Are your Reels views down? Posting Reels is one of the most effective ways to grow your audience and increase your brand awareness on Instagram. If you are a business trying to grow on Instagram in 2022, Reels should form a significant part of your content strategy and understanding how to optimise them is key for growth. So, how exactly does the Instagram Reels algorithm work and how can you ‘hack’ it for your own benefit? In this post, I’ll share my best tried-and-tested strategies for increasing your Reels views and getting more eyes on your content.
How does the Reels algorithm work?
Just like all other content types, Instagram prioritises Reels based on what it believes a viewer will be most likely to interact with. If you want to increase your Reels views, you need to keep these things in mind.
According to Instagram, the most important signals are:
Who: Whose posts are you interacting with? If you frequently like or comment on someone’s content, you’re more likely to see their posts in your feed.
What: What type of content do you engage with? For example, if you love beauty and skincare content, the algorithm will continue serving that type of content to you.
When: This focuses on when a post has been posted to decide if it’s relevant to you. It also takes into consideration how often you scroll on the app — so it will pick and choose what to prioritise based on what it believes you’ll want to see more.
Instagram also shared that the Reels algorithm will disregard content that is visibly recycled from other apps or is low-quality.
Top tips for increasing your Instagram Reels views
Nail your setup
Get the basics right first. The quality of the sound and lighting of your Reel is just as important as everything else. If possible, film facing a video and use a tripod and ring light to make your reels more visually appealing. Film somewhere quiet and investing in a microphone can go a long way to improve your video sound quality.
Start with an engaging hook
As with all video content, the first few seconds of your Instagram reel are the most important. You want to do or say something that stops the viewer and immediately pulls them in and gets them to watch more. This might be a title that pops up at the start that hooks people in (e.g 5 acne treatments that really work). It might be the first words out of your mouth. It could even be you telling them to stop.
@dermguru does this really well in her reels:
Use transitions to keep viewers engaged
As reels get longer, it becomes more and more important to keep viewers engaged and watching for longer. Adding some interesting edits and creative transitions can keep their eyes engaged on your reel. This can be as simple as stopping and starting the recording to create a cut that moves one scene to the next. You could also try covering the camera lens at the end of one video and starting the second one by uncovering it. Or you could clap your hands together to indicate the end of one video as you open them, it transitions to the beginning of another.
You could also reposition yourself in the camera, record at a different angle, or zoom in on yourself or your subject. It does this in a way that’s abrupt and causes the eye to jump a bit. This slight jump helps keep eyes focused on the video itself, which keeps viewers engaged for longer.
Dr Julie (@drjulie) does a great job of this:
Provide value and share educational content
Reels aren’t just for dance trends. As a business, there are so many ways that you can utilise reels by sharing helpful and informative content. Educate your audience through your reels. Give them information or advice they can’t find anywhere else. This positions you as an expert or a thought leader in your particular niche of business.
Check out this reel from @pcos.weightloss which demonstrates this really well:
Share it to your story (and feed)
If you’re looking to increase your reels views on Instagram, it’s a good idea to share your Reel in as many places as possible. Cover part of your Reel with a GIF, image or text to encourage your audience to click and watch the full video.
Experiment with a mixture of trending audios and original sounds
Spend a few minutes each morning (or evening) to scroll through the reels tab to see what people are sharing and if you can spot any growing trends. Is there anything that seems to consistently pop up? A particular song or audio clip? Scroll through reels under an audio to get an idea of how people are using it and then recreate it in a way that’s relevant to your audience. Your reels should be a mixture of trending audios and original content – think speaking videos, behind the scenes, day in the life or create a sound or pick one from somewhere (i.e., a movie) and create something original. You never know you could even start your own trend!