How to Make a Reel on Instagram

Table of Contents

Even though TikTok may seem like it’s taken over the social media video industry, Instagram users are still watching videos. In fact, 91% of Instagram users watch videos via Instagram Reels on the app every week. 

Understanding how to utilize all the features on the various social media platforms can help you reach a wider audience. You don’t have to go about it alone, though. Using a third-party social media scheduling platform, like Kiopi, can help you create a cohesive message that can be shared across social media platforms, but more on that later. 

We’ll break down what an Instagram Reel is exactly, how to make a reel on Instagram, and how you can use Instagram Reels and Instagram Stories to market your business online. 

What are Instagram Reels?

Why Should I Learn How to Make Money on Instagram

Instagram Reels are short, multi-clip, full-screen vertical videos you see from your Instagram account. They range from just a few seconds to a minute and a half.

If your plan is to monetize Instagram accounts, you’ll definitely need to understand Reels.

Much like TikTok, Instagram provides editing tools allowing you to create Instagram reels easily and add features such as music and captions to your selected video from the Reels tab. 

How Do You Create Reels on Instagram?

Instagram makes sharing short videos with your followers easy.

To create Instagram Reels, you only need the Reels app and a smartphone; no camera or light crew is required. However, getting started can be a little overwhelming, so follow the steps below to create Reels on Instagram and wow your Instagram followers.

If you’re an entrepreneur trying to make money with Instagram or if you’d simply like to organically grow your Instagram channel, creating Instagram Reels can help get you there!

Below we break down each step in depth so you have the proper tools to create Instagram Reels, get more views on Instagram, and excel with your social media strategy.

The secret behind successful Reels is just like any other content, let the voice and values of your brand guide you. When creating your plan, you should consider the following:

Set the Goals for Your Instagram Reels

Think about how Reels on Instagram can fit into your overall social media goals.

What do you want to accomplish? Increase your engagement? Reach?

When it’s time to create Instagram Reels, knowing the answers to these questions will help guide the types of Reels you create for your Instagram accounts.

Know Your Target Audience

Your audience should be the inspiration for your content. Think about what topics, sounds, and styles would appeal to them. Making viral reels starts with understanding what users want to see!

Look at Trending Reels for Content Topics

Instagram Reels don’t need to involve dance trends but should be entertaining videos. Your Reels can be educational, dramatic, funny, or comical video content. Begin by looking at your highest-performing content as well as other Reels to help determine what topics and themes work best for your audience.

Research Viral Instagram Reels

Do your research. How does your competition go about creating Reels, and what gaps can be filled?

Once you have a clear understanding of what your Instagram Reel will be about, you can know what content you need to film and how you will piece it all together.

When you begin posting your Instagram Reels, you can check your analytics to see what Reels perform best. You can see how your Reels perform with reporting tools such as Kiopi. 

To begin your Instagram reel, you obviously need to film a video clip.

You can film multiple video clips or a single clip or record videos externally and upload it to your Reel.

If you’re filming externally using your phone camera, you can add video clips by selecting the “+” icon in the bottom of the screen on the left-hand side. From there, you can select multiple clips from your camera roll. 

You can also film the video using the Instagram app. If you’re using the Instagram app, you will begin by holding down the round white record button.

Press the double arrow icon to flip the Instagram camera facing you to create a Reel filming yourself or what’s in front of you. While you’re filming, a pink border will appear around the white button. This will show how much of your Instagram Reel you’ve filmed so far. 

You can film and upload your Instagram Reel using the app in several different ways.

Below are the three avenues that you can use when you create a Reel. Once you’ve selected which option you will use to start with, it’s all the same process to record. When you’re ready to film your video, select and hold the white record button.

Using Reels Tab

  1. Open the Instagram app. 

  2. Tap the Reels icon at the bottom of the screen. (It looks like a director’s board.) 

  3. Select the camera icon in the upper right corner and choose “Reel.” 

Using Instagram Home Screen

  1. Select the “+” on your Instagram homepage at the bottom, middle of the screen.

  2. Then, from the bottom menu, select “Reel.”  

Using Instagram Stories Camera

  1. Open the homepage of your Instagram app. 

  2. From there, you’ll swipe left on the Instagram Stories Camera and select “Reel” from the menu at the bottom. 

If you want to upload a previous clip that you’ve already recorded, you’ll select the “+” icon in the bottom left-hand menu. From there, you’ll choose the next clip you want to add to create the Reel. This is generally the same step, no matter which avenue you use to make Instagram Reels. 

Instagram’s music library makes it easy to add music or your own original audio to your Reel. You can make your music selection before you start filming, or you can add it after you’ve recorded your footage. 

To add music, select the music note icon or audio icon on the left side of the screen. That will take you to the Instagram music library, where you can search for music and audio clips to add to your Reel. Once you’ve selected your audio, you can choose which part of the song or audio clip you want to include in your Instagram Reel from the edit screen.

If you want to add your own audio, click “Import” and upload it once you select the same icon. Your original audio will be credited to you, and other users will be able to add your original audio to their own Instagram reels. 

Once you’ve filmed and edited your video clip into an Instagram reel, you can select from the wide array of creative tools and effects to add to your Reel to make it unique. 

Use some (or all) of the following tools to add special effects to your Instagram reels.

Instagram Stickers

To make your Reel more interactive, you can add polls your users can vote on. You can also add stickers, gifs, and animations to the clip.

Instagram Filters

We all know how filters can make our selfies look, but you can add filters to your Instagram Reels. When searching for filters, you can see which Instagram filters are trending, which can help boost your Instagram Reel’s visibility. Filters can also help you achieve the aesthetic you want your video posts to have without using fancy gadgets during filming. 

Sound Effects

If you’re looking to emphasize a particular part of your video, you can add a sound effect in addition to your audio. For example, you can add a laugh track if you have something funny on your Instagram Reel. 


Instagram offers a variety of templates that you can choose from to create Instagram Reels. You can feel like a professional and create Instagram reels worthy of viral status. When using templates, once you select the one you want, just select your clips, and the filters and effects will be added automatically.

Now, you’re in the final phases of creating Instagram Reels. Think of this as the post-production phase, like on television and movies. You’ve made the Instagram Reels content and added bells and whistles; now, you tighten everything up by adjusting the time, speed, and layout.

You can adjust the time on your Reel by either speeding it up or slowing it down. If a fast-moving vibe is more fitting for the post you want to make, you can increase the speed of your video.  

The timer feature on Instagram allows the content creator to film their video without worrying about including the footage of them adjusting their phone. All you have to do is set the time, get ready, and film.

Another setting you can adjust on your Instagram Reel is the cover image on your Instagram feed. By selecting your cover image, you don’t have to worry about the first thing people see as random space or something else that won’t catch their attention. This also allows you to adjust your personal Instagram feed to fit an aesthetic that fits your brand. 

Sidenote: If you’d like an extra touch, you can use Kiopi’s AI Instagram caption generator, one of the top AI tools for marketing before publishing from the platform!

Schedule and Auto Publish Instagram Reels Using Kiopi

Now that you’ve spent all of your time creating Instagram Reels content, now what do you do with it? Perhaps you’d like to use the video to advertise on Instagram.

Unfortunately, you can’t just post your Reel when you finish it. The time that you post your Reel is key to reaching the most viewers, but how do you know when that is?

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When you use Instagram marketing strategy software, like Kiopi, to post Reels, you can take the headache out of remembering when to post to Instagram. Kiopi also allows you to see when your Reels are getting the most views so that you can adjust when you’re posting Reels. 

Viral Instagram Reels don’t just happen overnight unless they’re really lucky. But influencers and business owners usually need to plan their Instagram content, especially if that content is part of a bigger marketing campaign. Using Kiopi to post your Instagram Reels can help you create a cohesive marketing campaign across all your social media platforms. You can plan out your entire campaign on Kiopi and then go back and make adjustments accordingly. These adjustments can be changing posting times and even content. 

How to Get More Engagement from Instagram Reels

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Let’s be honest; you’ve spent all this time crafting the perfect Instagram Reel, so you don’t want it to flop. Below we’ll explain the tips and tricks that you can use to get the most out of your Reel and increase your engagement.

As mentioned above, using a third-party tool or social posting app, like Kiopi to post your Reels on Instagram can make the process less time-consuming. Kiopi basically does the logistic work for you; you just have to create Instagram Reels.

When you schedule your Reels and other social media posts through Kiopi, you can monitor trends and see when your posts get the most engagement and views. Once you have that information, you can adjust your future posts to align with your highest user engagement points. 

Looping your Reels can keep your viewers sticking around. When you create seamless transitions, the end of your Reel flows into the beginning. Maybe they missed something the first time they watched it or want to show their friends. Looped Reels can keep your followers engaged and rewatch your Reels, increasing your number of views.

However, looping your Reels isn’t as easy as it sounds. You can’t just start it over; there needs to be an uninterrupted flow. Listed below are three tricks to creating the perfect looped Reel. 


The key to looping is making sure your lighting and surroundings are consistent. It loses its effectiveness if you try to attempt looping using pieced-together clips.


Using audio that is easily loopable is important, like consistency. You don’t want your viewers to sense a break in the video. If they notice a change showing them they’ve seen the end, they scroll to the following video. If you’re using a song with lyrics, make sure the words at the end tie back into the words at the beginning.


If your Reel isn’t filmed all at once or you don’t want to worry about consistent lighting, you can use transitions to take advantage of looping. By using a mirror technique like changing the perspective or covering your camera, you can still get away with effectively looping your Reel.   

Instead of creating your own trends, explore Instagram and discover what content is trending. Instagram users usually search for particular trending content, which can be a great way to get in front of users who may not have followed your account. Identifying what’s trending doesn’t take long at all, and the best part is that the general concept is already there, so you aren’t necessarily starting from scratch.

To participate in trending content, make sure to include these three elements in your Reel:

  1. Use the same audio that appears in all the Reels that are part of the trend.
  2. Include hashtags of the trend name.
  3. Follow the same video structure as other videos participating in the trend.

The remix feature is the same as the duet feature on TikTok. Using remix, you can add someone else’s Reel to your own. To remix, click the three dots in the bottom left corner of the video that you want to use. Select “remix” and then post with the original video or after. If you post with the original video, it will play next to yours. If you select “after,” the original video will play before your own. The original Reel creator will be tagged in your posts. Remixing Instagram Reels can help you: 

  1. Find ideas: Remixing can help you get out of a creative rut by using popular content already made and putting your spin on it.

  2. Increase exposure: Using another person’s Reel to remix can introduce your account to their list of followers. 

  3. Engage: Remixed Reels can sometimes encourage people to spark conversation by remixing their videos and giving their opinions. By participating, you can get others to hop on and share their thoughts about the conservation or further along a debate. 

If you already have a collection of videos that you’ve created saved on your phone, you can turn them into Instagram Reels. This can be Instagram stories, TikToks, highlights, and more, as long as they’re still relevant. All you have to do is upload your content and edit it.

When you add text to your Reels, you can help emphasize a point you want to make sure people understand. Think about how many people watch videos in public without sound. If you don’t include text, you could be missing an opportunity.

Say a viewer sees your product in a Reel. If you don’t have it linked, that viewer could be lost before becoming a customer when they have to search for your website to find the product.

By making your Reels shoppable, you can help increase your sales. Once you’re ready to upload your Reel, select “Tag products” on the screen where you select “Share to Feed.”  

Instagram Reels FAQ

We will answer a few questions about Instagram and Reels that we haven’t covered yet. 

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Instagram Reels and Stories are similar but differ in a couple of ways. First is where they both appear on Instagram. There is a Reels tab where viewers can watch Reels. Stories, however, are found at the top of the Instagram homepage. 

The second difference between the two and the most important difference is that Stories appear to people that already follow you. On the other hand, Reels can appear to anyone watching content under the Reels tab, which can help you expand your audience. 

Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, overall, Reels are better than Posts because they can reach a wider audience. Posts and Stories will only appear to those that already follow your account. Reels can reach more people, offer more editing tools, and encourage engagement through comments, likes, and shares. 

To download an Instagram Reel within the app, follow these steps:

  1. Click the three dots in the bottom right corner of the Reel you want to download.

  2. Select “Save Video”

  3. The video will be added to your camera roll.

To save Reels created by other users, select “More” under the Reel and then select “Save Video.” 

If you already have an existing video that you would like to share as a Reel, you can do so within the app itself. You will follow the same steps that you would when you’re recording a new video. You’ll select “Reels,” then “Create,” and then “Upload.” From there, you can choose the videos you want to upload and then follow the same steps to edit and share your Reel. 

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