Video is one of the biggest things on social media right now. This means that you should definitely start getting involved if you haven’t already.
And while there are many platforms out there to choose from, the most popular by far remains Instagram and its Reel feature. This feature allows users to record short video content through either the app or their camera roll.
Unlike other video platforms, these videos come with an unrivalled amount of reach (which is great for advertisers).
Creating viral Reels always begins with creating binge-worthy content, but other important steps are involved. And while it’s ultimately up to you how well your Reels perform in the long run, we can help you boost your chances of success. How? by giving you some of the tips that have worked wonders so far!
But first, let’s get into a bit more of what Instagram Reels are all about.
What are Instagram Reels, and How Do You Use Them?
Reels are a short-video feature on Instagram. Similar to the popular video app TikTok, Instagram Reels allow you to record and upload videos using an interesting feature of shooting 15, 30, or 60 seconds at a time. When creating this type of “Reel,” users can either film using the in-app camera or upload videos from their own archives, provided they adhere to the length restrictions.
So, why is this feature special? Instagram Reels has its own tab, right at the front and center of an Instagram user’s account.
Unlike feed content, you can be sure that Reels will be seen by a large number of accounts (that aren’t even necessarily following you).
This means, if you have a public profile, your content may spread far and wide, infusing your account with some much-needed engagement.
Reels thrive on original and engaging content, so your reel videos should be just that. It’s also true that Instagram is tweaking algorithms to give greater visibility to accounts using Reels. That’s another reason to ensure you use this feature efficiently.
10 Tips for Going Viral on Instagram Reels
Reels have been on Instagram for a while now. However, the competition is tough, and it takes much effort to stand out and go viral. But don’t let that discourage you because there are several ways to make your content shine.
Here are some useful tips and tricks to create short videos and go viral on this popular app.
- Make High-Quality Videos
The most successful Instagram Reels often possess great video and editing qualities. Meanwhile, a high-quality video could be the difference between a viral and a non-viral Instagram Reel.
Quality videos usually have two elements: high resolution and good lighting. If you’re using your phone, ensure there is sufficient lighting. If you’re recording indoors, consider getting a ring light. This will soften shadows and improve image clarity.
At the same time, if you’re recording outdoors, only film your videos during the day when there is moderate sunshine. Also, avoid filming in direct sunlight.
- Focus on a Specific Trend, Niche or Topic
One of the numerous ways to gain interactions and go viral using Instagram Reels is to find a theme on Instagram and post about it regularly.
The Instagram algorithm usually shows your posts to users that are already interested in the topic you are posting about. The topic could be anything from health and skincare to games, music, sports, and even politics.
It is vital to choose a theme or niche and stick to it. This builds your following with every post and makes your Reels go viral.
- Have an Attention-Grabbing Hook
Speaking of standing out, thousands of Reels are published daily. So, to go viral and get more than a few likes, your content must be different. It’s not enough for your reels to be unique and original; it also has to be attention-grabbing.
The best way to achieve this is to use the first few seconds of your video to capture the audience’s attention. You could use a word, catchphrases, or even general statistical information.
- Shoot Vertically and Add a Custom Reel Cover
Video files for Instagram Reels are uploaded either in a horizontal or vertical format. However, it’s ideal to shoot and post videos vertically because they use up the entire screen of your mobile device.
Customising your Reel cover image can also help your video stand out and pull in more audience. Coupled with making your Reels unique, the right custom cover can make your video more eye-catching when it is seen as a thumbnail.
It would be best to create your cover in the same format that you’re shooting the video in. The optimal video resolution is 1080 x 1920 pixels. This allows viewers to see your video at the maximum resolution, with an aspect ratio of 9:16.
- Remove Watermarks
If you want to give your Reels the best chance of going viral, you need to remove watermarks from the videos. This could be watermarks of editing apps or other social media apps like Tik Tok
Several Instagram users upload their Reels with TikTok watermarks. One of the reasons Instagram created Instagram Reels is to encourage users to choose Instagram over TikTok for video posts.
When you post reels with a Tiktok watermark, you’ll surely get a frown from the Instagram Algorithm. Instagram’s algorithm can detect TikTok’s watermarks. Hence, it will not display your videos as often as it would videos with no watermark.
To increase the likelihood of your videos appearing in Instagram’s Explore section, you must remove any watermarks, especially from TikTok.
- Use Closed Captions and Subtitles
Several Instagram users watch videos without sound. As such, providing captions or subtitles will help users understand your content if there is no audio. It’ll also aid people who can’t hear to understand your video.
However, it is not easy to create captions that reflect the mood of your video. You would
have to make the extra effort to make your Reels more understandable, with or without subtitles.
- Adequately Use On-Screen Text Placement
While closed captions are excellent for describing the content of your Instagram Reels, adding text to your videos can create another opportunity to go viral.
You should adequately use on-screen placement and ensure your video fits within the standard 9:16 aspect ratio. Meanwhile, your text should fit within the 4:5 viewing aspect ratio. That way, when viewers go through your Reels, they’ll be able to see any text you’ve added.
It is important to place your text in the middle of your video or the “safe zone.” This will ensure that your texts won’t get cut off after upload.
- Do Fun Transitions and Use Trending Music
If you want your Reels to look professional and go viral on Instagram, learning the art of video transitions is a must.
You can use multiple transitions to spice up your video, including the snap and cut/jump elements. It’s a good idea to master the timer and the align tool, as they’ll also come in handy.
For your audio, look at songs that are popular and trending. If you know a catchy song that is trending online, use that song.
Adding music to your Reels makes you more discoverable on the platform. You can also take part in fun challenges on Instagram from time to time.
- Upload Your Reels During Peak Viewing Times
If you’ve been posting Instagram video Reels without engagement, then you’re probably doing it at the wrong time. It’s vital to track your audience’s activity, so you’ll find out the best times of day to upload new Reel content.
When you upload Reels during active viewing periods on Instagram, there’s a good chance that they’ll go viral. But this will only happen if your content is original, fun, and high-quality.
- Feature User-Generated Content
Using trends to your advantage is good, but featuring user-generated content can be even better. Have one of your followers made a reel about you or your product? Why not feature their reel on your profile?
People tend to connect easily with content made by someone similar to them. A reel from one of your audiences can help the rest of your followers (and non-followers) bond with your page even more.
You can also do Reels similar to those done by other Instagram users and influencers. This can help you strike the right tune with your community, creating that viral level of engagement you desire.
Making Instagram Reels isn’t that difficult. However, you should remember that there is no magic formula for making a viral-worthy reel. Several factors contribute to the engagements your Reel will get.
The most important thing is to continuously create exciting, eye-catching content using all the tips we’ve mentioned in this article.
Remember, a unique angle that increases engagement, an unusual caption that makes people laugh, and even a trending topic that makes people share all join to create a viral video.