The Ways Brands Can Leverage Instagram Reels (1/2)

Instagram Reels

A new era of social media marketing has arrived this year amid Coronavirus with new platforms rising to the top and consumers behaving in a different way to brands. One of the latest features on one of the biggest social platforms in the world is Instagram Reels; a new technique to create and discover short-form video in-platform.

Reels lets you record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with custom audio, effects, and tools like filters. Users, as well as brands, have taken to it with famous brands such as Louis Vuitton and Sephora creating their first marketing campaigns on the app. Whilst the content on Reels is scarily just like that of TikTok, with many users repurposing TikTok content on Reels, we don’t consider it will be a direct competitor to the app.

Instead, it will present Instagram with some variety and allow brands, as well as creators, to be less curated and aesthetically-focused, such as the content that Instagram perpetuates. It will give them the opportunity to show their audience a unique side to them through creative, original, and more quirky content.

However, navigating new features can be a minefield for marketers to promote their brands. Reels was only released in August 2020 on Instagram. So, there is not much insight and information on how brands can really benefit from its potential. We’ve written the top 5 ways brands can leverage Reels in their advertising strategy. We need to ensure you are top of your game and splash the competition out of the water.

1. Use TikTok to stay one step ahead of the latest Instagram Reels trends

The first way for brands to take advantage of Instagram Reels is to understand its correlation with TikTok content. With TikTok videos being reposed on Reels, we’re beginning to see a direct relationship between what trends on TikTok one week appear on Instagram Reels the next.

Head of Product at Instagram, Vishal Shah, has highlighted just the way monumental TikTok has been in developing a whole generation’s way of viewing social media and even credited TikTok in their press release for Instagram Reels: “[TikTok] certainly didn’t invent short-form video, but they innovated it,”.  So what does this mirroring impact between the two platforms tell us? To be a step ahead on Reels, you should be updated with the newest trends on TikTok.

With Instagram Reels’ dance moves, music, and sounds being lifted straight from TikTok, it has never been more pertinent for brands to stand out from the crowd on top of TikTok trends. Your brand keeps updated with what content is and isn’t working on TikTok? Then you can leverage this content straight into your Instagram Reels strategy. This can mean you are not only on-trend. However, you’re ahead of the curve and can be one of the first to jump on what is trending on the brand new platform.


And we’ve already seen some brands doing just that right way. Louis Vuitton is a great instance of a brand that has no videos on their TikTok channel, however, has leveraged TikTok trends and features that are popular on the platform in their Instagram Reels content. Louis Vuitton’s Instagram Reels videos make direct use of TikTok’s popular transition trend to show completely different outfits, just like users do on TikTok. In their first series of Instagram Reels, models are filmed dropping and choosing a phone while their outfits are changed. These sleek transitions that are so popular on TikTok are unsurprisingly also a hit on Instagram Reels. This particular Louis Vuitton reel has got 8.6M views and 373K likes.

Instagram Reels

2. Take inspiration from other brands using Reels

In addition to Louis Vuitton, another brand that’s top of their Instagram Reels game is Sephora. A brand is already renowned for its magnificent products. Sephora is the most effective in the game. It is famous for stocking a wide-ranging collection of makeup, skincare, fragrance, and different brands. Despite only having three Instagram reels videos on their channel, each piece of content has perfectly nailed the way to market products in this new short and engaging format. And brands can learn a lot from them.


With 20.2M followers, Sephora knows exactly what their beauty-obsessed customers want – information about new products and how you can use them. If we take a look at Sephora’s first reel, it encourages its followers to participate in a makeup challenge. We all know that challenges have been extraordinarily popular on TikTok and Sephora recognized early on that Instagram Reels was following suit.

In Sephora’s first reel video, popular makeup influencer Ryan B Potter talks to the viewers via a creative way of discovering new eyeshadow looks by randomly choosing five colors from a palette based on a number generator. Ryan speedily and efficiently goes through the process and demonstrates a look created in this way. At the end of the video, Ryan encourages viewers to participate in the challenge.

Instagram Reels

Ryan’s call-to-action, encouraging customers to participate affects what brands desire from these sorts of videos. Once they complete the challenges, they’re highly engaged with and bring more attention to brands’ accounts due to the hype and word-of-mouth created from it. The 2.1M view depends on 29.5K likes and 329 comments show that Sephora knew exactly what they were doing.

By further tagging branded products in the caption, Sephora reinforced their understanding of their Instagram followers’ needs; promotional and demonstrative content of the latest products. If you already know what your Instagram followers want, then leverage that into the brand new short-form and engaging Instagram Reels format – you’re good to go!

Fast and Food

Another brand that knows exactly what their followers need in their Instagram Reels strategy is Fast and Food. This brand recognizes the #foodeatfirst and #foodporn demographic that they are marketing to and exaggerate this with short mouthwatering content for Instagram Reels.

This easy video of someone across the table cutting open a burrata is exactly what Fast and Food’s Instagram Reels are all about. Slowly opening the incredible looking piece of burrata and then pouring olive oil over it. It is extremely appetizing, satisfying, and aesthetically pleasing for the Instagram viewer. Fast and Food know their audience and pay more attention to the #foodporn niche on Instagram. It makes us need to hop on an aircraft and order this burrata ASAP!

Instagram Reels

Brands should take Fast and Food and Sephora as inspiration for their marketing strategies with Instagram Reel. They are successful because they utilize the content they already know works with their Instagram followers. Whether your brand is makeup, food, or anything else, there is so much that you can learn. Let’s learn from both of these brands in any successful niche on Instagram Reels.

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