What are Reels and how do they help your Tourism business?
Reels are an Instagram feature that were introduced to compete with TikTok, and its massive success. Reels are a great way to promote your tourism business as they are shown to people that are not currently following your account.
When you think about how Facebook works, most posts are shown to your followers, well Reels are pushed out to everyone and it is a great, organic way to get more people to know about you.
Now I have seen Reels that are successful and then ones that are not. There are few things to do right, in order for your Reel to be pushed out successfully and gain new followers. They would be as follows:
- Make sure you shoot any video or images in portrait, not landscape, which basically means hold your phone upright, not sideways.
- Make sure the ‘Upload in Highest quality’ option is selected in your Instagram account for the best quality (Settings – Account- Cellular data settings – toggle on the option of Upload highest quality).
- Shoot in good light.
- Make sure your phone is charged and has good wifi, when you film and upload.
These are the basic steps. Now you need to actually shoot some nice videos of your business in action. You only need 3-4 short 5-10 second videos to get started. Reels are all about grabbing peoples attention so shooting one long video is not what we want. We want videos shot at different angles, people walking in and out or animals. Sound is not needed. Once you have these videos you are ready for the next part.
- Go to the Reels section on Instagram and select the Play button along the bottom menu navigator. Next to the + sign. I want you to watch a few Reels first before we move on to the creation part. Watching competitors Reels and ones from your industry will give you a good understanding of what is currently trending (and we want to be part of trends as Instagram which will help promote your reel to more people). Listen to the music that is playing with the reels you watch. You will soon notice repeated music being played. This is because trending sounds are more likely to be picked up and promoted more. This is only one of the elements of a good reel.
- To spot a trending audio sound look for the white or blue arrow at the bottom left of the screen which is the title of the song playing. If you select the song a new page will open which allows you to watch more reels that have that particular song in the reel. At the top of the screen select ‘Use Audio’ to use it in your reel right away. You can also save it to use again by selecting the Save feature above. I tend to listen to Reels regularly and save ones I think I can make work into my next reel.
- Now you have audio selected you can bring in your videos by selecting the bottom + sign to access the videos saved to your phone. Add the ones you want to include, you can edit them as your import them by making them play for less or cut out parts you dont like. Just to note here, if the song you selected as audio is short (as in 10, 20, 30 secs), that is how long the video should play for as you dont want the song to stop and your video to keep playing.
- Now you can add text to be placed on the parts of the video you want. Select the text button from the top of the screen and write in your text. You can make it play for the entire video or change it to add your message at different points. You need to make sure and select the text box that appears at the bottom left and drag the slider to end at certain parts of the video. This is a great way to add loads of different messages and have text come on and off the screen. Make sure the first text to appear is a good Hook for the viewer to watch for longer. Again, the aim is to grab peoples attention amongst the millions of videos out there.
- Now you have the sound, video and text added its time to write your caption. This is where a lot of people fail. You need to write a good caption to get peoples attention and get them to watch for longer. They only see the first ten words so start your caption with a good hook. Some examples might be: 5 Things you didn’t know about (insert your service here ), 3 Things about Alpacas. 5 Things about the famine years in Donegal. Tell them a story to engage them.
- Write out your hashtags that relate to the video content and that are specific to your area or location. What keywords describe your business that people might type into google to find a business like yours, these are your hashtags or keywords that searchable. They help tell Instagram what the video is about so make them relevant.
- Call to Action or CTA – what do you want your follower to do after watching your reel and learning about your business for the first time? Buy tickets, book a time slot, visit or follow for more. Tell them by directing them. With so much information being shown on the platform, people won’t do anything if you don’t tell them. This is why you see ‘Link in Bio’ so often.
- Tag people in your Reel. If you had to inform other people that your reel is there and you want them to see it, such as local businesses that could also share your reel, Tag them. Add up to 20 accounts by tagging them. This puts the reel right into their inbox so they easily share it.
- Add a Location so people know where you are based.
- Add up to three topics to help Instagram know what the reel is about.
- You can now schedule Reels to be shown at a later time. Great if you want to batch create Reels to have ready for posting.
- Hit Share and you will see your Reel uploading, give it time to upload.
- Once you have it uploaded, share to your stories to help with views.
- To see how the Reel is performing go to your profile and slect the Reels option next to the grid, you will here how many views your Reels are getting.
- Reels tend to gain traction over time but you will know in the next 24-48 hours how it is doing. Learn from your efforts and what works for your account. Get in the habit of creating more Reels and post about three per week if possible. Learn what is working by reviewing your insights including the view count and hashtags.
It can take a bit of work getting the hang of reels and learning to layer all the elements in a good Reel but it is so worth it. It gives your viewers good content to watch and the type of content in reels that does well is entertaining, educational and inspirational so keep this in mind when creating them. It all helps get more views on your account and so your business.
Pro Tip: if you have a website that sells tickets to your tourist attraction, then make it really easy for people to buy tickets in a few clicks. Have your website linked in bio with the correct page to buy tickets. Do not make it a lot of clicks to get to buy from you. People are easily annoyed and will just click out of your account.
Also should you have a number of offers you sell on your website, consider using Linktree to section out your links in a clear layout. Always have the offer you are currently promoting in a Reel or content as the first link, do not make the user have to seek them out or have it in any way hard to find. This all fits into your overall strategy in how you are using Instagram to increase your awareness and revenue.
A good app to use for Reel creation is Capcut, especially if you find your uploaded reel has glitches. Use Capcut to import videos and edit them. It can be easier to import them here and edit them than making them in the Instagram app itself. You can also do better transitions and make text stand out better in capcut.
As always if you need any help with Instagram or your Marketing in general, please get in Touch.