July 8, 2021

How to Use Instagram Reels to Get More Followers and Boost Engagement

Instagram Reels content has already become a big part of many brands and influencers' 2021 content strategy. Many have focused on Instagram Reels as it is an effective way to increase engagement rates and gain more followers.

In this blog post, we’ll introduce some tips to help you boost your engagement and gain more followers easily! 

But what exactly is Instagram Reels and how influencers can create it? Read on to discover more.

What is Instagram Reels and how to create it?

Instagram Reels is a feature on Instagram that allows users to create 15-second videos with music and effects. Users can edit the videos with 4 features: Audio, speed, effects, and timer. Similar to TikTok, users can select one of the effects in the effect gallery, created both by Instagram and by creators all over the world. 

Creating Instagram Reels content starts from opening the Instagram Stories camera in the Instagram app. The menu at the bottom of the screen has various camera functions, among that swipe over to Reels. 

There are 6 icons on the left side of the screen:

  • Audio: Select music to play as a clip.
  • Length: Change the length of the video (15 seconds or 30 seconds)
  • Speed: Adds a slow-motion or fast-forward effect to the video.
  • Effects: Choose from Instagram's library of backgrounds, games, filters, and effects.
  • Touch up: Add the cosmetic feature that acts as a filter of sort on content.
  • Timer: Select the video length to enable hands-free recording.

Tap the camera button to record a new video of Instagram Reels. A pink progress bar appears along the top of the screen, displaying a 15-second time limit. To start and stop recording, press the camera button again. To record hands-free, press the timer button, select Video Length, and then press Timer Settings.

If you tap the camera button to start recording, the recording stops at the set length. If you do not set the length and do not stop recording before the 15-second limit, you can add a new clip and switch to the previous clip smoothly. After recording the clip, touch the Align icon to view the previous clip and move the camera to fit it.

After recording the clip, click the next arrow to edit the video. If you used the full 15 seconds of the video, you will automatically be taken to the edit screen. 

How can influencers use this feature to create engaging and eye-catching Reels? Here are 5 tips you can use!

1. Create Creative Original Content

Creating original reels content can be very hard as thousands, perhaps millions of creators, share on Instagram reels every day and come up with original ideas. Fortunately, you don't have to make completely new content when you upload Instagram Reels. The most important thing is to create content in your own unique way.

Add your creative new and attractive ideas. Like how @myparisportraits used a series of camera-setting hacks to generate her unique content!

2. Include Closed Captions

Whether it's Instagram Stories or Instagram Reels, creating video content is one of the best ways to attract users to view content more easily. 

Since 85% of Facebook's videos are watched silently, it's recommended to provide subtitles so that more users will watch your content. Provide important sentences or words in Reels videos as subtitles! Don't forget to place the caption in the center of the screen to make sure it appears in every part of the Instagram app!

3. Keep Your Captions Short and Sweet

Long captions have the advantage of being able to include lots of information, but short captions are better for Reels as it is a short video format and people don’t spend so much time reading long captions.

When sharing Instagram reels, the first line of the caption can be up to 55 characters, if it’s more than 55 characters, viewers have to click "More" to read and read the rest.

When they click on the “more" button, the video doesn’t stop and it just opens captions and darkens videos which make it harder for users to read the text or see the reels. 

Write the first line of the caption that is both attractive and fascinating. And if possible, it is recommended to include only relevant tags and hashtags in the next line.

4. Share Your Reels to Your Feed

Sharing reels on Instagram feeds is one of the best ways to increase views just like sharing Instagram posts on stories.

So with this in mind, choose to share the reel directly with the Instagram feed. Otherwise, there is a possibility that your reel will become invisible to other users.

If you're worried about ruining your Instagram aesthetics, you can upload an Instagram Reels cover image or delete the post later!

5. Hop on Trends Fast

Similar to TikTok, trends for Reels come and go very fast. To jump on the bandwagon before it becomes old news, scroll through the Instagram Reels tab and other creators' profiles every morning and see what they're sharing.

Is there something that keeps coming out? An audio clip? Dance trend?

If so, click on music to see how many other creators have used audio. Scroll through the video to get ideas for trends. 

Another option is to go to TikTok and see what trends there are. If you find a trend that isn't on Reels yet, you'll have the first chance to bring it to Instagram!

Hard to find out the trends on Instagram? Avenue app provides trends and insights that are generated through analyzing hundreds of thousands of posts for creators! 

Download the app now and get news, insights, and tips on the most up-to-date influencer tactics.

HyeonA Kwak

HyeonA is the digital marketing intern of Avenue

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