Instagram Reels 101: The Ultimate Guide to Reels

What are the benefits of reels?

Can you believe it’s been almost 3 years since the launch of Instagram reels? Where has the time gone?! In the past 3 years, short-form video content has taken the internet by storm (to say the least). Reels are an amazing way to increase your brand awareness as they reach audiences that are not limited to your followers. 

With over 1 billion Instagram users, it’s time to branch out and reach new audiences and reels are the perfect way to find them! 

Not only do Instagram reels allow more people to discover your brand but they are also a great way to exercise your creativity and of course, there’s always the possibility to have a reel go viral. So where do we go from here? Check out our reel guide to get all of our ree-ly great tips & tricks!

The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Reels

It’s time to get trendy 😎

Music brings your content to life by infusing it with emotion and personality! The first step to creating a great reel is to utilize a trending audio. Utilizing a trending audio in your reel gives your content an even better chance at being pushed in the Instagram algorithm. (& who doesn’t love to see that?!)

Now you may be asking yourself, “How in the world do I know if an audio is trending?” It’s easier than you think, and there are multiple ways to find them! 

Here are a few:

  • When you are scrolling on Instagram, keep an eye out for sounds that are repeatedly being used on your reels page🔁
  • When you find an audio on the Instagram reels page, click on it, and if it has an upwards arrow near the audio’s name then you’re golden ↗️
  • Another great way to find audio for your Instagram reels is to check out some Spotify playlists that are made of today’s trending IG songs. Simply head to the Spotify app and search “Instagram Trending”⏯

Not loving that process? We’ve got some IG tea that you’re going to love – Instagram is in the process of rolling out a new update that is actually helpful to creators. Soon, our professional dashboards will 🥁drumroll please🥁 feature a destination to find all the latest reel trends directly! Not only will you be able to find trending audios, but you will also be able to find the latest trending reel topics, hashtags, etc.

Lights, camera, REELS🤳🎬

When it comes to actually creating a reel, there are a few ways to go about it. For example, you can choose to pre-film video clips OR use clips you already have on hand and pull those into an editing app. Or If you prefer to film in real-time on the Instagram app, you can definitely go for it! 

Some of our Pre-Filming tips:

  • Save some reels from your reel feed that make you feel ✨ INSPIRED ✨
  • If you plan to film batches of content ahead of time, creating a shot list will help to keep your shoot days organized and moving smoothly 🎥
  • Film random clips of your day! Going to a coffee shop? FILM IT. Starting a new project? FILM IT. Taking your dog on a walk? (say it with me now) FILM IT. I’m sure you get the jist.💁‍♀️ Some of the best content is made when you are completely candid and not overthinking every little detail!

Regardless of how you choose to film edit your reels, just always remember to keep your reel clips to a vertical, 1080 x 1920 pixels, format. Seriously, there’s nothing that gives us the ick more than a reel that isn’t sized correctly.😳

If you’ve been using the IG app for editing, you’re most likely not loving the glitches, the lack of ease with clipping your content together and not to mention the difficulty with timing audio. We have some good news: Instagram reels are actually becoming easier to edit directly in the Instagram app…finally!  

PS. For those of you who love to have an app for everything, my absolute favorite editing app is Cap-Cut, I literally could not live without it!

Bring on the EFFECTS💫

utilize closed captions on instagram reels to increase reach

When creating an Instagram reel, Instagram lovessss when you utilize their in-app features. When you see the opportunity to use a filter, effect, transition, or even add text within the actual Instagram app, USE IT. When you optimize on Instagram’s reel effects they are more likely to reward you with a higher reach. 

When applicable to your video, always use Instagram’s Closed Captions effect!

Did you know that 85% of people who watch Instagram reels watch them without sound? This is why the CC feature is so important and is able to be enjoyed by all viewers!

Don’t forget to #Hashtag💁‍♀️

If you really want your Instagram reel to reach your target audience, USE HASHTAGS.

And I don’t mean just #Explorepage or #Followforlike…I mean make them niche and value driven. Remember: you’re trying to reach real people, not bots. 🤖

Break out of your shell!🐢

I know it’s easier said than done, but get in front of the camera! When it comes to short-form video content, it has been proven time and time again that viewers enjoy content that’s personal and captivating. Now, you don’t necessarily have to be in front of the camera for every video, but dip your toes in the water and try it out here and there until you’re comfortable diving right in!


Alright my soon-to-be Instagram reel icon, it’s time to get to WORK. Here are some reel topic ideas for any nice business or content creator to try out…you’re welcome😇

  • Introduce Yourself
  • Take Followers Behind-the-scenes
  • Share a Day in the Life
  • Answer FAQs
  • Reality VS Expectation
  • Compilation video
  • How it started vs How it’s going
  • Tell your brand’s story
  • Hop on a fun trend! 

Start Creating & Subscribe for More Tips

Now you officially have all the inside information on how to tackle Instagram reels head-on! Put your creative hat on and get to filming.🎞And don’t forget to have FUN!

Want more tips on how to conquer social media trends? Subscribe to the DIY Marketers club and receive a FREE Monthly Trend Report with tips + tricks for growing your brand’s online presence. 

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