Not many churches are using Instagram Reels yet to its full potential or at all.
It’s still new-ish, Instagram Reels has been sweeping the Instagram world for almost a year now.
But Instagram Reels are definitely here to stay and only going to become a more popular way to consume content.
My opinion? The power of Reels is amazing and churches need to get on it.
And dare I say, it’s more important than TikTok.
This post is all about the what, how and why of Instagram Reels so you and your church can feel confident about getting started or turning the Instagram Reels heat up a notch.
Share this post with your Communications Team or anyone you need to convince in your church to start using Instagram Reels.
Let’s get into it.
What Are Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels are a way to create short form video content right from the Instagram app.
Of course, it is Instagram’s response to TikTok.
If you haven’t noticed, the Reels tab is front and center on Instagram. You can swipe up to view Reels and they get a lot of real estate on the Instagram Explore page.
It is possible that Instagram Reels will have a much higher chance of success than TikTok because more people are familiar with Instagram, it has a central placement in the Instagram user interface, and it functions like the Instagram Explore page versus like the Instagram Feed (more on that later).
The way Instagram Reels are designed, according to Instagram, is to entertain you.
Which brings me to a list of how the Instagram Algorithm for Reels works.
How Does the Instagram Algorithm Rank Reels
These are the factors the Instagram Algorithm for Reels is looking at:
- How likely you are to watch a Reel all the way through
- Is it entertaining or funny
- Did you go to the audio page (this shows you may want to make your own!)
- What Reels you’ve interacted with in the past (liked, commented, shared, saved)
- Popularity of the person who posted
Now that you know what Instagram Reels are, let’s talk about why churches should be making them every week.
Why Churches Should Create Instagram Reels Every Week
Reels, more than any other Instagram feature, will help you reach new people with your content.
This is because, just like Instagram Explore, the majority of what you will see is from accounts you don’t yet follow.
Because of this, Reels is the best way for reaching new people on Instagram.
Your Reels will still be shown to your current followers as well, but the key is that purpose is not primarily for current followers. Keep that in mind, when choosing what to create Reels about.
If you want to attempt to reach new people, you need to start using Instagram Reels at your church..
That being said, IGTV, Stories, Feed Posts, and Videos will mostly be seen by your current followers. Make your content accordingly.
This is still only the beginning of Instagram Reels.
Competition is still low and Instagram is giving Reels an extra push.
Instagram is getting feedback from people on what types of Reels are entertainng and funny to them and they are keeping a pulse on how Reels is working specifically for “smaller creators”, which is interesting. Churches would fall into that category.
If you want to reach new people who may come to your church in the future Instagram Reels is the way to go.
Next up, how do you use it, what to do, what not to do and best practices.
How to Use Instagram Reels the Right Way
Here is everything you need to know, summed up in a few short lists.
The Reels Algorithm Favors Reels That:
- Are entertaining and fun
- Start a trend that others can participate in
- Uses vertical video
- Uses music
Instagram Does Not Favor Reels That:
- Are blurry and have low resolution
- Are uploaded with a border around them
- Has a watermark (aka from TikTok or other apps)
Tips for Your Instagram Reels to Get Discovered
- Keep your Reels short between 7-9 seconds so people are more likely to watch them
- Include a surprise at the end that makes them want to watch again
- Use transitions to keep people engaged
- Ask a question in your caption to get comments
- Make sure your first clip and cover includes compelling text
- Share your Reels in your Stories and Feed every time
- Use popular audio because people are more likely to visit the “audio page” from your Reel and Instagram is looking to see how many people click your audio to view more Reels
- Talk fast and use short clips to keep people’s attention
3 Types of Content to Try on Instagram Reels:
- Educational content: Teach your community about the bible, relevant topics or different church ministries
- Entertaining Content: Be lighthearted and make them laugh about common church trends
- A mix of both: Create an entertaining Reel and give some great education in the caption
Instagram Reels is a huge opportunity to reach more people on Instagram for Jesus.
If you say you want to be reaching more people on Instagram, you need to be trying out Reels every single week, no questions asked.
Start training your social media teams to create Instagram Reels because they are here to stay and will only get more popular.
If you need some Reels ideas to get started, head on over to this post 12 Instagram Reels Ideas for Churches.
And tag #churchfluence and #churchreels on your favorite posts so I can share them for inspiration.