10 Tips for Upleveling Your Instagram REELS

- BySonam Ram

Ready to uplevel your Instagram Reels? Reels have been popping up at increased frequency in our feeds lately, and there’s a reason why: Instagram is prioritizing accounts that (properly) post Reels in the algorithm. Unlike regular feed posts and Stories, Reels continue to be shown to new audiences for days or weeks after you’ve posted (if they’re performing well!).

Reels can ultimately help increase your brand reach, grow your online community and help you make those conversions you’re looking for BUT you need to ensure you are maximizing this feature to get these benefits.

For starters, Instagram’s algorithm favours Reels that are inspirational, high-quality and in the vertical video size, while blurry and low-res videos or ones with an overload of text will be penalized. As well, videos with TikTok watermarks will be penalized – they want you to share original content.

How can you get started? Read our nitty gritty logistics for creating a Reel here. Once you’ve got these logistics down, it’s time to get down to business. Here’s our top 10 tips for creating Reels:

1. Practice makes perfect.

Don’t expect to nail a perfect Reel or have super smooth transitions the first time you create one. Play around with the AR effects, the music, and timer to see what you like and what works for your brand.

2. Use original video footage (vertical-sized) for optimal viewing.

It’s best to shoot all footage in the 9:16 ratio for reels and best to use genuine and real content. This is what Instagram users are looking for. Pro Tip: When you’re placing text ensure you don’t place it close to the tip or bottom edges or it will get cut off when the Reel appears on your feed. Also, Reels that look super produced or like a Powerpoint Presentation are likely to fall flat in the Instagram space. Fun, genuine, playful, and creative is the way to go here.

3. Offer something to your community – this is KEY to creating a good Reel

Each and every Reel should provide the viewer with something valuable. Actual take-home tips, information they want, how-to videos and life hacks are ever popular.

Your options are endless. Here’s a list of some examples, by niche, for inspo:

Food → Showcase a step-by-step mouth-watering Reel showcasing how to make a recipe. Example. Pro Tip: choose recipes with minimal steps and shoot from overhead to create super engaging and easy-to-follow Reels.

Style → Show how to style a certain article of clothing in multiple ways. Check out this example from Threads. Pro Tip: Add music that sets a strong mood  – Threads chose to use Dua Lipa’s famous Levitating song for their Reel.

Fitness → Share a quick workout or a challenge which people can try. Example. Pro Tip: Try to encourage people to copy and film their own version of your Reel to increase engagement. Challenges go viral on Reels!

Wellness → Educate your viewers with info like this via @headplusheart – the wellness events platform led by our co-founder Monica here at The Social Agency.

Health → Share some health and wellness tips. Here’s a great example from our client Dr. Lisa Ghent – and here’s another great one too.

Marketing → Share insider tips and tricks people might not know. Example.

Retail  → Promote a sale. Like this example from our client, Once A Tree Furniture.

4. Jump on trends/challenges and use popular music/audio.

Some Reels tend to go viral like the (in)famous baked feta pasta. So when relevant, piggyback on these trends! Here’s another fun example. Try to pick music that sets the tone and takes the entertainment up a notch. With a business account, you’re unfortunately limited with the music selection due to copyright rules – however, you can still use popular audio which isn’t copyrighted like the one used here. Pro Tip: Try creating your own challenge – like this fun-to-watch “red wine challenge”.

5. Use other apps to edit your Reels. 

There’s plenty of apps out there which can help make editing your Reels and smoothing out the transitions a breeze. Here’s a list of apps which are good for creating Reels.

6. Add “Shoppable” Tags to your Reels (if you’re selling products).

If you’re already signed up for Isntagram’s shopping feature, you can easily make your Reels “shoppable”. Users can click view products and to check out the prices and purchase products featured in your Reels.

7. Add hashtags to the caption of your Reels.

To help increase the discoverability of your Reel 25-30 hashtags are recommended – and always make sure to use relevant tags.

8. Show behind-the-scenes and exclusive footage to engage your audiences.

Give your audience a deeper look at the happenings of your business. What does this mean? Well, if you’re a designer coming out with a new fashion line, you can showcase a “sneak peek” of some of the pieces you’ll be launching. Or if you’re a food blogger, you can showcase how you style recipes.

9. Repurpose info from past blogs and social posts into Reels to save time on content creation.

Limited on time to create reels? You might already have a load of info to use. Take a look at your blog and see if you can incorporate the info into a blog. For example, if you have a blog which talks about 5 great home-workouts, then you can shoot a reel which showcases the workouts.

10. Allocate some time each month to update yourself on the latest trends.

Example: Instagram recently released it’s Remix feature. This allows users to film Reels which will showcase next to the original Reel (like a commentary or a response to the original Reel). This only works for Reels where the original creator has enabled the feature. More on this here.

Need more help to get started? Connect with us! We’d love to produce a personalized social media marketing plan for you and help you create some crowd pleasing Reels!