Creating the perfect Instagram Reel can be boiled down to a science. There are elements, Instagram features, video editing techniques, and more that can help turn your idea into an engaging Reel. The exact order in which you combine those ingredients is up to you, but in this article we’ll provide you with 19 amazing Instagram Reels ideas to steal.
So, whether it’s using the green screen effect or sharing a time lapse video, there's always a new idea you can try out for yourself to help connect your followers to the heart of your brand.
- Create a Reel using the dual camera feature
- Create a Reel from a template
- Add a shoppable product tag
- Use the "Add Yours" feature
- Add filters to your Reels
- Showcase behind-the-scenes footage
- Give a sneak peek of your product launch
- Jump on a trend
- Share how-to tutorials
- Post user-generated content
- Create TikTok style content
- Highlight your brand values
- Run a social media contest
- Promote an event
- Share industry knowledge to a new audience
- Share Reels about an upcoming holiday
- Answer common questions
- Show a before and after
- Create listicle video content
Let’s take a closer look at each idea and examples for each.
19 Instagram Reels Ideas for Your Brand or Creator Account
1. Use the Dual Camera Feature
The dual camera feature pioneered by BeReal has made its way over to Instagram Stories and Reels. It’s a great way to record something interesting and your reaction to it at the same time.
For example, you can create dual camera, vlog-style content by filming what’s happening in front of you and talking about it with the front cam. You could also use for a walk-through tour of your brick-and-mortar storefront, to share behind-the-scenes footage, or walk through a renovation project you’ve completed.
There are nearly endless Instagram Reels ideas you can come up with using the dual camera feature.
2. Use Reels Templates
You can find various templates on Instagram to highlight pictures and videos in an engaging way. For example, a photographer might use a template that transforms multiple pictures from black and white to color to showcase their newest photos. To find a Reels template you want to use, simply scroll through the Reels feed on Instagram and look for the "Use template" button.
Tapping on it will take you right into the template to begin editing with your own photos and videos.
Some templates have replaceable text you can add to give your Reels titles. Other templates have multiple edits in them so you can create a more captivating video with an easier editing style. Often, these templates use trending Reels audio, so using them is not only a quick way to create an engaging video, it’s also a good way to boost your video’s reach.
Take this Reel, for example, that uses a popular template to share images from a vacation:
3. Add Shoppable Product Tags
You can monetize your Instagram Reels by adding a shoppable product tag to your content to promote your products. Online stores can capitalize on the products featured in their Reels to help them generate more sales for their products. Whether you're doing a catwalk style Reel with several fashion items or highlighting a new unique product, you can tag the products in your Reels, making it easy for viewers to shop right from the Instagram app.
Here's what product tags look like on Reels in this example from Lulus:
4. Use the "Add Yours" Feature
The Add Yours setting under Instagram Reels can be a great way to spark some engagement on your posts. If you see an "Add Yours" icon that's relevant to your brand, sharing it can be a great way to get more exposure from a relevant post while engaging with an Instagram feature. For example, a beer company might use "Show me your last beer pic" whereas an influencer might share an "April dump" to highlight all their photos and videos from the previous month.
Bonus Tip: To boost engagement, these are the best times to post Instagram Reels.
5. Add Filters to Your Reels
Within Instagram Reels, you'll find dozens of filters you can use that'll enhance or even completely change your face or surroundings. You can find color shift filters that change how warm or cool your video looks, filters that add sparkles, and AI filters that can drastically alter the look of your face. If you're concerned about your privacy, there are filters that will create an animated face mapped over yours, which can be a great way to protect your identity online. Alternatively, you can find filters that make illustrations or add animations to your content, like the "age guessing" filter in this example:
Using filters like these can be a playful way to spice up your Instagram Reels.
6. Share Behind-the-Scenes Footage
A great Instagram Reels idea for brands and small businesses is sharing behind the scenes footage of what life is like for your company or yourself. People love getting an inside look on what people do on an average day. What activities does your company do that stand out? Do you have any team rituals that are worth sharing with others? Are there any cool company perks you can highlight in your walk through, which can help with recruitment efforts?
Behind the scenes footage really helps people get to know a brand or creator more personally because seeing someone's day to day is more realistic than just their highlight reel. Show the reality of what life is like to help people build more rapport with your personal or business brand. You can also use some of the footage to create a year in review video that shows everything cool thing you've done this year.
Here's a fun example of behind-the-scenes footage from the filming of this iconic scene from Spider Man with Kirsten Dunst:
7. Announce a Product Launch
An Instagram Reel could be a really fun and exciting way to build anticipation for a product launch. Businesses launching new products or adding new features to an existing product can create a captivating sneak peek video highlighting the product.
If you're promoting physical products, like clothing, you can have someone modeling the products or creating different style combinations with a specific outfit. You can also take the time to demo how to use the product, if it has unique features that wouldn't be immediately apparent from a picture. That's the beauty of video, after all. CLUSE demonstrates their new reversible backpack in this Reel:
If you're selling digital products, you can create Reels highlighting some of the features while providing an educational Reel. No one wants to hear a sales pitch, so finding a way to organically show the value of your new product is key.
8. Jump on a Trend
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a TikTok trend that has gone viral must become an Instagram Reels trend (usually two or more weeks after it’s made the rounds on TikTok).
There's always a new audio clip or video style you can emulate that'll help you achieve virality for your IG Reels too. The creative process of coming up with unique ideas can be a challenge; hopping on trends is one way to help with creative burnout. After all, learning from people who are already succeeding online is a great way to build your Instagram account. So, take the time to spend an hour scrolling through your feed for creative Instagram Reels ideas, because there's plenty out there. Then, work through the steps of the content to help you achieve a similar tone or look for your own Reels.
And no, this doesn't mean you have to learn a TikTok dance. Sometimes the trend is just incorporating a specific audio or meme, like in this example:
9. Share How-To Tutorials
People often turn to Instagram Reels to learn new skills, tips, and tricks. There are countless videos on things I wish I learned earlier, life hacks, and expert tips that you can create to further educate your audience while making impactful Reels. Social media posts that help educate people are a great way to provide value and get people to follow and engage with your content.
This can be as simple as a tutorial, like in this video where the owner of the company shares how to use one of their products in a sweet, straightforward video:
As a brand, how-to Instagram Reels can be an effective way to build rapport with your Instagram audience. Why? Because you’re providing value for free before making a sales pitch, which earns your audience’s trust and makes them more likely to stick around. Generate engagement for your comments section and source ideas for future educational content by asking a question at the end of your Reel or encouraging people to ask their own questions in the comments.
Another great source for educational content is your company’s blog. It’s easy to repurpose your blog posts as Instagram Reels. Have your team's social media manager connect with the content team to come up with Instagram Reels ideas.
10. Post User Generated Content
If filling up an entire content calendar on your own seems like way too much work for your small team, you can also post user-generated content for your IG Reels, especially if you don't know how to create Instagram Reels.
When you leverage Instagram Reels that other content creators produce that feature your products or highlight your business, you’re boosting brand perception through social proof. Re-sharing other people's content is permitted on Instagram, but remember to tag the source for credit, like Gymshark does in this video they reposted:
You can also use the Reels Remix feature to share another user’s Reel with your own clip after.
For UGC, that clip could be as simple as an end card saying thanks for the shout out.
Another way to source UGC is by reaching out to users, influencers, and content creators to make user-generated content for you so you can create more Instagram Reels with ease. By putting the content creation in someone else's hands, you'll find that you'll get more unique ideas for your videos so you can really leverage Instagram Reels to its full potential.
11. Create TikTok Style Content
While TikTok and Instagram are different platforms, things that go viral on TikTok usually also perform well on Instagram. If you're looking for a unique Instagram Reels idea, spending some time on TikTok to see what content appears in your feed and is getting high levels of engagement can be something worth emulating for your Instagram account.
When creating an Instagram Reel based off of TikTok videos, don't copy the video verbatim. Instead, look at the general themes of the video, such as what audio clips they use, how they edit the video, and what the Reels format would be.
Want even more inspo? Go to TikTok's Instagram account (yes, they have one) and see what they're doing:
Well, they're mostly telling you to go to TikTok, but still.
Bonus tip: Another TikTok trend that you should absolutely bring to Instagram is adding captions to your Reels. Subtitles help with engagement, reach, and accessibility!
12. Highlight Your Brand Values
As a brand, you'll want to reinforce your brand values for your Instagram Stories and Reels. However, that doesn't mean you're just going to straight up make a video about what your brand values are. That can be a bit too boring for a platform with as much creativity as Instagram. So, instead, you'll want to tie in your brand values in an engaging way.
You might show clips of the charity work you're doing behind the scenes. Or you might show how your products are made ethically. Tie in your values by highlighting how your product is made, what organizations you support, how you support your employees, etc., to educate people on what your brand values are without explicitly making a video stating those values.
Ben & Jerry's is pretty well-known for taking strong stances online on issues like climate change, racial inequality, and LGBTQ+ matters:
13. Run a Social Media Contest
When trying to decide which Instagram Reels ideas are right for your business, consider one that ties into other marketing campaigns like running a social media contest.
You can host a giveaway or contest via Instagram Reels to help build more engagement on your content. You can ask people to tag their friends in the comments or share via DMs to their friends. In your Instagram Reel you can share what you'll be giving away to build excitement around the product, like Liquid IV does in this example:
You can also share some of the contest or giveaway rules in the quick video clip or in the caption so that people clearly know what they have to do to win the amazing prize package you plan on giving away. This is one of those creative Instagram Reels ideas that can build excitement for your followers depending on how you present this news to them.
14. Promote an Event
Use Instagram Reels to promote their upcoming events. For example, if you're hosting an upcoming advertising conference, you can create Instagram Reels with clips from some of your keynote speakers, or offer sneak peeks into who your speaker lineup will be.
Rare Beauty promoted their Mental Health Summit with videos from each of their featured speakers leading up to the event, like this one from fitness and lifestyle influencer and mental health advocate Whitney Simmons:
You can also create an Instagram Reel with some teaser information about some of the content that people will learn at the conference to build up some anticipation for the high caliber of content you'll be sharing with others.
If you’re attending rather than hosting the event, you can share about that, too. Generate hype by sharing tidbits of what you’ll be talking about as well as who the other speakers will be and what they’ll be talking about.
15. Share Industry Knowledge
You can create an Instagram Reel where you share industry knowledge online.
For example, if you're a doctor, you might use your authority to educate people about different illnesses online so that they can improve their health and well-being. Since you're an authority, people will find value in your content as you're providing accurate medical information. However, if you also monetize your knowledge via books or courses, sharing industry knowledge is a good tie-in to your product as well. You'll be giving people tidbits of information that'll pique their interest enough to want to learn more, so they'll end up purchasing more information from you.
Take this example, where the creator is sharing a helpful tip for writing a resume in the Reel then using the caption to promote their resume template:
16. Share Timely Holiday Reels
Nearly every month, you can come up with several Instagram Reels ideas based on holidays. If you're a business, you can create promotional Reels about sales events for holidays, gift ideas, mouth-watering recipes for family dinners, and more.
For example, for Mother's Day, you can share gift ideas for moms that people can purchase directly from your business or through your affiliate link. When planning out your calendar, you'll want to take into account how long shipping takes to reach your customers to plan your promotional campaign with enough advance notice. So, if products take a week or so to arrive, you might plan a Mother's Day gift idea post two to three weeks before the big day.
This Austin-based travel account shared their Memorial Day recommendations the Thursday leading into Memorial Day weekend to hit the intersection between when the most people would be interested in the topic (Memorial Day) and still far enough in advance to be timely. Check it out:
17. Answer Common Questions
Need Instagram Reels ideas that can be done with ease and on the fly? Take a few moments to think through the most common questions you get asked everyday in your comments and create content answering them.
For example, if you work as a real estate agent, you could answer questions about the current state of the housing market, common questions for first-time home buyers, or questions for real estate investors looking to buy their next investment property in your area. You can choose to pick one question to answer and go deep with it or answer several questions quickly.
In this example, the creator does a rapid fire round up of all the features in their converted school bus that they get asked about frequently:
Focus on providing enough value that people feel satisfied with your answer, instead of commenting several more questions for more context... unless increasing comments is something you're trying to do to build more rapport with your target audience.
18. Show a Before and After
You can use your Instagram Reels to share a before and after with your target audience. When telling the story of your brand or product, you want people to see the results or impact you can have in their life when they purchase from you. For example, a teeth whitening brand could show someone smiling before the treatment and after with their new, whiter smile. This type of social proof helps people wanting to whiten their teeth purchase from you because you've proven that your product does work.
You can create short form videos for a before and after Reel without needing to belabor the point. Just show how the product or service works and then show the end result. Like in this example from an interior design brand, which shows a high impact before and after with a simple smash-cut transition:
19. Create Listicle Videos
Creating Instagram Reels that follow a listicle format is an easy way to share digestible content with your audience. This format works well for educational content.
If you work in an industry where knowledge-sharing is common, such as finance, business, or health, you can create bite-sized listicle video clips to help educate your audience with a proven method. People often create listicles as they're more memorable, packed with tons of context in a short amount of time, and they're easy to follow.
You can get creative with it, too. Supergoop shared a fun round up of their most popular products in the style of a newscast, providing both educational info and product recommendations all in one place:
Creating Instagram Reels in this format will help you educate people quickly and help them feel like they're getting tons of value from your content.
Finding Your Next Great Instagram Reels Idea
Your social media strategy should include Instagram Reels that make sense for your brand, your industry, and your personality. As a business owner or brand content manager, remember that the goal is to drive more engagement to your content first with a secondary goal of seeing a lift in sales. Whether you create relevant tutorials or just make straight-up fun Reel content is up to you. Think about what kind of content your audience would love to see to inspire them to check out your business outside of social media.
Instagram Reels FAQs
1. How do you get Reel ideas on Instagram?
You can get Reel ideas on Instagram by browsing through Reels from the accounts of brands and public figures that you admire. You can emulate the styles, tone, audio track, or any element and add your own spin on it to create videos for your own feed.
2. What type of Reels go viral?
The types of Reels that go viral are those with elements that are unexpected, such as ones with a twist. Alternatively, many Reels that go viral use the same audio. You can use Instagram's features to help you go viral by using Reels hashtags, location tags, and more to boost your engagement so you can go viral.
3. What are the most popular Instagram Reels?
The most popular Instagram Reels include "Learn from Khaby," "One word - happiness," "Who said three blind mice can't #glitch," "It's Corn," and more.
4. How do you make a fun Reel on Instagram?
You can watch a lot of fun Instagram Reels to compile ideas of what a fun Reel looks like. You might make the Reel more fun with your editing style, through the story you tell, or some other social media strategy to truly stand out online. You can find a great example of fun Reels just by scrolling through them on your phone.
5. What kind of Reels work on Instagram?
Instead of making long form videos, videos of up to 90 seconds in length work best on Instagram. You'll want to create engaging content that fits vertically full screen. Beyond the content format, you'll want to create video content, such as a day in the life or educational how to's. You can also use a green screen and find other creative ways to make your video stand out in a fun way.Create content faster with Kapwing's online video editor →