Instagram reels, story or post – Which one to choose?

by Fern
Last updated: January 27th, 2021

In August 2020, Instagram launched another new feature, Reels. Prior to this, we had use of feed posts and story posts which could be either video or a photo. The introduction of Instagram Reels has caused visibility of feed posts to drop dramatically, meaning that individuals and business owners must embrace this feature if they wish their audiences to keep growing.

For those already struggling with the technical aspects of social media, we’re sure this new introduction hasn’t made your life any easier, when trying to work out what you should post on Instagram and in what format. Understanding the benefits of each different feature can help you decide what you should post, when and if it should be a Reel, a story or a post. 

So, what is an Instagram Reel? 

The Instagram Reels feature was launched just after Tik Tok made a huge breakthrough during the first lockdown. Tik Tok was becoming a huge trend with all kinds of different genres of videos being posted, so Instagram stepped up. 

A reel is a 15-second video which can be one video or multiple different videos in one. Reels use audio for background or impact, you choose from your own recorded audio or popular music in the Instagram library. You can share your reels with your current followers but if you want to spread it across a wider community, you can feature it on the ‘Explore’ page. This will help you gain more followers which we all want right? 

Creating a reel is easy, but creating a flawless and engaging reel, that may take some practice. You will need to plan why your reel is relevant, think about your audience and what they will want to see, not forgetting that you’ll also need to plan which hashtags to use.

How to post an Instagram Reel

To post a reel, click on the + sign in the centre of your instagram app as if you were going to post an image on your feed. Scroll along and find the ‘reel’ button which will show up next to the ‘story’ option. (Please note this is on a mobile device and not available on a PC) 

Another option is to click the + button in the right hand top corner near your account name and then select “reel”. Once you are where you need to be, click on the round button with a video sign on it and viola, you can start recording! 

You can record your video in a series of clips or all at once, or you can simply upload a video you have previously recorded. 

What can you include in an Instagram Reel:

  • AR Effects 
  • Audio & Sound
  • Countdown & Timer
  • Align
  • Speed (High speed very commonly used for house renovations, art, beauty treatments, setting up a project etc) 

When your reel is ready to go, you can share it to your profile, your story and the explore page (The explore page is only an option if you have a public account). You can add hashtags, change the cover photo, add a caption and many other exciting new features.

So what’s the difference between an Instagram reel and a story? 

A Reel

  • Create content with a variety of features such as speed adjustments, countdown/timer, alignment and AR effects
  • Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags 
  • A caption (Brilliant if you don’t want to ruin your video with writing all over it) 
  • It can be featured as a story, on your profile and also on the Explore page which can reach a HUGE audience
  • Can be saved
  • Lasts forever
  • Easy to re-share

A story

  • Disappears after 24 hours
  • Limited for hashtags 
  • Only your followers can see it
  • Hard to feature on hashtag pages
  • No caption apart from the text you can add on the story itself
  • Hard to re-share 
  • Can’t be saved 

We’re not saying that one feature is necessarily better than the other, as each business is different and you have to find what works better for you. A story is still very much trending. Something to keep in mind though is that you will reach a larger audience and gain more engagement through the Reels feature. 

Still stuck?

If you’re still feeling stuck on what platforms to use and where to even begin, feel free to get in touch and we can discuss our social media packages with you. 

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