On 9th July 2020 at 7:00 PM IST Instagram in India launched a 15-second video creating feature known as Reels; with Tik-Tok-like features that enable a user to create short videos. One need not download another application, Reels is in-built on Instagram.
It has now been a year since the launch, we spoke to digital marketing experts and Brands on their experience with Instagram Reels has impacted the digital marketing landscape during this pandemic when digital is seeing a surge.
Preetam Thingalaya, Director of Mirum India
When Reel happens to the Real-world. It was nothing better than the “right time and right place” moment.
Over time InstaReel has become not just a content creation platform – it is now a content creation, publishing, distribution, and of course a collaboration enabled platform – well to be precise an App-in-App platform and all this on a massive level and scale.
The way I see it, it’s currently a paradise of opportunity for youth-centric brands and “content creators” who love to explore more than a standard format of advertainment. And as the product moved forward over the last year, InstaReel’s product team kept introducing newer things into the format. This meant, users and brands now have so much to explore and produce content.
This is truly a “Real Story”
Robert Godinho, MD, MediaMonks India
Digital platforms, their reach, and successes change every few months as lethargy and audience energies shift. Reels as a platform works very well for young cosmetic, grooming, fashion brands who can extend their ethos through such short videos. What helps brands is the fact that they can reach out to organic followers through Insta stories and new audiences through influencer-backed Reels.
Sujit Patil, Vice President, and Head Corporate Brand and Communications Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies
Snakackable short-video content is one of the most consumed forms of content today. Catering to the attention span of the digital native, a 15 to 30-second video is a crisp medium of storytelling. In fact, Instagram admits that it is no more an image-sharing platform, but is about creators, video, shopping, and messaging. This though was announced only a few weeks back by Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, our owned media’s social strategy has been working on similar models. For instance, season 5 of Godrej L’Affaire #LiveItUp2021 utilized long and short-form videos to co-create content and drive engagement amongst our TG. We created over 50 Reels integrating various partner brands of LiveItUp2021 which alone clocked humungous amounts of views on Instagram during the campaign period, driving more eyeballs and engagement on our first Instagram-based web series featuring leading TV celebrities. Reels were used to promoting the web series.
Godrej L’Affaire has always been about celebrating lifestyle. Hence, for this campaign, we cherry-picked over 30 micro and macro-influencers from various sub-segments of the lifestyle genre. These were over and above 12 TV celebrities who were featured in our web series.
Vinamra Pandiya, Founder Gonuts
Instagram bet on short format content and Reels has created an impact on social media. It has changed how users consume content in their daily lives. It has accelerated the creator economy. Brands have also begun to utilize this feature as an opportunity to produce engaging content, which has proven to be a must-have addition to the overall digital marketing strategy. From that hour-long IGTV to 30 sec Reels, on Instagram, creators are at ease conveying their stories in different formats.
Creators now have the chance to experiment with newer formats, which has also allowed brands to integrate their products and services via short format content.
On its first anniversary, I can say that this is just the beginning of a new era where celebrity and influencer collaborations and brand integrations will be more impactful in content marketing space”.
Manesh Swamy, SVP – Creative, Social, PR, Marcom, Logicserve Digital
Reels are the hottest thing in the social media space right now. The void left behind post the TikTok ban has been completely filled up by Instagram Reels. Today, maximum people have migrated successfully to Instagram’s short video format because of its similarities with Tiktok making it highly adaptive.
When talking about brands and businesses on the platform, I have seen a lot of them moving on to Reels. Earlier, reaching the maximum audience was a task for both content creators as well as brands. Today, Reels algorithm which is heavy on high organic reach is allowing people, content creators, brands, and businesses to achieve their reach goals. This is helping them create viral, shareable content. To me, Reels feels like a super cool editing app with interesting AR filters and multiple other tools, helping brands create delightful snackable content.
The categories that I feel benefited the most with Reels are FMCG, Fashion, Food, Travel, BFSI, Healthcare and Wellness. I saw Reels doing wonders for this niche segment. When we consider the users perspective, people like stories or experiences which delight or educate them in a fun way. And Reels is just the right platform for doing this.
For one of our brands, English Oven from Mrs. Bectors, we rode on-trend #EverythingAtOnce and created our food version of the song featuring the stunning product range of the brand. Within a week, we reached half a million views organically, and our follower base saw a spike too. Today, content on Reels has become a crucial part of brands’ Content Calendar. And, I am sure, we’ll only see this platform growing further while delivering interesting content for the audiences.”
Sidharth Singh, Co-Founder of CupShup
Post the Tik-Tok ban in the country, Instagram Reels took over the space of short videos. Over the period of time, the UI changed and reels became the most consumed form of media on Instagram. That being said, brands have cashed in on reels big and fast over the past few months. With average time spent on the app gone up by 3.5 in India ( Source: Apptopia), and Reel Ads recently becoming live — it brings new challenges for every brand’s digital game.
Ad spends on Reel are bound to soar since reels have been an immersive and impactful media being shared. With Views being the primary metric to factor in the performance, global brands have already shifted their focus to creating and curating quality content for reels. That trend is also being picked up by brands here and influencers too. The world of Influencer marketing has picked up pace post the launch of reels and many today are known for their content, while it’s being reshared and remixed by the audience.
Reels have also changed the way we interact with the platform and user behavior has changed drastically with the change of UI/UX on the platform. With the Instagram algorithm ever-changing, reels are now the secondary focused media on the platform. This again brings us back to the question at hand, “Are we making the most of it?”. The answer is NO. Brands are yet to get their strategies in line with Reels and there is so much scope for brands to connect with its TG using just reels. With Reels Ads now live, the digital revolution on the platform is here.
Taaran Chanana, MD and Co-Founder, MemeChat
“Memes and reels go together like cheese and pizza”. With the onset of reels on Instagram, netizens took over the internet with memes that compared Reels to TikTok, unknowingly increasing the awareness of the feature. Such is the power of Memes. A year from then, Instagram Reels has come a long way. We appreciate the platform giving a huge boost to emerging content creators and artists, allowing them the much-needed traction and engagement. There has been a growing trend of content creators promoting memes leaving users engaged on the platform.
Memechat too used reels as a tool to share memes and videos with a larger audience. Reels have been one of the major features that has elevated the success of our platform and helped us widen our user base. Not only this but they are a great addition in keeping the audience entertained and further advertise without sounding monotonous. Instagram Reels have been a fun feature to use since the past year. We hope to use them creatively in order to make the trends never-ending and keep the audience hooked.
Shradha Agarwal, COO and Strategy Head- Grapes Digital
With the introduction of reels, Instagram is not merely seen as a photo posting platform but evolved rapidly and has become an entertainment platform with Reels popularity across different age groups of people in India. Instagram downloads increased by 11.4 percent in India when Reels was introduced in July last year. Even the average time spent by the Indian users on the platform increased by 3.5 percent. This figure defines the immense traction received in the market.
Brands across categories like fashion, food, lifestyle, and beauty are riding on the reels bandwagon because the potential is high, and they receive a high engagement level. Instagram is pushing it effectively that influencers across such categories, sharing the proposition that reels are the best way to increase engagement and followers. Another keen insight of Instagram reels has been that ‘Music’ as an industry has benefited it from a lot
Till last year, we were looking at Instagram videos, stories, and posts as one of our popular formats in our retainers and scope of work, but this year clients have also started talking about reels. We have 10-15 influencers always ready (for our brands) so, we can create reels on the go because it increases the reach for the brand. Hence, the organic reach of a post will be way lower than the organic reach of a reel. Reels are considered a very prominent way for people to discover new sorts of content on Instagram. Be it the content creators, or celebrities or brands everyone is focusing on reels and creating their content on it because it gives them effective results and catches the users’ attention well.