Upcycled Reels to Boost Relevancy & Transparency for The Endery
In early 2022, The Endery’s thriving social presence was beginning to show signs of tapering off due to changes within Instagram, namely the prioritization of Reels. This came at an exciting time for The Endery as they had several fashion partnerships to showcase. Not wanting this important opportunity to pass us by, I worked with The Endery’s Creative Director Ellen Saville to gather available video content and upcycle it into Reels.
Client: The Endery
The Endery is an innovative knitwear project that tackles global waste by using what already exists, creating lifelong knits from deadstock yarn.
Through our experience and proximity to knitwear production in Peru, we aim to bring as much sustainability to the table as we can: rescuing quality materials, minimizing environmental impact, making products that last (both in design and quality), celebrating talented artisans and traditional craft, and solidifying a community that cares about our impact as consumers
The Endery not only produces their own line of knitwear, but they collaborate with other brands to bring deadstock and artisan craft into their production ecosystems. Some of their partners include Anthropologie, DEGEN, and Jonathan Cohen.
Goals & Objectives
- Lift the curtain that separates consumers and brands from the deadstock artisan process.
- Showcase The Endery’s experience in sustainable fashion partnerships.
- Improve relevancy in the Reels-dominated Instagram algorithm.
Challenge #1: The only content available was from past campaigns and artisan workshop visits. No new content would be created.
Solution: Much like The Endery’s waste led design process of working with deadstock yarn, I had to reverse the design process, developing a narrative from existing content rather than imagining it from scratch.
Because infographics had historically performed well on this account, I also saw an opportunity to incorporate what I call info-Reels — Reels that feature static charts, statistics, or quotes over a video background. This is a great way to maximize existing content while serving the audience that has historically appreciated this type of information.
Challenge #2: Like many business accounts, The Endery has limited music available for Reels on Instagram.
Solution: To work around the limited music available, I use trending sounds in the app on some Reels, but also mix in some royalty-free audio when editing videos. All selected audio fits the mood and feel of past content the brand had developed.
“It was a way for us to refresh old content, and using it with new ideas and layouts enabled content to be recycled.”
Before reviewing or developing content, I looked at past Reels The Endery had posted. The top-performing Reels were all centered around behind-the-scenes content, featuring yarn dyeing, knitting, photoshoots, and collaborations.
Based on this, I had a hunch that content featuring the artisans at work and other processes of deadstock fashion production would perform well.
Thankfully, with The Endery being based in Peru, there was video content available from past workshop visits, which Ellen provided. There was also some footage from The Endery’s Anthropologie collaboration campaign that could be repurposed.
While sorting through the available footage, I kept these questions in mind:
- How can we tell The Endery’s brand story with this footage?
- How can we lift up the unparalleled skill of these artisans?
- How can we establish The Endery as a thought leader and partner in deadstock artisan production?
Reviewing footage through these filters helped me select videos.
I created a first draft of the narrative of text that would accompany the videos first, then refined it as I uploaded the selected footage into Canva and spliced it together.
For the first few Reels, I added the text in the Instagram app itself, however, glitches in the app made this problematic. It also didn’t give the client an accurate preview of the Reel when I submitted it for review in my scheduling tool.
So, I started adding the text in Canva, which also allowed me to use the brand font. This is now my go-to process. This is also when I select music in Canva if not adding it in the app.
Once the Reels were complete, I exported them and submitted them with captions and hashtags for the client to review.
Ellen provided feedback to keep the creative on-track with not only where The Endery has been, but where the brand is heading with new partnerships and innovation. This communication is critical when goals change, and when implementing a new media format.
We posted the first Reel on March 10, 2022. It quickly exceeded reach on all past reels.
“Our message resonated so much clearer because we were bringing manufacturing into the forefront, which needs little accompanying description.”
The next narrative-driven Reel framed the slow artisan production process as innovative. It achieved viral status, reaching or exceeding 3X performance on KPIs including reach, likes, and comments.
The info-Reel format also performed well, not only in terms of reach but also for shares, saves, and starting conversations.
By the time it came time to announce The Endery’s collaboration with Jonathan Cohen with some shiny new behind the scenes footage, we had a winning formula in place.
We see spikes in followers following new Reels being posted, helping The Endery break 8,000 followers. We haven’t seen any mass unfollowing, likely because the content is consistent with The Endery’s value, mission and messaging. We’ve simply translated it into Reels.
“Reels helped translate clearly our mission in a way which we weren’t able to in just photos.”
Lessons & Takeaways
Contrary to some advice and rumors, you don’t have to utilize all of the Reels editing tools in Instagram such as text and audio. The Reels with text and audio edited in Canva have performed just as well as those created in the app.
Resourcefulness applies to content as much as it does to fashion or any other industry. We can all probably get more out of what we already have if we get creative.
Do you have footage that’s collecting digital dust? Want to turn it into high-performing Reels or TikTok videos for your brand? Get in touch.