Instagram Video Content: A Guide on How to Use Instagram Reels, IGTV, Live & Stories for your Business

How does Instagram Reels Work?

So, you have probably heard about Instagram Reels by now. It’s the new feature recently launched by Instagram in an attempt to directly compete with TikTok, the short-form video content sharing platform.

Today, we’re talking you through exactly how Instagram Reels works, how it compares to TikTok, and how you can harness the power of video content to build a loyal following and community for your business on Instagram. 

Instagram Reels and TikTok – What are the Main Differences?

TikTok’s popularity has exploded over the last couple of years with the short-form video sharing app taking the world by storm. 

On TikTok, users can create videos that are up to 60 seconds long and can couple these videos with filters, text, background music and audio clips that they can lip sync and/or dance to. 

The simplicity of TikTok together with it’s addictive nature (videos will auto-play the moment you open the app) has helped it to achieve global success.

Similarly to Instagram, TikTok users can follow accounts, like videos, use hashtags to increase their visibility, and they are also shown other accounts that the TikTok algorithm thinks they may be interested in. 

The main differences between TikTok and Instagram Reels?

1. Length of Video Content

TikTok video content can be up to 60 seconds long whereas Instagram Reels are currently limited to 15 seconds.

2. Number of Features

TikTok has way less features than Instagram as a whole and, as a result, TikTok users tend to rely on the virality of their content. 

On the other hand, Instagram has so many different features that businesses can rely on to grow their online community. 

Aside from multiple photo and video sharing options within Instagram, businesses can also set up their own Instagram shop where followers can click on posts to see further details of products such as price and purchase details. 

3. Advertising 

Ads appear in both places, but Instagram’s tools allow you to build very complex campaigns from the Ad Manager level. This can also be done in a simple form from within Instagram, promoting, for example, a selected post. Through Instagram, you can display ads that are specifically targeted, which ensures that your content is visible to those to whom you advertise.

In TikTok, ad formats are more restrictive and functions are limited.

4. The Future of TikTok is Uncertain

TikTok may be banned in America soon if Donald Trump gets his way. The future of TikTok in the States hangs in the balance. 

On the other hand, Instagram has not stumbled upon any similar issues and is a safe social media platform for marketing your business. 

Instagram Video Content: A Guide on How to Use Reels, IGTV, Live & Stories for your Business

Using Instagram Reels

To create a Reel, select Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera where you will have access to a selection of creative editing tools. 

instagram reels

On the left of your screen, you will see four different options: Music, speed, special effects, and a timer! 

You have the option to record your Reel in one go, in different clips, or through uploading a whole video from your phone. 

Once your Reel is ready to be published, you will be given the option to choose a cover and to then share either on your feed, to the new Reels section of the Explore page, to your Instagram story, or via Direct Message. 

Your Reel will appear in the Reel section of your Instagram profile (similar to IGTV) and it will also appear in your Instagram grid if you share it to your feed. 

By embracing Reels, you can really increase your brand’s visibility. Word on the street is that the Instagram algorithm is favoring Reel content above all else at the moment so get creative and see your engagement rate skyrocket! 

The IGTV Function


If you would like to share a longer video, then you should try out the IGTV function. This is Instagram’s long-form video content option and is a great way to tell your brand’s story in a more detailed way.

All of your IGTV video’s will be saved on your profile under the IGTV section. Brands have embraced this through creating different series based on similar topics. You can also save your Live videos here too so that anyone who’s missed them has the option to re-watch.  

Instagram Live

ig live

Instagram Live is a really authentic way of connecting with your followers. Whatever your reason for going live (product launches, FAQs, sharing your story, guest speakers), Instagram Live is likely to drive up your engagement. 

This is a less polished, more human, and real way of presenting your business to your Instagram community.

Simply click into Instagram Stories, swipe to the Instagram Live function, add a title and away you go! Once it’s over, you have the option to save the video which you can then upload to IGTV. 

Instagram Stories

ig stories

Instagram Stories are a quick and easy way to connect with your followers. Simply click on the top left of your screen to share photo and video content, with different options of filters, GIFs, and engagement-driven buttons like ‘DM me’ or ‘Click Here’. 

Instagram Stories are a great way to drive engagement and interact with your IG community. You can open up a discussion through their ‘Questions’ sticker, create a fun poll using the ‘Poll’ option, start a quiz, have a countdown to a launch or the start of a sale, or have a ‘call to action’ where you ask your followers to DM you.

Much like Snapchat, Instagram Stories will be visible for 24 hours after which they will disappear.

With Stories, you also have the opportunity to highlight your favorite ones on your profile which is a great opportunity to list items like ‘Client Reviews’, ‘FAQs’, ‘Our Story’ etc. 

Boost your visibility further by adding relevant hashtags to your Stories, which can also be hidden behind whatever stickers or GIFs that you use. 

The Future of Video Content on Instagram

According to Instagram, mobile video content will make up 78% of total mobile data traffic by 2021! Therefore, now is the time to get familiarised with all the video options your business has on Instagram. 

Whatever format you wish to share your videos through on Instagram, the important part is making your video content memorable, and letting your followers get to know your business in a more personal way!

When planning out your social media strategy, be sure to include video content when you are strategizing! 

Finally, whatever function of Instagram you are using for your business, make sure you maximize your reach and visibility through the appropriate use of carefully selected hashtags. 

Are you ready to take on the world of Reels? 

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