How To Make Reels With Existing Video

How to make reels with existing video


The popularity of short-form videos across the social media spectrum is plain for all to see. As a means to communicate information, to educate or simply to entertain, short-form video is king. From mesmerising product demonstrations to behind-the-scenes glimpses of everyday life, videos captivate audiences in ways that text alone simply cannot. In recent years, the emergence of short-form videos, particularly reels, has added a new dimension to digital marketing.

Reels are short, visually engaging videos created and shared on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. These videos are designed to capture attention quickly, often lasting between 15 and 60 seconds. Reels can feature a variety of content, including product showcases, behind-the-scenes glimpses, tutorials and creative storytelling. The goal of reels is to entertain, inform or inspire viewers in a concise and visually appealing format, making them a popular tool for businesses and individuals looking to strengthen their online presence and connect with their audience. Remember, knowing how to make reels with existing video isn’t cheating. It’s maximising the hard work you’ve already put in.

The Art of Repurposing

How to make reels with existing video is no different to recycling. Repurposing is the art of leveraging what you already have — your existing video library — to create fresh, attention-grabbing reels.

Repurposing existing video content for reels is a strategic move used by many B2B social media campaigns. It has several benefits — it not only streamlines your content creation process but also maximises the value of the videos you already have. By extracting compelling snippets from longer videos or repackaging content into bite-sized reels, you can breathe new life into your existing material. This approach is both time-efficient and cost-effective, allowing you to make the most out of your marketing resources. Repurposing content also ensures consistency in your brand messaging and creates a cohesive narrative across various platforms.

How Can You Make Reels with Existing Video Content?

So, you’ve recorded a video clip that may be five minutes in length. It may not seem like it, but that’s a significant amount of content. Given that reels are only a few seconds in length, there is a wealth of opportunities peppered across your video timeline that can be extracted and re-presented as miniature videos (or reels) of their own.

How to make reels with existing video content is an intriguing question with a simple answer. Let’s look at practical tips and strategies for repurposing your footage into reels.

Choose the Right Clips

Start by identifying key moments within your existing video content that strike a chord with your target audience. These moments should evoke emotion, highlight product features or communicate the essence of your brand. Consider the art of storytelling — how each snippet contributes to the overall narrative and message you wish to convey. Ensure a seamless flow by strategically choosing engaging and visually appealing clips that capture and contribute to a cohesive and compelling story.

Decide on a Video Editing Tool

Once you’ve pinpointed those key moments, the next step is to choose a video editing tool. Applications like Adobe Premiere Pro, iMovie or InShot are ideal for beginners and seasoned creators alike. These tools offer intuitive interfaces and robust features, which allow you to edit with ease. Familiarise yourself with the basics, such as importing footage, cutting clips and arranging sequences. The goal is to make editing accessible, even if you’re new to the game.

Trim and Optimise Clips

Much like sculpting, the art of editing aims to trim the fat, so all that is left is the essence. Typically, unedited videos contain pauses, missed cues, repetitive phrases, external sound anomalies, or other technical problems that contaminate and bog down the recording. Cutting out these unwanted elements brings polish and professionalism to the overall presentation, giving it a pleasant flow and thrust that holds attention. Simple effects that alter the frame parameters or playback speed can add additional emphasis, drama or humour. However, less can often lead to more in the world of reels.

Craft a Compelling Story

Storytelling is important in reel creation because it helps brands connect with their audience emotionally. Instead of just focusing on product features, telling a story creates a memorable and relatable experience for viewers. People remember stories better than facts and figures, so a compelling narrative enhances brand recall, making the message stick in the minds of the audience. Reels with a compelling story should be a part of your content marketing strategy.

Here’s how to structure a reel for maximum impact:

  • Begin with a hook: The first few seconds of your reel are crucial. Capture attention immediately with a hook that sparks curiosity or emotion. This could be a compelling visual, a surprising statement or an intriguing question.
  • Create a clear storyline: Much like a compelling story, your reel should have a clear narrative. Start by introducing the challenge or opportunity, escalate the tension, and resolve it with your product or service as the hero.
  • Show, don’t just tell: Use visuals to reinforce your story. Incorporate real-life scenarios, relatable characters and situations that highlight the benefits of your offering. Visual storytelling is a powerful way to communicate complex messages.

Add Text, Music and Effects To Increase Engagement

Take your reels to the next level by strategically incorporating text, music and effects. Start with text overlays that convey messages succinctly. Choose fonts and colours that align with your brand. Integrate music that complements the mood of your content, using it to evoke emotions and enhance engagement. Experiment with subtle effects like transitions or filters to add flair without overwhelming your audience. This step is all about the finer details — those elements that turn a good reel into a shareable, memorable masterpiece.

Optimise Reels for Each Platform

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to reels. Each platform has its unique vibe, and tailoring your content accordingly can greatly improve its impact. On Instagram, a visually driven platform, you should prioritise high-quality visuals and storytelling. Embrace the platform’s features like Reels Music and Text, making your content immersive and engaging. When making reels for TikTok, where creativity and trends reign supreme, let your imagination run wild. Leverage popular sounds and challenges to resonate with the TikTok community.

Make sure you strategically use hashtags to amplify the reach of your reels. Each platform has its own hashtag culture, so you should research and use trending and relevant hashtags to increase your content’s discoverability. You can also craft a unique branded hashtag to foster community engagement and encourage user-generated content.

Showcase Your Brand

Use your brand’s visual identity — logos, colours and other assets — strategically in your reels, taking into account the latest design trends. These elements serve as visual cues that link your content to your brand. For example, choose background colours that align with your brand palette or incorporate your logo subtly into scenes. By doing so, you not only maintain brand consistency but also reinforce the visual association between your content and your brand.

Consistency is key in building a recognisable brand presence, so ensure that your brand identity remains consistent across all your reels. Whether viewers are watching on Instagram, TikTok or other platforms, they should instantly connect the content with your brand. Establishing this cohesive visual identity helps build trust and loyalty among your audience and makes your brand more memorable.

Measure Success

Measuring the success of your reels is important for refining and optimising future content. Identify key metrics for reel performance, from views and likes to comments and shares, to gain insights into audience engagement. Use analytics tools to track these metrics — they allow you to decipher what resonates most with your audience. Learn from data, tweak your strategy for better reels, and keep an eye on performance to make your brand presence more effective and memorable.


This blog post introduced practical tips for how to make reels with existing video content and boost your business’s online presence. You can perfect marketing reels through storytelling, platform customisation and brand showcasing, but make sure your reels are aligned with your brand’s other visual content, such as social media graphics, GIFs and long-form videos. Tracking performance metrics is also crucial for continuous improvement. Embracing these strategies will help you tell your brand’s story and connect with your audience in a meaningful way.

The Altlier team produces eye-catching and share-worthy videos for service-based businesses. To find out how we can help your company, check our services page or get in touch.

Written by

Chris is our creative director and digital marketing expert. He holds a BA in Film Studies and has over 15 years of experience in multimedia production. Chris brings a wealth of expertise to make our clients’ campaigns visually stunning and strategically effective.

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