6 Ways Brands Are Using Instagram Reels

6 Ways Brands Are Using Instagram Reels

On August 5, Instagram Reels launched globally in over 50 countries, including the US. Of all the Instagram updates in 2020, Reels is the most important as it’s a direct competitor against TikTok.

And we all know the wild ride of TikTok – from the most downloaded app worldwide to banned in India with a potential ban in the US. At some point this year, you might have been trying to figure out the real deal behind TikTok or how to use TikTok for business.

However, if your brand already has a strong presence on Instagram, there may be a chance that Instagram Reels ends up being far superior to TikTok. Many major brands were ready for the launch and created their first reel in the first few days, offering examples of how they intend to engage their built-in Instagram audience with the new feature. 

What Is Instagram Reels? 

Instagram Reels allows users to create 15-second videos with short audio clips. And to give users that “reel” feeling, users can scroll endlessly through short video content that are based on their likes, follows, followers, and interactions.

You can easily find Instagram Reels on any profile here:

Here’s where you can find Instagram Reels in Explore; the first Reel will pop up at the top: 

With such similarities, we will start to see whether Reels can attract users away from TikTok. For brands, they’re not committing to one platform or the other just yet, but here are 6 ways that major brands are using Instagram Reels:

1. Reuse TikTok Videos 


The British online fashion retailer already has a strong following both on Instagram and TikTok. All they had to do was repost their best TikTok content on Reels, as this reel gained over 4.4 million views in just a few days.  

If you already have some TikTok content, why not reuse them in Instagram Reels? Video dimensions are already in a 1080×1920 format, and you can find the same audio clip in Reels or simply add new audio yourself.

This can either expose your content to a new audience, or in the long run it could help convince an audience that already saw the clip on TikTok decide to just look for it on Instagram.

2. Start New Challenges


From the #SavageChallenge to #CeleblookalikeChallenge, online challenges have taken social media by storm. Sephora’s TikTok presence is huge and their #sephorachallenge has over 26 million views. 

Sephora collaborated with @ryanbpotter to create their second Reel on Instagram and this video gained over 1.9 million views. He introduced a new challenge for all makeup lovers. Will this become a new hashtag challenge on Instagram Reels in the next coming weeks? 

3. Collaborate With Influencers 


It’s always a good idea to connect your audience with influencers they love, and Walmart knows how to do influencer marketing right. Walmart’s social media feed is filled with diverse influencer collaborations that really attracts their audiences. 

This Reel introduces Walmart’s spotlight influencers throughout the year:


Influencers’ content doesn’t always have to be on your business feed. @colormecourtney showcased her favorite Nike quarantine outfits: 

4. Keep Up With Brand Consistency 


Sitting down in different outfits is a popular content trend throughout TikTok, and TopShop has been leading that trend for months. Since the launch of Instagram Reels, TopShop’s first foray into the feature has attracted over 1.6 million views:

Burger King

You’d be surprised by the simplicity of this video that shows the excitement of getting your food right from the register. Within a day, this reel jumped over 207k views:

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now entering: your happy place ✨

A post shared by Burger King (@burgerking) on

5. Use Your Original Audio 

Microsoft Xbox

With a clever Booting up Reels caption, Xbox’s first reel showcases their most famous theme song, aligning it with the familiar moment when Xbox players turn on their Xbox console:

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Booting up Reels

A post shared by Xbox (@xbox) on

6. Tease Sneak Peaks 


Why not tease a few seconds of a binge watcher’s favorite show? Instagram Reels gives Netflix another creative way to promote shows instead of traditional trailers:

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how to say thanks to gifts you don’t like

A post shared by Netflix US (@netflix) on

Amazon Prime Video

This 10-second comedy bit gained over 1.1 million views and it’s the most-viewed reel out of all Amazon Prime Video first posts: 

The Takeaway

Creativity is what users love and from a content perspective, and short videos can really give content creators more room to try new ideas. More importantly, it gives creators more time to build content strategies and to test its effectiveness. 

Whether it’s Instagram Reels or TikTok, users on social media are enjoying creative short-form video content. The endless scrolling navigation can really hook users in, making it easy for users to view content they love. And soon we will see if Reels is a real rival to TikTok.

Content Marketing Specialist

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