“Instagram Video, Reels, or Stories?” you ponder.
“Which one should I use?! Or do I need to use all three?!” you lament.
If these thoughts are swirling around in your head, you’re in the right place.
In today’s post, we are unpacking each feature, looking at how it fits into the marketing puzzle, the pros and cons, as well as tips you can start using today to spice up your strategy.
Let’s jump into the Instagram Videos vs Reels Vs Stories debate!
How to Share a Video on Instagram
There are four ways you can upload a video to Instagram:
1. A feed post (as long as it’s shorter than one-minute)
2. Instagram Stories
4. Instagram Video
Below, we’ll compare 2-4 to help you pick the best one for your Instagram strategy and audience.
Read More: How Long Can Instagram Videos Be?
Reels are the best way to grow on Instagram right now.
…But what exactly are they?
Reels are Instagram’s version of TikTok. Users can create short 15-30 second video clips.
The dimensions for Reels are 9:16 (you’ll need to shoot in portrait), and you have access to a range of video editing tools inside the app such as:
• Filters (expect everything from adding fake eyelashes to using a green screen effect)
• Clip speed (slow down or speed up a video)
• Music (add sounds and music from other creators and musicians)
• Clip length (adjust the length of each clip)
• Text (use the range of fonts you have access to in Instagram Stories on Reels)
• Voiceover (record yourself speaking over a clip)
• Audio mixing (control the volume of two audio clips)
How to Use Instagram Reels to Grow Your Account
Due to Instagram pushing Reels content to compete with TikTok, the reach is unmatched.
You can use Reels to create top of the funnel content, i.e. brand awareness. It’s the best way to get new eyes on your content and connect with people seeing you in their Explore tab for the first time.
When Plann’ing out your Reels content, think bite-sized tips and value-packed content.
TL;DR: Use Reels for brand awareness and growth
The Pros and Cons of Instagram Reels
Pro: Increase Your Organic Reach
Whenever Instagram rolls out a new feature, the app rewards accounts who use it
Instagram Reels is the best way to go viral on the platform and boost your organic reach without spending money on ads
Con: You Can’t Promote Instagram Reels
Instagram wants Reels to be an organic environment and currently doesn’t allow you to boost Reels. This could change in the future, but for now, there is no way to buy your way to more views.
Con: Business Accounts Can’t Add Music
If you have a business account, you can’t add music to your Reels. Only personal or Creator accounts have this feature.
However, you can use original audio clips created by other users!
Pro: Reels Have a Longer Shelf Life Than Stories, Feed Posts, and Instagram Video
Unlike other content types on Instagram, Reels don’t get lost in the ether an hour after you press ‘Publish’
The algorithm can pick up a Reel at any time and start pushing it out to more users
What does this mean for you? A Reel you posted 2-weeks ago could still go viral, and older Reels can continue to rack up views over time.
Tips for Your Instagram Reels Strategy
• Post 3 to 5 Reels per week.
• Share educational or inspiring content which will encourage people to save and watch on repeat.
• Put a unique twist on trends and make the videos relevant to your niche
• Stick to your niche to attract the right followers to your account
• Use relevant hashtags to describe your Reel and paste them at the bottom of your caption, NOT the first comment
• Create Instagram Reels covers to keep your feed cohesive and make the topic of each video visible
Once you’ve captured your audience’s attention with a Reel, you want to build a connection with your Stories.
Stories help you connect with your audience beyond the perfectly curated feed. It creates the alli-important know, like, and trust factor and gives viewers a glimpse into your raw and unfiltered life.
However, there is a time limit.
Each Story is only 10-seconds long, and you can record up to 4 at one time. The Instagram video dimensions for Stories are 9:16.
Use Plann to keep a finger on the pulse of your Instagram strategy. Sign up for Plann today. It’s free.