Why You Don’t Need Instagram Reels in 2024

Close up of hand holding phone with instagram open on the screen

Updated in Dec 9, 2023

If you run a small business and you’ve been asking yourself if you need to enter the Instagram Reels game, or how to make better Reels for business, I’m here to tell you it’s not necessary.

You don’t have to make Reels on Instagram.

Your business will be just fine.

Last year I attended an Instagram training where the instructor told us Instagram Reels are now the only path to good engagement. If you plan to continue a photo-only Instagram account, your posts are not going to get as much attention. 

Recent Instagram updates aim to push Reels into the Feed and Discovery section of the app more than ever, in what seems a desperate attempt to beat TikTok at all costs.

Instagram wants all of us to use all their new features. You have to post stories every day, oh and a carousel post, and of course, lots of Reels, edited in the Reels editor.

Forget That B*llsh*t

My business coach, the great Eleanor Beaton, says “I won’t shake my booty for Mark Zuckerberg.”

Beaton helms a multiple 7-figure business. She does not need to shimmy on camera for customers.

Now, there is nothing inherently undignified about dancing for money. 

But as a marketer, I know better than anyone which specific tactics attract which specific clients. 

Dancing on camera is not an action that draws in my target audience.

Life is not a Teen Movie

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had time to stand in front of my mirror and learn choreography for a hot decade. At least.

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So why are we being asked to? 

It’s because we aren’t creating content to sell to our clients. We’re being peer pressured to engineer eye-catching content for Mark Zuckerberg and to keep Instagram users for as long as possible with their eyes peeled to the screen consuming Reels.

If we want the “free” advertising social media supposedly promises, we have to do more and more outlandish (and time consuming) things to get attention.

Which is GREAT for the Meta corporation. They get thousands of thirsty entrepreneurs hustling for their users’ attention.

Bow to the algorithm? No Thanks.

The visibility of Instagram content depends on the all-mighty (and ever-changing) algorithm. Businesses that are trying to make it on Instagram are constantly changing their strategy to keep appearing on their audience’s feeds. 

Needless to say, It can be very frustrating to keep track of the constant updates to follow Instagram’s lead and please the algorithm. And with an average engagement of 1.94% for all post types, I’m sure that small business owners have more important and rewarding things to work on than entering the Instagram rat race.

Every time Instagram head Adam Mosseri post on his Twitter account to announce a new update, the vast majority are of the replies are like these ones, from one of the latest Reels updates:

If you feel that understanding the Instagram puzzle is taking precious time from you, and that you could be investing it on something that will benefit your business long-term, like working on your branding, maybe you should step out from this app.

Instagram Will Make Targeting Your Audience Harder

If you’re on Instagram hoping to get organic and targeted growth, I’m afraid that this will be harder from now on, since Meta will be showing even more posts from accounts people don’t follow in 2024. That means businesses will be creating Reels and posts with little to no control of who will be watching their content, unless they end up turning to paid advertising, that is.

One of the main components of an effective marketing strategy is to communicate to your tailored audience, and with this path Instagram is taking, small businesses will be creating content and hoping for their message to reach their audience, and that can be translated to an effectiveness rate of nearly 0%.

Instagram Reels Don’t Matter

I guarantee you will not turn more leads into sales simply because someone saw your Reel or your TikTok and your moves were flawless.

There is an important step BETWEEN engagement and sales called “cultivating intent.” 

It means you take everyone whose attention you’ve flagged, and nurture their impression of your offer. Ideally, they then buy it.

Dancing does not facilitate this process. If your buyers first saw you when you were dancing, you still had to do another step to convince them your offer is attractive. I mean, unless your offer is dance lessons. 

via GIPHY

(Just to clarify, if your offer is dance lessons, carry on with the Reels if you want to. You and your good coordination are probably the reason the rest of us are in this mess.)

End the Madness

It’s time to end the madness. Get out of the habit of literally shimmying for your supper. 

In fact, stop doing any marketing tactic that doesn’t feel natural and manageable. I can help you determine which tactics are going to give you the best return for your effort. I even offer some of this advice for free. Book a call, or sign up below.

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