Making Instagram Reels go viral is often considered a matter of luck, like looking for a hidden treasure. Well, finding a treasure might seem like an impossible task but creating viral Reels on Instagram-? Not!!
The save and share features of Instagram act as the most important indicator for the algorithm to determine how engaging a piece of content is.
· If a post has higher saves and shares, it sends an indication to Instagram’s algorithm that the Reel is valuable enough for people to save or share with their friends. And so the algorithm will push that particular Reel to more people’s feeds.
· Thus, focusing on the save-ability and share-ability of a Reel will automatically lead to a higher engagement of your Reel.
· Likes and comments are less important indications, so making a savable or shareable Reel increases the chances of a Reel going viral.
· Savable content usually is hacks, lists, important tricks, tips, etc. which comes under the umbrella of educational content. Every niche has its educational content.
· For example, in the traveling niche educational content might be considered “some tips to remember while flying abroad”.
· While shareable content is usually funny, spontaneous content, or ongoing trends.
· Combinations of these two will sky-rocket the overall growth of your Instagram account.
2. Add a hook or CTA ( trust me, they are more powerful than you think!!)
· A hook is a line that grabs the attention of people. It essentially wants to get people to wait and keep watching your Reel.
· An example of a hook is: “you will not believe what I’m going to say” or “Keep watching to know how to do this thing better”.
· A hook can also be called a summary of your Reel. Be as creative as you can be with your hooks. Try adding your personal touch to it to make sound more unique.
· A hook will lead to people watching more of your Reel; the higher the watch time, the more a Reel is pushed.
· CTAs are call-to-action.
· They are the actions you want the viewers to take on watching your reel. Is it to follow your page, comment, share, tag someone, or something else?!
· These CTAs will make people engage with your Reel, and as stated earlier, the more people engage with your Reel the more chances it has to go viral.
· CTAs are especially powerful as you reinstall in the viewer’s mind what they should do.
3. Add a twist (because everyone loves a surprise)
· The best way to make someone remember you is by giving them a surprise. To do something unexpected. We all love an unexpected move.
· By adding a clever twist to your Reels, you stand out in the ongoing trend while still being trendy. It increases the chances of sharing the Reel.
· Therefore definitely try adding a twist to the idea or the trend you want to make your Reel on.
· An Instagram account I find memorable for doing this is: Davidsuhphoto
· He is a photographer notorious for making Reels with unexpected twists. They just make the Reel more fun and enjoyable to watch. Do check out his profile!!
4. Add trending audio that fits the idea of your Reel ( make them bop their heads)
· A trending audio will get you in favor of Instagram’s algorithm and thus also will lead to an increase in your engagement.
· Make sure to add the audio that’s trending and also fits the idea of your Reel.
· Edit your Reel according to the lyrics or beats for a better-finished product.
· You can find out the trending songs on Instagram just by scrolling through Reel’s feed for 10–15 minutes. Save the audio so you can easily find it later
· Another way is by going through Instagram’s story music.
· Pro tip: select the song from the music icon instead of posting it as your original audio for an extra boost.
· From time to time, there are also some trends/trending audios trending for that specific niche. You can capitalize on it by doing this:
a. Open the explore page.
b. In the search bar, search for the hashtags of your niche for example #digitalmarketingtips
c. Select “tags”.
d. Go through the Reels on those tags to find trends and trending audios specific to your niche.
5. Offer value (offering value = gaining trust)
· This is a MUST. Always offer or add value to your Reel.
· Offering value can simply mean adding more knowledge, a fun element, or catering to the aesthetic of your video.
· Offering valuable information will not only lead to more engagement with your content due to saving or sharing but also build trust with the viewers.
· They will think of you as an expert in your niche which might prompt them to check out more of your content and maybe give you a follow too!!
· Please do note that delivers the value you promise in your hook, or else, offering sub-par knowledge will instead lead to disappointment of the viewer.
6. 15 seconds and quick pace (short and simple is the new attractive)
· Average viewer attention span nowadays is only 2–3 seconds. Therefore a slow-paced Reel might not be able to retain the viewer’s attention.
· If a Reel is too short you might not be able to provide apt value to it. But if it’s too long, the viewer might just scroll through your Reel.
· Therefore a 15 seconds Reel is an ideal length.
· Since Reels are also shared on Instagram’s story feature, which also has a duration of 15 seconds, a Reel more than that time limit gets cut off.
· Also, keep in mind that the story views on the Reels are also counted as views of the Reel.
· Therefore it’s highly suggested to make a 15 seconds Reels so that, you have the added advantage that it can be easily shared in Instagram’s story feature.
· A quick-paced Reel helps to retain the viewer’s attention. But I feel the audio to be used also plays an important role as a deciding factor of the Reel.
· If the audio is slow, a slow-paced aesthetically pleasing video will suit it more. Similarly, if it’s fast-paced audio, quick cuts, jumps, and transitions will make it more engaging.
· Hashtags are still part of the game, although they are more of a tool to categorize your content now.
· Experts state that using a combination of 10–15 super-targeted hashtags instead of using irrelevant and general tags helps a lot.
· General tags are tags like #love #fyp #explorepage #reels #friends
· On the other hand, Targeted hashtags are tags related to your specific niche. So hashtag research is recommended. This can be a trial-and-error process but when done right, it helps immensely.
· These super-targeted hashtags help Instagram’s algorithm to have a better understanding of what your content is exactly about. Once the algorithm knows what your content is about, it will push your Reel to people who have shown interest in that type of content.
· Also, it is advised to use hashtags with less than a million [1M] posts posted on them.
· The bigger the hashtags and the more number of posts it has, the lesser your chances to rank on it.
· Therefore a combination of 10–15 hashtags ranging from 10K-800K/900K posts is a perfect combination.
· DO NOT repeat the same set of hashtags over and over again as it might lead to your account getting shadow-banned.
8. Post at your peak view time (make the most of it)
· To maximize the reach of your Reel, try posting it at your peak view time.
· Peak view time is that time slot of the day when the maximum number of your followers are online.
· When you post the Reel at your peak view time slot, your Reel gets an instant engagement thus giving it a boast.
· With an immediate engagement the chances of your Reel going viral increase immensely.
· Here’s how you can see your peak view time:
a. To enable this feature your account must be professional and not a public account.
b. The professional account gives you access to your account’s insights. The peak view time is one of the elements of Instagram Insights.
c. Click on “Insights”
d. Go to “Total followers”
e. Scroll down to “most active time”
f. Observe your peak time and post half an hour before the beginning of that time slot.
9. Use High-quality videos and photos (everyone loves high quality)
· Instagram favors high-quality pictures and videos over lower-quality ones.
· Using high-resolution pictures and videos is a must. A high-resolution video is 1080 x 1920 resolution. So a higher quality and well-edited reel have a better chance of trending.
· Reels are a vertical video platform hence the aspect ratio should be 9:16.
· Another thing to be careful about is the text and its placement.
· Try to place the text in the center or within the 4:5 ratio. In the 4:5 ratio, the text is easily visible as people scroll through their feeds. If the text is placed on the edges, people might not understand what your Reel wants to offer and thus will scroll ahead.
· An editor that makes editing super easy is Inshot. It is really easy to use. You can add or extract audio plus it has a variety of fonts and built transitions to make your task easier. It has various ratio aspects that you can choose from. It has both a free and a paid version for android as well as IoS.
10. Post the Reel on your feed with the right cover photo (it’s also the cover that sells the book)
· While posting the Reel make sure to share it on your feed too. Choose the “share on feed” option so it’s easily visible. You will be able to remove the Reel from the feed later.
· This way any new visitor to your profile can immediately spot it.
· Also while posting it, make sure to have an apt cover photo for it. The cover photo is what will appear on your feed. You have the option to choose a custom photo from your photo album or choose from the Reel itself.
Here’s how you can add the cover photo:
a. You can select the cover photo from your Reel.
b. Or you can add a custom photo. For that, select “add from camera roll”
c. Select the picture of your choice.
d. Select “profile grid” and select the portion you want to be visible on your feed.
e. Click on your “share on feed” option.
f. And post!!
11. Add transitions (Grab the attention!!)
· Since people’s attention is concise, your Reel must be made so that it retains their attention for the maximum amount of time.
· Quick and witty transitions do this job!!
· Various trends also have some smooth yet awe-striking transitions.
· Recreating the transitions may seem like a challenging task but when done correctly it can easily make your Reel go viral.
· Therefore trying to include transitions has become another must-include element of the Reel.
12. Watermarks?? (A big no-no)
· Instagram especially doesn’t favor reposting content from other platforms.
· Since other platforms are competitors, posting content from these platforms might curb the reach of your Reel.
· Instagram’s algorithm can also detect watermarks of other platforms.
· Therefore using a watermark removal app is advisable. It will smudge off the watermark and thus won’t reduce the potential growth of your Reel.
13. Show your face and personality (let your smile work its magic!!)
· People tend to gravitate more towards something when it’s a person telling it to them rather than a picture or machines.
· All of us have a unique personalities so showcasing that through your content will help you form a stronger bond with the audience.
· Therefore simply showing off your personality will make your Reel stand out uniquely!!
1. Research what the content of your Reel will be:
· Make sure you are offering something valuable so people tune in.
· Come up with content that will either make people “save” or “share” your reel so that you get an extra boost in engagement.
· You can also keep in mind the trends particular to your niche.
· Save audio that’s trending or you want to use for later.
2. Shoot a high quality video(1080 x 1920 resolution) or use high quality photos for reels. Also, choose a photo as your cover photo.
3. Edit the video or the photos according to the trend or sound you want to use. Use Inshot for easy editing. Keep the length of the reel up to 15 seconds or less.
4. Add the hook and your preferred CTAs in a ratio of 4:5 so that it’s easily visible while scrolling through the feed. The text can be added to Instagram too.
5. Make sure your Reel doesn’t have a watermark. If it does, do consider removing it for better reach.
6. Once the video is fully edited, begin to upload it on Instagram.
7. Know your peak view time and choose half an hour or so before it uploads.
8. While uploading your reel, REMEMBER to select the audio used in the Reel from “saved” or by searching it.
9. Instagram also has an inbuilt option to convert text into speech. Do use that if necessary!!
10. Add the caption and your targeted hashtags relevant to your niche.
11. Select the option of “share on your feed”.
12. Add the cover photo and crop it according to what portion of the photo you want to appear on your feed.
13. If you are uploading original audio, do consider renaming it.
14. Add location, tag people you want to, and hit “share”
15. Share the Reel on your story so that your followers know that you’ve posted!!
To conclude, these are the key pointers on how to make your Instagram Reels go crazy viral!! I hope these will help you create some viral Reels!!