Image credit: @theinkeylist
Short-form video has been a fundamental marketing necessity for brands in the past few years. TikTok set the stage for social entertainment, and other social platforms are now following suit and offering similar content formats, such as Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. Thus, it shouldn't be surprising that Facebook is now also leveraging short-form video content to capture its audiences' attention.
With over 100 million hours of video content being watched on Facebook every day, it's a perfect platform for engaging, entertaining, and driving conversions. As a result, brands now have an opportunity to expand their reach on the app and possibly repurpose their existing short-form video content through Facebook Reels.
Reels on Facebook were launched in February 2022 and are short-form videos (60 seconds) that serve as an entertaining tool for audiences. Up to this point, the social media landscape has been dominated by static images and text, making it increasingly challenging for social media managers to remain relevant in a constantly changing industry. However, it is clear that short-form video content is here to stay, and brands must continue to invest in this format if they want to remain competitive and capture audiences' attention.
There is no standard format for short-form video nor an existing process that can be applied cross-channel. Some things work well on Instagram but not on TikTok, and some work well on YouTube but not on Facebook. Even though short-form video is a challenging format, understanding the intricacies of every platform and what types of content work on each are even more complex. For Facebook Reels, marketers should first and foremost consider their Facebook marketing strategies and understand the goals and intent for usage as well as the audience reach before creating video content for the platform.
Due to their ownership by Meta, Facebook and Instagram Reels share some similarities but also differ fundamentally. The first difference is that Instagram Reels don't have the option to enter a URL in the caption, whereas Facebook Reels do, making it more appealing to brands who want to redirect their audiences to their websites quickly. And while you can share Instagram Reels on Facebook, you cannot do the reverse. Finally, Instagram Reels appear in the Reels section, while Facebook Reels appear at the top of the news feed—so they are likely to be seen by more people.
Now that we have covered the essence, let's dive into a step-by-step guide on how to create Facebook Reels.
When you are logged into Facebook, either click on the plus sign in the top right corner, followed by ‘Reel’, or click on the ‘Reels’ tab, followed by ‘Create Reel’. From this point, you can either add pre-recorded content or start from scratch by clicking on ‘Camera’.
When recording your own video, you can use effects like the green screen as well as upload your own photos to use as a green screen background. It is common for brands to use their logo in the background or product shots. After you have uploaded or recorded your video, you need to edit it. We'll discuss this in more detail later.
Your video can be refined and brought to life even further with an array of options available. While audiences appreciate raw and authentic footage, adding effects and music will certainly help elevate your content and make it more memorable.
You can use original audio, add a voiceover, use audio from other Reels, or search the database for the sound you need. When searching for existing audio, you’ll see an expanded browser where you can look for music by genre or theme. Pick a song you'd like to use, then choose a section for your Reel from that song. Tap ‘done’ to complete adding the piece to your Reel.
Note that when you share a Reel with original audio, your audio will be attributed to you, and if you set your audience to public, other creators can make Reels using your audio.
When you click on the Reels icon to open the camera, you can select ‘length’ on the right-hand side and set your length to 15, 30, or 60 seconds. By experimenting with different lengths, you will understand what works best for your content type and audience engagement.
To choose the speed for your Reel, click ‘speed’ and select your preferred option. The 'edit clip' screen also allows you to adjust the clip's speed to be faster or slower.
As we've discussed previously, audiences like raw footage but adding effects can undoubtedly help elevate your footage and make an impact. Incorporating effects to your Reel is as simple as clicking the 'effects' icon, where you can pick from various options.
The green screen feature allows you to add a virtual background to your videos to cover more content in less time. This is an excellent opportunity for brands and creators to demonstrate products and services and explain how to use them. You can add a green screen for additional visual context if you're short on time and want your video to cover as much information as possible.
Facebook Reels' green screen feature lets you choose a background from a selection of pre-existing scenes or photos from your camera roll. Start by tapping 'green screen,' select your image, and click 'done'.
In order to complete your Reel, you should think about having a good caption, as well as adding hashtags. Captions are supposed to be short and snappy, and they should give the viewer an idea of what they can expect from the video.
Even though hashtags may seem outdated at times, they still serve the same general purpose they did many years ago. It gives you more organic reach since viewers can find more content using the hashtag. To avoid cluttering your caption, we recommend using around 3-5.
You can also decide whether to enable remixing for your Reels, which means others can use your video in their creations.
Congratulations, you have now completed your first Facebook Reel! Simply click ‘share now’ at the bottom of your screen to finish.
It is important to remember that we live in an era of uncapped reach on social media platforms and that Facebook serves content algorithmically based on what users like instead of who they follow. This means that marketers have complete control over their creative, so analyze what is driving you the best results and experiment accordingly.
In the end, brands that use Reels should tie their strategies to a specific goal. Consider how you can engage your audience and make your content stand out from the competition, regardless of whether your goal is to entertain or promote a product.
That said, the key to success is continuously monitoring your content's performance to understand what's working and what's not and pivot when necessary. You can use Facebook insights to dive into performance analytics and create a bullet-proof strategy to make your ROI soar.
While we acknowledged that the same content on one platform might not perform as well on another, we still recommend repurposing content if you're new to Facebook Reels. In this way, you will save yourself a great deal of time while you are still trying to build out your Facebook Reels strategy, but you want to get started with building a presence right away.
When it comes to video quality, make sure to consider lighting, angles, length, sounds, the context of the video, etc. You also need to make sure to always post vertical videos for Reels.
A TikTok video that capitalizes on current trends will likely succeed quickly on the platform. You can achieve similar results with Facebook Reels by taking advantage of viral sounds and trends. Take a look at the trending videos in your industry and do your research to make sure you act fast. If your brand's content goes through multiple layers of approval before being published, ensure that your short-form video strategy includes some flexibility so that your social media managers can make decisions quickly and succeed on the platform.
The quickest way to access Reels on Facebook is to navigate to the hamburger menu on your home page. Android users will find it at the top right corner of their app, while iPhone users will find it at the bottom. Within the menu, simply click on ‘Reels’ and you will have access to Facebook Reels from there.
To view other creators’ Reels, click on the ‘reels’ tab on your home screen, and you should see a few videos at the top of your screen. By scrolling to the right, you can click on ‘See more Reels and short videos’, after which you can simply scroll to see more content.
The Facebook Reels bonus program allows content creators with more than 10,000 followers, at least five videos, and 600,000 minutes of viewership in the past 60 days to embed ads in their videos or take on Facebook Reels monetization challenges to earn money.
Additionally, Meta announced that viewers can send stars to content creators while watching their Reels. Creators receive one cent from Meta for every star they receive.
You can choose from three different settings on who can see your Reels on Facebook. The ‘Public’ option means anyone, including people not on Facebook, can see your Reel. ‘Friends’ means that only your friends on Facebook can see your Reel while ‘Friends except…’ means that your friends on Facebook, except for the friends you choose, can see your Reel.