New Update: If you landed here looking for Reels ideas for artists, here’s a new article featuring 101 Short Video Ideas for Artists and 5 Bonus art challenge ideas.
Now, Back to the original Article about Instagram Reels:
Ugh. It’s happened again. You’ve invested a ton of time and effort into making your Instagram art feed beautiful, but your organic growth stalls. It feels like Instagram fell asleep. Wondering how to wake up your Instagram?
The best way to use Instagram to promote your art is to use Instagram’s newest features. When Instagram introduces a new service, they send loads of free organic traffic to early adopters. In 2020, that feature is Instagram Reels.
This article will explain: 1) what Instagram Reels is; 2) how to use the Instagram Reels feature; and 3) provide 11 Content Ideas that will specifically help artists promote their art on Instagram Reels in 2020.
What is Instagram Reels?
Reels is a new Instagram feature that is a “must” for any artist serious about using Instagram to promote their art. Why? Instagram is known for rewarding early adopters of their new features by boosting traffic. Artists who take advantage of new features will likely receive a bump in their following, as well as lots of new eyes on their work.
If you are already a fan of TikTok, you already know how to use Instagram’s new feature. For the rest of us, here’s a brief overview:
The Reel feature is a new way to create short videos to share with your Instagram feed. Similar to TikTok, you record and edit 15-second video clips. The clips are then strung together into a short video in which you can add audio, music, visual effects, and other creative tools.
Once you share your Reels on your feed, you also can make them available to a wider Instagram community through a new space on the explore page. This is the beauty of Reels! It offers artists the chance to reach new audiences on a global stage.
How to use the Reels Feature
Select Reels at the bottom of the Instagram camera. You’ll see a variety of creative editing tools on the left side of your screen to help create your reel, including:
- Audio: you can use your own audio by recording a reel with it, but you can also use a song from the Instagram music library. Your audio will be attributed to you, and if you have a public account, people can create reels with your audio by selecting “Use Audio” from your reel.
- AR Effects: Select one of the many effects from the Instagram effect gallery. You can record multiple clips with different effects.
- Timer and Countdown: You can set the timer to record any of your clips hands-free. Once you press record, you’ll see a 3-2-1 countdown, before recording begins for the amount of time you selected.
- Align: Line up objects from your previous clip before recording your next to help create seamless transitions.
- Speed: Choose to speed up or slow down part of the video or audio you selected. This can help you stay on a beat or make slow-motion videos.
Reels can be recorded in a series of clips (one at a time), all at once, or using video uploads from your gallery. Record the first clip by pressing and holding the capture button. You’ll see a progress indicator at the top of the screen as you record. Stop recording to end each clip.
You can share Reels in Several Ways:
If you have a Public Account:
- You can share your reel to a dedicated space in Explore, where it has the chance to be seen and discovered by the wider Instagram community.
- You can also share your reel with your followers by posting it to your Feed.
- When you share reels featuring certain songs, hashtags, or effects, your reel may also appear on dedicated pages when someone clicks on that song, hashtag, or effect.
If you have a Private Account your Reels will also be private.
Once your reel is ready, move to the share screen, where you can save a draft of your reel, change the cover image, add a caption and hashtags, and tag your friends.
After you share your reel, it will live on a separate Reels tab on your profile, where people can find the reels you’ve shared. If you also share to your Feed, your reel will appear on your main profile grid, though you have the option to remove it.
Whether you have a public or private account, you can share your reel to your Story, close friends, or in a direct message. If you do so, your reel will behave like a regular Story — it will not be shared to Reels in Explore, it will not appear on your profile, and it will disappear after 24 hours.
11 Content Ideas For Artists That will Help Promote their Art on Instagram in 2020
Now that we know what Reels is, and how to use it, here are 11 ideas to get artists started in using this new feature:
1. Show a step-by-step of the process you use to create an aspect of your art. Create short video clips that zoom in on the details of your process. For example, if you are a painter, create clips of mixing paint on your pallet, choosing a brush, dipping the brush into your paint, and pulling a stroke.
2. Give small tours of your creative space. Include your workbench or tabletops, your tools, supplies, and materials. People love to see artist studios, so share as much or as little as you like.
3. Create a reel of your process following a sale. Do you write a thank note? How do you wrap and package your art? Where do you take your packages?
4. Show off your inspirations. Your inspirations and source material are perfect for reels. Is your work inspired by nature? Make a reel on your next hike. You get the idea … make some reels of the subjects, textures and moods that inspire your artwork.
5. Show a studio clean up. Start with a messy studio and show each area off again as it has been cleaned. You could also show how you clean your tools and put them away.
6. Introduce your followers to your studio mates. Do you share a studio with a human, cat, dog or turtle? Who or what keeps you company when you’re working?
7. Show us how to install your work. If it hangs on a wall, how? What hardware does it come with? If it sits on a table top, does it come with a stand? Does it have to be assembled?
8. Show off your design process. Do you take notes or make preliminary sketches? Do you make to-do lists?
9. Do a art journal/sketchbook flip through. It’s okay if the information in your journals is private and off limits. But if you’re open to it, people are fascinated with art journal and sketchbook flip throughs. You can use the various clips to show only the parts you’re comfortable with.
10. Make reels of art-related outings. Think short clips of art shows, museum shows, or even the murals in your town. They can all add up to a day in the life of an artist.
11. And of course … your art! Reels are a great way to show your art on the wall along with clips of the details of your work. Zoom in and really show your followers all that is in your art, then zoom out to show what it looks like when you stand back.
Reels is Instagram’s newest feature that strings together short videos in an entertaining way. Because Instagram rewards users that adopt their newest features with extra traffic, creating some reels is an opportunity to pick up new followers. But, don’t forget to utilize all that Instagram has to offer.