How to Create Engaging Instagram Reels Using The Content You Already Have
Written by: Lorena Laurencelle, Content Creator + Account Manager
There’s no getting around reels these days. If you want to grow your brand on Instagram, you have to post reels. Thankfully you don’t need to start from scratch to make this happen – the key is to repurpose content you’ve already created.
That said, making content – whether it’s a video, blog post, or even a series of photos – takes time and effort, and therefore it only makes sense to give it as many opportunities to be seen as possible.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating engaging Instagram reels for your business without doing double the work.
Step 1: Decide on the Style of Reel You’d Like to Create
Not all reels are created equally. Some reels definitely see more engagement than others, so selecting the right style for your reel can help your content take off, like one of these:
- Selfie-style videos
- Tips (like this example on how to stay consistent with a gym routine)
- BTS (behind-the-scenes, like this one on the day-in-a-life of a Social Media Specialist)
- How-to videos (like recipes)
- Product promos (like this reel from Cactus Club Cafe)
Additionally, it’s a good idea to vary the type of reel you make so your content doesn’t become stale over time, this helps to capture and keep your audience’s attention.
Here are some different content types you probably already have that you could turn into branded reels for your business:
- Static Photo Series
- Blog Content
- Recent Stories
- Existing Videos
- Customer Testimonials
Step 2: Consider Current Trends in Reels
If you want to get fresh eyes on your old content, take advantage of any popular audios that are trending when you’re posting. Using popular audio like this reel does helps to boost your reel, get more views, and reach a larger audience. The Instagram algorithm is more likely to showcase trending audio on the Explore page, making it a lot easier for a new audience to view your brand’s content. Most of the time when we do this for our clients, they see their following steadily increase without having had to pay for the advertising. Here’s how to find trending reel sounds on Instagram.
If you see a trend that aligns with your brand’s message, product, or service, then take advantage of it to put a fresh spin on your existing content! Here are some current Reel trends you could try:
Note that the full audio catalog is not available to business Instagram accounts, for copyright reasons, but you can easily find a remixed version that is considered “original audio” on Instagram.
Step 3: Use an Existing Reels Template
Reels are still a new format for many small and medium-sized businesses. It can be uncomfortable (and a tad time-consuming!) to branch out and learn how to create these short-form videos if you’ve never done it before. Thankfully, Instagram has tried to make it easier for its users by creating templates. All you have to do is drop your pictures and videos into their reels templates within the app, add audio, and you’re done!
Just beware that Reel templates are only available for reels with multiple clips that have been edited together within Instagram. If a video has been edited elsewhere, then Instagram can’t identify the different time stamps for each clip. Here’s how to find reel templates. Ps. We love checking out this account for inspo and templates: @reelstips
Step 4: Utilize Tools Such As Canva
If you opt not to use a reels template, consider using a tool like Canva’s video editor. This user-friendly software is great because it allows you to create easy Instagram reels from repurposed content.
For instance, if you wanted to turn a marketing video into a 30-second Reel, you’d simply upload your video into Canva, and then add any text you’d like onto the video, and then upload it to Instagram. To enhance your real, add trending audio or use the text-to-speech feature to add commentary. Remember that text or captions on any reel can improve accessibility and engagement because not all users will have the ability to listen while watching.
And here are some recent reels we created for our clients using Canva:
- This one for Rainmaker Wines that we put together using some beautiful images they had taken during a photoshoot for their website.
- This one for Second Chapter Wines that we put together using some stock imagery, and product cut-outs from their website.
- This one for Wizard Screens that featured their most popular products and led to a lot more exposure than it would have received if it was posted as a series of photos instead.
We hope this guide makes it a little easier for you to start making reels! And of course, if you’re looking for support with your social media strategy or daily social media management, our social media marketing team is here to help you! Connect with us to learn more.