Instagram Reels have been around for more than a year now and they aren’t going anywhere soon. Instagram knows they need to keep our attention and with how popular TikTok has been, the Instagram app has consistently added features to make Reels more engaging.
While it can be scary to get on video, Reels are actually a lot easier than you might think. You can use someone else’s sound or a song. The videos are meant to be short. Plus, they can be simple, one-shot videos.
Of course, as you get familiar with Reels, you’ll want to try out new features or techniques, but the best way to do Reels is consistently! Just show up. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
If it helps though, I’ll put together a few pieces of equipment that I like to use for my Reels. You don’t need any of these to get started. These are just things that can help and may make you feel more confident to get your Reels going.
Lighting for Instagram Reels
One of the easiest things you can do to make your Reels look more professional and engaging is to use good lighting. A window facing the subject will do the trick, but if you know you’ll be filming during these dark summer days, you might want to invest in lighting.
Lighting for Instagram Reels can be as simple as a clippable ring light. These work great when you don’t want to set up much equipment. They’re also good for Zoom meetings or live streams that you might do on your desktop computer.
If you don’t want to be holding your phone though, the next level up is to invest in a ring light tripod. These are really helpful if you’re going to be filming more than just your own face. Maybe you want to show a cooking video or you’ll be filming your whole team. This gives you the option to incorporate a bit more into your Reels and be hands-free (although, a selfie stick can also accomplish this, see below.)
The more advanced option is to invest in the lighting that photographers use. Now, I’m no professional photographer so there may be better options, but I like the lights that use an umbrella to diffuse the lighting. You can use one straight on or two on either side of the subject. If you’re planning to get into videos for YouTube or another long-form platform, these are a great fit.
Tripods for Instagram Reels
If you want to bring some stability to your Reels or incorporate more of the background, a selfie-stick is a great place to start. This version converts to a tripod as well. It’s made specifically for your phone so you can set it up anywhere you need.
I like to set this on a windowsill so that I can get all the lighting that i need and be able to use my hands in the Reel as needed.
If you need a bit more than just the standard selfie stick, there are also options that come with lighting (like above) and/or a microphone. Sound makes a big difference when it comes to videos online. With Reels, you’ll often be using someone else’s sound but sometimes you’ll be talking to the camera. If more of your Reels use custom sound, you’ll want to check out the microphone options below.
Depending on your business, your Reels might not be face on. You might need a view from above for a baking video, nail art, crafts, etc. There are quite a few variations of this type of tripod. Here’s one that is simple but can be used on a variety of surfaces and heights.
Microphones for Social Media Videos
Most of my Reels use trending sounds. However, you can also do a voice-over or talk directly to the camera. When you do that, you’ll want to have a clear sound. It’s actually one of the biggest things that can tank your Reels. People get irritated easily when the sound is off and social platforms can even tell when your sound is suboptimal.
You might have seen people talking in their videos with AirPods in or even the classic iPhone headphones. The reason for this is that these provide more direct sound for your videos. The microphone is simply closer to your mouth. AirPods are pricey, but since a lot of people already have these or the basic headphones, I’m putting these in the beginner category.
Based on just the price, I could have switched the beginner and intermediate in this category. But I’m including this option in the intermediate since I doubt many people own this. You can buy microphones that connect directly to your phone.
Some of them are cute, funny little ones that can be incorporated in your videos. You might feel silly using them but some of the top influencers use these (Tinx, Tefi, etc.)
There are also ones that clip to your phone. These free up your hands but don’t really get the mic very close to you. It’s still better than the mic on your phone though.
If you know you’ll be filming Reels while walking or outside, you might need something a bit more advanced. I recommend looking for a fuzzy microphone like this. Just be sure you find one that can connect to your phone or find an adapter that you can use to make sure it’s connected.
Need Ideas for Instagram Reels?
One of my goals for 2022, is to share more Instagram Reel ideas for small business owners. I’ll be doing that on my business Instagram and also through my email list. Each week, I’ll send a list of Reel ideas that you can try out for your business and the most important social media updates (without the complicated terminology). Sign up below to get started.
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