You’ve no doubt scrolled by some Reels on Instagram lately. They’re those short-form videos, often with text and catchy music, you see in your main feed. While they remain a mystery to many users, Instagram Reels are here to stay, and they’re not that difficult to break down! If you’ve ever wanted to know how to make Instagram Reels, this post is for you.
Today, let’s talk about how to make Instagram Reels for food bloggers.
Instagram launched Reels in 2020, as their competitor to TikTok. Reels were Instagram’s next item in their efforts to put a stronger focus on video—like many other platforms have done in recent years.
Recently, Instagram took an even bigger step in their focus on video. In an IGTV video, Director Adam Mosseri proclaimed that Instagram “is no longer a photo sharing app,” and the algorithm will begin prioritizing video content over photos, in more efforts to compete with TikTok and YouTube. You can read more about this here and here.
Now, there’s a lot to unpack here. Here are my main takeaways from this announcement and change:
- Photo sharing and capabilities are not going away on Instagram. You’ll still be able to post photos on the platform—and should continue to do so!
- This change is not the end of the world. Platforms change all the time. It’s the nature of the business and industry.
- Try incorporating more video content into your strategy: Stories, Live, IGTV, in-feed videos, and of course Reels.
- We don’t even know if Mosseri’s plan will work or how long it will last. This could just be a flash in the pan.
Bottom line: don’t freak out. Take a deep breath and adapt.
For many users, including myself, video content can be daunting. It’s more time consuming and requires a totally different skill set than photo content. The good news is, Instagram Reels aren’t that difficult, and can be a great first step into video content.
Why should you include Instagram Reels in your content strategy?
- Diversifying your content is a good thing. Having a variety of content types (photo, video, Stories, Reels, IGTV, etc.) can help boost your engagement!
- Reels are an easy, low-risk way to dip your toes into video content.
- There’s a low barrier to entry. No special equipment required, like a fancy camera or editing software. If you have a smartphone and Instagram, you can make a Reel.
- They’re easier to make than you think!
Okay, now that we’ve covered all of that, let’s dive in to the main topic of today’s post. If you’ve never made a Reel before, now is the time to dive in and give it a try. This guide is here to help you make your first one—or to provide some tips and tricks if you’ve already experimented with them!
How to Make Instagram Reels as a Food Blogger
For this tutorial, let’s assume we’re shooting a simple recipe. Disclaimer: I am not an expert videographer.
First, choose your subject and your setting. Choose a spot that gets good lighting, either natural or artificial. I depend on natural light, so I choose a place in the house that gets a lot of natural light. Then I use my photo surfaces to create my setup into a “light box” kind of thing. Maybe one day I’ll get around to learning artificial light better, but for now, natural light works.
Set up your phone. You can record short, individual videos right onto your phone, and then upload those into the Reels maker in the Instagram app. That’s how I do it, so I can shoot my Reel and create it later, if needed. I have this stand for top-down shooting, and this ring light + phone holder for more straight on or selfie-style videos.
Shoot your recipe, step by step. Make sure your subject(s) remain in focus throughout, but also give your subject some “space” around the screen for adding text later. I normally shoot each step as its own brief video, usually about 4-8 seconds long. Adjust your phone level and angle throughout as needed.
Once you’ve shot everything, you can begin creating your Reel!
Open the Reels creator in your Instagram app. On the left side of the screen, select your Reel length: 15 or 30 seconds. I usually go with 30 seconds.
To import the videos you shot earlier, tap the square in the bottom left corner. From that, you’ll be able to select your video (one by one) and add to your Reel.
Once you’ve added a video clip to your Reel, use the slider bar at the bottom of trim the clip. When you’ve trimmed it, tap “Add” in the top right. Repeat this process with each video clip you want to add.
Next, tap the music note icon on the left to add music. You can search for a specific song, or browse the “Trending” or “For You” sections to see what Instagram suggests. Pro tip: my Reels that use a “trending” song tend to do better.
Once you’ve chosen your music, tap “Preview” in the bottom. The next part is where you’ll add your text. Tap the “Aa” icon in the top right to add text. The text function is similar to how it works in Stories, except you choose the “length” of each text block at the bottom of the screen, in the same way you trimmed your video clips. Keep in mind the main feed crop, so place your text near the middle of your Reel so it’ll still be visible and legible when users see your Reel in their main feeds. When you’ve added all your text, tap “Done,” and then “Share To” in the bottom right.
Finally, add in your caption and hashtags, choose a cover image, double-check the profile crop, and tap Share! Congratulations—you’ve made your first Reel!
Now that you know the process, here are some ideas for Instagram Reels for food bloggers:
- Share an easy food or drink recipe (this one is pretty obvious and standard).
- Share your favorite cookbooks.
- Do a mini feature on your favorite seasonal ingredients.
- Share photo styling tips and tricks.
- Show your favorite/essential kitchen tools and gadgets.
- Show what you eat in a day with quick shots of your meals and snacks.
If those don’t spark any ideas, head to this post for some more Instagram ideas for food bloggers.
It took me a few Reels to get my process down, but now I’m super comfortable posting Reels, and they tend to be some of my best performing content. I actually really love shooting them, too!
If you still have questions about making Instagram Reels, please leave a comment below, or reach out to me on Instagram. I’d love to answer your questions or brainstorm ideas with you! This guide from Later also has some really great information and tips for making Reels.
Have you made Instagram Reels yet? What do you like (or not like) about Reels?
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