Back in 2020, Instagram released its TikTok analogue Reels to have its own TikTok competitor and a tool to share short vertical clips. In this piece, we’ll talk about how you can take your Reels content to the next level and gain more views.
But first, let’s figure out what Reels is and how you can use it on Instagram.
What Is Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels is a feature for creating and editing short videos, just a TikTok analogue within Instagram with the same functionality: the ability to add music from an extensive database of tracks or use your original backtracks, adjust the effects, and make stitches with videos already uploaded by other users.
Instagram Reels Features
Instagram already has a Stories section with a 15-second video. So how Reels is different?
Reels has more advanced editing features. Besides, the actual idea behind Reels is to show pre-edited and planned clips with music and transitions. Stories are more of a lifestyle and casual thing.
So, to the advantages of the Reels format:
- You can choose the length of the video - in timing from 0.1 to 30 seconds.
- When publishing, Reels can also be shared on the main feed of your profile, just like IGTV.
- The Reels you see on Instagram are from your Instagram followings only. Instead, the algorithm takes into account your interest in specific topics, lie the Explore page.
- Extensive library of audio tracks and the ability to upload your own original sounds.
You can also save your favourite tracks for later use right in the process of watching the Reels feed.
- The Remix function allows you to create a Reels video consisting of two videos from different users, like a TikTok stitch.
- You can set the shooting speed: speed up to 4x and slow down by 3 and 5 times. But this is only available when shooting directly in Reels mode.
- You can use the entire library of AR masks and effects available on Instagram.
- Use a timer function and countdown. With these, you can make videos hands-free. All you need is to press record; then, you’ll see a 3-2-1 countdown before recording begins for the amount of time you selected.
- Use transitions. You can align objects from your previous clip before recording your next one and make the slightest transitions.
- You can record Reels in a series of clips (one at a time), all at once, or using video uploads from your photo gallery. To record your first clip, press and hold the capture button. Once you start recording, you’ll see a progress indicator at the top of the screen. Stop recording to end each clip.
- And like with Instagram posts, Stories and IGTV, you can share reels with your friends on Feed and in the special tab on the Explore page.
As you tap on an audio track, hashtag, or effect, Instagram will show you all clips that have this track, hashtag, or an effect alike. Just like how TikTok does.
When your reel is ready, you can then save a draft of the video, change the cover image, add a caption, hashtags, and tag other Instagrammers. When you upload the reel and make it seen to anyone, the video appears on a separate tab on your Instagram profile page. If you share the clip to your Feed, it will show up in your primary profile grid.
Depending on the type of account you have - public or private one - you can share the reel to your story, Close Friends, and direct messages. If you share it to your story, it will last for 24 hours and will appear neither on the Explore tab nor your main profile.
Reasons to Start Using Reels Right Now If Not Yet
- Few competitors so far.
Though this feature is one year old already, initially, it was available just in 50 countries. Now more and more countries are getting access to it. And so far, the competition is relatively low.
2. Instagram pushes new features.
Like any new Instagram format, Reels will get more benefits at launch. Instagram ‘pushes’ the Reels creators’ content to gain more reach and helps these creators show their videos to larger audiences.
3. New advertising opportunities.
Surely, the monetisation and advertising features will be launched in the years to come.
4. The virality of short videos.
We live in a fast content consumption era, so no wonder that apps like TikTok are getting more and more users and downloads each month. When you upload Reels, it gains its first 1,000 views rather quickly, even if you’re not that much of an influencer.
5. Instagram pushes into video content and entertainment.
Instagram recently announced that it’s no longer a square-photo app and would henceforth be more focused on video content and entertainment.
Besides, Instagram Reels perform better than carousels, single photos, stories, IGTV, and feed videos in every metric - likes, comments, saves or shares.
Give all the above; here are some tips on gaining more views of your Instagram Reels.
How to Get More Instagram Reels Views
- Add more cuts
You should add a cut every 2-3 seconds, especially when there’s a:
- New scene
- New camera angle
- Some another clip added to your video
So, when making or editing your Instagram Reel, try to add multiple cuts instead of shooting the whole video in one take.
2. Write captions right above your video
Even if you’re creating a video now, not a feed post, you still need to focus on a good caption. But not only in a video description, but right in your video because many people watch short videos with the sounds off.
Some creators add captions that disappear too quickly so that you can’t even read what they say to motivate you to watch the video again.
This is a working tip to get more views but not really organic and honest towards the viewers.
3. Create content that your target audience wants to see
Even though short vertical videos are associated with dances and fun, you should use Reels to show your audience something valuable, something they actually want to see and share. Create educational and motivational content along with funny videos.
4. Share Reels to your stories
The views you get from your stories do count. So what you definitely should do to increase the ER and views of your Reels, is to share them in your stories with some CTA.
5. Post Reels consistently
Consistency is one of the primary factors if you want to get as many content views as you can. And that applies not only to Reels but to all kinds of content on social media. So if you post regularly, then you might get the exposure from Instagram that you needed.
This can also help you get onto the Instagram Explore page and get more views of your Instagram reels.
6. Use trendy soundtracks
Instagram has a large music library that you can use for your Reels. You should stay on top of trends, see which tracks get really popular, and make Reels featuring these tracks. When users watch loads of Reels using the same song, Instagram algorithms consider it to be trendy and adds more Reels with this track on the Explore page and suggested Reels section.
So if you create Reels with trendy songs, that increase your chances of getting more views.
If you want to check whether a song is popular or not, you can do so by tapping on the song from the bottom of the video. The more videos it has, the better for you, and you get more views on Instagram reels.
7. Add relevant hashtags
The hashtags tell Instagram what the video is about; hence, Instagram shows the content to the most relevant people, and you can get more views on Instagram reels.
Tip: use the Combin Growth tool to research the right hashtags for your Reels.
Always make sure to add relevant hashtags to your Reels only.
8. Share to Reels in Explore
When you finish editing your Reels, click the “Share” button. Before that, select an additional option named “Share to Reels in Explore”. If your Reels are shared here, you’ll have more opportunities to get more views and even followers.
9. Don’t upload TikTok videos to Reels
A bit of a “don’t” advice here. Instagram will highly likely diminish your Reel reach and views if you don’t share the original content. So we’d recommend you not uploading videos with TikTok watermarks to Reels.