How to Go Viral With Instagram Reels

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By Helena Alcoverro, on 13 March 2023

By now, you are most likely already more than familiar with Instagram Reels, a format that was launched to compete with TikTok. The question today is how can we go viral by using this feature, and use it to help grow our presence on social media.

Although the success of your content will have a lot to do with the platform's algorithm, there are some things you can do to help it along, such as using hashtags, creating custom covers, including subtitles, guaranteeing good visibility and sharing your reel on your feed and stories. These are just some examples, so let's take a closer look!

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Instagram Reels is all about creating and consuming short videos, and although they can be up to 90 seconds long, the recommended length is between 15 to 30 seconds. You can can give your account growth a boost by using them although, to do so, your content should be original and engaging. It's also been said that Instagram made changes to its algorithm to give greater visibility to accounts that are using Reels, so that's another reason to give this feature a try.

Reels have been on Instagram for while now, so it's becoming harder to make videos stand out due to the competition. However, don't let that stop you from giving reels a try! We're providing some useful tips and tricks to create short videos and go viral on this network.

13 Tips for Going Viral With Instagram Reels Videos

1. Focus on a Specific Niche or Topic

One of the ways to gain followers and go viral on Instagram is to find a theme or category and post about it regularly.

Instagram's algorithm uses machine learning, so it will show your posts to an audience that is already interested in the topic you are posting about. This is why it is so important to choose a theme or niche and stick to it!

2. Include an Attention-Grabbing Hook

Currently, thousands of Reels are published daily so, to go viral, content must be really compelling. In order to stand out, add a personal touch that makes your Reels unique and original. The first few seconds of the video are key to capturing the audience's attention so make them stand out from the beginning.

3. Make Reels the Right Size

The optimal video size is 1080 x 1920 pixels. This allows viewers to see a video at the maximum resolution, with an aspect ratio of 9:16. This means your video should be recorded vertically.

4. Do Not Include TikTok Watermarks

There was a very clear objective when Instagram Reels was launched: to encourage users to choose Instagram over TikTok for video posts. Instagram's algorithm is able to detect TikTok's watermarks. To give your videos a chance of positioning well, it's necessary to remove those watermarks.

5. Include Text in Your Video

It is estimated that more than 80% of Instagram users watch videos without sound, whether they are Stories or Reels. Because of this, it's a very good idea to add captions or text that can help viewers understand the content without audio. Text will also allow people with hearing difficulties to understand your videos.

6. Center Text in the Middle So That It's Viewable in Grid Mode

Since Reels can be accessed and watched from the "Reels" tab or the In-Feed view, it is important to always make sure to place your text in the middle of your video, the "safe zone", so that it won't be cut off.

7. Include a Call to Action

A call to action should always be included to encourage your audience to interact with your videos. This is the best way to get to know your audience's impressions and opinions. You can then create content according to their preferences. This does not mean moving away from your chosen theme or idea, rather, thinking about how you can present it in a way that appeals to people.

8. Use Viral Elements

In order to give your content the best chance of going viral, you can use elements that are trending, such as songs or challenges. This means keeping up to date with trends and observing how the public is reacting to them in order to implement them (as long as they fit with the type of content you create).

9. Use Hashtags to Promote Your Content

Hashtags are a key element of any kind of post on Instagram. This is because they help Instagram's algorithm understand the type of content in your video and then show it to users who may be interested.

Hashtags must be chosen very carefully. The most popular ones are not always the best since they have more competition.

10. Create a Custom Reel Cover

Creating a custom reel cover can help your video stand out from the very beginning. This is the image that the user will see before clicking on video.

The cover will add value to the content and will make it much more appealing and attractive. It will also give continuity to your profile.

11. Publish Your Reel at Peak Viewing Times

Not every hour is a good time to publish. Neither is every day. It's important to know the times when most of your target audience is connected and available.

Once you determine the best days and times that will generate the most views, schedule your posts accordingly. This way, you'll have a higher engagement rate.

12. Share Your Reels on Your Instagram Feed and Stories

To give your Reels greater visibility, share them on your Instagram feed and in your Stories. You can do this simply by clicking on the "Always share to feed" button. The idea is for followers not to miss your posts. It also gives you a higher chance of getting your Reel on the Explore page which will get you more likes, comments, shares and boost your Reel.

13. Enable Interactions

Like on any social media platform, you want to get people to interact with your content because this will help you gain followers and grow your presence. As mentioned above, likes, comments, shares, saves etc. will help anything you post gain traction and go viral. You can help this process along by asking your followers a question. This will encourage them to post a written comment (as opposed to just an emoji), which the Instagram algorithm values.

Going viral on Instagram Reels is possible, though the chances of it happening overnight are pretty low. The most important thing to focus on is regularly creating interesting, eye-catching content and using all the tricks we've mentioned in this article.

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Helena Alcoverro