3 Ways to Reach a Global Poetry Audience with Instagram Reels
Last summer, Instagram announced a new feature called Reels that is focused on short, interactive videos. Instagram’s official announcement states that the feature “invites you to create fun videos to share with your friends or anyone on Instagram. Record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools.” Instagram is already known as one of the most popular social media networks, and now that they’ve added Reels, they’ve enabled more success for poets and content creators by helping them reach a larger audience: “Reels in Explore offers anyone the chance to become a creator on Instagram and reach new audiences on a global stage.”
So, after reading that the videos are fragments of 15 seconds, you may be wondering how this is different from Instagram Stories. While Instagram Stories are also short, their purpose is different: Stories are meant to be casual videos or photos that are easily disposable. They disappear from the site, similar to the platform Snapchat. This encourages people to take photos of everyday activities, such as cooking a meal or playing with their pets. As Instagram Reels is meant to stay on the user’s pages, the videos are more creative and professional.
With Reels, you can also add music by choosing from a library of copyrighted songs that are already embedded into the platform. The Reels feature also includes more advanced editing tools that are designed to promote your brand or create original material, like poetry videos. Unlike IGTV, which hosts videos that are 1 to 10 minutes in length (or up to one hour for verified users), Reels videos can be less than a minute long. And unlike regular posts that you release on your feed, if you have a public account, Instagram will send your video to a global audience—not just to your followers. This is a great way to increase your visibility and find new viewers and poetry lovers.
Reels is so important to Instagram that they’ve redesigned their entire platform to accommodate the feature, and they’re promoting it by changing their algorithm to increase the visibility of Reels videos. Many in the digital world consider this new feature to be Instagram’s response to TikTok’s successWith the development of Reels and the recent monetization changes, Instagram wants to attract the attention of creatives who are already using other social media platforms such as YouTube.
Now that you’ve got the scoop on what is unique about Instagram Reels, you can use the feature to showcase your poetry. Below you will find three unique and creative ways to release your poetry videos. These ideas will not only enhance your poetry videos, but they will also make you think of new ways to create poetry!
USE REELS TO CREATE A POETRY MUSIC VIDEO
Similar to a book trailer, using music and action-based footage on Reels creates a fun and entertaining way to entice new readers. I recently went on vacation and used footage of my sailing trip to make a short music video. My poetry videos are usually serious in tone—and not as active, as I’m normally sitting in a chair—but since this video was focused on music, it created an environment that brought out my fun and silly side. I was also excited to make a Reel video because anyone on the Explore section of Instagram can use my original audio and create a multimedia video using my voice. Of course, Instagram would still credit me in that person’s new video, but I would love to find that my poetry has been used for a short film, as I like collaborating with other artists.
USE REELS TO PROMOTE YOUR NEXT BOOK
Rupi Kaur used Instagram Reels to promote her latest book, Home Body. She gave readers a behind-the-scenes look into her illustration process as well as behind-the-scenes footage of her creating the cover of her new book. These videos are professionally edited and feature music. Videos like these are a great way to market your work in bite-size fragments that tease readers and create excitement for your next book.
USE REELS TO OFFER EXCERPTS OF YOUR POETRY
Offer readers a taste of your poetry by providing excerpts or quotes from your next poem. First, record your entire poem, and create a Reel using the best stand-alone lines from your poem. Edit the Reel, and be sure to let your readers know that this is a fragment or an excerpt of your work. After you post it, share it as a Story. Later, post the entire video. Using this strategy, you get extra mileage for your video because you are posting it in three sections of Instagram.
USE REELS TO CREATE 15 or 30-SECOND POEMS
Writing and recording short poems is a great way to create original poetry exclusively for Instagram. If you’re like me and you prefer longer poems, Reels can offer a challenge to create haikus or other types of short-form poetry that give busy readers an opportunity to engage with your poetry while they’re on the go. These short poems can offer a meditative space when viewers are looking at your feed.
Amanda Lovelace has been using her short poems to host 15 and 30-second readings of her work, and using Reels, she can add filters such as shining stars that enhance the magical theme of her work.
There are so many ways to use Instagram Reels that this list could be endless. Showcase your new Instagram Reels on our Instagram page, and you could be featured in our community of poets! Just tag us at @readpoetry__, and let the Reels begin!