It’s time to create the 2023 Instagram Reels Tutorial! I’ve done one of these for the last few years to show you new features and make sure you feel confident to create more Instagram Reels for your business. This tutorial will show you how to make, edit, and post Instagram Reels in the app. Let’s jump into the tutorial!
When you’re in the Instagram app, on your home feed, swipe left and this is where you’ll create new content. At the bottom, select Reel from the various types of content. On the left hand side, you’ll see icons you can select to start creating your Reel. The first option to go over is to the music icon. Here you can search for audio – whether you’re looking for something new or your saved options. One thing that’s helpful as you’re scrolling through Instagram is to save audio you like to make a Reel later. It will populate here, making your content creation even easier! If you hit “saved”, you’ll see anything you’ve saved. As a reminder, to get popular music on your list, consider switching to a creator account – not a business account on Instagram.
Below that are the three stars. Those are filters if you want to add any to your Reels. We don’t use a lot of them anymore, but it’s nice to have the few we liked saved here in case we want them later. You can save filters like audio while you’re scrolling, so if you see something you like – save it! After the stars, you’ll see an arrow. This is a newer feature of Instagram Reels: “add yours”. You’ll see various prompts that people have created and you can add your own Reel here. It’s a nice spot for content creation ideas!
The next icon is the “15”. Here is where you can change the length of your Reel. It defaults to 15 seconds, so if you tap on it, you’re able to adjust the length of your Reel. Make sure you change it before you begin filming, as you can’t change it afterwards. The next icon is the speed settings (1x). Here, you can adjust how fast or slow your Reel is filmed. I don’t use this option a lot – it doesn’t make sense for many Reels. But it’s there if you want it. Below the speed settings is the grid – which is your layout options. There, you can change how your Reel looks and what pops up. It’s another one that I don’t use often!
Below those options is the timer! I find this feature super handy and I use it all the time! I love that it counts down before you film, which is nice if you’re standing away from your phone or doing a lip sync. If you select the edge of the pink box and drag it, you can adjust how long the timer will last. The last feature is the camera with the plus, “dual”. This allows you to record and take a photo using the front camera and back camera. Dual is a newer feature that I haven’t used very much but it’s pretty cool!
If not everything we’ve talked about is on your app, don’t worry! Instagram is constantly making updates to their Reels software and rolling it out in stages. That means not everyone has the same options at the same time. Don’t be alarmed. Make sure your app is up to date and just be patient. It can take months for everyone to get the same features. But, for the most part, everyone’s should be the same.
Adding and filming video!
When you’re ready to start filming, you just hit the middle button on your screen. The camera will begin recording and the purple ring will show you how much of the time you selected you’ve used. If you want to redo it or cancel what you’ve done, select the “x” in the upper left hand corner. You’ll be given the option to start over, keep editing or save drafts. Something else htat you’ll want to turn on before filming is that your Reels are saved to your device. In the upper right hand corner, click on the gear icon. There you can adjust all kinds of camera settings! Saving the Reels to your device is a great way to make sure nothing gets lost.
If you want to add pre-recorded videos, photos, or boomerangs, swipe up so that you can access those pieces of content from your camera roll to your Reel. Once you’ve added that video or photo, you can use the slider below to determine how long you want to have that video or photo be in your Reel. The next screen you’ll go to is “Preview” in the bottom right hand corner. There, you can select the clips, edit the length again and adjust your Reel.
Editing Your Reel
After you’re done filming and you’ve added any footage from your camera roll, you’re ready to edit! Hit “next” and you’ll be in the editor where you can add text or make other edits. One of the things I’ll do in the editor is change the lengths of the components I’ve added. Hit “edit clips” in the bottom left hand of my screen. There, you can tap and hold your clips to rearrange the order or adjust the lengths. I love that Instagram has added a transition feature now. By tapping on “transitions”, you can select how your clips will transition between each other. It’s a really cool new feature. Once you’re done with those edits, hit “done” until you’re back at the main editor. Before you add anything else, it’s smart to save the video using the down facing arrow once you’re back on this screen.
When you’re ready to add text, hit the two A’s in the upper right hand corner to add text. If you use Instagram stories, the text works the exact same way! Remember to keep your text in the middle section of your Reels so that it’s easy to see.
You can also tap on the icons for the same GIFs, closed captions, and such like you would in stories, too. There are also other icons for your music and filters. I will suggest that you don’t add filters after you’ve filmed. It doesn’t look as nice – so if you want a filter, I recommend doing it from the start. Two notes to make: if you write on the Reel or add a GIF, they will last the entire duration of the Reel. You cannot change that – so I tend to avoid adding those two things on, too.
When you’re ready to post…
Once you’re ready to post, hit “next” from your preview screen of your Reel. Again, make sure to save your Reel again! I can’t stress this enough so you don’t lose your work. This section is that last thing you’ll see before it goes live. If you click on your Reel where it says “cover”, you can either select a new screen grab from the Reel OR add a custom cover from your camera roll. We actually have Reels Cover Photo Templates in our shop! I love that you can preview what this will look like in your grid and modify that, too.
Make sure that your cover photo has completely loaded before you hit save. Additionally, hit “crop profile image” if you want to review what part of your cover photo is showing in your grid.
You can add your caption (same function as a normal instagram post) and then get ready to share it! Below that, I always recommend sharing it to your feed so that it pushes it to your followers and into the main home feed. It’s an easy way to get more eyes on your Instagram Reel! If you’re part of the Reel Play Bonus Program, make sure to select that under the Bonuses section. Remember, you can’t add it to the program later – so do it now! Under the “add message button”, you can select where you want people to chat with you based on your Call to Action. I love this feature!
There’s more advanced settings too that you can check out from this screen. This is where you can do things like hide likes on your Reels, add a paid partnership button (if you are doing a partnership, you legally have to mark this!), and tell Instagram to upload the Reel at the highest quality possible. Most people don’t know about this! By toggling this on, Instagram will make sure to upload your Reel at the highest quality, even if it takes longer. It avoid downgrading the quality, which is really nice.
The last and final step when you’re ready to share is to hit “share”! If you’re not ready to share yet, hit “Save to draft”. This will save your Reel to your Instagram Reel drafts so you can finish it later.
If you want to learn more about the strategy behind Instagram Reels for your business, check out our other Instagram Reels Resources below!
Other Reels Resources
I also offer a free one-hour Instagram Reels class if you want more help with how to grow your reach, followers, and customers with Reels in 2 hours a month! You can sign up for that HERE. And, if you have questions or want some extra support, I’ve got a FREE Reels Growth Facebook Community that you can join. I absolutely love getting to chat with everyone and help them work through their questions about Reels!
Wondering what to make for your next Reel? Free quiz to find out what type of reel idea you should make next!
Need ideas for Instagram? Grab our free sample Instagram posting schedule here!