Among the popular formats on Instagram are carousels and Reels. Each format has its own advantages. While there are studies showing carousels out-performing Instagram Reels, we need to explore the differences between Instagram carousels and Reels, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses to determine which format works best in 2023.
What is an Instagram Carousel?
Instagram carousels were introduced before Reels and were adopted by many organizations and individuals to showcase themselves. Carousel posts allow users to create a swipeable album and share up to ten photos/ creatives or videos in a single post. With the help of this format, content creators can tell a story, showcase products, or even provide step-by-step instruction. Using carousel post format, you can increase the engagement rate as users will spend more time engaging with the content.
The Benefits of Instagram Carousels
- Storytelling: When it comes to storytelling carousels are the best option. They let you tell a story by showing a series of pictures/graphics or videos that work together to convey a message more clearly. By effectively utilizing this format, you can capture your audience and leave a lasting impact.
- Versatility: Instagram carousels are very flexible as you can include both photos and videos, and showcase your product in more detail. Using carousels, you will be free to try out different types of content and connect with your audience in different ways because your audience wants to know more. Carousels can mix your content up and keep your audience interested by using a combination of photos and videos in your carousels.
- Increased Reach: Consistency is the key, and Instagram’s algorithm rewards engagement. Carousels encourage users to swipe through the content, which increases engagement rates, potentially boosting your reach and visibility.
| Read also: How to Share a Link on Instagram Story
Understanding Instagram Reels
After TikTok’s ban in many countries, Instagram came forward with the Reels format, offering short-form videos lasting up to 60 seconds. Similar to TikTok, Reels provide a platform for users to create entertaining, informative, and engaging video content. With features such as audio effects, AR filters, and video editing tools, Reels offer a wide range of creative possibilities. Recently, Instagram also launched a timeline format editing feature for Reels creators to post their videos more professionally.
The Benefits of Instagram Reels
- Discoverability: Users love watching video content as they find it more entertaining. If you want to go viral, you should strive to be featured on Instagram’s Explore page. If your content gets featured there, your profile reach will rapidly increase. The best way to be featured on the explore page is by creating original and entertaining Reels. You can read many tips and hacks on the internet to know more about how you can create Instagram content that go viral. This increases the chances of your content being discovered by users who are not following you. By using the visibility of Reels, you can expand your reach and attract new followers.
- Trend Participation: If you haven’t joined the “Born On Instagram” (BOI) platform yet, join it ASAP. The reason behind the success of Instagram creators going viral is the suggestions and learnings offered by BOI. If you’re already a part of the BOI platform, you will receive suggestions for trending audios and challenges followed by users worldwide. By making Reels on suggested audios or participating in challenges, your chances of becoming a viral creator will increase. Create content that aligns with popular trends to ride the wave of engagement and gain exposure to a broader audience.
- Viral Potential: To be a good content creator, you should also be a good content consumer. These days, Instagram is most commonly used for watching entertaining Reels and sharing them with our close ones. As you already know, Reels have a higher likelihood of going viral due to their shareability. A well-created reel has the potential to gain higher views, likes, and shares, which will amplify your brand’s reach.
Choosing the Right Format in 2023: Reels vs Carousels
While both the carousel and Reels formats have their own benefits, selecting the best format depends on your marketing objectives and target audience. To clear up any confusion, here are a few considerations:
- Content Goals: Before finalizing which format will be best for you, you need to understand your goals for your profile. If your aim is to tell a story, showcase a product, or provide a step-by-step guide, then carousel posts are the ideal choice for you. However, if you want to entertain, inform, or keep up with the latest trends, then Reels are the best choice for you.
- Audience Engagement: Analyzing your audience’s preferences and behaviors will benefit you in the long run. Find out if they are more likely to engage with swipeable content or short videos. Understanding your audience’s preferences, likes, and dislikes will help you tailor your content strategy accordingly.
- Experimentation: Go with the flow and always try to keep up with different topics and challenging content. Showcasing something unique and different from others will help you garner the attention that your profile deserves. Never be afraid to experiment and test both formats. In some situations, carousels may be the best choice for you, while in others, Reels may be more suitable. Analyze the performance of your carousels and Reels using metrics such as reach, engagement, and conversions. This data-driven approach will help you refine your content strategy over time.
You can find some content creation pro tips shared by Instagram here.
In the battle of Instagram carousels vs. Reels, there is no definitive winner in terms of what would be a better choice for your profile. Both of these formats offer unique advantages and can help you achieve different content goals and cater to audience preferences. As a content creator, it is important to leverage the strengths of each format strategically and adapt to the ever-changing social media landscape. By understanding the key differences between carousels and Reels and aligning them with your marketing objectives, you can optimize your Instagram content strategy and drive engagement in 2023.
Remember, in the world of social media, flexibility, creativity, and adapting to ongoing trends are key to staying up to date and capturing your audience’s attention. So, embrace the power of Instagram carousels and Reels to create engaging content.
This article was originally posted on The SocioBlend Blog