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How To Use Instagram Reels: A Step-By-Step Guide

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How To Use Instagram Reels: A Step-By-Step Guide


Instagram Reels allows you to create and share TikTok-like videos of up to 60-seconds in length.

Unlike Instagram Stories, Reels are featured permanently on your Instagram profile and don’t disappear after 24 hours.

Reels shares many of the same features as TikTok, which is helping Instagram stay competitive with what is currently the fastest growing social media app.

Unlike TikTok, which is a standalone app, Reels is built into the Instagram app you already use.

With Instagram Reels you can:

  • Create and share 60-second videos.
  • Add your own audio to videos, or choose a song from a catalog of licensed music.
  • Grab original audio from other videos and add it to your video.
  • Create reaction videos to content from other users.

Reels are featured in the Instagram Explore tab, which gives you a chance to reach a wider audience of people that aren’t already following you.

There’s potential to gain significant exposure if your Reel goes viral and becomes “Featured” content in the Explore section.

Here’s more about how to create and share Reels.

1. Open The Instagram App & Navigate To Reels

Screenshot from about.instagram.com, January 2022.

Open the Instagram app and log-in to your account if you’re not logged in already.

Then tap the plus-sign button, or swipe right from the main feed to get to the Instagram camera.

With the Instagram camera open, scroll to Reels at the bottom.

2. Record A Reel With The Instagram Camera

instagram reelsScreenshot from about.instagram.com, January 2022.

After selecting Reels you can either begin recording immediately, or you can add some production quality by selecting one of the following tools:

  • Audio: Search for a song from the Instagram music library or record your own audio.
  • AR Effects: Select one of the many effects in effect gallery.
  • Timer and Countdown: Set the timer to record clips hands-free.
  • Align: Line up objects from your previous clip before recording your next clip.
  • Speed: Speed up or slow down part of the video or audio you selected.

Record your Reel by pressing and holding the capture button.

A Reel can be recorded in a series of clips, all at once, or using video uploads from your camera roll.

You can preview your creation, as well as add stickers, drawings, or text before publishing the Reel.

Once your Reel is finished you can move on to the editing screen.

3. Share The Reel To Your Followers

instagram reelsScreenshot from about.instagram.com, January 2022.

Tap Share to and then tap Cover to change your cover photo and write a caption.

By default your Reel will be shared to Instagram Explore. Tap Stories at the top if you want to share your reel to your story instead of to Explore.

How The Instagram Reels Algorithm Works

Instagram is transparent about how it ranks the content people see when browsing through Reels. This insight may help you with creating more successful clips.

Instagram is pushing Reels as its next flagship feature. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, has gone on record saying he wants wants to go big on video in an effort to compete directly with TikTok.

As Instagram continues to invest in Reels it’s keeping users informed about how this section of the app works.

The company has revealed how it chooses which Reels are recommended to each individual user.

Continue reading to learn how the Instagram algorithm surfaces Reels, which is information that can assist you with creating more engaging content for your audience.

Here’s what you need to know.

How Instagram Recommends Reels to Users

The goal of Intagram’s Reels algorithm is to surface content users will enjoy watching and actively engage with.

In order to determine which Reels to show users, Instagram’s algorithm considers how likely an individual is to:

  • Watch a Reel the whole way through
  • Like it
  • Say it was entertaining or funny
  • Go to the audio page to make their own Reel

That last point might sound confusing if you’re not familiar with either Reels or TikTok. It refers to the ability to take an audio track from someone’s video and create your own content with it.

Unless the creator has the feature disabled, each Reel has a page where viewers can grab the audio and make a new video with the same track.

Creating a Reel with a highly shareable sound clip can get you far with the recommendation algorithm — but it’s not the only signal that counts.

Related: How Instagram’s Algorithm Works & IG Content Best Practices

Most Important Reels Algorithm Signals

Instagram says user activity is the most important signal when it comes to recommending Reels.

The algorithm considers which Reels a user has engaged with in the past, and whether they’ve had any direct interaction with the content creator.

That means responding to comments, DMs, and tags can help get your content shown in peoples’ feeds more often.

After that, Instagram looks at information about the video itself and information about the content creator.

The most important signals for the Reels recommendation algorithm are (in order of importance):

  • User activity: Including recent engagement with Reels and interactions with content creators.
  • Information about the Reel: Such as its popularity, its audio track, and understanding of the video based on pixels and whole frames.
  • Information about the creator: Including who they are and how other users have interacted with them.

Types of Content Instagram Won’t Recommend

There are several types of content Instagram won’t recommend regardless of how popular the creator is or how much engagement the video receives.

Instagram avoids recommending Reels for the following reasons:

  • The video is low resolution and/or watermarked.
  • The video contains political content.
  • The video was made by political or government figures.

If you want to get anywhere with Instagram Reels, aim for producing high quality and original content. Watermarked videos recycled from other sites will not get surfaced in peoples’ feeds unless they follow the creator directly.

Lastly, keep the subject matter light and friendly for all audiences.

Keep track of which Reels resonate most with your followers by noting the amount of likes, views, and comments each one receives. With a business or creator account you access even more detailed metrics.

More resources:

Source: @creators on Instagram


Featured Image: Ascannio/Shutterstock





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Flash Dressed Crocodile Toy On Google’s John Mueller’s Desk

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Flash Dressed Crocodile On John Mueller Desk


John Mueller posted this photo on Twitter saying he found this Flash dressed crocodile toy by his desk when he was in the office the other day.

I am not sure if there is an inside joke here, hence the joke being inside… But is funny either way.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.





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Google Dedicated Local Ad Pack

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Google Dedicated Local Ad Pack


Google seems to be testing adding a local pack for ads along with a normal organic local pack, I believe. Here is a screenshot showing a local pack labeled as “Ads” that show a list of stores that have shoes near you.

You can click “more places” that will load more local ads. Below that is the local pack map, showing you organic nearby stores that have that product nearby.

Here is a screenshot I took from a Twitter video from Saad AK:

Here are more examples of this in action from Saad AK:

I think this is new but I can be wrong?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Update: Supposedly this is not a new thing, according to Google.





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How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer’s Landscape

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How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer's Landscape


There is a new data revolution happening, and it’s sweeping across the industry so quickly that many SEO and digital marketers are struggling to make sense of the insights and intelligence at their disposal.

To utilize this opportunity, marketers need to evolve their mindsets and use technology to analyze multiple data formats and understand the new opportunities it can bring.

SEO marketers of today and digital marketers of tomorrow will need to extract, structure quickly, and manipulate data to drive the most critical business outcomes.

Data has always been mission-critical to digital decision-making.

The Economist, back in 2017, declared it the world’s most valuable resource.

Fast forward to today and the future, and we can see that the exponential growth of data fuelling this revolution is staggering.

According to the IDC, the amount of digital data created over the next five years will be greater than twice the amount of data made since the advent of digital storage.

Think about that for a second!

Flash drives, for example, were introduced in 2000.

This means that in the next five years, marketers will have to analyze and make sense of 2x the data created in the last 22 years!

The Data Revolution Means More Sources & Complexity For SEO

The data revolution has gone on for some time now, and it’s changed our concept of what counts as “data,” rightfully so.

In the past, we thought only numbers mattered.

But, in this new digital world where everything is converted into ones and zeros, data is broader and contains text, audio, and visual information – all bits waiting to be processed!

  • Machine-based and human-generated data are growing at a rate of 10x faster than conventional business data.
  • Machine-created data is increasing exponentially at a 50x the growth rate. This data revolution is primarily marketing-driven and consumer-oriented who are “always on.”
  • In just the last 18 months, the volume of site processing data we have been generating at BrightEdge has increased by 11x!

As a result of these increasingly demanding trends, SEO and digital marketers need to adapt and become more like data analysts and scientists in approaching the extraction of structured data insights and business intelligence – without adding more manual work.

Fortunately, SEO is well-positioned to take advantage of this new data revolution.

  • Increasing your keyword universe – More keywords mean more data points to look at with reporting and fuelling insights. While focusing on conversion rate metrics is very important, it wouldn’t be possible without opening the scope of your audience and getting more people in the door. SEO has drifted away from writing for a primary dedicated keyword and is now way more advanced with advancements in search engines like Google’s understanding of intent of searches through RankBrain and BERT.
  • Increasing your search footprint – will also help you discover unexplored of informing your future content strategy or ideate new keyword ideas. However, sometimes you might miss the boat, like the transition of Content Management Systems slowly turning into “Experience Platforms” as they offer more functionality to meet the needs of today’s webmaster or marketer.

Read More On SEJ

Data Is The Currency Of An Accelerated SEO & Digital Age

By 2025, Worldwide data will reach 175 zettabytes.

But unfortunately, the human brain can’t process, structure, and analyze all that data.

So technology engines have to help, and digital marketers should be the driver.

There is a massive opportunity for companies that can utilize data to create more engaging experiences.

A recent study showed that 95% of business leaders recognize this as their biggest growth lever over the next three years, which means there’s plenty at stake here!

Robust data analysis ensures decisions are evidence-based and have more accountability.

Drawing on existing and new data sources to fully integrate business acumen and analytical skills into decision making, sourcing, managing, and analyzing large amounts of unstructured data will ensure continued use and success.

SEO began with data and has evolved.

From the introduction of real-time SEO in 2019 and Page Experience Updates in 2021, SEO’s future lies again with data and the creation of intelligent systems. Here marketers can leverage combined data sources that structures data for them.

As a result, they can achieve business objectives and stay ahead during all data and digital transformation stages.

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Technology & AI Are Helping SEO Evolve

Advancements in technology and, in particular, AI and Natural Language Processing has meant that SEO and digital marketers can become data analysts without having to become an actual data scientist.

This is key to unlocking structured insights from your company’s big data to make more precise predictions about what is coming next based on existing information.

Digital marketers can evolve, understand key trends, and learn in new areas such as:

  • Predictive modeling of future trends and forecasting based on multiple types of data.
  • Real-time identification of opportunities and intelligence.
  • Digital research at scale with both historical and real-time data.
  • Leveraging automated visualizations for various stakeholders.
  • Improved data security and compliance.
  • Market and business intelligence at a macro level.
  • Consumer behavior at the most granular level.

SEO and digital marketers can learn critical skills such as statistics, data analysis, data visualization, and strategy.

AI, NLP, and machine learning are helping them do this without needing expertise in computer programming and software applications.

What digital marketers must do is combine their communication skills and analytics skills with stakeholders who cannot think outside of the advertising box.

Read More On SEJ

Data Analysis & Intelligence As Competitive Advantage

The application of technology will be the driving force behind the next generation of data analysis technology.

Therefore, SEO and digital marketers of today should learn how to better utilize insights from data analysis.

It’s becoming more apparent that the marketing platforms of tomorrow will require the capabilities of data analysis and science infrastructure at their core.

The future of marketing will blend technological know-how, business sense, and an understanding of data analysis.

The next generation of SEO will touch all components of marketing, from video, email, and voice, to digital performance of content.

SEO and data science will converge into one evolved discipline that drives omnichannel acquisition and democratizes data.

Marketers who embrace this new era of SEO will be well-positioned to succeed in the years to come.

Data is reconfirming its role as the new competitive advantage, and as SEO and digital marketers, you must evolve if you want to be part of the future.

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Featured Image: ra2 studio/Shutterstock





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