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7 Local Businesses Making Great Instagram Reels – & How To Copy Them

Instagram Reels are all the rage right now. Heavily favored by users and social media platforms alike, using this feature helps businesses work the algorithm in their favor, be seen more favorably by their followers, and even reach new audiences. Simply put, they are a fun, effective way to market your business and products to a wider audience.

Here in Buffalo and WNY, lots of local businesses have been increasing their use of Reels. The beauty of Reels is that they can truly be about anything, and every industry from restaurants to beauty to retail to services can benefit from them.

What are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels are a feature of Instagram that focus on 3 to 30-second “TikTok style” videos with text, music, stickers, and other special effects.

Reels joins Instagram’s arsenal of video types, alongside the 15-second temporary videos in Stories, the one-minute videos posted to the grid, and the long-form videos accessed via IGTV.

How to create and publish Instagram Reels

You can create a Reel in one of two ways:

  • Hold the record button in Instagram to capture video footage
  • Upload video footage directly from your camera roll

You can create a Reel from one video or a series of clips recorded or uploaded one after the other. The specifications are as follows:

  • Videos are in full 9:16 portrait mode
  • Completed Reels can be between 3 and 30 seconds long
  • Reels are mobile-only, which means you can only upload and publish Reels from a mobile device or from an Instagram scheduling tool that allows this feature. 

Here is the quick and easy six-step process to creating a Reel:

  1. Open Instagram and navigate to the Stories screen. Scroll across to Reels at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Use the four creative tools to craft your Reel: music (search and add music over your video), speed (speed up or slow down your video clips), effects (add filters to your video), and timer (decide how long your video will run for).
  3. Tap and hold the record button. If you decide to set a timer, you’ll see a countdown before the recording begins.
  4. Press the record button to end the clip when you are ready. Tap it again to start recording a new clip. After recording one clip, you will see the Align button underneath the timer. This allows you to line up objects from the previous clip to create seamless transitions.
  5. When you have finished recording, you can enhance your Reel with drawings, text, and stickers.
  6. Tap the > button in the bottom right-hand corner to publish your Reel. If you have a public account (which is a must for brands and businesses), your Reel may now be visible to Instagram’s global audience via the Explore page. According to the social platform’s announcement, “If your Reel is featured in Explore, you’ll receive a notification. Featured reels are a selection of public reels chosen by Instagram to help you discover original content we hope will entertain and inspire you.”

Here are 7 local businesses doing a great job at utilizing Reels to spread their brand awareness to consumers:

1. The Sweet Whisk

What they do well:

  • Showcases their available products
  • Uses popular audios / songs that make sense with the video
  • Posts the same video on TikTok and Reels to share with a wider audience

2. Community Beer Works

What they do well:

  • Takes part in popular trends
  • Shows what services they offer to customers


NEW ARRIVAL at the ##CBWBreweryandTaproom! ##mandalorian ##grogu ##babyyoda ##starwars ##pinball ##pinballmachine ##pinballwizard ##brewery ##brewerylife ##woot

♬ The Mandalorian – Ludwig Göransson

3. Nigh Road

What they do well:

  • Uses popular transitions
  • Shows what items they have in store and available for customers

4. Buffalo Bills

What they do well:

  • Takes part in major trends
  • Posts highlight clips of players


[adult swim]

♬ original sound – Buffalo Bills

5. Chrusciki Bakery

What they do well:

  • Uses popular sounds
  • Showcases what items they have to offer
  • Show how they make their desserts

6. Sunshine Vegan Eats

What they do well:

  • Shows their menu items
  • Shows them putting their dishes together

7. iGlammed Up Cosmetics

What they do well:

  • Give some of their tips and tricks to consumers
  • Does current trends within their industry

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Step Out Buffalo Business

Step Out Buffalo Business is a business focused publication featuring tips and tricks for entrepreneurs and small business people in Buffalo & Western New York by the team at Step Out Buffalo. We write what we know and when we don't know, we ask an expert in the field. We've gained our knowledge through experience growing businesses in various industries.

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