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Maximize Your Instagram Strategy: A Deep Dive into Reels vs. Stories

Last Updated on September 4, 2023 by Diana

Instagram Reels vs. Stories which helps you to drive more traffic is the most common debate among social media users. Both are popular ways to share videos and improve engagement on Instagram.

But all you need to identify which platform and consumer sales funnel differentiate them. Don’t worry! In this article, we will go through all the important parts so that you get clear ideas and implementation arenas.

Without further ado, let’s get started!


Understanding Instagram Reels

Want to unveil the secret to growth on Instagram marketing? Yes, your assumption is right: Instagram Reels. Before exploring its hidden mystery let’s take a look at What Instagram Reels are?

Instagram Reels are creative short video clips up to 90 seconds long (app-record) or 15 minutes long (pre-shot video). In Reels, you can add effects, sounds, photos, filters, captions, interactive backgrounds, stickers, and more.

Instagram reels

Key features of Instagram Reels

There are different features of Instagram Reels such as –

  • Music: You can add music to your IG Reels and make it more engaging to attract targeted audiences.
  • Filters and effects: If you want to change the feel and look of your video, you can do it by using filters and effects.
  • Text: Add captions, titles, or other information to your IG Reels.
  • Multi-clip: By adding different videos and photos together you can create a unique IG Reel.
  • Speed controls: You can speed up and slow down your video Reels.
  • Hashtags: You can add different hashtags to help the audience discover your Reels.
  • Sounds: If you want you can add sounds from other Reels.

The public nature of Reels and its benefits

Instagram Reels are public which means anyone can view them who follows you. This adds an extra benefit to your businesses and brands. For more details, let’s check out some key benefits below:

  • Wider audience and reach: Short-form videos steal audiences’ hearts instantly. It is a full package with creativity. Brands highlight their unique thoughts and engage with their community through Reels.  
  • Instagram algorithm priority Reels: Reels go viral all the time and the Explore Page is the main evidence. Considering static photo posts, Reels help brands showcase their specialty to audiences.
  • Promote products: From how-tos to product unique settings and products with multiple angles or applications, Reels are the most useful thing. Businesses can add effects and sounds to make it more eye-catching, visually appealing, and memorable.
  • Cost-friendly: Reels require less budget or production value. If you have limited time or content budget, you can create Reels and boost your social presence. By adding hashtags, viewers can look up products tagged in Reels and buy from Instagram directly.

Examples of successful use of Instagram Reels by brands or influencers

Let’s check out some awesome and popular brands that use Reels for more engagement and reach.


Nike is the most famous brand that uses Reels to promote its new products and share behind-the-scenes content. For example, Nike represents how they made shoes in one Reel. After that, they earned over 1 million views and 100,000 likes instantly.


They use Reels to showcase their makeup tutorials and product reviews that give audiences trust. For example, in one Reel they showed how to create a smoky eye look with Sephora products. This Reel gets over 2 million views and 150,000 likes.


By using runway shows and photo shoots, Puma uploads behind-the-scenes Reels. For example, they represent how Dua Lipa modeled a new Puma collection. This eans over 3 million views and received over 200,000 likes instantly.

Understanding Instagram Stories

Instagram story also known as Insta story or IG story is a feature that allows users to share photos and videos available for 24 hours. It is similar to Snapchat stories that appear at the top of the IG app.

With IG stories you can post different kinds of content i.e., new products and short clips.

Key features of Instagram Stories

There are interesting and effective Instagram story features, including:

  • Instagram story stickers: You can add cartoons, GIFs, shopping stickers, or text to your Instagram stories and make them more engaging. Also, you can use countdown, Poll, quiz, and other stickers.
  • Captions: In your IG stories, you can add automated text captions.
  • Interactive tools: Stories allow you to include different interactive tools like AR filters.
  • Live broadcasting: You can use stories as live broadcasts to connect with your followers in real-time and share special moments.

The private nature of Stories and its benefits

If you have a private IG account, your stories will not be seen by others except your followers and friends. In this way, you can share more personal or candid moments. Here we’ve listed some Instagram stories benefits below:

  • Increase engagement and reach: With stories you can connect with your audience in real-time and share your brand thoughts.
  • Better branding: You can use stories to improve your brand visibility and awareness. When you share your brand stories and product demos, you are giving your audiences a chance to learn more about your business.
  • Creative and unique expressions:: With IG stories, you can share your creative thoughts by using stickers, text, and others.
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Examples of successful use of Instagram Stories by brands or influencers

Let’s check out some awesome and popular brand examples that use Stories to drive more potential traffic!


NASA loves to share beautiful space imagery, cool gadget news, and interesting space discovery news with everyone. NASA uses interactive elements or text to summarize and give ideas about the topic they discuss. They basically use photo and video content for their stories.

National Geographic

NatGeo is the most followed brand on the Instagram platform. They love to post and experiment with different content formats. They also sponsored influencers to narrow down a story like Barbie a story about nature. Here, they told the story of a female conservation photographer.


Stories are the most important part of travel companies like Airbnb. They follow different styles and content to promote their stories. From animated content to high-quality videos they take advantage of different features.

Instagram Reels Vs. Story: A Comparative Analysis

Now that you’ve detailed knowledge about Instagram Reels and Stories, let’s break down key comparisons below:

Comparison of Instagram Reels and Stories

Formats allowed

Reel: As you know, IG Reels are short-form video content. You can add videos, photos, captions, and many others in one Reel and upload it within a week.

Story: Instagram stories are video clips with a limited time frame. Like Reels, you can use photos and need to publish daily.


Reel: In Reels, you can add a voiceover to narrow down the content, add music, and many others.

Story: From brand personality to product insights and music all you can add to your story. But inserting background music is the only audio editing option you experience.


Reel: You can save your unfinished Reels as drafts and preview them before publishing.

Story: The main focus of IG stories is to capture fleeting moments means saving drafts is not allowed. If you want to live your stories you can take advantage of highlights.


Reel: In the Reel, you can add up to 30 hashtags. So, use the correct tags to attract more audiences.

Story: In the story, you can add up to 10 hashtags. Ensure that each hashtag is trendy.


Reel: Instagram Reels are shared with everyone and displayed in the Reels tab.

Story: The Instagram stories are shared with your followers and are displayed at the top of users’ screens.

How viewers engage

Reel: Viewers easily engage with Reels by commenting, sharing, and many other ways.

Story: When you post a story, you can create polls, ask questions, share links to your website page, and more.

Analysis of the type of content that works best on each platform

Here we’ve listed some popular and trendy types of content that work best on each platform.


  • Travel vlogs: Travel vlogs are a great way to showcase historical and natural beauty to audiences.
  • Food recipes: You can make reels on traditional food recipes and share your love of cooking with others which helps to build a community of foodies.
  • Fashion hauls: Do you want to highlight your latest fashion finds with others? Try Instagram Reels to inspire others.
  • Tutorials: Beauty brands love to represent makeup tutorials by using their products that give the audience a realistic vibe of products.
  • Comedy or memes: Do you want to make people laugh and leave a lasting impression on your audience’s mind? Try to create some funny Reels that engage with your audiences.


  • Product teasers: Want to build excitement or curiosity among your audiences? Try to create product teasers or new product launch stories.
  • Announcements and promotions: These types of stories help you to keep your followers informed about your brand products.
  • Behind-the-scenes: With these stories, you can give people a glimpse of real life and work that help to build a personal connection.

Discussion on the discoverability of content on Reels vs. Stories

As you know, Instagram Reels and Stories both are popular features among Instagram users. Both allow you to share videos in different formats. But when it comes to discoverability Reels always win the game.

Let’s check out some core scenarios of Stories and Reels in the next section!

Reels discoverability

Reels are highly discoverable and found in the Instagram Reels tab a dedicated space. People can find Reels on the Explore page which is the most popular destination of IG users for discovering new content.

Stories discoverability

Stories can be found in the Stories bar at the top of the Instagram app which is less discoverable than Reels. You can also find it in the Highlights section.

Maximizing Your Instagram Strategy with Reels and Stories

Instagram Reels are all about highlighting products or services’ creative parts to your target audiences. On the contrary, stories connect with your followers by sharing personal stories, giving a sneak peek of new products, and many others. Both help your brand to achieve its actual goal.

Tips on when to use Reels vs. Stories for maximum engagement

The most common question among Instagram users is when to use IG stories and Reels for more engagement and reach. Well, both features are helpful and its own purposes. For example,

Use Instagram Stories

  • Build relationships with your audience: When it comes to interacting with your followers Instagram stories are the best thing. From creating a brand story to building a strong connection, you can post stories. Also, you can take advantage of polls, stickers, and others.
  • Promoting products: Do you think about launching your new product line? Instagram stories are the most helpful thing to create urgency or suspension among your audiences. Ensure to give clear instructions by adding CTA.

Use Instagram Reels

  • Going viral: The Reels gives your business or brand massive viral potential. All you need to focus to scheduling your Reels at the right time so that audiences notice yours first.
  • New followers: Do you want to increase your follower count? As per a study, 22% of new followers are attracted through Reels rather than videos on your feed. So, by making a powerful Reel you can easily boost your brand sales.
  • Discoverable: Want to boost overall engagement? Reels are more effective than Stories and have strong search interest on Google. They are also easily discoverable by the Instagram community.
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Strategies for creating engaging content on both platforms

Let’s check out some strategies so that you can create engaging and sale-oriented content on both platforms (Reels and Stories),

  • Be unique and creative: Instagram is the most popular marketplace where you can attract your target audience through creative and original content. So, try to use new editing techniques and features. If you want you can collaborate with creators too.
  • Be relatable: Instagram stories and Reels help to highlight your business or services to millions of people. That’s why try to share your brand’s unique tone and personality to give audiences trust. You can share product demos and showcase features to give them a realistic vibe  
  • Use relevant hashtags: Hashtags are a game changer. If you add trendy or branded hashtags, people will be attracted more. Also, your Reels and Stories will show up in search results.
  • Use music, effects, and other features: If you want to add interest and fun, try to use stickers, effects, captions, music, and others. All these features work best for your IG Reels and stories.

Importance of tracking analytics and adjusting strategy accordingly

Tracking analytics and adjusting strategy per reports help you to identify which Reels or stories are working and which are not. After that, you can improve your content or hashtags to get a wider audience.

Here we’ve listed the key importance of tracking analytics and adjusting strategy below:

  • Help to find your target audience: Analytics help you to find your target audience as per your marketing niche. By using this information you can create your audience’s preferred content.
  • Improve engagement: Analytics help you to improve your engagement and reach like comments, shares, likes, and so on.
  • Most viral content: Do your followers love Reels more compared to stories? With analytics, you can identify your audience’s demands and content formats.

Case Study: Successful Brands on Instagram

Here we’ve listed the top brands and their Instagram marketing strategies key points below:


Do you ever look at the beauty brand Glossier’s Instagram account? They frequently post user-generated content and Reels to connect with their customers and followers. From new product launches to product features, all they represent in a creative way. They love to repost content from their customers in a “Top 5” highlight.



One of the most well-known luxury fashion brands is Vogue. Like others, they use Instagram stories and Reels to share their new product announcements, high-quality product photos, and UGC. People love every product of this brand and spend a significant amount of time on their IG pages.


Analysis of their strategies and why they work


Rather than forcing audiences to buy their products they educate them and provide instant answers to questions like:

  • What do the actual products look like?
  • Is this right for your skin? How do you use them?

However, they also introduce makeup artists to people which builds loyalty and trust. From storytelling to pointing out products’ uniqueness they provide eye-catching visuals and context to their videos.


Their Instagram marketing strategy lies in well-organized product views. The brand collaborates with influencers and celebrities to showcase its brand-new products. Vogue discovered that its videos got more clicks than still photos. They also share a behind-the-scenes feel with their audiences.


Instagram Reels vs. Stories, you explore different features and advantages to drive sales. But when your business goal is to target top-of-the-funnel audiences, Reels are the best choice to represent your brand personality. With IG stories you can fulfill your Instagram marketing targets too.

So, it’s wise to experiment with both and track the engagement rate. We hope after going through this article, you get a detailed overview of Reels and Stories. If you have any opinion or tactics feel free to share with us.


1. Can I use both Instagram Reels and Stories for my brand?

Yes, you can use both Instagram Reels and Stories for your brand to get more engagement.

2. Which is better for engagement, Instagram Reels or Stories?

Instagram Reels is better for engagement (hashtags and captions) than Stories.

3. How often should I post on Instagram Reels and Stories?

Depending on your business goals, you can post 4-7 times Instagram Reels per week or more. For Instagram stories, you can post up to 10 stories per day to increase your follower count.

4. Can I use the same content for Instagram Reels and Stories?

Yes, you can use the same content for your Instagram Reels and Stories. But as you know, Reels need to be 60 seconds long and Stories 15 seconds long.

5. Can Instagram Reels be shared with Stories?

Yes, you can share your or someone else’s Instagram Reels to your story from the IG app.

6. What type of content works best for Instagram Reels and Stories?

There are different content types that work best for Instagram Reels and Stories, such as –
● Behind-the-scenes,
● Product demos,
● How-to-videos,
● Promotional,
● Funny, and so on.

7. How can I use Instagram Reels and Stories to increase my brand’s visibility?

You can use Instagram Reels and stories in many ways to increase your brand’s visibility, including:
● Adding relevant hashtags,
● Creating eye-catching visuals and thumbnails.
● Take advantage of music and sound effects.
● Adding CTAs.
● Collaborating with influencers or brand ambassadors, and so on.

8. Can I save Instagram Reels and Stories?

Yes, you can save your Instagram Reels and stories.

9. How can I measure the success of my Instagram Reels and Stories?

There are different measurement metrics to identify the success of Instagram Reels and stories such as –
● Views – The number of times your Reels and stories have been viewed you can count it to measure the success.
● Likes – If your Reels and stories are more engaging, people will interact with them through likes.
● Comments – How many comments do your Reels and stories get from your followers?
● Shares – You can count the number of sharing times of your Reels and stories.
● Reach – The number of unique visitors or followers who have seen your Reels and stories.

10. Can I see who viewed my reels?

No, Instagram never reveals profiles that have seen a Reel rather than how many views it achieves.

11. What is the best time to post Instagram Reels?

As per Hootsuite and SocialPilot, the best time to post Instagram Reels is Monday to Thursday at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. The timing will vary depending on your audience demographics and your business goals.

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