8 Instagram Video Reel Hacks You Must Know

14 March 2022
8 Instagram Video Reel Hacks You Must Know feature
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Learning how to market your brand on Instagram may be one of the best investments of your time. Not only does it boast the highest engagement rate of all the social media platforms, the platform’s primary advantage over other platforms is its visual nature. If your brand benefits from the design of your product or if you have a service that has a visibly noticeable end result, Instagram is the perfect platform to showcase your brand!

With online video content projected to dominate for the foreseeable, it’s imperative to combine Instagram Reels video in your digital marketing strategy. Read on to discover the power of Instagram Reels video in 2022, and learn our exclusive Instagram tricks guaranteed to engage your audience.

What is an Instagram video Reel?

Instagram Reels video is a feature which allows users to create and edit 15-60 second video clips with audio, visual and other creative tools. Reels are a dynamic way to promote your brand and allow you to get creative with video content, making Instagram Reels video ideal supplementary content to your existing social media marketing strategy.

Reels were first Introduced in August 2020, as 15 second short-form, user-generated video content. Since then the length of the Reel increased to 30 seconds shortly after the launch of the feature, and upon popular demand with Instagram users was further increased to up to 60 seconds in July 2021. Despite this, the default setting of Reels is still 15 seconds – though it can be manually changed to 30 or 60 seconds – as research has found 15 seconds to be the optimum length to engage viewers.

Let’s rewind back to the start of 2020, before Instagram Reels video existed.

The pandemic was brewing, and an app called TikTok was the hottest new digital trend that was sweeping the world. TikTok popularised short-form, user-generated video content, and became the perfect pastime for users during lockdowns. In fact, during the first 3 months of 2020, TikTok encountered a record 315 million downloads (Statista) and still holds the record for being the most-downloaded app in a 3 month period.

Platforms such as Instagram had to find ways to stay relevant and compete with TikTok. Learn more about the rise of TikTok over the past 24 months here.

Enter Instagram Reels video!

Back to 2022 and short-form, user-generated video is still dominating digital marketing trends. While Instagram Reels video was once a standalone feature on the social media platform, in January 2022 we saw Instagram Reels video integrated on our newsfeeds – had you noticed the change?

This new feature is great news for brands, as the inclusion of Reels on the newsfeed makes your content much more accessible to consumers.

How can your brand optimise its use of Instagram Reels video? Read on to discover our 8 Instagram video hacks, guaranteed to catch your follower’s attention.

How do you hack an Instagram Reels video?

This month, Instagram video Reels became even more crucial to ensuring your brand’s Instagram marketing strategy. A change in the Instagram algorithm means Instagram Reels video is now favoured over images, which has placed Instagram Reels video Reels at the forefront of the app.

You might have noticed that since January, Instagram Reels video has begun to appear on your newsfeed. Until recently, Instagram Reels video were confined solely to the dedicated Reels feed, but now they are integrated into our newsfeeds, placing video content on the platform of utmost importance.

Instagram Reels video is the perfect way to engage your audience. They are a great supplement to your social media strategy to help your audience get to know our brand better. When it comes to optimising Instagram Reels video, it’s important to understand how the Instagram Reel algorithm works, and optimise your content best according to this.

Read on for our crash course into Instagram video Reel algorithm, and learn everything your brand needs to know.

How does the Instagram video Reel algorithm work?

Users are demanding a more personalised experience on social media. Gone are the days of mass-targeted marketing content.

To ensure users have the best possible experience on the application, Instagram personalises the content each user sees. This is achieved through a series of algorithms (myth buster: there isn’t just one!) which aims to hit users with content relevant to their interests, hobbies and motivations.

Each part of the app – i.e. Instagram Reels video – uses its own algorithm. What’s important to note here, is the fact that the majority of Instagram Reels video content that users see on their feed is from accounts they don’t follow – which creates the perfect opportunity for your brand to get more eyes on your content.

In short, if Instagram thinks a user might be interested in your content, they will put your brand’s Instagram Reels video content in front of them. This is unique to other Instagram functions, such as the organic newsfeed, as content is only present if a user follows your account.

There are a number of determining factors Instagram uses to decide which Reels content will be included in a users feed:

– User activity: Previous Instagram Reels video users have recently liked, commented on and engaged with

– Interaction history: The algorithm also takes into account the level of interaction between user and brand. If a user has interacted with a brand in the past (i.e. visited your brands page) the Reels algorithm will retarget this user with your content

– Performance of your Instagram video Reel: Elements of the Reel that signals to the content in the video i.e. the audio track, pixels and frame are all taken into account. Reels that are more popular (a high number of views, likes, comments and shares) makes videos significantly more likely to have a higher reach

– Success of your brands account: In short, original content is favoured by the algorithm. Accounts with a decent-sized audience and a good proportion of engaged followers are more likely to post compelling content, accounts with fake followers and likes are unfavoured

So that’s our rundown of how the Instagram Reels video algorithm works, now you need to learn how to create compelling Instagram video Reels content.

We took some time with our in-house team of social media experts, and quizzed their extensive knowledge of Instagram tricks. Read on to uncover the secrets of the Instagram algorithm and learn our top Instagram video Reel hacks that are essential to Instagram-marketing best practise in 2022.

8 Must-know Instagram video Reel hacks for your brand

Ideal Insight’s Instagram tricks #1: Discover your niche

The first of our Instagram video hacks is crucial to establishing a well-rounded Instagram Reels video strategy. Cut through the noise of your competitors by creating original content, which will not only certain to engage the algorithm but also ensure your audience is viewing is fresh and authentic content.

As we’ve previously discussed, the Instagram Reels video algorithm pairs your brand's viewers according to their likes, passions and previous history on the app. This means that everyone who comes across your content is likely to be interested. As a brand, tailor your content closely to your target audience. Align with your consumers beliefs, behaviours and interests, and master your niche to climb the ranks!

Ideal Insight’s Instagram tricks #2: User-generated content

Social media has become flooded with brands posting polished images of their products, and consumers have had enough! Secondly on our list of Instagram video hacks is user-generated content. There’s been a shift in what consumers are wanting to see from the brands they follow online. Consumers now demand authentic content, they follow brands to gain exclusive insights into brands and their offerings.

User-generated content boasts a list of benefits for brands: it's low-cost, authentic and promotes genuine reviews of your product which builds trust within your community. If you aren’t sure where to start with user-generated content, try organising a giveaway and ask the winner to create a short Instagram video Reel to review the products they win.

Ideal Insight’s Instagram tricks #3: Include captions in all your videos

Did you know that 85% of Instagram users watch Reels without sound? (Hubspot)

Third on our list of Instagram video hacks, include captions in your online video content. Since the majority of users watch Instagram Reels video with no sound, Instagram Reels video that don't use captions or subtitles risk being skipped over – so always include subtitles!

Ideal Insight’s Instagram tricks #4: Reshare!

An advantage of Instagram Reels video for brands is that Reels age well. This means that your content can be reshared and reposted for your brand as many times as you like!

Instagram Reels video is also highly sharable, both on and off the Instagram platform – you’ll see this by the amount of content on the Instagram Reels video feed with TikTok watermarks on. By creating relatable Reels content, you can encourage your audience to download your Instagram video Reels and share it with their friends.

Learn how to download Instagram video Reels via this online guide.

Ideal Insight’s Instagram tricks #5: Share Reels to your feed

Next in our guide of Instagram video hacks is an executional Instagram trick, but it has a vast impact on the success of your Reel.

Sharing Reels is one of the simplest ways to guarantee maximum views for your brand’s content. As you post your Reel, look for the button labelled ‘always share to feed’ and ensure it is turned on. You can add a cover to ensure your Reel looks good on your feed.

Ideal Insight’s Instagram tricks #6: Optimise your content to encourage viewers to download Instagram video Reels

For the sixth of our Instagram video hacks, encourage your viewers to Download Instagram video Reels.

What can you do to ensure your viewers want to download Instagram video Reels? Be sure to optimise your with Reels best practice. We’ve already discussed the key metrics of the Instagram algorithm – previous performance of your brand, the performance of the Reel so far, interaction history and user activity – so be sure to keep these Instagram tricks in mind when creating your Reels content.

If you would like more detail on the algorithm see this deep-dive guide by Hootsuite.

Ideal Insight’s Instagram tricks #7: Avoid the TikTok Watermark

Consumers frequently download Instagram video Reels – one of the main reasons we love short-form video is for its shareability! This brings us to the penultimate point in our Instagram video hacks guide. Avoid the TikTok watermark for Instagram Reels video!

Instagram have admitted to deprioritising Reels on the feed that are visibly recycled from other apps, making your Reels content less likely to appear in front of your audience. When you make a Reel, it’s safest to make it on Instagram to avoid any unwanted watermarks.

Ideal Insight’s Instagram tricks #8: Last but not least on our list of Instagram video hacks… Grab your audience's attention!

The final hack in our guide of Instagram tricks is to include an attention grabbing hook. You only have a few seconds to grab your viewers attention, so be sure to make the most of it! A good example of a catchy hook is to start your Reel with a shocking fact or by asking your audience a question.

Remember to make your hook personal to your audience, it’s got to be relatable to your audience to grab their attention!

Which of our Instagram video hacks will you give a try? Now you are armed with the 8 Instagram tricks that our social media team live by, read on to learn the importance of going ‘viral’.

How can you make an Instagram Reels video go viral?

The questions that our social media team gets asked most frequently are: “What can I do to make my audience download Instagram video Reels?” and “Which Instagram tricks can I use to make my Reels content go viral?”

With more brands and users creating Instagram Reels video, the competition is becoming harder which is making it more difficult to ensure your Reels stand out. However, definitely don’t let that stop you from creating them and keep up to date with Instagram tricks to stay ahead!

By following our 8 Instagram tricks listed above when you create Instagram Reels video, your content will be optimised to the algorithm, ensuring it will get in front of as many eyes as possible!

Take going ‘viral’ with a pinch of salt. In your digital marketing strategy it’s much more effective to create content targeted to your target audience which offers them genuine insight into your brand and industry. If this comes at the expense of going ‘viral’ – so be it!

Bottom Line

So there we have it – there’s our rundown of Instagram Reels Video and our 8 secret Instagram tricks that our team of social media marketing specialists live by!

Our series of article guides to navigating the complex world of digital marketing has been specifically created with busy business owners, CEOs, Directors and Founders in mind. As a team of busy videographers and social media marketing professionals, we understand the difficulty in dedicating the time that your brand deserves online.

Can we help your brand stay ahead? With video production from £1,500 and fully-managed social media marketing packages from £650 PCM, our creative experts are full of ideas to optimise your brands presence online.

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