Are you ready to create viral Instagram reels? With over 500 million daily active users consuming this type of content, now is the time to get creative and make your Reels stand out.
In fact, a recent survey by Hootsuite revealed that 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram, making it the perfect platform to showcase your brand. With our tips and tricks, backed by industry experts and studies like this, you’ll be well on your way to creating viral Reels that get noticed.
From understanding how to hack Instagram’s reels feature to using humour and collaboration to supercharge your reach, we’ll cover it all. Let’s get started.
Understand Your Audience
The days of just creating Instagram content and expecting people to come are long gone. You may be thinking, “Of course! I’ll just make the reel and post it on my Instagram account, and voila! The audience will come.” But the truth is a bit more complicated than that.
To create viral instagram reels, you first, you need to know your audience: what do they like? What don’t they like? How can you cater to their interests while still staying true to yourself and your brand? If you want your reel to go viral, it’s important to think about these things before posting anything.
Once you’ve identified your target audience—and made sure there are enough of them in your target area—you can start thinking about what resonates with them. Do they like comedy? Drama? Documentaries? Action movies? Romance flicks? You can use this information in a couple different ways: firstly, you can create content that aligns with their interests;
You may also be thinking that action movies and romance flicks have no place in instagram reels. But you can easily incorporate these into your content. Take @thesceneofcinema on IG. They post movie clips as reels and get tons of engagements.
Understanding what your followers are looking for and being able to deliver that kind of content will get you consistent results.
Another edgy approach is to create content that your followers hate, knowing that they will revolt. Revolting and kicking against a style of content on Instagram means only one thing: comments.
If you know anything about Instagram comments, you know that the algorithm loves them, and the more you can get people talking about you, the more reach your reels will get.
Understand What Instagram Reels are Meant For
Instagram always keeps an eye out for what’s new and hot in the world of social media, and in 2020, short-form video content was all the rage! TikTok was taking the world by storm with its fun and quirky 15-second videos, and Instagram wanted in on the action. So, they rolled up their sleeves and got to work, and before we knew it, Reels was born!
For example, check out this short 8 second clip. At the time of writing, it has over 7 million likes and 128 million views.
Reels is Instagram’s very own version of TikTok, and it’s all about letting your creative juices flow. Want to show off your dance moves? Go for it! Want to make your audience laugh with a funny skit? Do it! Reels is all about having fun and letting your personality shine.
You probably also know by now that instagram reels are much more likely to go viral than regular content. And once you understand that their purpose is to mirror the short and engaging style content that’s on tiktok, you‘ll be in the right state of mind to start creating reels-appropriate content.
Viral Instagram Reels Require High-Quality Content
No duh, right? Everyone knows you need high-quality content to get any attention on social media. But what does that mean exactly?
Here are some tips for creating high-quality content for your reels that will go viral:
1. Make Sure Your Videos are Short and Sweet.
The bitter truth is that, even though you have half an hour of footage and they ALL look good, you don’t need to include every single clip from your reel in the video itself (in fact, it’s better if you don’t).
Try to keep each clip under 2 minutes long—anything longer than that will start to feel boring even before it goes viral!
There’s another reason why you want to keep your reels as short as possible, and it has to do with capturing people’s attention.
Here’s a great example of a viral Instagram reel from a fitness influencer. It’s short and to the point!
2. Create Punchy Intros
Make sure the first few seconds of the video grab viewers’ attention—this is usually done by having a punchy intro or by using an image that conveys what sort of content will be presented in this video.
Here’s a great example of an Instagram reel that has a great intro and follows through till the end from Courtney Black.
Some more tips on how to make the first few seconds of your IG reel attention grabbing :
- Use an interesting image to capture people’s attention right away.
- Have a short title slide that conveys what sort of content will be presented in this video.
- If you have multiple reels, make sure they’re all different so that viewers don’t get bored by seeing the same kind of content over and over again.
- Use unique visuals and animations to make your IG video stand out. – Make sure there’s no dead space in between transitions or cuts.
3. Use humor where possible
Humor is one of the easiest ways to get people interested in what you have to say…and laughing is contagious! Plus, you have to consider that most people watch reels to be entertained. If your reels are dry and boring, nobody is going to pay attention for long.
Use Smart Hashtags to get Viral Instagram Reels
With hashtags, there really isn’t much to say. Hashtags are critical on social media for several reasons:
- Increased visibility
- Wider audience reach
- More discoverability
- Greater engagement
- Brand building
The list goes on and on. But hopefully, you get the gist. Now, let’s get into some ways you can use hashtags to make your Instagram reels go viral.
- Make sure you’re using relevant hashtags. If your reel is about creating the perfect protein breakfast, don’t use #dogs.
- Include at maximum of 10 hashtags in your caption, preferably towards the end of the post.
- Be consistent! Don’t just use one or two different hashtags for each post—stick with one or two main ones and rotate the others.
- Don’t use hashtags you’ve never used before. It will make your account look spammy and won’t gain you any new followers.
- Use different variations of the same hashtag (for example: #dancing #dancer #dancelife).
- Don’t use the same hashtags as everyone else. This one is tricky because you also want to use the popular hashtags so your posts get discovered.
- Make sure your hashtags are relevant to your reels.
- Try using more than one word in a hashtag if possible. These are hyperspecific, and you know that whoever finds it is definitely looking for your kind of content.
Here’s a great example of an instagram reel that uses hashtags really well. You’ll see that the post has both long and short hashtags, and they work really well.
Collaborate With Other Creators
Collaboration with other Instagram creators means that your reels will get more exposure than if you’re all alone in the video. Not only will they be featured on your own feed, but they’ll also be shared by the other creator’s followers (and vice versa).
This means that more people will see it, more people will share it with their friends and family members who might not otherwise see it (or even know about your page), and ultimately more people will engage with it. All of this contributes to making it go viral!
Influencer collaboration doesn’t have to be complicated either. Once you’ve found someone whose work aligns with yours, send them a DM or email introducing yourself and asking if they’d be interested in collaborating.
Be sure to include links to your best posts so they can see what kind of content you make and get an idea of what sort of ideas might work well together. If they respond positively, ask them what kind of project would be most helpful for them at this point in their career (or just fun for them).
Use Paid Promotions Wisely
One secret to making your Instagram reel go viral is all in the paid promotion. By using paid promotions, you can boost your reach and get more people to watch your reel.
The results of your paid promotion will accrue and generate organic traffic as well. When people see how much engagement your posts have gotten, they’ll be more likely to engage, creating a positive feedback loop.
Here’s how you can use promotions effectively:
- Step 1: Choose the target audience you want to reach.
- Step 2: Set up a campaign with the promoted posts option, targeting your desired audience.
- Step 3: Create a post for your reel and add it to your campaign.
- Step 4: Sit back and watch as your content goes viral!
The Bottom Line
And that’s it! If you want your Instagram reels to go viral, just follow these tips and you’re on your way.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to be a successful influencer, check out our posts on successful TikTok influencers to follow, or explore the benefits of influencer marketing for small businesses. You can also learn more about how to become a Gymfluencer influencer here.