Instagram Reels in 2024: A Simple Guide for Small Businesses

Instagram Reels are a great tool to promote your small business using the popular short-form video format. In this blog post, we take a closer look at what Instagram Reels are, how they can benefit your business, and 10 content ideas for your Reels.
Instagram Reels in 2024: A Simple Guide for Small Businesses

Instagram Reels stand out as a game-changer for social media marketing campaigns. As of 2024, these short, engaging videos are a crucial asset for businesses looking to boost their online impact.

In this blog post, we will look at what Instagram Reels are, how they can benefit small businesses, and some Reels content ideas you can use to boost your brand.

Join us as we explore the world of Instagram Reels and unveil strategies tailored for small businesses to thrive in the competitive digital space.

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels are the platform’s answer to the short-form content trend that started in 2020. This feature allows users to create engaging 15 to 30-second videos set to music, offering a dynamic and visually appealing way to express creativity.

Three mobile phones showing how Instagram Reels looks.

Designed to capture the essence of trending challenges and popular sounds, Instagram Reels provides a platform for users to showcase their talents, products, and moments in a concise and entertaining format. 

As of 2024, its role in small business promotion has become increasingly pivotal, making it an indispensable tool for cultivating brand identity and engaging with a wider audience.

Why small businesses should use Instagram Reels

Small businesses can harness the power of Instagram Reels to elevate their online presence and connect with their audience in impactful ways. 

The feature’s key attributes, such as short-form videos, trending sounds, and creative tools, provide an avenue for businesses to showcase their products and services uniquely.

Social nedia marketers' content type investment preferences chart in 2023.

In 2023, around 33% of social media marketers see short-form videos as a great format. With Reels, small businesses can also compete and stand out with this content format, fostering a more personal and authentic connection with their audience.

The dynamic and shareable nature of Reels also boosts discoverability, allowing small businesses to expand their reach and build a loyal customer base in the competitive digital landscape. 

Embracing Instagram Reels empowers small businesses to creatively express their brand narrative, fostering engagement and growth.

10 Instagram Reels ideas for small businesses

Now that we know what Instagram Reels are and how they can help your small business reach a wider audience, you need to know what type of content works best with this feature. We’ve listed 10 content ideas you can use to promote your brand using Reels.

Product showcase reel

A product showcase reel is a concise and visually engaging video that highlights the features and uses of your best-selling products, set to relevant or trendy music for added appeal.

With Instagram Reels, you can craft visually captivating videos that spotlight your best-selling products. Dive into the features, demonstrating their use in real-life scenarios.

Apple's Instagram Reel about iPhone SE.

This reel not only highlights your offerings but also creates an immersive experience for viewers, showcasing the value and uniqueness of your products. 

With Instagram Reels’ short and snappy format, you can effectively communicate the essence of your brand, enticing potential customers and fostering a memorable connection in the digital landscape.

Behind-the-scenes peek

Give your audience an insider’s view with a behind-the-scenes peek reel, offering a glimpse into the heart of your business. This type of reel lets your brand showcase the authentic and human side of its operations.

Capture day-to-day activities, introduce the faces behind the brand, and reveal the intricacies of your production process. By inviting viewers behind the curtain, you not only build transparency but also establish a personal connection with your audience. 

This approach humanizes your brand, fostering trust and resonating with potential customers who appreciate the genuine effort and passion that goes into your small business.

Revealing behind-the-scenes processes also enhances a brand’s reputation by instilling confidence in customers by demonstrating transparency.

Customer testimonials

Harness the power of social proof with a customer testimonials reel, where satisfied customers take center stage. Compile short, impactful snippets of testimonials or reviews, showcasing the positive experiences others have had with your products or services. 

Let the authentic voices of your customers become advocates for your brand. By featuring these testimonials in a reel format, you create a dynamic and engaging way for potential customers to connect with real stories of satisfaction. 

This not only builds trust but also acts as a compelling endorsement, influencing others to explore and invest in the value your small business delivers.

How-to tutorial

Demonstrate your small business’s expertise through the how-to tutorial reel, where you share concise tutorials tailored to your industry or niche. 

Whether you run a skincare boutique showcasing a quick DIY facial routine or a tech company sharing coding hacks, these short tutorials provide actionable insights. 

For example, a culinary business could share a speedy cooking tip or a recipe hack, offering valuable content while positioning itself as the authority in the culinary space. 

These engaging tutorials not only cater to your audience’s interests but also establish your brand as a knowledgeable and reliable source, fostering trust and encouraging repeat engagement.

Flashback reel

The flashback reel is a nostalgic journey through time. Ideal for businesses with a substantial timeline, this reel format creates a captivating compilation of significant moments, milestones, and memorable achievements.

From the inception of your business to noteworthy events, this trip down memory lane not only celebrates your journey but also resonates with loyal customers who have been part of your growth.

For example, a small family-run restaurant with a rich history and iconic recipes can significantly benefit from the flashback reel format. 

They can use it to showcase the evolution of signature dishes, memorable events, and the multi-generational culinary journey, creating an emotional connection with patrons and attracting new customers who appreciate the restaurant’s heritage and authenticity.

Whether showcasing the evolution of products, storefronts, or team dynamics, the flashback reel is a compelling storytelling tool that adds depth to your brand narrative, fostering a sense of connection with both new and longtime customers.

Employee spotlight

Bring the human touch to your small business with the employee spotlight reel, an engaging showcase of the talented individuals behind the scenes. Introduce team members individually in a creative and lighthearted manner. 

Share insights into their roles, hobbies, or unique traits that make them an integral part of your business family. Another idea you can try is to create comedy skits with recurring characters who can act as the face of your brand in the reel scene.

This reel not only humanizes your brand but also builds a personal connection with your audience. 

By highlighting the personalities driving your business, you not only showcase the diversity and expertise within your team but also foster a sense of familiarity and trust with your customers, reinforcing the human side of your brand.

Interactive polls and Q&A

Elevate audience participation with the Interactive Polls and Q&A reel, a dynamic approach to connecting with your community. Utilize engaging features like polls, quizzes, or Q&A sessions to encourage viewers to actively participate. 

For example, a fashion boutique might use polls to gather opinions on upcoming designs, or a tech startup could conduct a Q&A session to address customer queries. 

By involving your audience directly in your content, you not only gain valuable insights but also create a sense of inclusivity. 

This interactive reel format strengthens the bond between your small business and its community, turning passive viewers into active participants in your brand journey.

Product comparison reel

Guide your customers towards informed decisions with the product comparison reel, a visually captivating tool to highlight the unique features of different offerings. Showcase your products or services side by side, emphasizing key distinctions. 

For example, a tech retailer could use this reel to compare the specifications of two smartphones, helping customers make informed choices based on their preferences. 

By presenting information in a dynamic format, you not only simplify the decision-making process for your audience but also create visually appealing content that stands out. 

The Product Comparison Reel transforms mundane comparisons into an engaging experience, empowering customers to select the best-fit solution for their needs.

Seasonal or holiday-themed reel

Infuse your small business with seasonal charm through the seasonal or holiday-themed reel. Tailor content around holidays or seasons relevant to your business and local community. 

Whether it’s a cozy winter promotion for a coffee shop or a vibrant summer showcase for a fashion boutique, incorporate festive elements that resonate with your audience.

Coca-Cola's Christmas Instagram Reel.

This reel not only adds a touch of celebration but also strategically attracts attention during specific times of the year. 

By aligning with the rhythms of the calendar, you can create a year-round impact, staying top-of-mind and fostering a sense of connection by celebrating special moments with your audience.

Challenge or contest reel

Elevate engagement and excitement by launching a challenge or contest reel, turning your audience into active participants. Initiate a lively challenge or contest related to your products or services, encouraging users to showcase their creativity. 

Whether it’s a photo contest for a fashion brand or a recipe challenge for a food business, feature the vibrant entries in your reel. This not only boosts user participation but also creates a sense of community around your brand. 

By turning your audience into contributors, the challenge or contest reel becomes a powerful tool to enhance brand loyalty, foster creativity, and fuel the energetic spirit of your small business.

How to leverage Instagram Reels for small businesses

Optimizing your Instagram Reels for effective marketing involves strategic planning. To make a lasting impact in the competitive social media landscape, here are five key strategies to consider:

  • Attention-Grabbing Start: To halt viewers from scrolling past your reels, develop a compelling beginning with striking visuals, intriguing captions, or engaging snippets. This quick hook, aligned with your reel’s theme, captivates the audience, encouraging them to pause, engage, and continue watching.
  • Strategic Use of Hashtags: Research and employ relevant hashtags to enhance the discoverability of your reels. Incorporate a mix of popular and niche hashtags related to your industry, ensuring your content reaches a broader audience interested in your niche.
  • Consistent Branding: Maintain a consistent brand image across your reels by using your brand colors, logo, and visual style. Consistency builds brand recognition and reinforces your business identity in the minds of your audience.
  • Engaging Descriptions: Craft concise yet compelling captions that complement your reels. Use engaging language, emojis, and calls-to-action to prompt interaction. Encourage viewers to like, comment, and share, boosting your content’s visibility.
  • Optimal Posting Times: Analyze your audience insights to identify peak engagement times. Schedule your reels to go live during these periods to maximize visibility and interaction. Consistent posting during optimal times enhances your content’s chances of appearing on users’ feeds and the Explore page, amplifying its reach.
  • Embed Your Reels on Your Website: With plugins like Spotlight, you can add your Instagram content to your WordPress website. This lets you reach a wider audience and provide a more centralized content hub for your potential customers.
Spotlight website homepage.

Embedding Instagram Reels on your website with Spotlight is an easy process. You don’t need to worry about complicated coding since the plugin will handle all the technical steps for you.

Spotlight also lets you customize the look of your Instagram feed, making it more unique and allowing your Instagram content to fit seamlessly with your overall website design.


After this deep dive into what Instagram Reels have to offer, it’s clear that this feature offers many opportunities for growth and engagement, especially for small businesses.

By embracing the strategies outlined in this guide, from showcasing products to running contests and optimizing content, small business owners can harness the full potential of Instagram Reels.

As you embark on your Instagram Reels journey, remember to stay authentic, experiment with different ideas, and consistently engage with your audience. 

The world of short-form video content awaits, and by weaving your unique narrative into each Reel, your small business can thrive and leave a lasting impression on your potential customers.

Can Spotlight help you and your team revamp your website? We'd love to help you find out. Why not give Spotlight a try?

Article by

Prasasti Agung

Pras is a professional content writer who loves learning new things. With his experience in digital marketing and WordPress, he aims to create more informative articles and share his knowledge with wider audiences.

Article by

Picture of Prasasti Agung

Prasasti Agung

Pras is a professional content writer who loves learning new things. With his experience in digital marketing and WordPress, he aims to create more informative articles and share his knowledge with wider audiences.
Picture of Prasasti Agung

Prasasti Agung

Pras is a professional content writer who loves learning new things. With his experience in digital marketing and WordPress, he aims to create more informative articles and share his knowledge with wider audiences.
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