June 26, 2024

How to Make Instagram Reels That Stand Out

How to Make Instagram Reels That Stand Out

If you’ve been on Instagram lately (if you’re reading this, we’re guessing you have), you’ve probably noticed that Reels are taking up more and more space in your feed. You’ve also likely started questioning if you should be making more Instagram Reels, and we’re here to tell you YES! 

Here’s the Reel deal: videos are ruling Instagram. Using Instagram Reels for your business is an important building block for any social media marketing strategy (in fact, it’s expected that over half of American marketers will use Reels for influencer marketing this year).

140 billion Reels are watched every day—so how do you get a piece of that delicious strategic pie? We’ll break down how you can create Reels that stand out and get your brand noticed.

Why Make Instagram Reels?

Reels allow your brand to reach new audiences that traditional content hasn’t been able to. Thanks to Meta’s massive push on video format, 30% of time spent on Instagram in 2024 comes from users watching Reels, and video makes up 60% of the time users spend on Facebook. If you want to reach as wide an audience as possible, Reels are the way to go.

How does the Instagram Reels algorithm work?

The Reels you see—and the Reels you don’t see—on Instagram are entirely up to the Instagram algorithm, and only Adam Mosseri. Just kidding. It’s true that the IG algorithm is purposely shadowy and ever-changing, but there are a few proven factors that make up this feed-dictating formula:

  • Relationships: The algorithm pays attention to who you interact with and how often. You’ll be more likely to see Reels from accounts that you follow, and liking, commenting, DM’ing, or sharing something with another user increases the chances of your Reels showing up on each other’s feeds.
  • Relevance: IG aims to show you content that it thinks you’ll like. The more cat videos you watch, the more you’ll see.
  • Timeliness: Newer content is prioritized in the Instagram Reels algorithm.
  • Popularity: The larger and more engaged your audience is, the more likely the IG algorithm will favor your content. Yup, another popularity contest.
Think Like a Creator

Always approach your Reels content with authenticity and originality to stand out from the crowd. Reels allow your brand to tell a more raw and relatable story, so don’t be afraid to go deep. Audiences are looking for that brand-consumer connection on social.

Related: The Age of Authenticity: How Brands Can Win Back Gen Z and Millennial Consumers

Tips for Short-Form Storytelling
  • First Impressions Matter: The first few seconds of an Instagram Reel are crucial to capture your audience’s attention – grab their attention as soon as you can with a hook or an intriguing question.
  • Captions are Essential: Adding text/captions is a must, it makes your content more accessible for all (you can’t have your boss overhearing your Reels scrolling while in the office).
  • Variety in Angles: Try different angles to give a new perspective from your high-polished video pieces. A mix of wide shots, close-ups, and unique POVs can make your content pop.
  • Create Series: Create a themed series to maintain interest and give your audience something to look forward to. Think of it as your brand’s mini-show.
  • Repurpose Content: Repurpose existing footage in new ways. We know your social team is small, or maybe your team is just you, so find creative ways to work with what you already have.
  • Cultural Relevance: Identify cultural moments/memes/trends and hop on the ones that make sense for your brand. Timely content can skyrocket engagement.
  • Collaboration: Utilize the collab tool if partnering with another brand or creator to reach new audiences.
  • Adapt and Grow: Don’t get stuck on following one strategy, shift and change as your account grows and develops. Be agile and responsive to what your audience is enjoying.
How to Decide Which Instagram Reel Trends to Jump On

You don’t want to be the brand that hops on every trend; identify trends that make sense for your brand and don’t feel bad about sitting some out. 

  • Evergreen Content: Save evergreen and nostalgic trends for the quieter times.
  • Trend Analysis: If you need some trend inspiration, look at sound analytics and what’s happening on Reels. Trends often come from unexpected places – stay curious!
  • Creator Content: Find creators or UGC to share your brand’s messaging paired with these Reels trends. User-generated content adds authenticity and fresh perspectives.
Good vs. Great Instagram Reels
  • Good Reels:
    • Provide editorial value and alignment with Reels’ content strategy and principles.
    • Simple use of in-app features.
    • Full-story, longer-form videos.
    • Captions, where needed.
    • Example: Single compilation of game footage recap.
  • Great Reels:
    • Evoke emotion and provide creative entertainment or value to your audience.
    • Bespoke to short form, visually captivating short clips.
    • Unique angles, POV, access, and eye-catching video techniques.
    • Capture attention within the first three seconds, build momentum.
    • Use trending audio.
    • Use in-app creator tools.
    • Cultural moments and internet conversations.
    • Captions, where needed.
    • Example: 20-second game recap + dynamic clip paired with stat + BTS/unique angle Reel.
Boosting Reels

Boosting an Instagram Reel is an adorable name for “making a Reel into an ad.” Essentially, you “boost” a Reel by paying for Instagram to show your Reel more often to more people. Instead of being at the mercy of the Instagram algorithm, you’re investing money into ensuring that your Reel is seen. Unfortunately, you can’t boost any IG Reels that use copyrighted music. Use original audio or royalty-free music on any Reel you’re planning to boost.

The Future of Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels is a key part of Instagram’s 2024 strategy, with the platform rolling out exciting new features to help creators make more engaging video content. Expect to see:

  • Longer Reels: Now up to 90 seconds, allowing creators to pack more value into each clip without losing audience interest.
  • AI-powered suggestions: The algorithm may offer creative ideas for visual effects and background music while you create.
  • Premade templates: Users can choose from templates in the “Recommended for you” and “Trending” categories, making it easier to add your own clips and recreate popular effects.

And there you have it, folks! With these tips and tricks, you’re well on your way to creating Reels that not only stand out but also elevate your brand’s social media presence. So, let’s start dishing up the creativity and get to filming some Reels content!

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