What is a reel on Facebook?
Reel is a video, or bunch of videos and images combined together with music, texts, visual effects, stickers, and so on with a maximum duration of 60 seconds preferably uploaded in a vertical orientation of 9:16 aspect ratio.
The vertical shift
Almost a decade ago, videos were tailored to be viewed on a big screen like your television, desktop, or a laptop. Imagine a horizontal 16:9 canvas, where you can just paint to your hearts content. Do you remember watching a movie or an advertisement that didn't fit the entire screen? Probably not.
The rise of smart phones and the gradual design changes that happened over the years where manufacturers started eliminating buttons to utilize every nook and corner of the display, paved the way for various social media channels to leverage content that can be created and consumed vertically. We started sending snaps to our friends, publishing stories, reels on Instagram, videos on TikTok, shorts on YouTube and so on. This just helped us point and capture what we want, share it to the world, and also view content without having to rotate the screen every time.
Another important reason why content like Stories, Reels gained popularity is because they were usually around 30 seconds or a minute long. Now they have extended the time to two minutes. Users can just capture a video, edit them by trimming the timeline, add text, music, apply effects, stickers and a lot more without having to invest on a separate tool. All these can be done in a matter of few mins and the post is ready to go live! This gave content creators the ability to share a story which can be consumed in less than a couple of minutes and has proved to be very effective in gathering maximum engagement from the audience.
Why Facebook reels?
Facebook is the most popular social media platform
with a user count of 2.989 billion around the world of which almost 2.03 billion users use Facebook on a daily basis. Almost 98.5% of those users access Facebook using their mobile devices and they spend an average of 19.7
hours per month. According to Facebook's official announcement, videos account for half the time spent on Facebook and Instagram. Reels being the fastest growing content format, Meta decided to introduce Reels to Facebook on February 22, 2022.
How can brand and content creators make the best out of Facebook reels?
Facebook's wide user base and the increasing popularity of reels has proved to be essential for brands and content creators to leverage and expand their reach to a wider audience. Here are some best practices to create reels that can stand out.
Identify your target audience
As content creators, it's important to get a picture of the type of audience who's interested in what you offer and can potentially be your customers. Without that, even if your content is entertaining, it might not yield the result that you are looking for.
So how do you identify your target audience?
Start by understating your customers, where they are from, what are they looking for? Learn how they use your product with the help of feedback or testimonials. You should also get a better understanding of your social media audience such as the region with maximum traffic, the age group, gender, language, and so on. Keep tabs on all the interactions, the queries and pain-points which can help you come up with relevant content which can prove to be useful for your audience.
Plan and create engaging content
Every type of content that you create will have a specific goal in place. To get started, ask yourself the following questions: What do you want to share with your audience? What will they gain from the video?
Creating an engaging reel depends mainly on the content and how you present that content to the audience. With Facebook reels, you can even land on the feed of someone who doesn't follow your profile yet. So if your content is impressive, you will definitely see a growth in the number of followers on your profile.
You could create a video to showcase the wide range of products that you offer, tips and tricks, show what's happening behind the scenes, video on latest trends and so on; the options are endless. Once you identify your goals, it gets easy for you to plan and work on the perfect reel that can drive engagement for your brand.
Post high quality videos
Apart from the content, the quality of the video also has to be top-notch. Reels that are blurry or have watermarks of other applications might not get the engagement you are looking for. Since reels focus on the vertical video format catering to mobile devices, it's important not to force the user to rotate the screen and view the content. Horizontal videos can really hamper your engagement rate.
Zylker Cafe and Bakery - An example
An aesthetic cafe in the middle of the city, Zylker Cafe and Bakery offers a wide range of cakes, chocolates, cookies, pastries, and beverages. They have a wide range of audience between the age group of 25-40 that includes various social media influencers, food critics, and numerous regular customers looking for a cup of coffee to start their day. So, to engage with the audience better on Social media, Zylker Cafe and Bakery has come up with the following reels:
Share a glimpse to how they start their day at the cafe:
This helps the audience get an idea how a regular day starts at Zylker Cafe and Bakery which makes them want to be there for the breakfast special. It also helps the audience familiarize with the chef, and the other staff in the team, which makes up for a personalized experience.
A simple recipe for the day:
People who go to work, often don't find time to have a healthy breakfast. They either skip their meal or grab something on the way to gulp during the commute. Sharing a simple recipe everyday helps the audience learn the different varieties of cuisines that can be made without much effort. People will be interested in trying them out, sharing with their friends, saving for later, and so on, which thereby boosts the engagement rate for Zylker Cafe and Bakery.