In need of some Instagram Reels ideas? You’re in the right place.
Brainstorming original content ideas for your brand or business can be tough, especially if it feels like you’ve hit a creative block.
To spark some inspiration, we’re sharing 15 Instagram Reels ideas you can use for your brand or business right now!
Table of Contents:
- Show the Real Side of Your Brand
- Go Behind the Scenes
- Introduce Yourself
- Show a Before and After
- Tips and Tricks
- Give a Sneak Peek
- Hop on a Trend
- Repurpose Evergreen Content
- How-to Videos
- Highlight Your Products
- Community and Employee Spotlight
- Create a Listicle
- Day in the Life
- Answer FAQ
- Tease Videos and Podcasts
Why Post to Instagram Reels
If you’re not sharing original content to Instagram Reels, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity for your brand or business.
Reels are a new way to engage with your Instagram community and reach a wider audience. In fact, they’re a real growth hack right now.
As with all new features, it’s a good idea to strike while the iron is hot — the Instagram algorithm helps to promote new features, and competition is still relatively low. Plus, the new Instagram Reels tab is full of suggested content, which is a great way to reach new audiences and boost your organic discovery.
On this note, Instagram recently announced that content with visible watermarks or logos from other apps (such as TikTok) will be less discoverable in the app.
This means it’s more important than ever to create original content if you want to show up on the Reels tab — and why we’re sharing 15 fresh content ideas in this blog post!
Even if you’re just trying Instagram Reels out, it’s important to have some good content ideas and clear goal in mind— whether that’s reaching a wider audience, giving back to your engaged social community, or showcasing your content and products to your followers.
New to Instagram Reels? Learn everything you need to know to create your very first Instagram Reel in this handy step-by-step video:
Instagram Reels Idea #1: Show the “Real Side” of Your Brand/Product
Whether IRL or on Instagram, people love to feel like they’re part of a community. And when you build a community on social media, it’s important to make your followers feel like friends.
You typically tell your friends everything, the good and the bad. If it’s on-brand for you, share a Reel showing the real side of your brand or product.
This can be anything from an “Instagram vs. Reality” video, or a timelapse of you and your team working away before launch day. If you don’t typically share this type of content on your Instagram, this could be one way to start!
Instagram Reels Idea #2: Take Your Followers Behind the Scenes
Pull back the curtain and show your followers some behind the scenes action. Whether you’re a photographer or you’re a small business that sells candles, creating a behind the scenes Reel can be easy and effective!
Your followers are curious about how your product is made and what it’s like to work for you — take the time to share this with them. Check out how digital designer, Abby Design Co., takes us behind the scenes with her as she packs up an order.
So, the next time you’re at a photoshoot, packing an order, or pouring a candle, take out your phone and start filming!
Instagram Reels Idea #3: Introduce Yourself and Tell Your Story
When you’re in a creative rut, create a Reel introducing yourself or your brand.
Since Reels land on the Reels Explore page, you have the opportunity to introduce yourself or share your brand story with thousands of new followers!
Instagram Strategist and Educator, Natasha (@solstudiomarketing), AKA queen of Instagram Reels, made a fun and entertaining Reel introducing herself:
There are a few ways you can do this. Edit previous video clips together, use text to tell your story, or talk directly to the camera. Take a look at how Dayna and Brian Lee from Arts and Food NYC introduced themselves through short clips.
Instagram Reels Idea #4: Show a Before and After
Sharing before and after videos are a great way to increase your engagement. Not only are they intriguing, but they can also be satisfying to watch — the recipe for a perfect Reel.
You can do before and after Reels with home renovations, recipes, hair, illustrations, and more!
Instagram Reels Idea #5: Offer Tips and Tricks
If you’re all out of ideas, tips and tricks are a great place to start. No matter your industry, you hold valuable information that can help your audience!
Whether it’s sharing styling and outfit tips, or photo editing hacks, the creative options are endless.
Your tips and tricks don’t have to be elaborate either. Try sharing one quick tip and ask your audience to comment on what tips they’d like to see next.
TIP: Utilize text to create captions on Instagram Reels. Not only do people watch videos without sound, but they also help to create a more inclusive and accessible account for those who are hearing impaired.
Instagram Reels Idea #6: Give a Sneak Peek
If you find yourself in a pinch for Instagram Reels ideas, create a sneak peek video!
In the days leading up to LaterCon, we made a sneak peek Reel of our LaterCon merch. It was a collection of quick clips but still long enough to get people excited and talking!
Missed out on LaterCon 2020? Don’t worry, you can watch the full replay with all 25+ expert speakers here.
Instagram Reels Idea #7: Hop On a Trend
One way to get your Reel in front of more eyes is by hopping on a trend! Just like on TikTok, trends come and go, so it’s a good idea to be on the lookout.
View this post on Instagram
Thursday, GURL, you better watch out cuz this kween is ready????????fo????????you! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ HUN????????TY, she may be werking from home, but she is still being intentional about about getting dressed for the day! If anything a kween is being her most creative with her WFH lewks, and gurl it has been a blast! ???????????????? Working from home is truly a privilege and blessing, but as a busy body and extrovert I knew I had to be intentional about how I used my time in order to be productive … and a lot of my time has become centered around my green gurls ???????????? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’ve set up my office in my plant room and every now and then between tasks, virtual meetings and phone calls … I’ll pick one plant and look at her leaves, check for new growth, see if she’s due for a new pot. The pace, routine and self-care practices I have intentionally put in place has been good for my spirit and bawdy. Each morning I have been doing 30 mins of yoga with my kweens, taking time to spritz any aerial roots, playing soft music so their leaves can dance to the sounds’ vibrations. And more importantly, with this new-found energy I am able to show up fully in my planning and brainstorming in preparation of supporting my students! She’s using this time to rejuvenate, plan ahead, and think creatively about virtual programs and support systems … the commute might stop, dahling, but the werk must continue ???????????????? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ GIVEAWAY, GURL: Shoutout to my gurlfrands at @eyebuydirect for hooking a kween up with these cute frames serving all kinds of 70’s realness! She needs to see what she’s doing, dahling! ???? ???? ???? … be sure to follow and check out @eyebuydirect + tag one of yo gurlfrands to win one of these cute frames, hunty!
Scroll through the explore page and see what other brands and businesses are doing and if you notice a trend, jump on it!
Or, why not create your own? Make a dance, challenge, or hashtag, and ask your followers to join in on the fun. Maybe you can even encourage them to create their own!
TIP: Have fun! Instagram Reels is all about trying new things. And don’t worry about them conflicting with your Instagram feed’s aesthetic — they populate on a different tab on your profile.
Instagram Reels Idea #8: Repurpose Evergreen Content
Take a look at your arsenal of content: Instagram, your website, YouTube, blog, Pinterest and look for what you can repurpose.
Evergreen content is content that never goes out of style — meaning you can always repurpose it!
If you have a YouTube video that did really well, think of ways you can condense it to work in a 30-second Instagram Reel. In the caption, tell your followers to head to the link in bio (link the original YouTube video) for more information.
Or, if you have a Pin that continues to get a lot of traffic, create a Reel highlighting that topic.
And, lastly, repurpose your TikTok content on Instagram Reels. The only thing to watch out for is when you save a video from TikTok, there is a TikTok watermark in the corner. Instagram has confirmed that content that is visibly recycled from other apps (containing logos or watermarks) will be less discoverable on the Reels tab.
To remove the huge watermark, there are a number of handy apps and websites you can use like Snaptik App, MusicallyDown, and Apowersoft’s Online Watermark Removal.
Want to get started with Linkin.bio by Later? It’s free!
Instagram Reels Idea #9: How-to Videos
From showing your followers how to write the perfect caption, to how to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie, there are tons of ways you can create how-to Reels.
Don’t let that 30-second time stamp fool you — there are a lot of creative ways you can maximize the time!
If you find you have several how-to video ideas, that’s great. Write a growing list and use those ideas to create a how-to series. Remember to always include key takeaways both on the video and in the caption.
Instagram Reels Idea: #10: Highlight Your Products
While you can’t link products to Instagram Reels, you can still highlight what you sell. Whether you have an Instagram Shop or not, you can create a Reel showcasing your products.
With hundreds of thousands of views on their Reels, That Cheese Plate, the popular account for cheese and charcuterie inspiration, uses Reels to showcase their beautiful boards. And, they use the caption to let their followers know what’s featured on the board.
TIP: If you sell products, use the caption to direct people to your Instagram Shop or the link in bio to shop.
Instagram Reels Idea #11: Community and Employee Spotlight
Sharing user-generated content (UGC) is an awesome way to involve your audience and fill up your content calendar!
If you want to get started on Reels but aren’t sure what to post, make a video highlighting your community. Once you’ve collected enough content, you can clip together some tagged images, or actually use video clips your community has tagged you in.
Fenty Beauty does an incredible job of adding UGC to their TikTok and now on their Instagram Reels too.
Another way to do this? Create a compilation of positive customer reviews!
Remember: Always ask for permission before sharing. Learn all about UGC best practices here.
It’s also possible to use this same approach for your employees.
Choose a topic and do an employee spotlight! Ask your employees what their favorite part of working for your brand is and compile it together in a 15 to 30-second clip. Your community may enjoy these Reels so much you may even turn it into a series.
Instagram Reels Idea #12: Create a Listicle
Reels don’t always have to specifically be about your brand or product. When you’re out of ideas, turn to your interests or location as inspiration.
There are so many ways you can do this. For example, do a roundup of your favorite podcasts, Netflix shows, or 4 photo locations they can’t miss!
You can whip a listicle Reel up in no time by clipping together pictures of food, or podcast episodes, use text, and talk them through with a quick and easy voiceover.
Instagram Reels Idea #13: A Day in the Life
If you’re an influencer or content creator, take your followers along with you and create a “day in the life” Reel.
Similar to a behind the scenes Reel, but instead of focusing the behind the scenes of your work or business, you’re taking your followers through your daily ritual with a more lifestyle edge to it.
For example, show your followers your morning routine like Instagrammer Olivia Noceda (@olive.eeeats) did here:
Instagram Reels Idea #14: Answer FAQs
If you’re strapped for Instagram Reels ideas, look to your Instagram comments, DMs, and FAQs for inspiration. Are your followers asking you where you’re located? What are your best selling products? Take these questions and answer them in a quick 15 to 30-second Reel.
If you notice common questions, jot them down and save them in a bank for future Instagram Reels ideas. You can also encourage your followers to ask you questions by using the questions sticker on Instagram Stories like Model Andrea Ventura did below.
The other positive about answering a FAQ in a Reel is that you already know there’s a group of your audience who wants to know this information.
Instagram Reels Idea #15: Tease Upcoming Videos or Podcast Episodes
If you have a podcast, YouTube channel, IGTV series, or any other video or audio series, use Instagram Reels to tease upcoming content.
If you have an IGTV or YouTube video coming out, share a teaser clip as the Reel and use the caption to let your followers know when and where they can see the full video. Take a look at how Influencer Helen Owen teased her home tour YouTube video with a CTA to watch the full video in the caption.
And, if you have a podcast, you can create a Reel highlighting part of the episode. Pick a juicy clip and cut it right when it gets good — your audience will want to hear the end! Check out 5 apps for adding audio to Instagram posts here.
These are just a few Instagram Reels ideas to get your juices flowing! And, at the end of the day, it’s all about trial and error.
Once you play around with it, you’ll find what works for you.
Subscribe to Later’s free newsletter and stay up-to-date on the latest Instagram news, trends, insights, and more!
Like This Post? Pin It!
Jessica is a creative problem solver and a content writer. Jessica is from Winnipeg, a city smack dab in the middle of Canada — but is currently living and working remotely in Paris, France. Follow along at @jessicaworb.