right hardware and software. A DSLR camera can make a big difference even if you are broadcasting from a home studio. The right lighting can make your on-camera appearance remarkably professional. A good microphone can help your audiences clearly understand your messages during the live event. Mari has also noted that there is always a place for live streams via mobile devices on Facebook. Yet, high-end studio setups can literally put you above your competitors and generate more revenues. 

Short-Form Videos and Stories

The most significant growth in social media marketing over the last years is the evolution of short-form videos and stories. Mari, and everyone else, very well know that 500 million Instagram users tap into the power of Stories daily. Mari has noted that Facebook has created Stories as the platform ran out of ad inventory in its news feed in 2016. The company was forced to look for other options to place ads on content streams. So, it came up with the idea of copying Snapchat’s ephemeral story format. 

Then, there are “Reels.” As TikTok hit the spotlight, Facebook tried to clone such sensational short-form videos. In August 2020, the platform launched Instagram Reels. They are fun and engaging 60-second music clips that captured the hearts of the millennials. Mari has noted that Instagram has currently been favoring Reels in terms of discovery and reach. That is why it is high time for brands and businesses to embrace such a short-form video format. With Facebook integrating Reels in the main platform, Reels ads can be more powerful as paid placements. Like Instagram Stories, Reels will continue growing. 

Mari highlighted that it really made sense for brands and businesses to put effort into creating short-form videos like Reels and Stories. They can extremely fuel top-of-the-mind awareness on top of Facebook feeds. They have a more engaging and intimate appeal among your target audiences.

The Key to an Effective Facebook Marketing Strategy

After Apple’s ATT update, Facebook and Instagram advertisers need to get creative with using first-party data. Mari is a top advocate of data privacy and the freedom of choice among online users. With Apple’s ATT update and Google’s impending support for cookies by 2022, brands and businesses have to accept the sea of changes. 

For Mari, the key to an effective Facebook marketing strategy is designing an evergreen model that generates measurable results no matter what changes and updates come. Mari highly recommends the basic approach of: “Content + Engagement + Conversion. Rinse. Repeat.”  

  • Start by creating excellent content that your audiences are craving. Help them find tremendous and valuable information to solve their problems. 
  • Engage regularly with your audiences by replying to their comments and messages. Acknowledge their reactions and share. Embrace Facebook Live to connect with them in real-time. 
  • Use CTAs to generate conversion. It is important to get your audiences to visit your websites, find out more about your offerings, and buy them. 

Mari visualized that a complete eCommerce experience, 5 years from now, is the integration of the Facebook family of apps. According to a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong, the initial drive was to make it easy for users to connect with brands and businesses through an integrated messaging API – Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp. She is positive that the drive will continue after Facebook bought the Kustomer CRM platform. It will fuse information and support services seamlessly. Together with AR/VR, Facebook’s digital coin – Diem, and Facebook Pay, the platform will still be the king of social media.