A Teacher Seller’s Guide to Instagram Reels

Grow with Angie and April: A Podcast for Teacherpreneurs
Grow with Angie and April: A Podcast for Teacherpreneurs
A Teacher Seller's Guide to Instagram Reels

In this episode, Angie and April speak with Katie and Chynell from Routine Your Reels to help teacher sellers navigate how to use Instagram Reels in their marketing. Join in on the conversation in the mastermind group at www.growwithusmastermind.com.

We’re excited to have a couple guests on the podcast with us to dive into another one of those topics that push us out of our comfort zones—Instagram Reels. Chynell and Katie built the Routine Your Reels membership program. I was part of the beta group and am excited to share this resource with other TpTers.

Katie Brockmeyer is a photographer and videographer for teacher sellers. Chynelle Moore is a marketing strategist and business coach for “teachers turned accidental entrepreneurs” at Routine Your Dream. The two met on Instagram and eventually created the membership program Routine Your Reels. As they were learning Reels, they knew they wanted to help make it easier for teacher sellers.

The Basics of Instagram Reels

Reels is the new kid on the Instagram block. Regular posts are the OG of Instagram and still work for engaging those in your audience that don’t enjoy video content. Stories are great for engaging and nurturing your existing followers. Reels have quickly become the new way of reaching new people on the platform and growing your audience.

Unlike Instagram Video (formerly known as IGTV), Reels are designed to be super quick videos. The ideal length of a Reel is just 7-15 seconds. While they can be as long as 60 seconds, knowing the shorter ones perform bests is a great reason to remove some of the pressure from yourself by keeping it short.

Katie and Chynell love them because you don’t have to dive into full production mode the way you do for YouTube videos. Instead, it’s short-form video marketing that is easy to produce.

What Content Performs Best on Reels?

You’re probably familiar with the dancing, finger-pointing type of Reel. While many of the Reels we see on the platform have more of an entertainment feel, they don’t have to be just for entertainment. You can also use them for marketing your products and building trust with your followers.

Your Reels can be used to share your expertise on something. Or you can use it to share a quick tip or two on a problem your niche market faces. You can bust common misconceptions your niche audience has. It’s important to remember what information is helpful to your market. It doesn’t have to be dancing and pointing. You can also just turn on your camera and start talking.

While you can use your Reels to showcase your products, Katie and Chynell have found the ones that perform best are the ones that show your face. Consumers don’t always want to see you marketing your products. Instead, they want to know who the person is behind the products. Showing your face on your Reels allows people to connect with you, so they’ll want to connect with your products. It helps build that trust factor.

As a TpT seller, the goal is to reach the target market. Your goal isn’t to go viral and get two million views. So, it’s OK if you’re not going to do something crazy. Focus on who you’re trying to attract instead of worrying too much about what it takes to go viral.

Can I Repurpose My TikTok or YouTube Videos?

Yes and no. When Reels first came out, there were a lot of videos that even had the TikTok watermark on them, but things are changing. When it comes to your return on investment, you’re going to be better off creating videos specifically for Reels.

The people who have the most success are the ones that record within Instagram itself. The platform has figured out a way to differentiate between the videos filmed on their app verse the uploaded ones. As a result, you will get better reach when using Instagram to create your Reels.

It’s also important to note that Reels are very much about what is trending on the platform at that time. What’s trending on Instagram tends to be about 2-4 weeks behind TikTok, and sometimes it’s even longer. Using the trending sounds helps increase your exposure.

With that said, if you are going to repurpose a YouTube video, try to make it look as native to the app as possible. For example, if you film your video horizontally, you don’t want it to show up with the black bar on the top and bottom of your video since Instagram Reels are verticle.

But keep in mind that you’re not creating your videos specific for Reels, you’re likely not getting maximum exposure.

Does SEO Play a Role in Instagram Reels?

Katie and Chynell shared that within the last six months, Instagram has been really helpful in teaching people how to succeed on the platform. It’s no longer as much of a guessing game. SEO does play a role. They encourage you to use your SEO keywords within your captions and your hashtags.

You also want to include all of the hashtags you’re using within the caption now instead of putting some in the comments.

How Do I Find and Choose Sound for Reels?

Watching Reels is one of the best ways to see what types of sound you should be choosing for your own. Chynell and Katie shared the people who struggle the most with creating Reels are those who aren’t on the consumer side of them.

Reels follow the “what’s working right now” trends. Therefore, your Reels will perform better if you use the trending sounds.

When watching a Reel, look at the bottom for a diagonal arrow next to the audio. This indicates that it’s a trending sound. Sticking with the trends will give you the biggest bang for your buck. But you never know how long a sound will trend for, so if you’re trying to collect and save ideas so you can batch your work, make sure you’re keeping your eyes on the current trends as they change.

Remember, it’s OK to go outside the teacher niche to get ideas.

Do I Need to Use Subtitles on Reels?

Viewers are deciding within the first three seconds of your Reel if they are going to continue watching or not. This is why using the bubble subtitles helps. You can lipsync one thing in the video and share different information in the subtitles.

Are There Any Apps to Help Create Reels?

Katie and Chynell have found you really only need Instagram, especially because the platform wants you to be creating native content. However, they found InShot to be a helpful video editor for those times when they needed to use something outside of Instagram. It has the ability to crop, edit, and split videos.

There are other apps you can use that include cool transitions and filters, but you don’t need them. They recommend that you use a phone stand, which you can get pretty cheap on Amazon. This allows you to set the timer when filming in Instagram and have your hands free for the video.

How Often You Should Post Reels on Instagram

Chynell and Katie have found it realistic for people to start out posting one or two Reels per week. However, if you’re still teaching in the classroom, it may be best to work on doing one a week consistently.

Once you’re posting consistently and getting the hang of it, you can see how it’s going. If it’s doing well, you can really start to lean into it.

What If My Reel Flops?

If you post a Reel and feel like it’s a complete flop, don’t delete it. Surprisingly, Reels have the longest lifespan of content on Instagram. It will continue to get pushed out to people even weeks after you published it. You may find that you start to get likes on it weeks later.

Are Regular Instagram Posts and Stories Still Relevant?

There is a purpose for all of the different types of content on Instagram. Some people prefer scrolling through original posts. Stories are great for helping engage and interact with you throughout the day. And there are always going to be people who want to listen to your longer videos. So there is still a place for all those types of content.

However, it’s important to know that with the shift Instagram has made, you’re not going to get the same kind of views with those forms of content as you will if you consistently post Reels.

Routine Your Reels

If you’re interested in getting help in your Instagram Reels journey, you can join the waitlist for Routine Your Reels with Katie and Chynell. They provide weekly templates, captions, and audio you can use to take the stress and overwhelm out of creating Reels. You can also connect with Katie on Instagram at Katie Brockmeyer Creative and Chynell at Routine Your Dream Podcast.

We invite you to continue the conversation on best practices for Instagram Reels with us in the Grow With Us Mindset Group.