Instagram Reels tutorial: How to use Instagram Reels for your small business

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

If you haven’t tried Instagram Reels for your business yet, we’ve gathered up all the basics to make getting started easy. What are Reels? How do I create them? What should I use Reels for? All valid questions! Find all the answers and more below in our Instagram Reels tutorial.

What are Reels?

Basically, Reels are Instagram’s answer to TikTok. Not super familiar with TikTok? No problem! Here’s a more detailed explanation of Reels, straight from Instagram’s announcement: "Reels are 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools. You can share Reels with your followers on Feed, and, if you have a public account, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in Explore."

Step-by-Step: How to Create a Reel

Step one:

To access Reels, tap your profile photo like you’re going to add to your Story.

Step two:

At the bottom of your screen, tap Reels.

Instagram reels open camera screen
Tap Reels at the bottom

Step three:

Add video to a Reel from your gallery of previously recorded video, or record right from the Reels screen in the moment. There is a progress bar at the top that will show you how much of the 15 seconds you’ve used with each clip.

Instagram Reels starting screen
Add a video or record a new one

Step four:

You’ll see icons on the left of your screen that will help you do a handful of things.

Instagram reels features audio, timer, etc
Add different elements to your reels with these features
  • Audio: Want to add some tunes? Search Instagram to add music to your Reel. You can also use your own audio—i.e., your voice or whatever sounds are happening in real time—by simply recording a Reel with it.

  • AR Effects: Add any number of creative effects, whether it’s “unicorn clouds” or simple filters—lots to play with here.

  • Timer and Countdown: This feature does two things for you—it allows you to choose how long you want your camera to record, so you can be really precise about how to divide up those 15 seconds. And it also delays recording for three seconds so you can get in position. It’ll give you a 3, 2, 1 countdown once you tap record.

  • Align: Line up people or objects from a previous clip before shooting your next one so that you have seamless transitions when the Reel is finished. This comes in handy for Reels that show things like outfit changes or room updates in a home.

  • Speed: This is exactly what it sounds like. You can adjust the speed of your video, from as slow as one-third speed to up to three times as fast—with a few speeds in between.

Once you’ve added the elements you want, tap the arrow at the bottom, right.

Instagram reels share
Once your video is done, tap the arrow

Step five:

Now you can add additional effects like text or doodles as you would in a Story—options are in the top right corner. Tap the right arrow again when you’re done.