The Definitive Guide for 2023 Sotrender Blog

Using Instagram Reels for business may seem complicated at first.

But you’re on the right page.

This detailed guide will show you how to leverage Instagram Reels for business growth, by showing you: 

  • 7 ways to leverage Instagram Reels, explained step by step 
  • Practical pro tips
  • Best practices
  • Real examples from large to small businesses

Keep reading below.

1. Master Reel Options to Draw Attention

Creating persuasive, attention-grabbing Instagram Reels for business is different from regular Reels.

That’s because you must leverage all Reel options to achieve your marketing goals. Like Scrub Daddy:

scrub daddy instagram reel


This funny, relatable Reel creates engagement through two trends:

  • The famous meme “We don’t need [insert item here], we have [insert item here] at home.”
  • The trending sound “You sure about that?”

Notice the fast pace, the funny images, and how well they are collated together. We’ll use all that info in the next sections.

Now let’s begin:

1.1. Record Your Reel

Remember: Record your Reel with your marketing goal in mind.

Like Scrub Daddy, whose unique selling point is its sturdier-than-average cleaning sponge.

That’s not a very sexy product or a very sexy unique selling point. But a good Reel can make this otherwise unappealing USP funny, catchy, and engaging.

Use the tips below to improve your Reel recording too:

  • Stand before a bright window to take advantage of the natural light.
  • Interesting backdrops highlight your product.
  • It’s best to use a mic and a professional camera (but not mandatory).
  • Add music that matches your brand from the Instagram collection or import your own audio. 
  • Turn 3-5 photos into Reels if you don’t have enough time to create a video.

1.2. Edit

Scrub Daddy uses several editing options:

  • Stock images for added comic effect, which are:
  • Stitched together, with text and sounds that emphasize the brand’s USP.

Follow the five tips below to create a similarly effective Instagram Reel:

  • Use the Align button to create unique transitions and keep people hooked.
  • Leverage Instagram templates to create new Instagram Reels based on previous high-performing ones. 
  • Add text and captions to catch people’s attention and underline your USP.
  • Add stickers to convey feelings to your target audience, boosting engagement rates.
  • Use the Layout button to make a dual-frame Reel for product reviews and comparisons. 

Pro tip: Adjust the video’s speed to emphasize a particular moment or argument.

1.3. Adjust the Settings

Scrub Daddy’s Reel uses few settings.

Still, notice how it chooses the best Reel covers to raise curiosity and grab attention:

scrub daddy reels covers


Here are the 5 best tips to make your Reel more attention-grabbing and curiosity-eliciting too:

  • Choose a suggestive, yet curiosity-inducing Reel cover.
  • Tag people to grow your exposure. Influencers and customers are always good choices.
  • Add your location to increase your visibility in the local markets, get more local organic traffic, and improve SEO. 
  • Activate Facebook recommendations to boost your visibility on that channel as well.
  • Rename your audio to enhance memorability and visibility. 

1.4. Use Titles

Unique titles like “Useful tips” of “Inspiration of the day” help people choose a Reel instead of bouncing off your page. That means:

  • Increased click-through rate
  • More engagement
  • Improved visibility

If you have a high-learning-curve product, reaching these three objectives is essential for audience education.

And that moves them through the sales funnel faster.

Later Media rocks their titles:

reels titles examples


1.5. Choose the Best Time of Day to Post

Posting at the right time of day for your audience ensures reaching them when they’re most receptive.

Use a social media management tool or schedule directly from your Instagram account:

  • Record and edit your video.
  • Choose “Schedule this post” under “Advanced Settings.”
  • Pick the time and date.
  • Click “Done”.
  • To adjust your plan, select “Scheduled content” under “Settings.”

Now it’s time to get to a whole new section and hone your Instagram strategy for business growth even further.

Start analyzing your Instagram Reels

2. Grow Your Exposure by Leveraging Instagram’s Algorithm

The previous section taught you how to leverage Instagram options to:

  • Draw your audience’s attention
  • Raise curiosity

In this section, you’ll learn how to use Instagram Reels for business to increase your exposure.

Trending sounds are attention-grabbing, but they also leverage Instagram’s algorithm to increase your exposure.

Here’s how:

When you use a trending sound in a particular category, Instagram shows your Reel to people who’ve engaged with similar videos.

HoneyBook uses this famous sound to emphasize the distinction between expectations and reality:

HoneyBook reel example


But this Reel also advertises their business, expert knowledge, and new blog post.

Pro tip: Trending sounds make your text more relatable, thus making your audience more open to your arguments.

2.2. Visual Appeal

Social media analytics tools like Sotrender help you understand what visuals appeal most to your audience.

You can conduct this audience analysis by yourself, looking at the type of content your audience posts and reacts to.

But it can take considerably longer.

That said, you can increase visual appeal through:

  • Stitched images
  • Cuts
  • Dual frames
  • Appealing colors, preferably related to your brand
  • Emojis
  • Carefully chosen backgrounds and props
  • And more (including your facial expressions)

Here’s how visual appeals leverage Instagram’s algorithm:

  • More people watch your video until the end.
  • Instagram boosts your Reel higher.
  • You get more organic traffic.
  • And the spiral continues.

Take the Reel below again from HoneyBook:

HoneyBook reel example


Notice the high number of cuts, shaky camera, and zoom-in to zoom-out transitions, which:

  • Create urgency.
  • Underline each point.
  • Keep people hooked, fighting the current 2-second attention span.

Remember: Pick the right Reels’ visual appeals according to your marketing goals and audience profile.

2.3. Hashtags

Hashtags are basically keywords. Therefore, Instagram’s algorithm: 

  • Indexes Reels with hashtags better.
  • Shows your video to people interested in that topic.

Pro tip: Using specific keywords on social media helps you rank for those words on search engines too, thus improving your SEO.

Let’s analyze HoneyBook’s hashtags:

honeybook reel example


These hashtags fall into three categories:

  • The topic at hand: #AI, #AITools, and #ChatGPT
  • The ones who benefit (i.e., the target audience): #IndependentBusiness, #IndependentBusinessOwner, #SmallBizTips
  • The brand: #HoneyBook

Pro tips:

  • Including the same categories of hashtags increases your post’s visibility.
  • A single hashtag related to your campaign is better for a hashtag-challenge campaign.

2.4. Use Captions Strategically

Here’s how captions tap into the platform’s algorithm:

  1. They offer context and keywords that Instagram’s algorithm uses to understand and index your content.
  2. Better indexed posts appear in relevant searches.
  3. Captions improve discoverability if your videos are watched with muted sound.

All that means you’re reaching a broader audience.

Here’s an excellent example from Slack:

slack reel example


Note: Slack uses captions extremely strategically in this post to emphasize a common pain point for many remote employees – their colleagues mispronouncing their names.

Creating this connection increases their discoverability even more.

2.5. Push Reel to Your Feed

Pushing your Instagram Reel to your feed is beneficial because engaging posts often appear higher up in newsfeeds. And this gives your content a better chance of being seen by users.

Pro tip: The algorithm emphasizes the posts from accounts that post regularly.

Basically, more posts equal more engagement and visits.

3. Create Engagement through Authentic Content

Creating engagement pushes the pedal on your Instagram strategy for business growth.

Engaged people are more likely to:

  • Actively seek your content.
  • Interact with it.
  • Share it with their peers.
  • Purchase from your brand.
  • Become loyal customers.

Basically, engagement is a prerequisite for increased conversions, high-ticket sales, and organic traffic.

Tick these three boxes to produce authentic content:

  • Emphasize your values to humanize your brand: People may buy from people, but only those they trust and are comfortable with.
  • Create relatable content: Sotrender can help you analyze your audience and understand them better. Sotrender will aggregate a massive amount of data, but the tool also gives you insights into your audience’s minds. This will tell you what sort of content works better for them:
    • Memes
    • Before-and-after posts
    • Bloopers
    • And more
  • Include a good mix of entertainment and education: Add different topics into the conversation – just like in real life. You don’t want to sound too preachy to your target audience, but you also don’t want to become superfluous.

Start analyzing your Instagram Reels

FitnessBlender is an excellent example. This fitness company started as an alternative to unrealistic at-home workouts.

The initial team of two (wife Kelli and husband Daniel) created workouts for people with different body types, fitness levels, and preexisting conditions. They offered highly specific modifications and got in-depth feedback from their audience.

Once their company grew, Daniel and Kelli hired trainers with the same mindset.

And that transpires in all their Reels with:

personal stories reels


  • Post-workout impressions (notice the unedited sweat on Daniel’s face):

fitnessblender reel


  • Asking for feedback from their customers:

fitness blender reel example


  • Behind-the-scenes bloopers:

fitness blender reel example


educational reel example


Notice the unedited backgrounds, raw content, mimic, posture, and tone of all these FitnessBlender trainers.

Pro tip: Focus on your brand personality, values, and relationship with your audience to create engaging Reels.

4. Create Interest in New Products and Feature Releases

You can use Instagram Reels for business to advertise your products and feature releases, leading to:

  • Enhanced visibility
  • A broader reach
  • More interactions with your Reels

That’s because Instagram Reels can become viral quickly and are also highly shareable content.

Pro tips: 

  • Influencers can help reach an even wider target audience. And since people trust the influencers they follow, you will get more conversions quickly.
  • Use affiliate codes and UTM links to keep track of your creators’ activity.

Follow the steps below to advertise a new product and feature releases effectively using Reels:

  • Start with a hook to raise curiosity and keep people interested.
  • Keep your product in the limelight.
  • Choose a background and props that emphasize that product.
  • Show your target audience how to use your product/service. You can use one of your employees, customers, or a content creator. Alternatively, consider using a green screen effect if that makes sense for your product.
  • Reiterate the main points in the description to counteract a steep learning curve and to increase memorability.
  • Use a clear CTA to let people know what to do.

Pro tip: Never miss that closing CTA.

Even if you might feel it’s pushy – it’s not.

Calls to action streamline your audience’s interaction with your brand and can boost your conversions by 285%.

This Reel from Home Depot follows the exact steps above:

Home Depot reel


  • This Reel starts with a hook about the new and exclusive Ecolab products.
  • The new product is always kept front and center, though the background varies to keep viewers interested.
  • The Reel shows different uses of Ecolab products and how those products help people in the larger context of upkeeping their gardens.
  • The CTA is clear and concise: people are asked to follow the link in Home Depot’s bio to browse these Ecolab products.

Pro tip: If you want to get even more impact, include your CTA in the Reel as well.

5. Build Desire and Get New Leads

Building desire is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

You must:

  • Understand your audience to see what makes them tick.
  • Research your competition to see what strategies they’re using effectively. And then reverse-engineer those tactics or find niches they missed.

Sotrender should help you get the needed insights into your audience and analyze your competition to get the right Instagram content ideas.

For example, you can build desire if you:

  • Advertise future exclusive events.
  • Discuss future potential products/ features to keep people hooked on your content and Instagram account. Offer early-bird tickets or discounts to get more sales.
  • Run a Reel contest to increase your visibility and engagement. Besides, this tactic helps you build a massive library of user-generated content you can repurpose later. 

Pro tip: Ask people to subscribe to your newsletter for more info on those events, products, and contests.

This tactic gets you more qualified leads that you can connect with directly.

And move them faster through your sales funnel.

Andrew Huberman always offers sneak peeks and tidbits from his upcoming science podcasts. And he often posts Reels to tease other podcasts where he is an invited speaker:

Andrew Huberman reel


Here are the strong points you can copy:

  • The relaxed, authentic atmosphere in the Reel
  • The in-depth description highlighting the top features in the new episode
  • The new release’s date
  • A CTA to subscribe to his newsletter to get an episode reminder
  • And a link in the bio to qualify his leads (only very interested prospects will make the effort of searching and following that link in the bio)

6. Create Social Proof to Get More Leads

Creating social proof is an excellent Instagram strategy for business growth. And Instagram Reels offer a prolific medium to create that proof.

But remember to consider your audience’s characteristics and marketing goals first.

The highest-performing tactics you can implement include:

  • Feature UGC from customers and employees: They know your brand intimately, so their testimonies are very convincing. And they have unique insights into using your products, which educate and intrigue your prospects.
  • Leverage influencers: Content creators are very persuasive and can boost your visibility considerably. 
  • Use the Collab feature: Tagging other accounts broadens your reach and gets you more social proof on a new market. Here’s how to do it:
    • Create your Reel.
    • Open the Tag menu.
    • Click to invite a collaborator.
    • Wait until they agree for your post to go live.
  • Promote another business: If you use your Reels to promote another company, you’ll get people’s goodwill. After all, you are doing something selfless. And that goodwill makes your prospects more receptive to your products.

Pro tip: Sotrender can be a good help here regarding social media listening.

Toast is a point of sale and management system for restaurants. With only 25,100 Instagram followers, this small business powers up its Instagram Reels for business with UGC.

And their engagement rates are skyrocketing.

Toast creates social proof with:

  • Sponsored content from influencers:

Toast reel example


  • Reels ads that feature their most prominent customers:

toast reel example


  • Behind-the-scenes innovations supported by their employees:

toast reel example


7. Increase Sales through Shoppable Content

You can use Instagram Reels to boost your sales by adding:

  • Discounts
  • Clear shopping button
  • Links that send people to product pages
  • Shoppable products inside your Reel (more on that below)

Side note: You can take the same four steps even when partnering with influencers for your campaign. But monitor their activities, monitoring their discount codes and links.

Here’s how to tag Shoppable products on your Instagram Reels:

  • Build your Instagram shop first.
  • Create your video.
  • Under the “Share to Reels” section, choose “Tag products.”
  • Add the products you want to tag from your Instagram Shop.
  • Choose your cover photo.
  • Include a persuasive CTA caption.
  • Add a link sticker from the sticker tray to keep track of your products.

Here’s an example from the baby clothing brand Spearmint:

asmr reel


This Reel’s strong suit is using ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) audio, which has been shown to trigger physical sensations.

And those subconscious sensations trigger desire.

People are offered an Instagram link to browse more products and a link to this collection’s product page.

What about adding a shoppable button?

This button would have arguably increased the click-through rate.

But those prospects’ main trigger would have been curiosity. New parents are known to browse baby clothes without always finishing the purchase.

So, in this case, Spearmint wants to move only qualified leads through the funnel to better understand their conversion rates.

10 Best Practices for Instagram Reels

Now that you’re here, you’re almost finished reading this guide. You know how to create desire, elicit curiosity, and boost your conversion rate.

Let’s review some best practices to remember before creating your next Instagram Reel for business:

  1. Know your goals.
  2. Don’t try to be cool; create content your audience likes.
  3. Don’t be too salesy or pushy.
  4. Choose the right video size.
  5. Schedule your videos.
  6. Post consistently.
  7. Use CTAs.
  8. Interact with other accounts.
  9. Monitor your KPIs.
  10. Adjust your strategy when needed.

Pro tip: Keep an eye on your metrics on Instagram Reels (you can easily do that by using Sotrender too).

instagram reels analysis

Instagram Reels analysis in Sotrender

Start analyzing your Instagram Reels

Get Started with Instagram Reels for Business

This guide took you through all the features and options of Instagram Reels. You have seen real-life examples of companies using Reels successfully.

Remember that everything starts from understanding your goals, audience, and even your competitors. Sotrender can help you get and leverage those insights.

And you have all the steps of incorporating Reels in your Instagram strategy for business growth – whichever your marketing goals may be.

Pick just one strategy and use it today. You’ll be one step closer to your company flourishing.


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