All About Instagram Reels

  • Written by Allison Herrera

    This month, Instagram released a new feature in the U.S. called “Instagram Reels”. Instagram Reels is another opportunity for Instagram users to creatively express themselves on the platform, much like on TikTok, a rival app. Instagram Reels offers users a set of creative tools in creating fun, engaging short clips to share with their followers. They essentially show off…

    • 15-second videos – multi-clip reels
    • Audio, text, special effects and stickers
    • A new dedicated Feed on the Explore page

    With over 25 million businesses utilizing Instagram, it’s time for you to step up your game and shine within the crowd. With brands like Louis Vuitton, Sephora and Walmart already utilizing the platform’s new feature, we’re urging businesses to follow their lead. Just like we promised in our blog post Optimizing Video Content, we are going into depth on what Instagram Reels is, it’s importance & how you can use it. Here’s the skinny on what Instagram Reels features…

    • Several editing tools, which include AR effects, speed controls and the option to align multiple clips (Pro Tip: these are great for cleaner transitions)
    •  Options to share on the Explore page and Stories – a place that over 50% of Instagram accounts use every month, causing your brand to have a larger change of drawing in new followers
    •  A dedicated section of your profile where all of your Reels live and the option to post Reels in your feed, both similar to IGTV posts
    • The attribution of audio – if you include original audio (the sounds you recorded in your video), your audio will be credited to you. This gives other users an opportunity to use your original audio for their reels; but as we previously mentioned, the audio would be attributed to you, the original creator of it

    Many say Instagram Reels is an attempt for the platform to compete with TikTok. Both apps sport the same goal: provide users with an environment where they can create and share short videos with others. But, although Instagram Reels is very similar to TikTok, the two also feature many differences.

    Instagram Reels are important for many reasons. The first is you can tap into a whole new audience, people who prefer quick content that’s easy to digest. These short-form videos that Instagram Reels promote are popular, especially with Gen-Z. Brands can also collaborate with influencers, by creating content via Instagram Reels. Also, without going into logistics, Instagram has a tendency to “reward” users when they utilize all of the platform’s features. Most importantly, we over at Uptown Girl Media predict that Instagram Reels will have success similar to TikTok.

    Facebook (who owns Instagram) is notorious for pushing new features that their rival apps developed. Let’s rewind back a few years ago to when Facebook replicated the Snapchat Stories feature, by carrying it over to Instagram. Now, Instagram Stories are more widely used and popular than Snapchat Stories. Although it started off as a clone of Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories are now an effective channel for brands to showcase their personality and build their audience. Now, let’s think about the power of influence. Combine all of those highlights together, and gear it towards Instagram Reels. How can the feature not succeed?

    Tiktok is also under fire – just Google “TikTok ban” and you can find all the research you need. We’re not here to talk politics, but if the U.S. follows India’s lead in banning the app, Instagram Reels will naturally fall as its successor (unless Microsoft buys the app, which has been in discussion as a potential opportunity…but that’s a whole other conversation). Either way, TikTok’s public image hasn’t been all positive for everyone; whereas Instagram hasn’t had any PR messes, at least this week.

    With TikTok creating a culture based on short-form videos, it shouldn’t be a struggle for the new Instagram Reels feature to gain popularity. In our opinion, TikTok creating this hype is merely a step for Instagram to take their app to the next level. Instagram can finish building the house TikTok set the foundation for, since Instagram is one of the most widely used apps in the world and translates between more generations than TikTok.

    Although Facebook’s initial attempt to compete with TikTok by launching an app back in 2018 called Lasso failed (Lasso shut down on July 10, 2020), we believe Instagram Reels is bound for success. With TikTok’s statistics rising over the past few months (more than back in 2018) and Facebook learning from past mistakes, we wouldn’t sleep on Instagram Reels, if you care about growth and success on social media. Businesses can utilize Instagram’s new feature multiple ways, but here are 5 creative ideas business profiles can grow on…

    1. Repost TikTok videos on Instagram
    2. Share educational content
    3. Showcase products
    4. Share behind the scenes
    5. Announce sales

    Before we wrap up, we aren’t saying to delete TikTok, but you can enhance your social media game by either creating more unique content on Instagram (a larger platform with multiple features other than Reels) or you can reuse your content from it by translating it to Instagram. A great example is ColourPop Cosmetics. By utilizing both apps, you can…

    • Bring your Instagram followers who are not on TikTok a new type of content
    • Help expose your TikTok content to new audiences on Instagram
    • Gain new followers on Instagram based on unique content by utilizing TikTok’s short form strategy

    If you’ve made it to this point in our post, it’s a no-brainer that brands should grab the opportunity to be some of the first creators on Instagram Reels. What do you have to lose? If you have any questions about Instagram Reels, campaign ideas or creative strategies regarding individualized success for your specific company or brand, please reach out to us at for support.

Thinking Outside The Box

  • Written by Caroline Legrand
    Edited by Allison Herrera

    Did you know that SmashBurger and WhatsApp were created during recessions? That’s right. Although we are social distancing right now, we do not need to stay inside the box (or the house) when it comes to our business.

    For most companies, the current circumstances are nothing like business as normal. Plans for the year, events and launches have been altered. But, by pivoting to a new route and adapting to the extenuating circumstances, you can maintain communication and connection with your customers.

    Enter the webcam. Your laptop most likely has one on it, your phone has the capability to duplicate one and your desktop has the ability to connect to one.

    From Google Hangouts and Zoom Meetings to Skype happy hour, webcams are keeping communities connected and changing the way that businesses are marketing during stay-at-home orders.

    Although we seem to live in a largely digital world, we realize how much we rely on face-to-face connection when we lose the ability to have the physical presence of a loved one, friend or even co-worker.

    Skin and hair care companies are sharing videos with tips and hacks for their products, holding social media competitions and giveaways, and ways to keep a wellness routine. Fitness studios are moving online and providing videos to their clients and followers to keep them moving and healthy, and universities are holding classes over video where students can still connect with professors.

    Some examples of companies we’re loving right now utilizing video on Instagram:

    • @dnice – utilizing IG Live for DJ and dance parties
    • @littonavenue – utilizing videography to create courses for followers
    • @body__shoppe – this New Orleans fitness studio pivoted from hosting classes in person to live streaming through webcams. Although they’re no longer “live”, their business model expanded as they now provide “on demand” classes, thanks to re-visioning during this crazy time
    • @primallypure – hosting virtual skin care challenges and providing tips through video
    • @n.o.c.c.i – hosting virtual conferences, that would otherwise be cancelled

    While webcams may not provide a hand to hold or a friend to hug, they can provide the closest connection to face-to-face that we can manage right now.

    Utilizing a webcam to stay connected with your employees and customers is vital during social distancing. Here are a few tips to help your business mindset during these challenges:

    • Ask how your employees are, before asking what you need them to do
    • Listen to your customers and pivot your marketing to serve their updated needs
    • Focus on enriching and providing quality content for customers to keep them loyal to your company
    • Do not compare your business to last year’s revenues or goals, adapt and focus on sustaining your business
    • Take the opportunity to grow your brand and develop proper policies and strategies

    If you have any questions about making video work for your company, or how to simply think “outside the box” when it comes to utilizing video, please reach out to us at for support.

Optimizing Instagram Video Content

  • Written by Caroline Legrand
    Edited by Allison Herrera


    It was projected that this year, Facebook and Instagram will account for two thirds of social video ad spending. That two thirds is more than YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat combined! Almost all businesses (87%) are utilizing video for their advertisements and content, and thankfully, social media platforms like Instagram have plenty of ways to help optimize your content.

    Instagram is where most of our productions are seen & where most of our leads are generated. So we wanted to share our best insights and advice for navigating videography on Instagram! Check out what they have to offer and our tips below:

    Video Options on Instagram
    • Stories
      • 15 second clips that disappear in 24 hours unless saved to a highlight
      • Ability to repost fan posts for all followers to see
      • Laid back and casual approach to communication
      • UPTOWN GIRL’S TIP: Great for quick interaction with followers

    • Feed Posts
      • Posted just like a photo on your feed, but a 30-60 second video
      • More formal than stories
      • Impacted by algorithm
      • UPTOWN GIRL’S TIP: Great for stop-motion or time-lapse, behind the scenes or how to’s

    • IG Live
      • Like Facebook live, but on Instagram featured through your story, three seconds to one hour
      • Viewers can respond in real time to connect or ask questions
      • UPTOWN GIRL’S TIP: Most likely to be viewed at some point and is great for Q&A or live-streaming events

    • IGTV
      • Think of it as a YouTube Channel on your Instagram account that features videos between 1-15 minutes
      • First 60 seconds can be uploaded like a regular post, make it captivating!
      • UPTOWN GIRL’S TIP: Great for in-depth tutorials or tours of a space

    • Instagram Reels
      • This is Instagram’s newest feature, & is comparable to TikTok – 15 second video clips
      • Users can record and edit together their short video clips set to music and share them to their Stories, Explore Feed, and the new Reels tab on a user’s profile
      • We will have a whole new blog post dedicated to Instagram Reels just shortly, so stay tuned!
      • UPTOWN GIRL’S TIP: Great for engaging with a new kind of audience – people who prefer quick-and-easily-digestible content or Generation Z

     Trends We’re Loving to Enhance Your Instagram Video

    • Subtitles. Let’s be real, most people do not scroll through social media with their volume up.
    • Series. Sharing multiple videos that coincide together for unity in your messaging = iconic!
    • Shorter Videos. Who has time to watch a 15 minute YouTube video? Depending on the content, it’s quality on quantity in terms of minutes.

    Still need some direction with video content? No worries, that’s what we specialize in at Uptown Girl Media! Send us a message here, and we’ll be glad to help you.

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