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5 Tips for Creating Instagram Reels

Social media algorithms can be hard to navigate as they constantly change what’s trending and what’s not. A trend that we don’t see going away anytime soon is short-form videos, Such as Instagram Reels or TikTok. We’ve compiled five tips to help guide your reel strategy. 


As they say, timing is everything, especially for posting on social media. The current generation of social media users prefers short-form video content. The Instagram algorithm is very precise in the content it chooses to push, but it also frequently changes its requirements. Most recently, the ideal length for a Reel is 7-15 seconds, though longer content can have its place. It is also important to remember that most people either stay or move on after the first three seconds, so you must have a great attention grabber right at the beginning of your video.


Along with staying on trend, planning is crucial for your reels strategy. When scheduling your reels, it’s important to check the analytics on your account to see what time and days your audience is most active; then, schedule your posts accordingly. Of course, there are also times the algorithm prefers, which is between 9-11 a.m. on weekdays. We love using scheduling platforms to plan ahead and not have to worry about posting right at a certain time. Our top two platforms are Hootsuite and Later. Both scheduling platforms let you upload your video, write your caption, and add hashtags, then pick whenever you want it to be posted.


One of the most important parts of your reel is the text. 85% of social media users don’t watch videos with sound, so using the closed captions feature is key. Text is also a crucial factor for search engine optimization (SEO), as that’s what the algorithm uses to categorize your content. Your on-screen text should be rich in keywords related to your niche and descriptive of the video. The placement of the text is a big player. You need to ensure it’s big enough and in an easily readable spot. We suggest the center third.  A great reel’s SEO secret is adding a few keywords in really small font that is moved off to the side of the screen where viewers can’t see it but will boot your ranking in the algorithm. 


Content that has been recycled from another platform, such as TikTok, and contains a watermark is a BIG no-no on Instagram. Clearly, re-used content with another app’s watermark won’t be pushed out via the algorithm to other users; however, it will still be shown to your followers. If you recycle content, we recommend filming it on Instagram or your camera, not in another app. You can also use the app Savetok to download content without the watermarks. 


Hashtags are a great way of adding keywords to your post that help people discover your content. Knowing what hashtags are trending in general and for your specific niche is important. We recommend doing the research before bombarding your content with irrelevant hashtags. Simply searching on Instagram and finding relevant ones to your niche with a lot of usage is best. You can also use Google Keyword Finder. Instagram’s algorithm suggests using 3-5 relevant hashtags for the best engagement. 

We know that reels can be intimidating at first, and we help these tips give you peace of mind as you start creating content. If you are in need of more social media help or want someone to build and implement a reels strategy for you, contact us!

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