Mastering Instagram Reels: 10 Expert Tips To Stand Out

Since Instagram released its new Reels feature over 3 years ago, it has been used by many influencers and brands to create captivating video content for an even wider audience. If you use Snapchat or TikTok then this blog post will help get your reels moving. My Instagram reels tutorial on how-tos makes creating reels easy so that everyone can enjoy them whether they are just scrolling through the feed or looking at someone else’s highlight reels. 

The highlight reels are usually placed at strategic spots on Instagram. You may have great Instagram reel ideas below you can use after reading this blog post.

How To Get Your Reels Moving 

So, go ahead and try the new Reel feature, do not be shy or afraid. If you are, you will get behind that proverbial 8-ball with digital marketing on social media channels.

Let me help guide you along if you are not familiar with how Reels works on Instagram.

Here, I will be showing you how to create one from Canva in a video if you are shy or do not know how to use Canva to create a reel.

Haven’t used Instagram yet? Take my online course for beginners!

Instagram Reels Size

The Instagram Reels’ size and dimension are made to be viewed as 9:16 (1080 X 1920) or vertically full screen, which is the exact same format as Instagram Stories. It’s perfect for your full-body visual piece of content that you want to share in a video format.

Be sure to have your best video content in the middle as you don’t want any of it cut off when it goes live on Instagram reels.

Length of Reel Videos

You now have 90 seconds to produce a reel video, – over a full minute now! That’s up though from 15 seconds when reels first appeared on Instagram over 3 years ago and 60 seconds last month. (Instagram reel size is 9:16 portrait mode).

Reels are short-form videos. If you don’t want to be in the video yourself, you may use Canva to create one. However, do know that user-generated content works best for your brand on a social media campaign.

You now have 90 seconds to produce a reel video, that is more than a full minute! That's up though from 15 seconds when reels first appeared on Instagram. #Instagram Click To Tweet

New Instagram Reels Length Coming?

Yesterday it was announced that Instagram is testing 3 and 10-minute reel length videos. This would mirror the length on TikTok and with Twitter X expanding their video length recently to 2 hours. 

Not all users have the ability to use this longer-length feature as they tend to roll them out slowly to all users after a test run.

How To Begin Reeling 

Hover over your story option on your Instagram profile. On my Android, it is on the upper left-hand side of Instagram. See the screenshot below:

how to start a reel

Next, choose reels over life or story at the bottom of your screen.

pick reels on bottom

Then you will see an icon that looks like a video. Click on there to begin taking your video reel or upload your produced reel. Of course, there are many Instagram tools you can use as well to produce them.

Along the side you will see 4 buttons:

Timer – Hit this button so you can slice up your video.

Effects – This is where you may add text. You can also discard your clips here too. Other effects look like Snapchat and FB messenger effects. There are many to choose from so play around to find which suits your reels the best.

Stickers – Another new feature for reels is the ability to add the stickers feature that was only available on Instagram stories.

Music – You may add music to your Instagram reels. Furthermore, you can import sound from any video in your camera roll that is at least five seconds long.

Set Timer – Push this button to set a timer for you to easily know how you are progressing on your reel.

Align – Decide if you want it on the side or centered in the reel feed.

Templates – You can use another video as a template when creating your own Reels. By pre-loading audio and clip placeholders from source videos, you will only need to add and trim your own unique clips.

Voice Overs These are newer features you can use to include your own voice in the reel.

Finally, you are ready to share your Instagram reel. This will help get your Instagram reels moving in the feeds and eyeballs coming to your Instagram profile.

If you have trouble uploading your reel be sure to clear your cache on Instagram.

Where to Share Your Reels on Instagram

You have several choices of where to send your reels to build your social presence. For example, each tactic can be used as seen below:

  • Send to friends via direct messages,
  • You can share your story,
  • Share to the reel feed,
  • Add to highlights
  • And, share these reels right to your Instagram feed and now to your Facebook feed.

Of course, you may want to add hashtags to these reels, especially in your Instagram feed.

Instagram Reels Ideas

If you are not sure what to reel about – think about stories. What do you do for stories? That same type of great content can be used for the reels.

Reels are similar to stories but with short 60-second videos.  (Stories let you pick just an image if you prefer.)

Remember, on Instagram, the target audience is people aged 18-38 and skew more female. (Though males have caught up in recent years.) So, think about what would appeal to audiences on this social network.

  • Be instructional for Instagram reels ideas
  • Keep your reels simple
  • Create fun pieces to connect with others in your niche
  • Show who you are in 60 seconds or less
  • Showcase your brand – image
  • Do not always be promotional
  • Have fun interacting with others
  • Keep your brand demographics in mind

You can always check out what your competition is doing on Instagram as well and what is getting their Instagram reels into action.

What do you do for stories? Reels are similar to stories but with short 30-second videos. Click To Tweet

Instagram Reels Captions

To create classy Instagram reel captions, follow these simple steps:

First, brainstorm keywords or phrases that align with the content of your Reel.

Second, craft a concise and captivating caption that captures attention and sparks curiosity.

Third, use proper grammar and punctuation to ensure clarity and professionalism.

Fourth, incorporate relevant hashtags to increase discoverability.

Fifth, include a call-to-action that encourages engagement, such as asking a question or prompting viewers to share their thoughts.

By following these steps, you can elevate your Instagram Reels captions and engage your audience in a classy and effective manner.

Shy On Video? Use Canva To Create Some Fun and Engaging Videos

Yes, I know many of you may be shy or do not want to be in front of the camera all of the time. You can plan ahead by using Canva to create your reels moving.

It’s pretty simple and I did a video to explain exactly how you can use Canva for Instagram video reels. This Instagram reels tutorial is on YouTube or you can watch it here on Inspire To Thrive above.

It’s a fabulous way to get your Instagram reels moving and provide audio along with them.

Instagram reels tutorial

By using Canva to create your reels you can plan ahead.  Right now you can only upload them via your mobile device but that may change with programs like Agorapulse or Tailwind.

Stay tuned if any of those programs do come out with it! I will update this Instagram reels tutorial if and when they do.

Shy on Video? Use Canva to Create Some Fun and Engaging videos! #instagramreels Click To Tweet

Comments On Reels

Since Instagram came out with the reels feature, they now allow people to comment on reels. This will help to get your reels moving as more people engage with them. Not only that but these may drive traffic to your blog or website.

The replies can be done in a video reply so you can reach out to others.

Can You Turn Comments Off On Instagram Reels?

Yes, you can. From the bottom right-hand side, tap on the three vertical dots, which will open up a reel’s settings menu. Step 3: You need to tap on “Turn off commenting” to turn off comments on the Instagram reel.

Now, you will see that the comments icons disappear from the bottom right-hand side of your reel.

Remixing A Reel

Instagram recently added a Remix feature for Reels that allows creator users to incorporate other users’ Reels into their own posts. (similar to a duet TikTok feature.) You do have to check your privacy settings. Turn Remix ON if you want others to remix your reels or turn it OFF if not.

When users create a Remix, another user’s original Instagram Reel will appear on the left side of the screen, while their own recording will appear on the right. Furthermore, this increases your engagement on the social media platform.

You can see below a screenshot of more Instagram reel ideas from this creator. She used 16 images in a video with popular music audio.

how to remix reels in this instagram reels tutorial
Try to remix reels and be sure to tag the original reel creator for further engagement.

Product Tags Available

You can also include product tags in your reel videos. According to Instagram: Before you begin: You must be approved for Instagram Shopping and complete setup before being able to tag products in Reels. During creation, you can tag up to 30 products or a collection to feature in your reel.

Not only that, but shopping tags can be added to Instagram Reels, Live, Stories, images, and video posts by businesses or their shopping partners, and qualified public Instagram accounts.

Businesses can also create an affiliate program to allow creators to share their products and earn commission by adding affiliate tags to their Instagram content.

Instagram Reels Download

You can download your reels to save them.

  • Tap the new Reels tab next to the IGTV tab and choose the Reels video you want to download to open it.
  • Once you have the Reel open, tap the three-dots icon in the menu at the bottom of the screen, and then,
  • Tap Save.

Why would you want to download your Instagram reels? So you can repurpose them on other popular social media networks like Facebook.

With all the time you take to develop them, you may as well repurpose the video content.

Instagram Reels Downloader

Now, if you are using Instagram on an Android device you can use their downloader app. The same can be done for iPhone users as well with their Apple app.

Both Instagram downloader ads allow you to click on the 3 dots next to your reel to copy the link. Then, use that link to go back to the Instagram reel downloader app and paste it there.

video downloader
You have 2 options for the reel video downloader app on Android. Read reviews to help you choose.

Boosting Your Reels To Market Your Business

If you want to pay to boost your reels you can do that in the Meta Business dashboard. This is another way to promote your business on social media networks.

However, you do have to use the Meta dashboard to boost reels so be sure your Instagram account is connected to your Facebook page. 

Want to view private Instagram users? It is our most popular tutorial on Inspire To Thrive.

Your Turn 

Are you ready now to get your video reels moving? Did you learn anything new from this Instagram reels tutorial?  Do you have ideas you want to share with us? I’d love to hear from you if you have tried this kind of content.

Since these new features rolled out over a year ago, they have generated more engagement and impressions than regular posts on Instagram. Finally, be sure to add reels to your social media marketing strategy.

my online course for beginners
Learn how this course can help you with Instagram for your business today – comes with a money-back guarantee!

FAQs: Instagram Reels Tutorial 

What are Instagram reels?

Instagram reels are videos in a vertical format.

How long can video reels play?

Your reels can be up to 90 seconds long on Instagram.

What is the actual size of a reel?

A reel is 9:16 (1080×1920) or a vertical full screen on Instagram.

How do you make reels?

You can make them on Instagram by hovering over your story option or on the left-hand side of the app. You can create them in Canva as well.

Where can you share reels on Instagram?

In direct messages, your feed, in your story, and even to your Facebook feed.

What can you add to video reels?

You can add Instagram stickers, hashtags, effects, music, and templates that may be used

Can you comment on reels?

Yes, comments are now available on reels too.

Can you turn comments off for reels?

Yes, comments may be turned off.

What is remixing a reel?

Remixing a reel on Instagram allows users to incorporate other users’ reels into their own posts.

Can product tags be used in a reel?

Yes, you may add product tags to a reel with approval from Instagram.

Can you save your video reels?

Yes, you may download a reel or just tap save. There is also a downloader app for them.

Do reels help visibility on Instagram?

Yes, right now they show in the algorithm more than a post or a story.

Haven’t used Instagram yet? Take my online course for beginners!

Lisa Sicard
  • Janice Wald says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I forgot to mention several things. I love your graphic, and I don’t know if I should monetize my Reels. Do you?

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks Janice, I have not monetized my reels. I don’t really do enough of them to monetize yet. I’m surprised you haven’t yet Janice. Thanks for coming by and have a great day!

  • Ileane Smith says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I haven’t used Reels yet. Thanks for the encouragement.
    I’m wondering if these videos will also do well on Pinterest. Have you pinned any of them yet?

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Ileane, I haven’t but I will. I do have an IFITT recipe for having my Instagram posts to go to Instagram but not sure on reels, I will check and let you know. Do you find that Pinterest helps your Instagram account too? Thank you Ileane for coming by and for your idea 🙂

  • Lisa: Is this feature available for all users now? I thought that Instagram started out with testing Reels on certain markets. I will comment on this new feature, TikTok, etc., in a future episode of my podcast, EGO NetCast.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Martin, I’ve read that they are available in 50 countries now. Have you tried and see if you have the feature now? And is your Instagram app updated? Let me know and have a nice day Martin.

  • Hussain Omar says:

    Hey Lisa,
    Great post!

    Loved the tips you are putting here to help Instagram users to get their reels real move.

    Liked the Canva suggestions, sometimes being shy is not the only reason for not showing up in the video yourself. I’ve seen many beginner bloggers pay a lot of money to set up their workspace, and the decoration there as they want to capture some videos. You had a great solution here for those who don’t have enough budget.

    Thanks for posting such a great post!
    Keep posting!


    • Lisa says:

      Thank you Hussain for that. Yes, I know many people who are shy in front of the camera so I wanted to show how you can make Instagram reels with Canva. It’s pretty easy and fun to get creative along the way! You are most welcome. Enjoy the rest of the day and weekend.

  • P V Ariel says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Good to hear from you again, I appreciate your quick response and the good words. Thanks a lot for dropping by. I appreciate your valuable time.
    Hey, Lisa, I have one more complaint to make about the comment form here or the option you made on it. That is to say, your first comment author is pushed down to the bottom when new comment authors arrive! LOL 🙁 I am sure I am the first comment author for this post, yes, immediately i landed here after receiving the push notification!

    This is indeed a bit disheartening! And I think I will prefer to comment at the last or end of it! LOL of course I know there is no end to it on the pages of people like you.

    This option I found on our common friend Enstine Mukhi’s page also and I stopped commenting on his blog! 🙂

    You must think of this and make some changes if you find the suggestion is good and reasonable.

    “First come first serve” the age-old saying is still relevant I believe!

    Have a good day.

    ~ Phil

    PS: For your kind information I curated this post on the pages of I M Platform BizSugar.
    P V

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Philip, You are welcome. I try to respond on the same day when I can 🙂 I’ll consider your recommendation on the comments. It may be in my Thrive comment system. There are 2 schools of thought on it, so let me ponder on it for a bit. Thank you for the recommendation and have a great rest of the week and weekend ahead.

  • Moss Clement says:

    Hi Lisa,

    Your article is exciting. Canva is one of the best, if not the best content marketing tool around. With its many features, one can create all kinds of engaging content. However, what I didn’t know was he to create a video Reel with the tool. Thus, I watched your video and saw how simple it is. Interestingly, since I’m not the type that likes being in front of the camera, it becomes a fantastic alternative for people like me.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you, Moss. I was excited to try them and write about using Canva to make Instagram reels. I have a lot of clients that don’t like getting in front of a camera to produce video as you said too. It is easy to do and can be a lot of fun! You are most welcome and have a great day Moss 🙂

  • Rijhu Sinha says:

    Hey Lisa,

    Excellent post. Thanks for your research and sharing this with us.

    Yes definitely an awesome feature of Instagram. I really appreciate the way you have put up these things- step by step guide making it very simple and easier to understand. This article makes my concept even more clear and after going through this article quite sure will definitely going to help many.

    Thanks again Lisa and keep writing your valuable posts.


    • Lisa says:

      Thanks, Rijhu for your compliment on this one. Have you tried to make one yet? I do try to keep it simple here on Inspire To Thrive. I land on too many other websites that complicate matters and make it hard to understand. You are welcome and have a wonderful day 🙂

  • P V Ariel says:

    Hi Lisa,
    What an amazing share!
    Good to know about Instagram Reel. Thanks for sharing this wonderful tuto for your readers.
    But one thing I noticed about your reel you presented here, I watched it on my laptop, it is not showing fully on the laptop screen, I have to move upward and downward to see it full.
    I think it is specially made to view on mobile. it’s overlapping by your sites top portion the share button and categories buttons.
    I have an account there, I will try this.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great time of sharing and caring ahead.

    ~ Phil

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Philip, thanks for the info on the video. My IT person suggested I make it smaller, so I have. Much appreciated. It works on newer laptops and mobile devices but not so well on the older ones I was told. All about the size of it. Have you tried the Instagram reels yet Philip? Thanks for coming by and letting me know about the video! Helpful bloggers are the BEST 🙂 Have a great day and weekend ahead Philip.

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