The Ultimate 2024 Guide to Instagram Reels: 5 Powerful Best Practices

Inspired by TikTok’s short, attention-grabbing videos, Instagram launched Reels in 2020 and it quickly became their fastest-growing feature worldwide. If you want millions hooked to your brand videos, steal these 5 tips to grow your audience in 2024.

Looking to boost your success with powerful video ads?

In 2020, Meta launched Reels on Instagram, dubbing it “a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos” and expanded its availability for iOS and Android to more than 150 countries across the globe. 

Ever since, Reels have not only helped creators earn money, but also significantly contributed to brands’ visibility and growth.

In 2024, Reels turn attention into action. Over 3.8 billion people use Meta’s products across the world. Reports say 50% of viewers’ time on Instagram and Facebook is spent on watching reels and there has been a 24% increase in the overall duration. 

So, what are the cutting-edge strategies and best practices for Meta Reels? Whether you’re a senior marketer who creates in-house videos or an agency that manages your client’s design team, this comprehensive guide will help you craft compelling video ads that deliver high engagement and cost-effectiveness.

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels are short-form video clips that are displayed vertically. Featuring an aspect ratio ranging from 1.91:1 to 9:16, they come complete with audio, music, and countless other creative features.

While longer Reels of up to 90 seconds exist, it’s easy to start with the typical 15-second format right in the app. You can swipe through these captivating mini-movies in their own dedicated section on Instagram, showcasing their growing importance on the platform.

Why Use Reels for Enhanced Campaign Performance

Adding Reels creative and placements to your existing campaign strategy can be a game-changer, opening doors to more efficient performance and amplified results.

Think of it as expanding your storytelling toolbox. Reels boasts massive potential for any brand, allowing you to craft engaging, dynamic content that resonates with your audience in a fresh, immersive way.

A recent study of global advertisers spending about $50,000 on average found that adding partner-provided native video ads to their standard advertising strategy improved the cost-effectiveness for optimised conversions with 91% confidence.

Meta reports incorporating Reels creative into direct response campaigns has led to:

  • 16% improvement in cost per action (CPA) ↓ 
  • 13% higher return on ad spend (ROAS) ↑
  • 29% higher conversion rate ↑
  • 11% higher reach across all placements. ↑

The numbers speak for themselves. 

By embracing the uniqueness and reach of Reels, you can unlock a wealth of benefits:

  • Enhanced audience engagement: Capture attention with dynamic, short-form video content tailored for the Reels platform.
  • Improved campaign performance: Drive better results and maximise your return on investment by incorporating Reels into your strategy.
  • Broader reach and brand awareness: Connect with new audiences and amplify your brand message through the immense popularity of Reels.

So, why settle for the usual when you can unlock the power of Reels and supercharge your campaign performance? 

Ignite Your Success with Reels: 5 Powerful Best Practices

As the video-driven marketing landscape takes the lead, Reels offers an exceptional platform to capture attention, spark engagement, and drive conversions. But navigating this dynamic format can seem daunting. 

Ignite your conversions with these 5 Reels best practices:

  1. Create Vertical Videos

Vertical videos fill more of the screen, instantly grabbing viewers’ attention on mobile devices. When creating content for Reels or Stories, prioritise the 9:16 vertical format for maximum impact.

💡 PRO TIP: Utilise the Ads Manager’s media cropping tool to effortlessly adapt your vertical videos for other placements, like in-stream ads and Facebook Feed. This ensures that your message thrives no matter where it appears.

  1. Hook ‘Em In The First 3 Seconds

Attention spans are precious! That’s why the first three seconds are your golden window to captivate viewers and communicate your key message. Think of it as your headline, your elevator pitch, or your attention-grabbing hook.

Front-load your top message within this crucial window. Whether it’s a discount, an unmissable event, or a brand-new product launch, let viewers know what they’re in for right away.


  • Brevity is king: Keep your caption under 300 characters to avoid information overload.
  • Use emojis: Sprinkle in relevant emojis to add visual interest and personality.
  • Keep it readable: Position your text within the format’s safe zones to ensure it’s always visible.
  1. Tap into the Magnetism of People

Faces hold a special power in video marketing. By including people in your Reels ads, you create an instant connection with your audience, fostering feelings of empathy and relatability. 

This isn’t just speculation; research shows that Reels ads featuring real people achieve a 25% higher click-through rate (CTR) compared to those without a human element!


  • Perfection is overrated: Don’t shy away from showcasing your brand’s genuine personality and human element. 
  • Stay authentic: Audiences appreciate authenticity and organic production values over high-end polish.
  • Relatable is the name of the game: Remember, your viewers are real people looking for connections. Focus on creating content that resonates with their experiences and emotions. 
  • Make it comical: Think of humour, everyday situations, and genuine interactions.
  1. Keep It Compelling, Relatable, and Crystal Clear

Forget passive scrolling! Your Reels should be mini-masterpieces that hold viewers captive from the first frame to the last. 

  • Humour is the secret sauce: A sprinkle of laughter can disarm viewers, boost engagement, and make your brand instantly likeable.
  • Spark curiosity with questions: Don’t just tell, engage! Pose a question that piques viewers’ interest and invites them to participate in your story. 
  • Visually stunning, always: Feast for the eyes! Utilise vibrant colours, dynamic transitions, and eye-catching visuals to capture attention.
  • Embrace clarity: Use a combination of visuals, audio (music, voiceover), and captions to keep your message crystal clear.


Mirror their world: Make your audience feel seen! Showcase experiences they can relate to. Take viewers behind the scenes of your client’s shop, capture a day in their life, or even share bloopers for a touch of authenticity.

5.  Don’t Mute the Magic:

Crank up the volume for maximum impact.

Over 80% of Reels are watched with sound on! This makes audio a powerful tool to captivate viewers, deepen engagement, and hold their attention throughout your mini-movie.

  • Choose captivating tunes: Music must complement your message and evoke the desired emotions. Use upbeat pop for a playful brand, soothing melodies for a calming product, or even a catchy jingle for instant memorability.
  • Voiceover adds your voice: Don’t be shy! Add a voiceover to narrate your story, explain your product, or inject a touch of humour. Your genuine voice can build trust and connection with your audience.
  • Sound effects for extra spice: Sprinkle in sound effects to enhance your storytelling and add layers of excitement. A sizzling pan for a cooking Reel, a playful cartoon sound for a humorous moment, or dramatic whooshes for transitions – use them strategically to amplify your message.


Dive into Meta’s free audio library: Meta offers a vast collection of royalty-free music and sound effects to elevate your Reels without copyright woes. Browse, download, and let your videos come to life.

Leveraging the innovative format of Reels ads within existing marketing strategies can significantly boost conversion rates at the crucial stages of the purchase journey. Studies conducted by Meta show that applying this approach leads to an average increase of 88% in successful conversions. Furthermore, data revealed a notable 51% reduction in cost per conversion for key "lower-funnel" events such as purchases.

Bonus Tip: Use Meta’s advanced targeting and optimisation tools to ensure your Reels reach the right audience at the right time.

Reels Ads Specifications

Reels ads are a dynamic and engaging way to reach your target audience on Facebook and Instagram. To ensure your ads deliver the best possible impact, follow these technical specifications. 

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16 (vertical)
  • Resolution: Minimum 500 x 888 pixels, recommended 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Duration: Up to 60 seconds

Ad unit

  • Full-screen, looping and skippable video and image ads
  • Sound on is encouraged, but not required.
  • Available engagement actions include likes, comments and shares.


Ads will be served within the Reels immersive viewer as interstitial video ads. In order to be served a reels ad, the user needs to click into the experience from:

  • Dedicated Reels tab
  • Reels in Explore
  • Reels in Feed
  • Suggested Reels in Feed


  • Maximum 15 minutes in length on Instagram
  • No video length limit on Facebook

Buying type

  • Auction, reach and frequency on Instagram
  • Auction on Facebook.

Design & Technical Specifications

  • File type: MP4, MOV
  • Recommended ratio: 9:16
  • Video settings: H.264 compression, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive

scan and stereo AAC audio compression at 128 kbps+

  • Resolution: At least 500 x 888 pixels
  • Video sound: Optional, but strongly recommended
  • Videos should not contain edit lists or special boxes in file containers.
  • Primary text: 72 characters before truncation, 125 characters on Facebook
  • Maximum file size: 4GB 

Unlocking Reels for Your Clients: A Toolkit for Success

Even though most brands and advertisers understand the potential of Reels, effectively harnessing its power might require additional support. Here’s the Agency Toolkit that has all the necessary resources to maximise your Reels success. 

Here’s what you get: 

  • Detailed performance metrics: Track and analyse the impact of Reels campaigns through comprehensive data, allowing you to demonstrate concrete results and optimise future strategies.
  • Creative guidance and specifications: Discover best practices and technical guidelines for crafting high-performing Reels content. Navigate this dynamic format with confidence, ensuring your clients' ads stand out.
  • Valuable resources and case studies: Explore curated materials and practical examples showcasing successful Reels campaigns across various industries. Learn from real-world applications and inspire your clients with impactful storytelling strategies.

By leveraging the Agency toolkit, you can confidently move forward on your Reels journey. Equip yourself with the knowledge and insights to unlock the platform’s full potential and achieve their marketing goals.

1. Boost Brand Performance: Reels ads have the power to drive down your cost per result, outperforming campaigns that exclude this impactful format. 

2. Build Brand Awareness: Want to build a strong online presence? Reels provide a stage to showcase your unique brand identity, inject personality into your marketing, and establish yourself as thought leaders in the industry.

3. Reach New Customers: Reels offers a booming global platform where your brand can be discovered by anyone, anywhere. Tap into this immense audience potential and watch your reach soar beyond conventional limitations.

4. Fuel Revenue Growth: Turn viewers into loyal customers with the persuasive power of Reels ads. Promote products and services to a wider audience, drive sales and boost your bottom line with every captivating video.

5. Improve Customer Experiences: Go beyond traditional marketing strategies and foster deeper connections with your existing customers. Reels allows you to create engaging, relatable content for audiences who already spend a lot of time online!

6. Diversify Your Presence: Break away from the monotony of conventional advertising and showcase your brand in a fresh, multi-dimensional way. Reels offer endless creative possibilities to differentiate from competitors.

In addition to driving engagement with Reels, both organic and ads, your clients can

take it a step further with partnership ads, landing pages, emails, in-product notifications, paid ads, success stories and webinars.

Need a fresh perspective? Let’s talk.

At 360 OM, we specialise in helping businesses take their marketing efforts to the next level. Our team stays on top of industry trends, uses data-informed decisions to maximise your ROI, and provides full transparency through comprehensive reports.

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