Instagram Reels: Everything You Need to Know for 2022

Updated March 16, 2022

Instagram Reels: How Can They Help Your Business?

Are Instagram Reels still a mystery to you? Have you tried it, but can’t seem to get the engagement you’re hoping for? Or are you still hesitant to wade into these murky social media waters? 

Fear not. 

Whether you’re a brand newbie or an Insta veteran, we’ve got the complete guide to Instagram Reels for you for the year ahead. 

It is critical to your social media growth to harness the power of Instagram Reels because they are the key to going viral right now! 

So, without further ado, let’s get you viral. 

What are Instagram Reels

What was once reserved to either an Instagram story, a highlight, or a post, can now be turned into a “Reel.” 

An Instagram Reel is a short-form video that can be up to 60 seconds long and must be shot vertically. 

You can record one single video, or you can edit together several much shorter videos or clips. Reels can include music or narration overlaid, or you can simply leave the original sound of the video on. 

What makes them so viral? 

In the United States and 50 other countries around the world, Instagram Reels are made available, at your discretion, to anyone on Instagram. What begins as a single Reel you might pull up on a story from a friend ends up in a never-ending onslaught of Reels being portrayed to the viewer seemingly at random. 

That could be your video in front of those eyes!

Reels are a wonderful, fairly new, way to express your creativity as an influencer, an entrepreneur, or a business, and get your brand in front of increasingly new sets of eyes. 

Make and Post a Reel

It’s easy!

To make a Reel, all you have to do is come up with your idea, shoot it, edit it, and share it. 

You can start with a storyboard, which will help you map out how you plan to create and edit the video. 

  • Make sure you have clarity around your concept. Why are you making this video? Who do you hope to reach? Does this video match your brand story? 
  • Also be sure this Reel fits with the rest of your Instagram presence.  You already have a following. Don’t turn your loyal followers off trying to get new ones. 

Next, shoot or create your Instagram Reel. 

  • To do this, you can either go to the Reels tab in Instagram (just tap the Reels tab in the center of your Insta screen and then hit the camera in the top right corner), go to your Instagram home screen (hit the plus sign in the top right corner next to the heart icon), or start with your Instagram Stories camera (open your Instagram stories screen like you’re going to make a story and find Reels on the bottom of your screen, then hit the camera button). 
  • You can either record one long clip, a series of clips, or upload a prerecorded clip (you can do this by hitting the plus sign on the bottom of your Reels screen from Instagram Stories).
  • Add music by hitting the music icon button in the Reels screen and selecting the artist and song you want. Just like with stories, you can move the cursor forward or backward across a song to pick the specific part of a song you want. 
  • Note that if you use your own audio, other Instagram users can use your audio from your Reel. You are giving explicit permission for this when you upload a Reel. 
  • You can use the Instagram timer if you want to the hands-free option, giving you a 3 second window to get in front of your camera once you hit the button. 

Always preview your Reel before posting it. Here you can add any effects like music, subtitles, or any other extras to the video. 

  • Play around with the editing and effects buttons when you make your first Reel to see how to cut and align your clips to make them appear seamless to your audience. You can add stickers, filters, drawing tools, and more.
  • Keep in mind that you gain expertise over time. Your first Reel will not be perfect, but over time, you will get better and better until you’re a pro. Keep at it.

Finally, share your Instagram Reel. 

  • Just hit “Next,” choose a cover photo, and write your own title that effectively describes your Reel. 
  • Share your Reel to Feed so you can get a wider reach on that never ending loop of Reels out there. 
  • Crop your file image, and that’s how it will display on your grid. 
  • At this point, you can either tag other Instagram accounts, by tapping “Tag People,” or collaborate with other accounts by inviting a collaboration, which means that person’s audience will also see your video. 
  • A final option allows you to rename your audio, add a location, and “Recommend on Facebook,” which will allow you an even broader reach. 
  • Hit the “Share” button, and you’re ready to go!

Keep It Vertical. Keep It Short. Keep It Mobile. Keep It Original.

A good way to make sure your Instagram Reel is well suited to the Instagram experience, make sure you shoot your video on your phone as Instagram is formatted for the smart phone experience. Trying to record on fancy camera equipment, edit, and upload from there will only make the user experience less engaging and make your experience more drawn out and frustrating. Don’t overthink it!

Keep your Instagram Reels original. No one wants to see a story you’ve posted or a post from days earlier now made into a Reel. 

Keep in mind also that Instagram’s algorithm deprioritized content from other apps, like TikTok, so try to keep it original for Instagram.

You can of course use other editing apps like Splice, InShot, Videoleap, or Beatleap, on your phone to clean up your video, but make sure for effects like text and audio that you’re using Instagram tools. 

Check Your Analytics

If you’d like to track how your Reels do, you can track Instagram Reels Insights on individual Reels. 

Go to the Reels tab on your profile page and open the Reel you want to check. 

Hit the three-dot icon on the bottom right corner of the Reel page. 

Choose “Insights.” 

From this screen, you can view various metrics, including the Plays, Accounts Reached, Likes, Comments, Saves, and Shares, all of which will help you determine whether to create more content like this or veer in a different direction. 

You can do the same thing for a broader overview of all of your Instagram Reels by simply heading to your Instagram profile page and touching “Insights.” You can compare and contrast your individual Reels and see how they stack up against each other. 

The Instagram Reel Algorithm

As with most social media, the algorithm for Instagram Reels favors engagement, so your Reel will be shown more if it has: 

  • Lots of comments, likes, shares, saves, and watch times
  • Effects like text and filters
  • Vertical dimensions
  • Audio from Instagram music library

Of course this means that videos that are blurry, low resolution, have no effects, and don’t meet the community guidelines will not be favored. 

Keep your Reels fun, friendly, catchy, and engaging, and you’re bound to get good engagement. 

And remember to keep at it, following your analytics, of course. 

Earn Money on Reels

Instagram has announced that users with a business or creator account that get at least 1,000 view over a 30-day period will get a financial payout. 

So there’s a payoff for getting this right!

Grow Your Audience with Reels

Want to go viral? 

Just make sure you follow the basic guidelines. 

Use the on-screen text and captions.

Pay Attention to what is trending, and see how your brand fits in. 

Always encourage viewers to click the link in your bio. Have a clear call to action. 

Know your audience and speak directly and consistently to them. 


And don’t be discouraged if your Reels don’t take off right away. 

At Cobblestone, we’re here to help you market directly to your audience using a variety of channels and approaches. We’re in your corner, and we’ve got years of experience working with businesses of all sizes. 

If you’re ready to create your first, or hundredth Reel, and you want to be sure you get it right and get it viral, contact us today. 

Let’s do this.