The Core - A Blog by DMA Solutions
Jordan Glover
Posted by Jordan GloverNovember 18, 2020 6:00 AM

Between TikTok and Instagram Reels, keeping up with social media trends can seem like a full-time job. If you’ve been on Instagram’s “Explore Page” and noticed videos of puppies or catchy dances, you’ve watched “Instagram Reels.” We understand that new features on social media are often met with confusion, so we’re here to help shed some light. Fortunately, keeping up with social media trends is actually our job! 

Getting comfortable using new features on your personal account is one thing, but deciding if it’s the right move for your company is a whole different task. We’ll share our thoughts on how this new feature applies to fresh produce marketers. Knowing the facts will help you make an educated decision on whether or not your brand is ready to take advantage of this new trend.

Quick Guide on Instagram Reels 

What is it? 

If you’re at all familiar with TikTok, Instagram Reels will look familiar. They’re short 15 - 30 second videos that anyone with an iPhone can create. Reels are intended to look user-generated, which means you can save yourself the time and money of producing a high-quality video and create the reel in-house (much different than IG-TV). These videos can be shared on your story, the new “reels tab” on your profile, or generated on the “Explore Page” through hashtags. You won’t, however, see these videos while you’re scrolling down your main feed. 

As an avid TikTok fan, it’s tempting for me to automatically write off Instagram Reels as the “off-brand” version of TikTok. However, Instagram has proven over and over again not to underestimate it. When Instagram launched stories, everyone complained that it was a knock-off version of Snapchat. And now, I don’t know anyone that doesn’t see the value in Instagram stories. But as for now, Instagram Reels don’t seem to be taking off as quickly as TikTok. Turns out, it's hard to compete with the app that generated more downloads than any other app in Q1 of 2020, according to AdWeek.

Is It Right For Businesses? 

While there is certainly something to be said for companies who jump right in and take advantage of new trends, there is always risk involved when the dust isn’t settled. Because Instagram Reels are new, the algorithm isn’t quite set in stone. Additionally, advertising isn’t currently available for this feature. From what we’ve read and seen, Instagram Reels are populating the “Explore Page” based on what Instagram thinks the user is interested in. For example, the reels on my “Explore Page” are full of puppies cuddling with babies - the app knows me well! 

For fresh produce marketers, this is good news in that Instagram users who are heavily interested in produce and food could potentially see the reels that you share. The other side of that argument is users who haven’t openly expressed interest in food may never see our reels. When posting a regular photo in your feed, you can guarantee your followers will see the post if they’re scrolling through the app. Reels, however, have a much higher chance of never being seen by your target audience. There are brands taking advantage of Instagram Reels, like Walmart and Sephora, that are seeing a boost in views as they become the acting guinea pigs to utilize the feature.  

Is it right for you? 

After understanding a bit more about Instagram Reels, do you think implementing this feature into your marketing strategy is worth it? Do you think this feature applies to the fresh produce industry? Let’s weigh the pros and cons: 

Pro

  • Jumping on the trend would position you as an early adopter in the fresh produce industry
  • Because videos are pushed to the Explore page within the Instagram app - you could reach a new audience and in turn, receive new followers 
  • Allows for showcasing “behind-the-scenes” content or recipe creation or field videos
  • Measurable showing views and likes of your content
  • Unlike Instagram Stories, reels are permanent on your profile

Con

  • While the videos don’t need to be highly produced, taking the time to create consistent content is a large undertaking 
  • The risks and unknowns of a new feature 
  • At this point, the majority of reels are still silly dancing videos 
  • The videos don’t show up in feeds
  • Unable to promote/advertise the videos


We understand that with everything on your plate, you don’t have time to chase down every new social media trend, but don’t worry, we’re on it! After reading our quick guide on Instagram Reels, we hope you have a better understanding of this feature to help make an educated decision moving forward. If you want to chat more, contact us for a social media brainstorm today!

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