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6 Tips for Creating Fantastic Instagram Reels (+3 Cool Transition Tutorials)

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Want to create Instagram Reels that hit the mark? Stay on brand and raise engagement by following these 6 tips for creating fantastic Instagram Reels. This article will help you discover the tricks and tools that can make you reel-famous. Plus, don’t miss the 3 uber-cool transition tutorials at the end.

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The Instagram Reels tools you need to master

Length

Select whether you want your reel to last 15 seconds or 30 seconds. Yes, reels are short, so make every second count!

Audio

If Instagram’s feed is ruled by visuals, Reels is driven by audio — literally. It’s the audio that makes Reels so addictive, engaging, and fun.

With the audio tool, you can scroll through a huge library of songs or audio bites recorded by others. Choose your favourite and then select the 15 or 30 seconds you want to feature in your video. Just make sure you perfectly sync the audio with your moves or lips. 

create Instagram reels with audio

If you’re a high-roller and believe you have an original sound that could go viral, go ahead and record your own. Once you share your reel, the audio will link back to you, enabling others to use it, thus offering you more exposure. 

Speed

Slow-motion or fast forward visuals? Choose the speed that will make your message pop, or will support your creative concept. Adjust it and make sure to also modify the audio you selected, if needed. Remember, staying on beat is everything on Instagram Reels.

choose your speed to create Instagram reels

Effects

Instagram Reels has a cool gallery of effects that includes creations from both Instagram and creators worldwide. 

Choose your effects wisely, and use them to make your message unforgettable. You can select among several overlays and AR effects, but only use those that can add value to your reel.

effects gallery to create Instagram Reels

Timer

The timer tool is essential if you’re a one-person show. Hit the timer button and get ready, because in three seconds the recording will start. Depending on the amount of time you selected, you’ll have 15 or 30 seconds to record your reel and dance, sing, lip-sync, or act.

Touch Up

The latest feature introduced to Reels acts like a cosmetic filter on your videos. You can adjust the amount (from 1 to 100) you’d like to apply. In essence, the touch-up tool will make the skin appear smoother. 

Given the trends that promise to dominate 2021, we don’t recommend you use this feature. We’re all for embracing natural, real, authentic beauty. 

Align Tool

The align tool takes the last frame from your previous clip and applies it as an overlay over your video, with guiding purposes. This trick helps you create seamless transitions for changing clothes, locations, people, and make cuts invisible to viewers. It’s the tool we love most and, honestly, the reason why reels are so entertaining!

6 tips to create Instagram Reels that engage

1. Script your reel

The number one tip for creating Instagram Reels that users love is “don’t wing it”. 

Just like the rest of the content you post on Instagram, each reel should be part of a larger strategy. Instagram Reels should serve a well-defined purpose and help you reach a wider audience. 

For that, you must plan in advance. How? Prepare an Instagram Reels calendar and tie each reel’s message in the bigger narrative of your other content forms (feed posts and stories). 

Then, brainstorm specific video concepts and create a mini-script for each reel. This way, you’ll have a full picture on your Instagram efforts, increasing your chances of winning more followers. 

2. Use other users’ original audio 

Original audio from other users can help you mix things around and come up with fresh ideas. If you’ve scrolled around Instagram Reels, you’ve probably noticed a couple of favourite songs on rotation. While riding trends can be beneficial, taking risks can prove even more useful.

Don’t be afraid to discover original audio that’s a bit “out there”. Search for and save your favourite original sounds and be ready to incorporate them in your videos. Scrolling through these might even help you get new ideas for original reels.

3. Prepare your set-up 

After you have a script and you’ve selected your preferred audio, it’s time to get the set-up ready (or plan your set-ups, if you have more than one).

Think about whether or not props would help you emphasize your message, and make sure to have them at hand.

Decide on your wardrobe (yes, you’re a mini-movie star) and how certain clothing pieces can help you support the concept of your video.

Film your reel in a well-lit room that’s appropriate for the message of your Instagram Reel. To make sure your video is top-notch quality, we recommend you invest in a selfie ring with a tripod stand. 

4. Get creative with your transitions

Looking for creative ways to make your Instagram Reels stand out? Then you should learn how to master transitions.

create Instagram reels with transitions

There are various transitions you can create, depending on the concept of your video. Some of the most popular transitions to use are the snap and cut/jump ones. To make these, you need to master two simple tools: the timer and the align tool.

For example, suppose you want to create a series of jump transitions to change from one outfit to another. In that case, you’ll need to piece together several videos. To do this, you’ll need to select the timing for each frame before recording. You’ll also have to use the align tool to make sure you start from the exact position each time you record. 

After all, you want perfect transitions.

5. Practice, practice, practice, publish

Don’t expect to get your recording right from the first time. Instead, take your time to practice your script without even recording. Once you have all your moves figured out, you’re good to go!

Try it once, try it twice, try it as many times until you have a reel you’re really proud of. 

That’s not to say you should over-edit or add effects that might smother authenticity. Keep it real, but professional.

And hit publish.

6. Pull a screengrab as a cover

Since authenticity is a big trend for Instagram’s aesthetic in 2021, we recommend you keep your Instagram Reels cover as unedited as possible.

If you decide to share your reel as a post, pull a screen grab from your video that visually matches your feed’s aesthetics.

Instagram Reels transition tutorials

Transitions are one of the coolest aspects of Instagram Reels. Master them, and you’ll definitely stand out. Here are our favourite tutorials on how to achieve the most amazing, seamless transitions:

1. All about the align tool and transitions

The align feature is Instagram Reel’s magic tool. Master it and you’ll create the best Instagram Reels transitions.

2. Use objects and motions to create transitions

Want to seamlessly cut from one object to another and change location? Then this is the tutorial for you.

3. Learn transitions from a pro

Learn the art of transitions beyond Instagram Reels and then apply it!

Ready to create epic Instagram Reels?

Now you know every tip and trick you need to create fabulous Instagram Reels. So get to it! We’re curious to see your results so don’t forget to share.

Ilona Iftode

Ilona Iftode is a copywriter with a taste for adventure. She lives to write, travel and explore new concepts in the realms of advertising, marketing, SEO and beyond.

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