We live in the time of the reel, where information is delivered in 1-30 seconds, or else general interest could become lost. Content must be visually appealing and have trending music, spoken words, and captions. Reels must also be optimized for multiple social media platforms. That’s a lot to think about for one post that may or may not perform well. It’s a gamble, a risk, which may be why it’s so addicting to scroll through reels on social media. Below are margin templates to design reels so they are Instagram ready without you having to worry about important text or images being cut off.
The first step to creating a good reel is creating good content. And the idealization can be the fun part. Coming up with an idea or message you want people to know, planning how you want to communicate it, and creating or collecting the visual content you want to use in the reel are the first steps to bringing impactful reels to life.
It helps to have a mobile phone that can record videos and take pictures. iPhones and android phones are the most popular since social media platforms automatically format reels to show up the same size on these two significant players in the smartphone industry. Another option is to access stock videos/photos that you can edit, cut, and repurpose as long as they are relevant to the message you want to convey in the final social media post.
USING MARGIN TEMPLATES TO DESIGN REELS
Once your content is recorded or sourced, it’s time to put together and design the reel. To do this, you need access to a video editing app or service. For example, Canva is a popular option since it can use premade templates, and it’s intuitive to select tailored on-brand colors using the online platform. Another option is to edit the reel directly on Instagram or Tiktok.
You would think you could utilize all your space on your phone screen since that’s how the reel shows up while watching them. However, there are several accessibility considerations to remember when putting together a reel. In particular, consider what sections of the screen may become obstructed by other text once it’s uploaded to the social media platform.
Here’s an example of what you want to avoid when making reels:
See how your title and captions are cut off by the icons and profile information. Avoid this by remaining aware of margins and designing with clear breathing space around the content.
Here’s an example of what you want to achieve when making reels:
See how your title and captions are visible and are not obstructed by the icons and profile information. This is what you can achieve when you design with margins in mind.
Remain aware of margins and how they are displayed on social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok while designing reels or shorts.
Here are four ratios to highlight the essential info in your reel and ensure none of your text or graphics is cut off or hidden when viewed on different apps (source: Amplify11):
- Reel size ratio 9:16 or 1080×1920 pixels
- Instagram or Facebook feed view ratio 4:5 = 1080 x 1350 pixels
- Instagram profile view ratio 1:1 = 1080 x 1080 pixels
- Text safe view ratio about 4:5 = 1010 x 1250 pixels
Also, keep in mind that you want any important text or graphic to be at least 35 px in from the left and right parameters of the screen so that the text isn’t getting cut off on the sides as well as on the top and bottom of the screen.
With these margins, you can get creative and design reels that show off your brand without worrying about information getting cut off or obstructed by other text the platform may place on top, such as the caption or profile name.
POST-TIMING AND TRENDING SOUND
Once your reel is put together and designed to your satisfaction, you’re ready to post it.
Here are a few things to consider that will optimize your post even more:
Know when your followers are scrolling through so you know to post around about an hour or two before.
To find out when your followers are most active, you must set up a business social media account on most platforms. You can access the analytics or insights that individual apps keep data of for traffic on your pages. This data will help you determine the best time to post for each app. Some tools allow you to post simultaneously, such as Hootesuite, which will keep track of that data and suggest the best times to post in one place. The benefit of using third-party software to manage multiple social media platforms is that you don’t have to track all the individual social media apps separately because everything will be on one dashboard.
Pick trending sounds on Instagram and TikTok so your reels gain a boost in their algorithms.
Instagram: When uploading the reel to Instagram, you can find a trending sound by clicking on the music icon. You can search for a specific mood or sound if you know what you want to use but make sure it has an arrow pointing to the upper right corner next to the artist to gauge if it’s trending. You can also gain insight into how often each trending sound has been used in a reel on that platform.
TikTok: Once your content is uploaded, click add sound at the top of the screen, and if you see the blue TikTok logo next to the song’s name, it’s trending.
If you are browsing through either Instagram or TikTok and notice that a sound is trending, you can save that sound on that platform, so it’s easily accessible when you are ready to make it. This way, you have an archive of sounds that are ready to be put to use.
CONCLUSION ON HOW TO DESIGN REELS
While there are many strategies out there to help you create successful reels, remember to have fun and create messages that promote and align with your brand values.
To remain accessible, keep all the necessary information in the margins we recommended so you never have cut-off text or graphics again.
To help you make the perfect reel every time, download free reel templates for each major margin consideration.