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Business Reel Ideas: Creating Compelling Visual Content

2 Feb 2024

Feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of creating engaging video content for your Instagram account? Fear not! We're here to provide a treasure trove of business-focused Instagram Reel ideas tailored to elevate your brand presence and captivate your target audience.

In this blog post, we'll delve into easy Instagram Reel ideas designed specifically for business owners like you. Join us as we uncover great examples, share a quick tip (or ten), and offer practical advice on making engaging reels that resonate with your audience. 

So, if you're ready to take advantage of the vast potential of Instagram Reels to reach a wider audience, enhance your Instagram feed, and drive more engagement for your business, let's dive in and discover the endless possibilities together.

What are Instagram Reels, anyway?

Instagram Reels are like your go-to mini-movies on Instagram. They're short, snappy videos – think 15 to 90 seconds – packed with fun, creativity, and whatever you can dream up. Launched in 2020, Reels are Instagram's answer to TikTok videos, giving you a platform to show off your skills, share your adventures, or simply highlight your products or services with your followers and other Instagram users. 

Reels are simple to start making, too - just open your Instagram app, click the + button, and tap on reel to start creating. Whether you're a seasoned content creator or just dipping your toes into the world of video, Reels make it easy to record, edit, and add all sorts of funky effects to your clips. Want to dance to the latest trending song? Go for it. Feeling like a mini DIY tutorial? You got it. Reels are your chance to shine and have fun doing it.

Top tip: Instagram allows you to share videos up to 15 minutes as Reels but recommends keeping your Reels under 90 seconds for your video to be eligible to be recommended and seen by more people on Instagram.

Why should you use Reels?

Let’s get straight to the stats on why Reels are one of the best ways to get your content out on Instagram!

  • According to recent statistics from Meta, Reels are played over 140 billion times per day on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Hootsuite shared in 2023 that reports have found that 62.4% of social users use Instagram to follow or research brands or products. (👈This can include your business!)
  • In 2023, Sprout Social shared a Rival IQ study that revealed that Reels boast a 14% reach rate while other media types (such as carousels, videos, and images) see a reach rate between 9% and 10%.

And the best part? Reels are in your Instagram app, ready to be discovered on the Explore page or shared with your followers in your feed or Instagram stories.

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13 Instagram Reels ideas for your business

So now let’s give you some inspiration. Presenting the top ideas for Instagram reels to elevate your content game and captivate your audience:

(Remember, not every reel needs to be about selling a product! The ideas below will give you creative alternatives to drive your online engagement.)

1. Show off your work:

Give your audience a glimpse into the quality and craftsmanship of your work. Your Instagram Reels are the perfect platform to showcase the fruits of your labor. From coming up with restaurant Instagram story ideas to retail reel ideas, you could be a baker displaying your intricately decorated cakes, a photographer sharing stunning snapshots from your latest shoot, or a makeup artist flaunting your flawless transformations. 

Use dynamic shots, close-ups, and creative angles to highlight the details that make your creations stand out. Don't be afraid to add a touch of storytelling to provide context or share the inspiration behind each of your video clips. By demonstrating the excellence of your work through visually compelling reels, you'll attract potential clients or customers and establish credibility and trust in your expertise.

2. Display your skills

Your Instagram Reels offer a platform to showcase your talents and expertise in your niche. Whether you're a fitness instructor demonstrating workout routines, a hairstylist showcasing different hairstyles, or a graphic designer illustrating your design process, use your Instagram Reel to educate, inspire, and entertain your audience with your skills. Here’s how to set out your reel for maximum impact:

  •  Break down complex techniques into easy-to-follow steps 
  • Provide insightful commentary or tips along the way 
  • Encourage viewers to engage with your content by asking questions or requesting specific demonstrations

By consistently demonstrating your skills and sharing valuable knowledge through your reels, you'll position yourself as an authority in your field and attract a loyal following of enthusiasts eager to learn from you.

3. Invite participation

Next up in our tips for creating Instagram Reels, it's inviting participants. Engage your audience by inviting them to participate in challenges, contests, or interactive activities through your Instagram Reel. A dance challenge, a product styling contest, or a creative caption competition encourages your followers to get involved and share their own interpretations or contributions. 

Top tips if using this theme for your Reel: Provide clear instructions, guidelines, and incentives to motivate participation, and showcase any user-generated content shared with you in your future Reels to highlight the creativity and enthusiasm of your community. 

By fostering a sense of belonging and collaboration through an interactive Instagram Reel, you'll not only strengthen your relationship with your audience but also increase brand awareness and reach as participants share their experiences with their own followers.

4. Go behind the scenes

Our next Instagram Reel idea is about going behind the scenes. Peel back the curtain and offer your audience an exclusive behind-the-scenes sneak peek at your business or creative process through Instagram Reels. 

From the brainstorming sessions and production stages to the moments of triumph and even the occasional mishaps, provide an authentic and unfiltered glimpse into the inner workings of your operation. Share candid moments, funny anecdotes, and insider insights to humanize your brand and connect with your audience on a personal level. 

If you're showcasing the making of your latest product, the setup for a photo shoot, or the hustle behind a successful event, use behind-the-scenes reels to build anticipation, foster transparency, and deepen the emotional bond with your followers. By inviting viewers into your world and letting them see the effort and dedication that goes into your work, you'll strengthen their loyalty and appreciation for your brand.

5. Share your values

Use your Instagram Reels as a platform to communicate and amplify the values that drive your business. Whether it's sustainability, diversity, social responsibility, or authenticity, share content that reflects your commitment to these principles and resonates with your audience on a deeper level. 

From showcasing eco-friendly practices and charitable initiatives to highlighting your community's diverse voices and stories, let your values shine through in every aspect of your content. Use powerful visuals, compelling storytelling, and heartfelt messages to inspire, educate, and empower your audience to align with your values and support your mission. By authentically expressing your values through your Reels, you'll attract like-minded individuals, strengthen your brand identity, and foster meaningful connections that extend beyond transactional relationships.

6. Reel vs. reality

Embrace authenticity and show the real, unfiltered moments behind the polished facade in your Instagram Reels by juxtaposing “reel” life with reality. Whether it's a side-by-side comparison of a perfectly curated photo shoot and the chaos behind the scenes, or a candid confession about the challenges and struggles of entrepreneurship, use your Reels to humanize your brand and connect with your audience on a genuine level

Share relatable anecdotes, funny bloopers, and candid reflections that reveal the ups and downs of your journey, and invite your audience to laugh, empathize, and relate to your experiences. By breaking down the barriers of perfection and embracing vulnerability in your content, you'll build trust, foster authenticity, and forge deeper connections with your followers who appreciate your honesty and authenticity.

7. Tell it like it is

Cut through the noise and deliver straightforward, no-nonsense content that addresses common challenges, misconceptions, or industry trends through your Instagram Reels. You could debunk myths, share insider tips, or offer candid commentary on relevant issues, and be bold in your approach.

Top tip if using this theme for your Reel: Use clear and concise language backed by credible sources or personal expertise to provide valuable insights and perspective to your audience. 

Bonus: This is one of the easiest Reels to put together! Film lots of B-roll footage with negative space around a subject and add text with your tips when uploading your Reel to Instagram - ideal for really short Reels where you can use trending audio.  

By tackling topics head-on and providing genuine value through your content, you'll position yourself as a trusted authority and attract an engaged audience eager to learn from your expertise.

8. Use filters

Elevate the visual appeal of your Instagram Reels and add a touch of creativity and flair by experimenting with different filters and effects. You could add a vintage film filter for a nostalgic vibe, a playful AR filter for a whimsical touch, or a sleek editing filter for a polished look. Use filters strategically to enhance the mood, style, and overall aesthetic of your content. 

When you create Instagram Reels, consider the tone and message of your reel and choose filters that complement your branding and resonate with your audience. Don't be afraid to mix and match filters or create custom effects to add a unique and memorable touch to your content. (Just remember to be consistent in your theme or style!) By leveraging filters effectively in your Reels, you'll grab attention, spark curiosity, and leave a lasting impression on your viewers.

9. Count it down

Harness the power of anticipation and build excitement around upcoming events, product launches, or special promotions by using countdowns when you create reels. Countdown the days, hours, or minutes until a big reveal, use captivating visuals, compelling captions, and engaging music to create buzz and generate anticipation among your audience. 

Encourage viewers to set reminders, share the countdown with their friends, and participate in the excitement leading up to the big moment. By leveraging countdowns strategically in your reels, you'll create a sense of urgency, drive engagement, and maximize the impact of your upcoming initiatives or announcements.

10. Show a before and after

Capture attention and demonstrate the transformative power of your products, services, or expertise by showcasing compelling before-and-after sequences in your Instagram Reels. Depending on your industry, you could do any of the following:

A dramatic makeover, ideal for:

  • Clothing stores (Show an outfit without styling, then with styling/accessories)
  • Restaurants and cafes (Show the raw ingredients, then the finished dishes)
  • Beauty salons
  • Car wash and detailing services (Show the dirty car before compared to after)
  • If you’re renovating any part of your business, brand, or even a website glow-up (Show the interior, exterior, or design changes)

Launching new projects or campaigns, ideal for:

  • Any business! (Show where you started dreaming about your business compared to your progress now)
  • If you’re changing up your window display at your store

Setting up, ideal for:

  • All physical stores and locations (Great to use a timelapse between the before and after shots)

Sharing expertise, ideal for:

  • Gyms and fitness studios (Show fitness transformations of your customers, or show how someone might struggle with a workout vs how to do it correctly.)
  • Tech stores (Show how running specific software can speed up tech, or compare old tech to new to show the improvements)

Use side-by-side comparisons to highlight the remarkable difference and impact of your offerings. 

Top tip: Start with a captivating before shot that sets the stage and intrigues viewers, then reveal the stunning after result to wow and inspire them. Use engaging visuals, dynamic transitions, and compelling storytelling to guide viewers through the transformation journey and showcase the tangible benefits of your offerings. 

You'll captivate your audience by showcasing real-life transformations in your reels, building credibility, and generating interest and excitement in your products or services.

11. Get musical

Harness the power of music to enhance the mood, energy, and emotion of your Instagram Reels and create an immersive and memorable viewing experience. Add a catchy soundtrack to accompany your content, incorporate trending songs to tap into popular culture, or create original music to showcase your creativity, use music strategically to captivate your audience and evoke the desired emotion or response. 

Consider your reel's tone, theme, and message and choose music that complements your content and resonates with your audience. Experiment with different genres, tempos, and styles to find the perfect soundtrack that enhances your storytelling and adds depth and dimension to your Reels. By incorporating music effectively, you'll elevate the viewing experience, foster emotional connections, and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

12. Play around with style

Stand out from the crowd and infuse your Instagram Reels with personality, creativity, and style by experimenting with different filming techniques, editing styles, and visual themes on your own feed. 

This takes some experimentation (and a few YouTube tutorials), but learn how to incorporate dynamic camera movements, use unique angles and perspectives to create cool transitions between video clips, or play with color grading and visual effects. This will push the boundaries of creativity and explore new ways to captivate your audience. 

Consider the mood, message, and audience preferences when choosing your style and tailor it to align with your brand identity and storytelling goals. Don't be afraid to think outside the box, take risks, and showcase your distinct personality and artistic vision in your Reels. By embracing experimentation and playing around with style in your content, you'll engage your audience, spark curiosity, and establish a memorable and distinctive presence on Instagram.

13. Tell a story

We know - business owners get told to do this all the time, but it’s a classic for a reason! Get people hooked to your Reel content by sharing the why behind your business, product or people (not just what you’re selling). Some creative ways of sharing stories can be:

  • Highlight customer stories with real-life testimonials or interviews in your Reels.
  • Tell the story behind each product or service. Start with a problem you saw or a question you were asked, and talk through how that led to your product as a solution. Use nicely filmed content of you making, arranging or packing your product, with a voiceover of your story on top.
  • Get interactive - ask viewers to vote or submit ideas to create an interactive story experience that builds around what your audience wants to see.
  • If you have a love of acting, produce skits of characters interacting with your business or industry - perhaps creatively challenging stereotypes or sharing typical scenarios in your industry. (You’ll need to create compelling characters!) 
  • Start a day-in-the-life series to help humanize your brand and staff.
  • Create flashback or throwback stories that highlight your business’ history or highlight a specific milestone.
  • Leave on a cliffhanger (Use this sparingly - people quickly get bored being told, “Come back for answers in part 2)

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How can your POS system inspire your Instagram Reel ideas?

Let's talk about how your point of sale (POS) system can serve as a wellspring of inspiration for your Instagram Reels. While it may not seem like the most obvious source of creative content, your POS system holds a wealth of potential for engaging and captivating reel ideas.

  • Highlighting your quick service: Perfect for hospitality businesses - where we know customers appreciate quick service. Use your Instagram Reels to share your customer’s experience at your business - such as showing how quick and easy it is to make a booking with you (sending information straight to your POS system). 
  • Behind-the-scenes look at operations: Take your audience behind the scenes of your business operations by showcasing how your POS system helps keep things running smoothly. Whether it's tracking inventory, processing transactions, or managing customer data, give viewers a glimpse into the inner workings of your business and the role your POS system plays in driving efficiency and success. (Just be careful not to record any personal customer or business data when filming!) 
  • Promotions and discounts: Use your POS system to create exciting promotions or discounts specifically for your Instagram followers, then feature them in your Reels. From its limited-time offers and special discount codes, to a buy-one-get-one deal, leverage your POS system to create buzz and drive sales through engaging and shareable content.

Posting our final thoughts

Alright, wrapping up this whirlwind of Insta Reel inspiration! When it comes to creating your next few Reels, we hope you feel inspired to get creative. It's your chance to shine and showcase what makes your business tick. From sharing a sneak peek behind the scenes to giving your audience a taste of your unique spin on things, the possibilities are endless.

Now, we've covered a lot of ground on creating Reels. We've talked about how they're shaping the evolution of businesses, drawing inspiration from TikTok videos, and generating reel ideas that'll make your feed pop. Plus, we've seen some great examples of how just one video can make a huge impact, offering your audience a quick peek into what makes your brand special.

Remember, Instagram is all about connecting with your audience, and reels are a fantastic way to do just that. So, don't be shy—share your story, engage with your followers, and have fun!

Alright, it's time to hit that create button and let your creativity run wild. Your audience is waiting, so go ahead and reel them in with your amazing content!

Like this blog post? Check our additional social media resources, including our restaurant Instagram story ideas guide and our how to use tik tok for business blog. 

Ready to streamline your business operations? Contact our team today for top-notch POS solutions tailored to your needs!

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