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Creating Videos To Reel In Your Audience

Written by: David L. Lantz, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Recently, I received a promotional email that I decided to click on. The company was promoting an app that could take my podcast audio and create a promotional video called a “Reel”. Originally a video marketing tool designed by Instagram, many social media sites now encourage people to create reels – short (usually up to 90 seconds) videos that online creators can use to promote their brand, educate their audience, and help people discover their products and services. If you create and sell products, podcasts, books, etc. online, chances are you also have received a promotional email as I did. In this article, I want to talk about the four key steps you should consider when creating videos to reel in your audience.

couple inside the cinema watching movie with popcorn and drinks.

For serval years now, I’ve been creating short videos that I include in a monthly newsletter I write (for information about the value of writing newsletters, see my Brainz Magazine article, Five Keys To Using Newsletters To Build Your Brand.) I do this to promote content that I feel my subscribers would benefit from, as well as to promote books I’ve written. Increasingly, I’ve seen social media sites I use, like Facebook, YouTube, Mailchimp, and others, promote the concept of using reels. Of course, they also promote the tools they provide to help you make your own reels. All these services have their benefits and drawbacks. Regardless of what, if any, tool or service you use to create a reel, here are four keys to producing videos that will catch your audience’s eye.

1. Find a High-Quality Video Creation Service.

The first thing you want to do is find a high-quality video creation tool. Yes, you can create simple videos with tools like Zoom or PowerPoint, but if you are selling things you’ve created, remember that your short advertisements need to compete with other top-of-the-line video advertisements. If you don’t want to work with a custom video creation company, there are several off-the-shelf services you can subscribe to that can fit most budgets, including,, and to name a few. However, since 2020, I’ve been using a service called With a subscription to their service, you can use royalty-free stock images and video clips to create your reels. I created this video to introduce a module on using their service as part of my course How to Teach with Technology Online. The video is less than 90 seconds long. I’ll refer to it as we consider the second key in producing your own reels.

2. Consider How You Will Edit Video Audio.

If you watched my short video about InVideo, you heard my voice. In making the video, the template I chose allows me to edit each scene, including the ability to record my voice to narrate each scene. You can choose from their library of music recordings to play with the video, or you can record and upload an audio clip of your choosing. You can even use audio from another video you’ve made and repurpose it for inclusion in your brief promo video reel. For example, I also create a podcast called Discovering Truth at the Movies. The podcast service, Podomatic, allows me to create short video clips. I can take those clips which are in MP4 video format and, using a free online tool called, re-save the clip as an MP3 audio file I can upload and add to an InVideo reel.

3. Think About How to Create High-Quality Images to Include in Your Reels.

If you want to sell things you’ve created – jewelry you make is a great example - you’ll want to be able to upload custom images of those items. Therefore, having a low-cost method of creating such pictures is key. Now, I am certainly not a professional photographer, but I need to create images on a regular basis. A simple zero-cost method I have developed is to take a picture with my phone, insert it into a PowerPoint slide, create some text and add some text enhancements to create an image. Then, using the Snipping Tool on my PC, I grab a clip of the image and insert it into the Paint Program that also comes with my PC. This allows me to save the image as either a JPG or PNG image file that I can then upload to any online service that accepts images – including InVideo.

4. Prepare a Script for Your Reel and Select a Video Template.

I’ve been writing my free monthly newsletter, Conversations with the Culture, since 2005. In the last year or two, I’ve decided to start creating anthologies of past issues that all deal with a similar theme. And so, I have been slowly combining ten to twelve past issues into a PDF formatted e-book in a series I call “Discovering Truth at the Movies” and uploading them to my online Payhip store. In preparation for writing this Brainz Magazine post, I went through the above-mentioned steps to create a reel to promote my store. I chose this template for my project from InVideo’s library of templates you can use with a paid subscription. Here is the revised video I created and posted on my Instagram Account using this template.


The final video reel I created is only 40 seconds long, but it took me about four hours to produce. I don’t consider myself an expert in using any of the tools I’ve discussed in this article. In other words, my message to you is that everything I’ve done to create my video reel, you can do, too. Just keep in mind that it does take some time. How much time depends on you, what you want to accomplish, and the level of expert polish you want your final reel to reflect. So don’t be afraid to experiment and give it a try. For some tips on how to do this, try reading Brainz Magazine Executive Contributor Sharleen Beaumont’s article Going Beyond Our Limits To Produce Change.

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David L Lantz, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

David Lantz is a leader in the field of online instruction. He was awarded a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public & Environmental Affairs in 1981 and served as their Alumni President from 1990-1991. In 2005, he was named Faculty of the Year by the first graduating class of the University of Phoenix’s Indianapolis, Indiana campus. Having taught both face-to-face and online classes since 2003, he received the distinction of Advanced Online Instructor/Facilitator from the University of Phoenix in 2012. Since 2011, he has been creating online courses in the fields of entrepreneurship and online instruction. A self-published author, he has authored both fiction and non-fiction books, which can be found on His mission can be summarized in the proverb: “The wise man makes knowledge acceptable.” To learn more about David, visit his website at



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