No, they’re not an Irish jig (although you can dance to them). Reels are short-form, TikTok-esque videos offered on Instagram, and they’re a must if you want to keep building engagement on the ‘gram.
That’s because the IG algorithm loves Reels above all else. It’s Instagram’s baby! Even regular users report viral-level engagement when uploading a Reel – that’s because people who don’t follow you can still see and engage with your Reels. REEEL TALK! If you want to keep up that reach and engagement, it’s time to clear your calendar and get comfortable in front of the camera. Step out from behind that logo, folks!
Oh, you don’t have time? *Cue condescending Wonka meme.*
Turns out that making videos is a massive time-suck, and it’s hard to carve out space in your calendar every day. (Now we know why film credits roll for so long.)
Today I’m going to let you in on the secret to my epically prolific presence on Reels. It’s called batching. Batching basically involves doing a whole bunch of a thing in one go. Rather than try to make a Reel every day or week, just set aside an afternoon or a day and just get it all done. CRANK IT OUT! I love to batch my Reels on Sunday afternoon and in 2 hours I have 7 or more Reels ready to rock for the upcoming week. The perk of batching your Reels is overall it will take you less time because you won’t have to keep setting up your space, you’ll be in true focus mode allowing for ease of creation and speed. Smart, no?
Here’s how I do it.
Define Content Buckets.
I theme my Reels across a few different buckets:
- Informational – sharing a quick tip, industry update or event coming up
- Instructional – educate your audience on how to do something
- Trending – adding your thumbprint/spin on current trending songs or Reels
- For Real for Reel (opinions!) – sharing your opinion on stance on something in your industry
I figure out how many Reels I need to create to fill out my calendar, then make sure they’re balanced across all the different genres. Pro Tip: Save favorite audios or Reels in your Instagram to refer back to later to trigger inspiration for when you sit down to batch your content.
Once I know how many of each Reel type I need, it’s time to get brainstorming. Recent blogs, news items, upcoming events and stuff I’ve read or listened to are all great springboards for Reels. Remember, Reels are only quick (max 15-second or 30-second bites of content, so you don’t need to go too deep on any one concept, consider breaking it out and making it a series of Reels.)
Create My Reels.
There are a few ways to do this. You can record directly to Instagram one at a time in a series of clips that you can save as drafts until you’re ready to push them live, or you can upload videos from your phone. The latter option is great if you want to repurpose your Reels into all-new Reels, or for use on other platforms. Make sure to pick somewhere with good lighting, and don’t forget to add sound, captions, hashtags and a cover photo. Sneaky Pro Tip: Change your outfit (even if it’s only the top layer) every few Reels so it won’t look like you’ve been wearing the same thing for a whole week or month! I have 2-3 outfits ready to go during my batching session and record 2-3 in each of those outfits.
Once I’m ready to share a Reel, I go back to my drafts folder and hit “share”. This shares it to your grid if you toggle that option on. I also always recommend sharing to your Instagram Story and optimizing your caption with hashtags like you would a normal Instagram post to make it discoverable and populate on the Explore page.
That’s it! So next time you’re watching my Reels and notice that the clock in the background is always pretty much at the same time a la Pulp Fiction, know that the content you’re enjoying is courtesy of the productivity-giver that is batching.