Cyber Monday Sale up to
55% off on all annual plans
Upgrade NOW & save
Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels: How to Use Reels to Grow Your Dropshipping Business

Rosie Greaves

Sourced high-quality dropshipping products? Check

Got your online store up and running? Check

Started marketing your business? 

...Nope, not yet.

Of course, you could use plenty of channels to drive traffic to your dropshipping store, but today, we're focusing on one:

Instagram, more specifically, Instagram's reels. 

With over 2 billion monthly users, Instagram is a fountain of potential customers just waiting to be tapped into - and this guide provides some sage advice on achieving precisely that. 

Let's dive in!

What Are Instagram Reels?

As you probably know, you can post videos and images on your Instagram grid. 

However, you can also post another kind of video on Instagram.

Cue, Reels.

These are short Instagram videos up to 90 seconds in length. Unlike Instagram stories, they don't disappear after 24 hours, enabling you to use Reels to drive traffic to your dropshipping store long after you've posted it.

You can record, upload, edit, and clip videos and images to create engaging Reels within the app (more on this below). So, you don't have to purchase fancy video editing software to benefit from everything Instagram reels offer your business. 

Instagram Reels

The Benefits of Instagram Reels

Here are some concrete stats and case studies highlighting the usefulness of Instagram reels:

  • By embracing Instagram Reels, the social media marketing platform Later enjoyed a 49% increase in engagement.
  • Similarly, influencer Olivia Noceda gained over 60,000 followers after adopting a Reels-only Instagram strategy.
  • Reels are re-shared through direct messages a billion times a day!

The bottom line: Instagram Reels are a tried and tested means of increasing engagement, followers, and extending your brand's reach!

This is especially true if your target audience is 25-34, as almost half of Instagram’s audience falls within this age range.

The best thing about Reels is that, unlike other types of Instagram content, there's a dedicated Reels tab on the home feed navigator bar. This makes Reels easier to discover, making them likelier to gain traction quicker than other post formats. 

You can scroll through the Reels with one video seamlessly transitioning into another. Like TikTok, this makes spending hours consuming snackable content easy! 

It's also worth noting that Instagram's algorithm deliberately tries to show Reels to people whose browsing history and preferences match the Reel's content—especially new content from accounts they don't already follow. In other words, Reels provide plenty of scope to extend your reach!

Pro Tip: Include a clear call to action to capitalize on this exposure. You should encourage viewers to click the link in your bio. You could do this via on-screen text placement, a verbal call-out, and video captions (or a combination). 

Different Ways to Use Instagram Reels

There are a few ways dropshipping businesses can leverage Reels to their advantage:

Product-related Videos

Product-related videos are excellent if you're launching a new product line. 

For example, you could film:

  • Product demonstrations showcasing how to use your product in different scenarios
  • Answer frequently asked questions. 
  • A behind-the-scenes of how the product is made, the inspiration behind your products, how your team collaborates, etc. 
  • Tips for using your product
  • Before and after videos
  • Product teasers

All the above are great for building trust with potential customers, especially if they've never encountered your brand or the product(s) you're selling. 

Pro Tip: Tag your products in the Reel so people can shop directly from the video (To do this, you need a business Instagram account and an Instagram shop). You can tag 30 products or a collection in your Reel.

Brand Building Videos

The best brand-building Reels are so engaging and entertaining that they arrest the attention of your target audience. 

Done well, this kind of content establishes an emotional connection with your viewers, which increases the likelihood of them clicking through to your dropshipping store. 

With that said, below, we’ve listed a couple of video types you could shoot:

  • Checklists: Does your niche lend itself to a checklist? For example, if you’re in fashion, perhaps you could provide a checklist for a smart-casual outfit formula. Or maybe you’re selling cleaning products? If so, you could provide a checklist for a sparkling sink! You might have seen content creators do this before, where each bullet on the checklist pops up on the Reel, and the creator points at the text as it appears on the screen. 
  • Educate your audience: Similar to the above, if you can teach something valuable in less than 90 seconds, you can position yourself as an authority. So, think about your eCommerce store’s niche, and consider what related topics you could teach. Here are some catchy Reel titles for your cover photo and caption to inspire you:
    • I used to believe X. Now I know X.
    • Product tip # X
    • How to achieve X 
    • Let me show you my biggest hack for X.
    • Questions I get about X
    • Are you thinking about trying X?
    • X tips to get rid of 

User-Generated Content

User-generated content refers to text, videos, images, reviews, etc., created by customers and followers rather than your brand. 

For example, a user-generated Reel could comprise images and videos of customers using your products that have been stitched together. 

Not only is user-generated content engaging, but it also doubles as social proof, which works wonders for building credibility. 

How to Create and Use Instagram Reel Templates

You can create and use Reel templates using the iPhone or Android app. In both cases, when you make a reel on Instagram, it can automatically be shared as a template. Templates allow other Instagram users to create a reel using your music, clip length, and other elements. When they use your Reel as a template, they'll use their own clips and photos instead of yours.

Templates must contain music and at least three clips, with an average time of less than five seconds per clip. 

To create a Reel template, follow the steps below:

  1. Begin creating a reel.
  2. Add clips and music to your Reel.
  3. Add the effects you want to your template. Note that not all effects can be used in a template.
  4. Tap Next.
  5. Tap Share.

Alternatively, you can find and save your favorite templates in the template browser.

To use a template, follow the steps below:

  1. Tap at the bottom of the app.
  2. Tap Reel at the bottom, then tap the image in the bottom left to open your gallery.
  3. Tap Templates .
Instagram Recommended Reels
  1. Swipe through the available templates and tap the one you want.
  2. Tap Add Media, then tap the photos or videos in the order you'd like them to appear.
  3. Tap Next.
  4. If you need to change any of your clips, tap the clip and then tap Replace Media. Tap the photo or video you'd like to use instead.
  5. Tap Next to preview and share your reel.

You can also use a Reel template by tapping Template by... and then Use template. However, not all reels can be used as templates.

As we’ve already mentioned, you can save a Reel template. Again, this feature is available when using the iPhone or Android apps. 

When browsing reel templates on Instagram, you can save any template that you'd like to use in the future.

All you need to do is:

  1. Tap at the bottom or swipe right anywhere in the feed.
  2. Tap Reel at the bottom, then tap the image in the bottom left to open your gallery.
  3. Tap Templates.
  4. Tap on the template that you'd like to save .

When creating a reel from a template, your saved templates will appear at the bottom of the browser.

How to Record a Reel on Instagram

Instructions vary depending on the device you’re using:

  • iPhone App
  • Android App
  • Computer
  • Instagram Lite app

In each of the above, you can record one or several clips that add up to 90 secs. The progress bar at the top shows how long you've recorded for. If you share your Reel in the Explore section, it can also be seen in the Reels section of your profile.

Focusing specifically on using Android and iPhone apps to record a reel, follow the steps below:

  1. Tap at the bottom of the app or swipe right anywhere in the Feed.
  2. Tap Reel at the bottom.
  3. Tap and hold to record a clip, (you can also select your camera roll in the bottom left to add a video from there).
  4. Use the Reels tool menu on the left to add audio, effects, and layouts to your reel. Tap Next in the bottom right. At the top, you can then tap:
    • to add audio.
    • to add text.
    • to add stickers.
    • to add an effect.
    • to download your reel to your device.
  5. Tap Edit video in the bottom left. From here, you can edit your reel using a timeline that shows when things appear in your reel. You'll see anything you've added, such as text, stickers, and music, on a timeline, along with clips in your reel. You can scroll through the timeline to see the whole reel. Tap on text or stickers to edit them, or tap and hold them to move them to another part of your reel. Tap on the music to replace it.
  6. You can tap and drag a clip to move it, then tap Done when finished. You can use the trimmers on each clip to change their length.
  7. Tap in the top right. From here, you can select Edit Cover to select a new cover photo or add one from your device. You can also write a caption, add a location or fundraiser, or share your reel on Facebook. For more options, including allowing your reel to be used as a template or to be downloaded, tap Advanced options.
  8. Tap Next in the bottom right, then Share.

Using audio in your Reels

You can use the following types of audio when recording a reel:

  • Your own audio
  • Original audio by another Reels creator
  • Audio from Instagram’s library. 
Search Reel

Note: You can't use original audio from a feed video unless you remix the video.

Pro Tip: Instagram has more information about the definition of original and licensed audio. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with their rules. Audio tracks may become muted if there are infringements.

How to Edit Reel Clips

Although we briefly touched on this above, it’s worth mentioning that after recording a clip, you can tap the Edit video button on the bottom left. You’ll then see the following editing tools including: 

  • Scale
  • Crop
  • Rotate
  • Undo
  • Redo

Taking each of the above: 

Scale, resize, or crop your video

  • Select the individual clip you want to edit.
  • Tap Crop on the bottom right.
  • Pinch the screen to scale, resize, or crop your video.

Rotate your video

  • Select the individual clip you want to edit.
  • Tap Crop on the bottom right.
  • Pinch the screen and rotate your fingers to rotate the video.

Undo and redo

While using the editing timeline, you can undo or redo up to 20 individual actions. From the editing timeline view, there’s a left-facing arrow and a right-facing arrow on the right above the timeline.

  • Tap the left arrow to undo your editing action.
  • Tap the right arrow to redo your editing action.

Instagram Reel Dos and Don'ts

Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are a few dos and don’ts for launching Instagram Reels that gain traction:


  • Create Reels with your target audience in mind - Instagram’s algorithm shows Reels to viewers based on what it believes they’re most likely to engage with, so always keep your ideal customers in mind!
  • Ensure Reels are ‘entertaining, inspiring, or experimental and use creative tools like text, camera effects, or filters.’ (This is advice directly from Instagram themselves!)
  • Post early in the morning (4 AM) - After analyzing more than a million Reels worldwide, Later found that early morning is the optimum time to publish an Instagram Reel.
  • Post consistently - Aim to post between three and four times a week (Research shows that the top 25% of brands by engagement do this!)
  • Use an aspect ratio of 9:16.
  • Ensure your reel is 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels.
  • Ensure your Reel cover photo has an aspect ratio of 9:16 and 1080 pixels x 1920 pixels. Consider adding titles to your Reel cover photos to help users find the content they want to watch from you. 
  • Use three to five relevant keywords and hashtags to increase discoverability. This will tell Instagram’s algorithm what your content is about, helping it deliver your Reels to relevant audiences.
  • Jump on Instagram Reel trends - These come and go quite quickly, so once a trend relevant to your brand emerges, you need to hop on it. To stay abreast of all the latest trends, spend some time each day scrolling through the Instagram Reels tab and follow other creators in your niche to see which trends they’re jumping on.
  • Use music - Similar to how hashtags work, when you use music from Instagram’s music library, your Reel is exposed to that song’s tag, which can extend your reach. For maximum exposure use music that’s trending. The best way to identify trending tracks is to explore the Reels feed. As you scroll through the Reels, you’ll notice the audio track in the bottom-left corner. Trending audio tracks will show an upward arrow. By using trending tracks, you know that Instagram acknowledges that this audio is engaging, and therefore, this should be more favorable to its algorithm.
  • Include on-screen captions - Not only does this make your Reels more accessible, but as many as 69% of videos are watched without sound, so adding captions is crucial for boosting engagement. 

Pro Tip: To add subtitles, use Instagram's closed caption sticker:

  1. Tap on the sticker icon
  2. Select "Captions."
  3. After a few seconds, the captions should have loaded. Once they've pulled through, you can review and edit the text.
  4. Position the captions in the center of your screen to make all text visible. 


  • Post low-resolution or blurry Reels
  • Post Reels that contain borders
  • Publish Reels that have visibly been recycled from another app like TikTok

How to Boost Reels on Instagram

If you want to turn your Reel into a paid ad that appears  in the Reels tab, Explore feed, and Stories, you’ll need to “boost it.” This is great if you have the budget and want to extend your reach.

With that said, here’s How to boost an Instagram Reel:

  1. Tap the reel you want to boost.
  2. Under the reel, tap Boost.
  3. Select the Goal, Audience, Budget, and Duration of your ad.
  4. Tap Next
  5. To finish things off, tap Boost reel under Review your ad. This submits your ad for review. You'll receive a notification in your Activity Feed if the ad is approved or disapproved.

How to Use Instagram Reel Analytics & Insights

If you have a Business or Creator Instagram account, you can view organic and boosted Reels insights from your iPhone or Android Instagram app.

There are two ways you can access insights into your reels:

  1. Go to the Reels tab on your Instagram profile.
  2. Select the Reel for which you want to view metrics.
  3. On the lower right-hand side of the Reel, tap the … icon.
  4. From the menu, tap Insights.


You might see a "Learn more about your Reel's performance" prompt above the View Insights button. 

From here:

  1. Go to the Reels tab on your Instagram profile.
  2. Select the reel for which you'd like to view metrics.
  3. Above the caption of your reel, select View Insights.

You'll see how many likes, comments, saves, and shares your post received from either of these views. You'll also see other engagement and interaction metrics, including:

  • Accounts reached: I.e., the number of unique accounts that have seen your Reel on their screen at least once (whether or not your reel was played). Reach differs from impressions, which may include multiple views of your reel by the same accounts. 
  • Plays: This is the number of plays your Reel achieved. Plays are counted when a video starts to play automatically or when someone clicks to play the video. 
  • Watch time: I.e., the total time your Reel was played for, including any time spent replaying the reel. 
  • Average watch time: The average time spent playing your reel. This is calculated by dividing the watch time by the number of plays.

With this information, you can pinpoint the content your audience enjoys the most and optimize your strategy accordingly. 

Are You Ready to Start Using Instagram Reels to Drive Traffic to Your Dropshipping Store?

So, that brings us to the end of our guide on using Instagram Reels to supercharge your dropshipping business. 

Hopefully, you found it instructive and detailed enough to show how Instagram reels can benefit your new or existing dropshipping venture. 

Remember, Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world, with Reels attracting 2.35 billion active users monthly. So, it makes sense for you to utilize its potential for your dropshipping store. 

Let us know how you get on in the comments box below!

Get Spocket for BigCommerce!
Learn how to start and grow your own e-commerce store!
You're in! Look out for our emails to help you get started with your e-commerce store.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist specializing in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to Spocket, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, E-commerce Platforms, and Judicious Inc. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.

Also Read:

Get 14-day instant access to Spocket at no cost.

Congrats! You'll receive in depth guides and interesting blogs straight in your inbox.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Also Read

shopify dropshipping - 3shopify dropshipping - 2 shopify dropshipping - 3shopify dropshipping - 5