Whether you’re deep in the Instagram Reels game, or you’re yet to embrace the brilliance of short-form video, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’re looking at a number of techniques to ignite your creativity. From camera tricks to engagement hacks, you need to steal these ideas for your business on Instagram… and the best part? They work for TikTok too!
Spark strong emotional reactions
Tapping into a viewer’s emotions is incredibly powerful, because it reaches beyond the screen and straight into the feels. Beyond the ability to capture and hold attention, using emotional marketing can boost loyalty and increase sales. Whether you’re looking to pull at heart strings, drip faces in visceral horror, activate the viewer’s fight, flight or freeze response, or sprinkle their soul in the shiny glimmer of pure awe, developing strategies that demand strong emotional reactions is likely to gain higher levels of engagement while having a very real impact on your business.
Ignite a feeling
How do you feel about the Instagram Reels still below? Does it make you feel inspired, scared, shocked, dread, anxiety, panic, invigorated?
There is no right emotion. Just notice that this content makes you feel something. This is how your audience should be feeling about your reels. Is your content sparking emotion, or is it easy to simply scroll past…?
One way we commonly see emotion-provoking content in various forms of media (magazines and news articles - I’m looking at you) is through being divisive. While this type of content should only be created and shared responsibly, controversial content which is likely to spark a negative reaction gets those views and comments rolling in fast. In fact, a study found that negative social media posts gain twice as much engagement as positive ones.
Another way to spark a reaction is to purposely leave a small mistake in a piece of content. This is only relevant in certain circumstances and works particularly well when used in conjunction with humour or pop culture references. By leaving in a small detail that begs to be corrected, you almost guarantee people commenting on your reel. This boosts engagement and in turn gets your content reaching more people.
Try captivating film techniques
Sometimes it’s not the content that needs a tweak, but the way we present what we’re doing. Trying out different filming and editing techniques can reignite the ideas factory and boost engagement in the process.
A technique that is popular on Instagram is simply speeding up the video content. This timeless editing technique (which is often mistakenly named a time lapse) is perfect for condensing long processes into exciting visual nibbles. It’s also ideal for people with limited video editing experience because you can speed up footage directly in the Instagram app.
To do this in-app:
- Select the speed button from the panel on the left-hand side of the screen.
- Choose a faster speed (4x is the fastest).
You can also speed up footage you import:
- Tap the icon in the bottom left-hand corner.
- Select the clip you want to import from your camera roll.
- Tap the speed icon on the left-hand side of the screen.
- Choose a faster speed.
This increased speed may capture attention and hold it for longer due to the speed at which the viewer’s brain is taking in new information. It also unfolds the story of your reel at speed, keeping viewers engaged until the end.
A trickier technique, but one that looks totally intriguing, is stop motion. Commonly recognised in animations and programs such as Wallace and Gromit, stop motion is the technique of capturing still images, all of which are slightly different, and sticking them together. This can make inanimate objects look like they’re moving without assistance. It may be time-consuming, but it’s totally worth it because when it’s done well, it looks bloomin’ awesome!
Show the process
There are infinite new ways to show what you’re doing in a new light. However, when you’re in the middle of an inspiration blackout, it can be difficult to find new angles and ways of connecting with your audience over the same subject again and again. Let’s get those mental cogs turning…
Whether you create products or provide a service, showing how it’s done is a fantastic way to humanise your brand and connect with potential customers. Whether you choose to display different elements of the process or aim to spark fresh responses from your audience, you can use all the ideas below to create multiple pieces of content for your Instagram Reels.
Share from start to finish
Showing what you do from start to finish could be a good place to start. This helps to bring clarity and transparency to your work, while building trust with your audience in the process through sharing your expertise. If the full process is pretty lengthy, you can capture it in its entirety by speeding up the footage. Refer back to the ‘accelerated video’ section of this article where we walk you through this step-by-step.
Select a specific section
Once you’ve shared what you do in full, you can add depth to your content by sharing specific sections of the process in more detail. This could include honing in on intricate details, showcasing high levels of skill, or just having some fun with a visually interesting part of the job.
Shine a light on the unique or unusual
If you’re creating products using a unique or unusual process, or an impressive piece of equipment, make sure to show this off. What might seem fairly normal to you, might be something someone else has never seen before. Never forget that a viewer could be anyone, from any background, from anywhere in the world. What might be mundane for you, could be entirely new to someone seeing your content for the very first time.
Showcase a satisfying result
There’s something so satisfying about seeing a project or process reach completion. There’s a reason why there are so many TV shows about seeing people change their lives and situations. From makeovers, home renovations, house cleaning and weight loss shows… the list goes on and on and on. Love them or hate them, people watch them because there is something inherently interesting about seeing positive (subjective, I know) change.
Does your business lend itself to a satisfying result or a significant change? Perhaps you refurbish furnishings, or clean spaces, paint rooms or build structures. There’s something enjoyable about watching something take shape and Instagram Reels is the perfect place to show this off.
Whether you aim to show your audience how to use your products, want to help bring value to the viewer or simply enjoy showing how difficult a process actually is (i.e. it’s worth paying for my skill!), the how-to format is a short-form video classic. It’s the kind of content that lends itself to being saved, rewatched and returned to, making it's the ultimate reach-booster and engagement-driver for Instagram Reels.
Let’s not forget that showing the process also showcases your level of skill, expertise, knowledge, experience and attention to detail. This is fantastic when aiming to connect with customers and other businesses, through building opportunity as you grow your presence online.
Now you’re armed with loads of tips, tricks and techniques to take into your next round of Instagram Reels creations. We can’t wait to see what you come up with! To make sure your new content is continuing to grow your business online, make sure you’re tracking KPIs with Minter.io - the social media analytics tool for business online. You can see how your content performance compares with previous posts as well as your competitors. Hop on board today to see your business take to new heights.
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