Skip to main content
Miguel A. Gonçalves photo

Miguel Afonso Gonçalves
– Copywriter & Travel Blogger –

Between February and March of this year, I wrote two articles for Jelly’s blog that are worth
remembering: one on Instagram, with several tips to generate engagement and another about
the role that video format can play in the brand’s content strategy. Half a year later, I return
to the same subjects, for a more detailed analysis of two tools that were not covered in these
reflections – IGTV and Reels.

Miguel Afonso Gonçalves
– Copywriter & Travel Blogger –

Between February and March of this year, I wrote two articles for Jelly’s blog that are worth
remembering: one on Instagram, with several tips to generate engagement and another about
the role that video format can play in the brand’s content strategy. Half a year later, I return
to the same subjects, for a more detailed analysis of two tools that were not covered in these
reflections – IGTV and Reels.

It is true that nowadays we have many platforms that drive direct contact with customers, fans, followers or just those curious. Precisely for this reason, it is natural that there is a
distribution of the content strategy to different platforms, by allocating content to those best suited – for demographic reasons, interface characteristics, among others.

Instagram has accustomed its users to recurring innovations, combating any external threats to their relevance. IGTV and Reels are two of the latest examples – perhaps not so recent, but certainly not widespread.

IGTV: to inspire

By order of longevity, let’s start with IGTV – Instagram TV. As its name suggests, think of this tool as your brand’s TELEVISION channel. Or if you prefer, it is the transfer of your YouTube channel to a platform capable of serving different purposes.

Why resort to IGTV?

  1. Unlike stories or reels, you can share long-running videos, up to ten or sixty minutes, depending on the number of followers or if your account is “verified”, i.e., the official account.
  2. The possibility of sharing long-term content diversifies the content strategy on these platforms. The humanization of the brand becomes more tangible, forget the excessive information in this format – create content that inspires your followers, good storytelling becomes predominant!
  3. Share brand history, everyday life, interview those who give life to your brand daily, share customer testimonials, or record a Q&A session with your followers.

But pay attention, there are also less positive points!

  1. I don’t judge the quality of content you should or shouldn’t share, but don’t share videos of poor technical quality. A good edition makes all the difference, it shows professionalism, and on Instagram, like any communication platform, making an excellent first impact is mandatory. So, if you don’t have technical knowledge of video editing, or the support of someone capable of doing so, forget IGTV.
  2. It’s inevitable to talk about… YouTube, of course. Although on Instagram you can concentrate more communication efforts – diversifying the message through different channels/tools – YouTube is still the “king” of this format (and is not expected to disappear). For you, readers of this article, I leave a challenge. Come to think of it, how many videos have you watched from beginning to end on IGTV to date?
  3. IGTV videos have little visibility when browsing the app. You’ll need to sign into the profile of the account that posted a particular video to access the content, except when it appears on the main feed – normally, only if the content has been posted since the last time the user signed into the app.

Now, what balance do I take from IGTV? Looking at the favorable and unfavorable aspects, I would say that it is inconclusive. On the one hand, it doesn’t seem like a safe and winning bet. On the other hand, it seems to open a new range of opportunities so that each brand can achieve better engagement results with its target audience. The cost-benefit ratio applied to the specific case of each brand will tell whether this is a priority tool, to which more human and financial resources should be allocated.

Reels: to boost

As one of the latest innovations made available by Instagram, the “Reels” feature is the “little brother” of IGTV. From the outset, reels also assume that the content is in video format.

There are several reasons why you should compare both features – they are similar in many respects, but in practice, they serve very different purposes. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of this option.

Reels are a good bet because:

  1. They allow you to share fast-to-use video content. Unlike IGTV, time is much more limited – up to a minute – which highlights the need to be able to transmit the message in a shorter time. However, they tend to generate higher engagement and on average have higher playthrough rates – influencer marketing hub (an influencer management platform) presents some statistics that reveal the capability of this tool.
  2. They follow the concept and format of Tik Tok – taking advantage of the trend in terms of content consumption by the public.
  3. Short-form video tends to go viral more easily than a static image or long-form video – precisely because it is consumption/fast sharing.
  4. Unlike stories, they are available permanently – or at least for as long as the creator wishes.
  5. It covers a wider audience than any other type of Instagram post. They enjoy their own “search” mechanism, leveraged by the platform’s algorithms. In other words, they reach an audience that doesn’t need to follow the page that posted the content!

And what aspects are less favorable to reels?

In fact, the biggest threat to the success of this tool is not the big competitor, Tik Tok, but rather the technical and creative quality of the videos. Why? Studies indicate that the audience that is present on Instagram is substantially different from the one that actively uses Tik Tok. So let’s see how you can use reels in your brand’s online presence and content strategy.

  1. Create educational content. Imagine that a car brand published a video whose title would be “5 Ways to Consume Less Fuel”. Whoever is guaranteed to watch put up your hand! Did you raise your hand? Me too! Not only would I watch, but I would probably share with family and friends. Better still, I would remember that the X brand often shares useful and important tips. This of course, if you did not actually follow the brand on the platform!
  2. Use the short format video as promotional teasers of products on sale or to be launched soon. Create media buzz with your products creatively and originally.
    Awaken the curiosity of the audience.
  3. Launch challenges to the audience – create a trend or enjoy something that’s already a trend and create the challenge! Attention, if you’re thinking of doing the headstand, half a pirouette, and ending up with the moonwalk, no one is telling you to get a choreography that half the world will want to dance to. Take as an example an X brand whose product is biscuits. The theme of the moment: the Squid Game series! [Spoiler Alert: Skip the next sentence if you haven’t seen the series and intend to do so]. Why not challenge the audience to play with your product, recalling a famous scene from the popular series?

Short-form video: the winner

The struggle for consumer attention is fierce and brands struggle with this paradigm daily. As I mentioned in February, video is the communication formula that seems, so far, to conquer more seconds, minutes, hours of attention. And it is platforms like Instagram, Tik Tok, YouTube that dictate trends.

At this time, this trend is unequivocal: short-form video (YouTube also recently launched YouTube Shorts, in order to compete with rival brands in this segment). According to data shared in an article by Vimeo, one of the main platforms of online video content, even the duration of each IGTV video should be ideally 2 to 5 minutes, falling into this category of short-form video.

In the case of Instagram, reels have proven to be able to generate very high interaction rates and attract and win new audiences. If you haven’t tried it, start investigating. Learn. Meet your audience. Adapt the message. The future has arrived (and it’s here to stay)!