Instagram or Facebook Reels: 7 best practices for small businesses

With the increasing popularity of Reels (particularly on Instagram), small businesses should take note as part of your social media marketing strategy.

Reels is a feature where users can create and share fun, short videos using a catalog of music and other media. More specifically, they are 15-second, multi-clip videos that can have sound, music and other effects added to them. 

If you’re familiar with TikTok videos, then you’re familiar with the capabilities of Reels. 

About 61 percent of Generation Z TikTok users are leaning toward using Instagram Reels.

Find out more about Reels and three reasons why you should consider using them.

Of course, any success with Reels doesn’t just happen. The following are seven best practices for small businesses using Reels on either Instagram or Facebook.

Best practice #1: Highlight brand individuality

Reels is all about unique content with a thoughtful storyline. In other words, it’s a blank slate for out-of-the-box creativity.

However, if you’re struggling to brainstorm ideas that you can take to the next level (creatively speaking), consider:

  • Sharing company culture
  • Announcing new product launches or offers
  • Creating how-to tutorials
  • Displaying your product or service in an attention-grabbing way
  • Revealing insider tips and tricks
  • Repurposing past content that has performed well
  • Showing what happens behind the scenes
  • Highlighting before-and-after moments

Experiment with hashtags, text and captions. Research what is trending and what your competition is doing. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, whether that with the use of camera angels, audio, etc.

Just be wary of hard-selling too much. Viewers won’t have an appetite for it, and over time, you’ll struggle to build your reach and engagement on Reels.

Best practice #2: Think vertical and consider file size

Like Stories, Reels content is vertical. This might not be a big stretch for content creation if you’re already creating content for Stories, TikTok and/or Snapchat. 

But it can be an adjustment if you haven’t stepped into those other features and/or platforms yet.

As far as file size for Reels, it’s not a huge concern if you’re creating your content within the platform (either Instagram or Facebook). However, if you plan on importing any cllips for your Reels video, keep these characteristics in mind:

  • The recommended Reels size is 1080 by 1920 pixels.
  • The recomended aspect ratio for Reels is 9:16.

If the size is not accurate, you could end up with an awkwardly cropped Reels clip. 

Best practice #3: Balance authenticity with quality

Reels allows for fun, authentic content, but on the flip side, you still want to balance that with well-produced clips.

Take the time to plan, execute and edit your Reels video clips so that you can walk that line and hit that balance every time to best engage with your target audience. Choosing the right audio is a big piece, so don’t rush the creation process.

We recommend using a visual storyboard process to plan your Reels clip frame by frame. But truly, practice makes perfect. Keep experimenting and creating.

Best practice #4: Avoid watermarks

It’s probably not a surprise that since Facebook is aiming to compete with TikTok by implementing Reels, your content will not be as successful if it has another platform’s watermark on it.

For example, if you create a TikTok video on that platform and then save it to upload it to Instagram Reels, there will be a TikTok watermark in the corner of that uploaded clip.

To avoid this, you’ll want to create original content within Instagram or Facebook Reels so that it can play nice with those platforms’ algorithms.

Best practice #5: Add a custom Reels thumbnail

By creating a custom Reels cover, you are taking the power of your content into your own hands. The cover is the first image users see when they come across your Reels video clip.

Make sure that you design an image that is not only eye-catching but also true to the content users will see by watching your clip.

You can add the cover by clicking on “Cover” after creating your Reels clip. You can then add the image from your gallery.

Best practice #6: Optimize the sharing of your Reels

Once created, Instagram specifically allows you to share the video clip to the Reels tab, where your followers can then access it easily on your profile.

Be sure to share your Reels clip to your feed as well so that it’ll show on your main profile view alongside your other feed posts. You can also save it and share it at a more optimized time for your audience. While various “best time to post” articles exist online, the key is to think about your target audience’s time zone and when they’ll likely be engaging with your content.

  • When they wake up?
  • During lunch?
  • Toward the end of the traditional workday?
  • After dinner?
  • Before bed?

From there, experiment with timing to get the best sense for your brand account since every brand is unique with a different audience.

With a public Instagram business account (rather than a private personal account), your Reels clip could be picked up and suggested to users at large in Instagram’s main discovery Reels tab.

Learn more about the difference between personal, creator and business accounts on Instagram.

Best practice #7: Monitor your Reels performance

Just like with any other feature or even platform, tracking your metrics is critical to understanding what works best for your target audience and what isn’t working at all.

You’ll be able to view reach, likes, saves, shares, comments and plays. Keep in mind that the number of plays can be higher than your reach since users can watch a Reels clip more than once.

Your Reels analytics are located within Instagram Insights on the Instagram app, which is only available for business accounts.

Reels analytics for Facebook pages appear to be in the works as of 2021.

Still embracing TikTok? See our 15 tips to better market your brand on the video platform.

As you’re looking into expanding into Reels, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

4 things you should know about Twitch

If your business has anything to do with video games (or video game players), you must be familiar with Twitch.

Originally founded in 2011 as a spinoff of Justin.tv, Twitch is currently the most-used platform for video game live-streaming. Currently owned by Amazon, Twitch offers a wide range of content, but the majority definitely centers around gaming.

As of February 2021, Twitch generated about 2.9 million average concurrent Twitch viewers, with a total of 9.5 million active streamers.

The following are four things you should know about Twitch, especially if gamers are a target audience for your business.

Accessible on most platforms

Twitch has a full website that can be accessed through a web browser, and the app is available on:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows
  • Mac
  • PS4
  • Xbox One
  • Chromecast
  • Apple TV

Truly, if your device supports apps, it’s very possible you can use this application on it. Accounts also are free, whether you’re a streamer or viewer. Accounts are necessary to post comments and follow content creators.

Common purposes behind many streams

Video games can definitely be expensive. This is where Twitch streams can play a role by helping gamers decide if a video game is right for them that goes beyond a traditional review.

Essentially, when you’re watching a stream, you’re seeing the game in action as well as the streamer playing the game. In other words, you’re watching the gamer and the game he or she is playing.

Of course, as mentioned earlier, Twitch features more than video game content. Musicians, for example, have used streams as a substitution for canceled touring amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Streams also feature a live chat so that viewers can engage with the streamer and other viewers in real-time.

Streamers can make money

Similar to YouTube, content creators have the opportunity to make money through the Twitch platform. This can happen through donations, subscriptions and ads.

However, you must first become a Twitch Affiliate to earn money through the application directly. To qualify, you must have:

  • At least 500 total minutes broadcast in the last 30 days
  • At least 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days
  • An average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days
  • At least 50 followers

Once you become an Affiliate, you can earn money directly through:

  • Ads, where you get a share of the ad revenue for the ads that play during your stream. You also get to choose the frequency at which they appear.
  • Bits, which are a form of virtual currency that enables viewers to cheer for the streamer. This acts like somewhat of a tip that comes with an animated cheering message in the chat. The conversion rate is one cent per Bit.
  • Subscriptions, which come in tiers of $4.99, $9.99 or $24.99 monthly. The application reportedly keeps 50 percent of subscription revenue. Subscribers often get access to special emotes, badges, exclusive chats and ad-free streams.

Above Affiliates are Twitch Partners, who get the same benefits as Affiliates but also:

  • A verified user badge
  • Priority access to the application’s support team
  • Broadcast delay of up to 15 minutes
  • Up to 50 emote slots

And that’s just to name a few. To become a Twitch Partner, you must have:

  • Streamed for 25 hours
  • Generated an average of 75 viewers
  • Streamed on 12 different days

Once you’ve achieved these metrics for 30 days, you can then apply to become a Partner.

Learn more about affiliate marketing in general.

Twitch has a Prime Subscription

While the platform offers free accounts, users can opt to pay for a monthly subscription to Twitch Prime, which features:

  • One channel subscription
  • In-game content
  • Loot to gift to other Twitch members
  • Exclusive emotes (emojis that let you show your support for a streamer)
  • Additional chat colors
  • Exclusive chat badge
  • Access to free games
  • Ability to save broadcasts for 60 days instead of the regular 14 days

If you already have an Amazon Prime account, that automatically includes a free Twitch Prime subscription once you connect the two accounts. If you don’t, it costs $11 per month.

Twitch is a popular place for gamers to connect, share and explore. Understanding this platform will only help you find ways to share your brand within it.

See our 12 tips on live-streaming so that your business can look more professional. And if YouTube is more relevant for your brand, we have 20 tips to grow your YouTube subscribers.

While you’re exploring the live-streaming platform, consider leveling up your digital marketing process with DailyStory, which features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

10 types of videos you can use in your marketing strategy

Videos matter.

In fact, about 92 percent of marketers say that videos are an important part of their marketing strategy.

See our five reasons why your business should consider creating more video content.

If you’re just getting into video creation for your brand, it might be a little overwhelming to know where to start.

Below are 10 types of videos that you can use in your marketing campaigns.

Educational videos

Here’s a fun fact. “How-to” searches are among the most popular of searches on YouTube (the world’s second-largest search engine), which makes educational videos a strategic opportunity.

This type provides information about a topic that helps the viewer become more knowledgeable about the subject.

This is a common approach in video marketing. A hair salon might post about how to do a French braid, for example.

Product videos

This type is all about showing off your product to potential customers.

What does the product look like?

How does it work?

What are the benefits and features?

Of course, this can segway into product sneak peeks and so on to generate excitement with your audience.

360-degree experiences

This is the ideal type to give a consumer as much of a virtual reality kind of experience as possible.

Some businesses will use 360-degree experiences for their Google My Business listing so that people can check out their entire location virtually.

This type is also especially popular in real estate, in which virtual home tours are conducted for potential buyers.

Company-culture videos

This type is similar to your brand film, but it is specifically used to attract potential employees to your business.

Company-culture videos offer more information about your company, what it’s like to work there and who else works there (and how they like it).

It’s definitely an ideal type to create for your LinkedIn presence.

Testimonial videos

Testimonials are a go-to for any savvy business, but while many feature written testimonials from happy customers, imagine their power on video.

Customer testimonial videos feature satisfied customers sharing their experience with your service or product and why they recommend it for others.

FAQs

These are very similar to educational approaches in the sense that you are, in fact, educating.

However, FAQs specifically address the most commonly asked questions people have for your business.

This type enables you to get ahead of the questions and address any potential objections in an engaging way.

Brand videos

Intended for awareness, brand videos strive to inform about the nature of your business and brand. 

Often used in ads, this type strives to tell the overall story behind your business and what you’re all about. The intent is to make people care about you and your message.

Instructional videos

Also similar to educational videos, going instructional gears toward more of a specific step-by-step approach.

Think written instructions to start using your product, but in a visual form.

Live-stream recordings

We shouldn’t be the first to tell you the value of live-streaming, especially on social media.

(Just in case you’re new to live-streaming, check out our tips to look as professional as possible.)

What’s great about going live is that the recording can be repurposed elsewhere in your marketing, even if it’s as simple as an “in case you missed it” email to your database.

Vlogs

Vlogs are simply video blogs (or video logs, depending on who you talk to).

Often, a vlog consists of someone shooting themself talking about a subject or reviewing a product, service and/or event.

This type can be very personal and earns points for its authenticity. It’s a common tactic for some online influencers and can create a trusted connection with their audiences.

As you look over your upcoming marketing campaigns and overall strategy, decide what type is the “low-hanging fruit” for your brand. Which makes the most sense to start with? Begin there, and remember that you can slowly integrate video into your digital marketing more and more over time as you get more comfortable.

See what video platform is best for marketers, and check out these 18 video-editing apps you should know about.

In need of a digital marketing platform that specializes in automation, personalization and more? Check out our DailyStory features and schedule your free demo today.