How to Go Viral with Instagram Reels

By Helena Alcoverro, on 03 May 2021

One of the latest additions on Instagram is Instagram Reels. This new feature has a clear objective: to compete with TikTok, which has become one of the trendiest social networks for both regular content and digital advertising. In other words, Reels aims to allow users to consume the content they like without having to go to another network. But, what exactly does Instagram Reels consist of?

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What Is Instagram Reels and Why Should You Use It?

Instagram Reels is a new way to create and consume short videos, specifically those that are about 15 to 30 seconds long. It is a way to grow an account quickly, although to achieve this, it's necessary for the content to be original and engaging. It's also been said that Instagram has 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.


Tips for Going Viral on Instagram Reels

Reels have been on Instagram for a few months now, which means that it's becoming more complicated to stand out because the competition is increasing. However, we'll provide you with a series of tips and tricks you can use to create short videos and go viral on this network.


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 within Instagram and post about it regularly. 

Instagram's algorithm uses machine learning technology so it will show your posts to an audience that has already shown some interest in the topic you are posting about. This is why it is so important to choose a theme or niche and capture the attention of a specific group of people.


Include an Attention-Grabbing Hook

Currently thousands of Reels are published daily, so to go viral, content must be really entertaining and interesting. In order to stand out, add a personal touch that makes it unique and original. The first few seconds of the video are key to capturing the audience's attention so it is important that this uniqueness is shown from the beginning.


Make It the Right Size

The optimal video size on Instagram Reels is 1080 x 1920 pixels. This allows viewers to see it at the maximum resolution, with an aspect ratio of 9:16. This means your video should be recorded vertically. Make sure to follow these specifications to have an attractive display and include all the information you want to feature.


Do Not Include TikTok Watermarks

The launch of Instagram Reels had a very clear objective: to be more popular than TikTok and to make users choose Instagram for video posts. To achieve this, Instagram's algorithm is able to detect TikTok's watermarks in order not to promote these videos. To position these type of videos, it's necessary to remove or not to include those watermarks.


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, so it's a very good idea to add captions or text that can help viewers understand the content without audio. In addition, text will allow people with hearing difficulties to understand the video.


Include a Call to Action

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


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 within your category or theme).


Use Hashtags to Promote Your Content

Hashtags are a key element in any type of post, so they should also be used in Instagram Reels. 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 used ones are not always the best since they have more competition, so take that into account.


Create a Custom Reel Cover

To make the video look great from the first moment, it's a good idea to create a custom cover. This is the image that the user will see before clicking on it.

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. 


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 the audience interested in your content is connected and available. This depends a lot on the type of profile you have, since it is not the same trying to capture the attention of teenagers as it is trying to get the attention of people over 30 .

Once you determine what times are ideal, schedule your posts to go out at the time and day with the maximum audience. This way, you'll have a higher engagement rate.


Share Your Reels on Your Instagram Feed and Stories

To give your Reel greater visibility, share it on your Instagram feed and in your Stories. The idea is for followers not to miss the publication. It can be advertised within the same profile in different ways.

Going viral through Instagram Reels is possible, though chances are that it will not happen over night. 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

Inbound Marketing Strategist en Cyberclick. Graduada en Publicidad y Relaciones Públicas por la UPF. Responsable de la estrategia de inbound marketing, creación de contenidos digitales y posicionamiento web. Gestión del CRM con la herramienta HubSpot. Experiencia en marketing digital, SEO, inbound marketing y publicidad.