Instagram is not afraid to take whatever content format is popping off on social media and make it their own. We’ve seen it before (with Stories), we’re experiencing it now with Reels, and we’ll probably see it again. TikTok launched short video into the social media spotlight in 2016, and Reels joined the party in 2020.

Reels have since become an indispensable tool for brands. Because Instagram wants Reels to work, they’ve become a super effective way to grow your account. Plus, the Reels format is showing advertisers a new way to advertise and sell on Instagram. Even paid ads are looking more like native Reels to appeal to consumers.

That being said, many business owners shy away from Instagram Reels because the process of learning this new content format seems daunting. It is a new space, but it’s easy to learn.

Grab a notebook. Time to teach you how to create Instagram Reels that stand out from the rest.

How to make an Instagram Reel from start to finish 

Follow these steps to learn exactly how to use Instagram Reels:

Start by clicking the + sign to create a post. Select “Reel”, then record or upload your video. Once you’ve got your video set and ready to go, it’s time to edit and add effects. 

The first button at the top is where you’ll find the audio controls and effects. Here, you can distort your camera audio and voiceover with effects like helium, robot, announcer, and more. 

The second button (the one that looks like a microphone) is the voiceover button. This is where you can record a voiceover to play throughout your video.

The third button is where you add text. You can customize the font, color, and style just like in an Instagram Story, but with Reels, you can attach the text to a specific timestamp. This is how you tell stories with text in Reels!

The next button is where you’ll find stickers and GIFs. The button at the far right enables you to add effects like filters to your video. Underneath the effects, you’ll find a button to draw on your Reel, as well as a “Save” button (this comes in handy for posting your Reels to other platforms like TikTok and YouTube Shorts.

When you’re done editing your Reel, press “Next” to move on to the last step. On this page, you can add your caption, add location and people tags, and crop your profile image. Your profile image is how users will see your Reel in your feed. Simply hit “Share” to publish to your feed, or “Save as Draft” to publish your drafted Reel later.

How to leverage Instagram Reels for business 

The secret sauce that makes Instagram Reels stand out is finding the balance between authentic content, educational content, content that sells, and content that’s on-trend. Finding the right mix depends on your audience and requires a bit of trial and error. 

Authentic content

Using Reels as a window into the day to day operations of your business is a great way to connect and build relationships with members of your target audience. Authentic content is all about staying true to your brand’s voice and values while giving your audience something they can relate to. 

Here are a few authentic Instagram Reels ideas to try out:

Introduce your team and story

When you’re seeing a lot of new faces interacting with your brand’s page, it’s time to reintroduce yourself and your team. This is where you show your audience what your brand is all about. You can do a roll call introducing each team member and explaining their role in the business, tell your brand’s origin story, or do a trending skit with your team and explain who’s who in the caption. 

Behind the scenes

People love to see the behind-the-scenes of your business. It gives customers a better understanding of and appreciation for what it takes to create and distribute the products they know and love. Create Reels using videos of products being made and clips of your team in action. 

Day in the life

Form a personal connection with your audience by posting a day in the life as a small business owner Reel. One Reel isn’t enough to show your audience everything you do, which means you can post these on a regular basis. 

Educational content 

Educational content is a way to entertain your audience while building a reputation within your niche. Here are a few educational Instagram Reels ideas to try:


Tutorials are huge on Instagram Reels, and for good reason. Users want to learn how to do certain things, and brands have the products and knowledge to help. Find out what users are struggling with in your niche. If you sell beauty products, you can post a Reel showing users how to apply eyeliner, even with shaky hands. If you sell art supplies, post Reels explaining how to draw certain things, step-by-step. Tutorials are the perfect way to show off your products in an engaging, helpful way. 

Evergreen content

Repurpose evergreen content from your blog, YouTube channel, etc. by creating Reels inspired by that content. You can edit together old video clips or create Reels summarizing certain blog post topics you’ve already covered. The heavy lifting is already done– all you have to do is create a Reel out of your existing content. 


Listicles aren’t just a hit in the blog space — they do well as Reels, too. Create Reels listing your favorite industry specific places, items, etc.  This could be your favorite restaurants in a certain area, your favorite products for a certain task, or your favorite influencers in the industry (bonus points for supporting smaller creators here). 


Whenever you see a question come up in your comments, store it in a list. When you have enough, create a Reel answering your FAQs

Product content 

There are a thousand fun ways to show off your products on Instagram Reels. Here are some of our favorites:

Before and after

People love “Before and After” Reels. This content style is an effective way to hook viewers so that they watch your entire video, as they want to see the end result. Basically, brainstorm all the different ways you can show a before and after with your products. This is also a good spot to promote services, as you can show the before and after of something you created for a customer. 

Sneak peek

Sneak peeks help build anticipation for your next product launch. You decide how much or how little you want to show your viewers. That could be a quick look at the packaging, a clip of the product being made, a whole product demo, or all three in a series! 

Paid partnerships

Paid partnerships are Reels created in partnership with another brand. If you’re a smaller creator or brand, this is a great way to monetize your Instagram while making connections within your industry. Sponsored Reels can be anything from a product ad to a regular Reel where you use/wear the product and mention that the video is sponsored by the company. 


A huge hit on Reels! The most common way to do an ASMR video is taking choppy video clips (with sound) while packing your products. You can do the same while demoing your products. Post the video without voiceover, letting your audience soak in all the crunchy crackly noises you made in the packing process. 


OOTDs make up another mega-popular Reel category. This is where you show your outfit of the day, explaining what each piece is and where you got it from. If you sell clothing or accessories, this is the perfect way to show viewers how to style your pieces. Customers who fall in love might even buy the whole fit, so make sure you link accordingly. 

Trending content on Instagram in 2021

Hopping on the latest trends is a solid strategy for building your audience while keeping your current followers entertained and engaged. This frequently updated post is a great resource for staying on top of the latest Reels trends.

Here are some relatively current trending Reel ideas for Instagram that you can try. Make sure to stay up to date on what’s trending at the moment, though– Reels trends move fast!

“Fancy” Trend

Post a Reel throwing on three clothing items in accordance with the beat, then showing a full outfit transition while stomping at the line “I’m so fancy” in the song. 

“You know I got the sauce” Trend | Example

Post a Reel lip-syncing to the song, showing ways in which your brand or products are desirable. 

Photo Edit “Ding” Trend

Post before and after videos to the sound, syncing the transition with the “ding”. 

“Yo bro, who got you smilin like that?” Trend

Post a Reel to the sound showing a wholesome reason that you’re smiling. You can finesse this trend so that the reason is your products or your team. 

“I’m sorry, I just hallucinated. What?” Trend

Post a Reel to the sound with text explaining an industry-specific “what?” moment. For example, your “what?” reaction could be in response to a customer opting for a competitor’s inferior product, or simply to a customer not making their life easier by using your product.

Instagram Reel templates we’re loving lately 

Okay, ready to hop on these Instagram trends for your business? These Instagram Reels templates will have you creating stunning Reels in minutes. 

Tease a new product

This template makes teasing a new product a piece of cake. All you have to do is customize according to your brand and products, and you’re done. Plus, the professional look makes for a good ad, too. 

Level up your OOTDs

Mirror selfies are fine and good, but this template takes your OOTDs to the next level. If you want your fit to stand out and make an impression, start right here. 

Bring your followers along on a day in the life

Spice up your day in the life Reels with this template. If you’re not sure where to start filming this type of Reel, this template can act as a guide. Plus, it makes the editing and uploading process quick and easy. 

Shock your audience with a stunning before and after

Use this template for a sleek “Before and After” Reel. It’s the perfect template for showing off what your products or services can do for your customers. 

Go viral with an aspirational routine 

Use this Sunday Routine template to create an aspirational routine on Reels. These videos are super popular, and users tend to save them for later, which will give you a boost with the IG Reels algorithm.

Wrapping up

Instagram recently combined IGTV and feed videos, but left Instagram Reels as a standalone feature. That means Instagram Reels aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you want to be a successful, growing brand on Instagram, posting original content to Instagram Reels is a must. Lucky for you, Vimeo Create templates take all the hassle out of creating Reels content.

Make an Instagram Reel for your business in minutes.


What is an IG Reel? 

An Instagram Reel is a short, entertaining video created specifically for the Instagram Reels platform. They’re designed to let brands and users alike express creativity and connect on a deeper level.

How do I make an IG reel?

First, click the + sign and select Reel. Next, select or record your videos. Edit the length of your videos, then click “Next” to add effects. Add your sound effects, stickers, drawings, text, and filters, then click “Next” again to add your caption and crop your cover photo. Once that’s done you’re ready to post! 

How long can an Instagram Reel be? 

Reels can be up to 60 seconds in length.

What makes a successful Instagram Reel? 

A good Instagram Reel is entertaining, whether that be by way of comedy or educational content. A successful Instagram Reel also needs a good hook in the first three seconds — that way, viewers will stay and watch instead of scrolling to the next Reel.