Nisha Qureshi

How Instagram Reels is becoming a mainline medium for brands

Arun Srinivas, Director and Head of Ads Business for Meta in India and leading marketers talk about how reels are deriving results for brands

Meta has announced the launch of #MadeonReels, a program that is designed at enabling brands to derive business results for brands through storytelling and by leveraging the power of the thriving creator ecosystem in India.

Speaking at the back of the launch of the program, Arun Srinivas, Director and Head of Ads Business for Meta says that reels is the fastest growing and the most engaging ecosystem for them today. 

Today, there are more than 2 billion shares on a daily basis on reels and that tells you the scale of it. This tells us that reels are not something that the audience wants to consume on their own but they also want the entire ecosystem to consume them.”

Srinivas said that while working with a few brands they noticed that a lot of brands were unable to shake hands with suitable creators for themselves. He says with this program, the aim is to bring alive the magic between the creators and brands.

Reels- Instagram’s short-video content vertical was launched in 2020 in an attempt to compete with TikTok. Since then, reels have had a cannibalistic approach in the short video space. According to a report by Redseer, short-form apps are expected to double their monthly active user base to 600 million (67 percent of all smartphone users) by 2025 and have a monetisation opportunity of $19 billion by 2030.

Speaking about the competition in the short-video space with Youtube also launching ‘shorts’ Srinivas says, as far as India is concerned, they are the biggest player in the market.“Competition is bound to follow anywhere which will just make the consumer experience better. Together we are sure, the market will only grow,” he adds.

Asked if Reels is the one vertical that Meta will be focusing upon, Srinivas says, “We have three brands (Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp) and all of them are the largest players across the globe. I don’t think Meta is only about short-form video but we do believe in bringing the best services to consumers and advertisers. Today there is a lot of interest from advertisers who want to get on reels, however the challenge is that it should become central to advertisers and marketers in their plans.

The #MadeonReels program

Meta worked with brands like Cadbury, Meesho, Navi, Maruti Nexa etc to determine what impact reels can have on brands. The campaigns executed by these brands on reels resulted in some very positive results for the brands, says Srinivas.

“MadeonReels is a crucial program for us, specifically designed with new brands in mind. Over the next few months, we plan to collaborate with about 30 partners/creators who will work closely with brands. In the past, brands would decide on their stories and communicate them through ad agencies for television deployment. However, times have changed.

“We now aim to create a platform that brings together creators and brands in order to tell stories in an innovative way. This approach presents a fresh marketing strategy for marketers to navigate more efficiently. We believe that this program can be easily adopted across the ecosystem, setting new benchmarks for how ads and narratives are conveyed moving forward,” adds Srinivas.

Some of the creators who are a part of the#MadeonReels campaign are Barkha Singh, Viraj Ghelani, Niharika NM, Ruhee Dosani, Ayush Mehra etc.

Brands on how Instagram Reels has performed for them

Speaking about how the campaigns on Reels have impacted them, Aseem Sharma, Director, Head of Growth, Navi says that they recently did a campaign on reels for their mutual funds and reels delivered amazing results on their performance campaigns.

A lot of myths were busted for us when we used the combination of Reels Ads and creators- that drove an 8% reduction in cost per first-time transactions. The combination of creators and Reels is a powerful one that can unlock massive business growth for brands.”

Similarly, Soumitra Choubey, associate director, brand marketing at Meesho spoke about how reels changed their marketing strategy. He says that Meesho has been leveraging reels and creators for a while now.

“Reels are something that has really worked for us and it is something that we have prioritised. Earlier we would think about the mainline campaign first and put in 10% of time on campaigns on reels. Since the past year, Meesho’s campaign planning starts with a mainline script and the reels together. It all comes beautifully together. We should think of the entire ecosystem as the mainline.”

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