Step-by-Step Guide On How To Create Instagram Reels That Wow Your Followers

Step-by-Step Guide On How To Create Instagram Reels That Wow Your Followers

Ever wondered how much time people spend watching Instagram Reels? Well,17.6 million hours a day.

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These bite-sized videos are like digital candy, grabbing attention and keeping it just long enough to leave you yearning more. If you’re looking to boost your reach and captivate your audience, Instagram Reels are your golden ticket.

But where do you even begin?

Well, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the magic of creating eye-catching Instagram Reels. We’ll start by exploring why Instagram Reels are so valuable, then guide you step-by-step through the creation process, and sprinkle in some top-notch tips along the way.

Ready to become a Reels superstar? Let’s get the ball rolling:

What Are Instagram Reels?

Instagram Reels is the latest and greatest feature for sharing video content. With Instagram Reels, you can create and tweak short videos, up to 90 seconds, directly in the app. It’s a lot of fun. You can sprinkle your videos with music, cool effects, captions, stickers (although they don’t interact), and even your own doodles.

They’re the short and snappy vertical videos designed to grab your attention. When you hit record your Instagram Reels in the app, you’ve got up to 90 seconds of video to create or upload.

But here’s the fun twist: any video you upload to your profile magically transforms into a Reel, no matter the length. So go ahead, edit that epic footage to perfection outside of Instagram and upload it.

Once you hit that post button, Instagram’s clever algorithm swings into action, showcasing your content to folks who might just hit that follow button. The best part? Every Reel you create gets prime placement on your profile, pops up in your followers’ feeds, and even lands in the Instagram Reels tab for the entire Instagram community to enjoy.

Why Should I Create Instagram Reels?

Instagram is rolling out top-notch Reels content, giving you the perfect opportunity to attract your ideal audience and gain followers. Instagram Reels present a fantastic chance to go viral and boost your brand awareness.

Let’s break it down:

  • Stories vanish after 24 hours. Highlights can be a chore to sift through.
  • Posts usually reach their maximum audience within a day.
  • But Reels? They can stay discoverable for weeks, depending on their popularity.
  • Just like IGTV, Reels are stored in a visual library that’s easily accessible from everyone’s home page.

We live in a fast-paced world, and attention spans are shrinking. Instagram Reels offer high entertainment value and quick delivery, making them fun and easy to watch.

Where Can I Watch Instagram Reels?

Via the Web

First, head over to instagram.com. Once you’re there, just click on Reels in the menu on the left.

On Mobile (Android and iOS)

Open up the Instagram app.

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Next, tap the little  icon at the bottom of the screen. Now, just scroll down to discover more awesome instagram reels.

Find Instagram Reels Using a Particular Audio or Hashtag

Want to find instagram reels using a particular audio or hashtag? It’s easy! Here’s how you can do it:

  • Tap the audio name or hashtag: Look at the bottom of any reel. Just tap on the audio name or hashtag there, and you’ll be taken to a page full of other instagram reels that feature the same audio or hashtag. It’s like discovering a treasure trove of themed content!
  • Use the search bar: If you have a specific hashtag in mind, pop it into the search bar at the top. Voilà! You’ll see a list of instagram reels using that hashtag.
  • Record with the same audio: Found an awesome audio and want to make your reel with it? Tap Use Audio on the audio’s page. If you create a reel with original audio, your reel will be showcased first on the page where other reels with that audio appear.

Step-by-Step Guide: How To Create Instagram Reels That Wow Your Followers

Step #1: Storyboard Your Concept

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” It’s spot on! Before jumping in front of the camera, it’s wise to nail down a solid plan. To start, think about these questions:

  • What topic fits your business or brand best? Is it fashion and styling? Cooking up delicious recipes? Or maybe wellness tips?
  • How will your Reels match with the vibe of your Instagram feed posts or Stories?
  • Who are you talking to? What kind of content will resonate with them? Maybe it’s tutorials, behind-the-scenes peeks, or a day-in-the-life snapshot.

Next, dive into the app. Spend some time checking out visuals, text, trends, and aesthetics that spark your creativity.

Once you’re confident in your vision, storyboard your content. Break down the clips you need to bring your concept to life. This way, you’ll have a clear visual of how your Reels will look and a solid plan to follow.

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So, how do you storyboard you Instagram reels:

Step 1: Start with a Concept

Instagram Reels - #1 Step 1 Start with a Concept

Source: Sephora’s Instagram Account

First things first, think about what you want your Instagram Story to be about. Pick a concept or format that ties into your social marketing goals. For example, Sephora’s Unreal Skin Sheer Glow Tint not only gathered customer feedback but also helped promote their products.

Step 2: Pick Your Theme and Style

Next up, make sure your Stories look and feel cohesive. Decide on templates, fonts, and colours that you’ll use throughout. Maybe you’ll tweak this later, but having a general theme is a good start. Take a cue from Bon Appetit—they kept their Highly Recommend series simple and consistent with templates and a unified colour palette.

Step 3: Storyboard Your Scenes

Now, let’s make it visual. Lay out your concept and theme on a storyboard, filling in each frame one at a time. Each frame should show what’s going on, whether it’s a graphic, image, poll, boomerang, or video. Mark each frame in order (Scene 1, Scene 2) to keep things clear. Also, include a brief description, the type of media, and the text you’ll use. Keep it short and sweet—10 frames or less works best.

Step 4: Add the Extras

Don’t forget the details. Make sure to add logos, hashtags, geotags, or stickers to your storyboard. This helps keep everything straight, especially if you’re working with a big team. A well-done storyboard avoids any mix-ups.

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Step 5: Conclude with a Branded Call-to-Action

Wrap it up with a strong call-to-action like “swipe up,” “visit our profile,” or “buy now.” Instagram even recommends ending your stories with your product or brand message for extra impact. For instance, the Instagram Story for Sex Education’s teaser started and ended with the show title and logo—super effective.

Step #2: Shoot Your Instagram Reel

Ready to get started? Here’s how you can shoot your Instagram Reel in a snap:

  • The Reels Tab: Simply head over to the Reels tab on Instagram then click on the camera icon. It’s your gateway to creating fun and engaging content.
Instagram Reels - #2 Step #2 Shoot Your Instagram Reel Instagram Reels - #3 Step #2 Shoot Your Instagram Reel
  • Your Instagram Home Screen: At the bottom of your home screen, you’ll see a plus sign. Tap it, pick “Reel,” and you’re all set.

Instagram Reels - #5 Your Instagram Home Screen

  • The Instagram Stories Camera: Swipe left from your feed to open the Stories camera. You’ll find the “Reels” option there, too.

How to Create a Reel From the Instagram Stories Camera

Access the Stories Camera: Swipe left from Instagram’s home screen to access the Stories camera.

  • Select “Reel”: Tap “Reel” in the bottom menu to get started.
  • Record Your Clips: Record multiple clips, a continuous stream, or upload external footage.

Instagram Reels - #6 Record Your Clips

  • Add External Clips: Tap the “+” icon in the bottom left corner to add clips from your camera roll.
  • Shoot Internally: Hold the recording circle at the bottom of the screen to shoot footage within the app.

Instagram Reels - #7 Shoot Internally

  • Add Music: Tap the audio icon to choose a song from Instagram’s music library, or import your own audio by tapping “Import.”
  • Select Song Part: Choose which part of the song you want to feature in your Reel.
  • Share Original Audio: When you share a Reel with original audio, it’s attributed to you. If your account is public, others can use your audio by selecting “Use Audio.”
  • Adjust Speed: From the left sidebar, select the speed of your video: .3x, .5x, 1x, 2x, 3x, or 4x.

Instagram Reels - #8 Adjust Speed

  • Use Hands-Free: Utilize Instagram’s timer and countdown effect for hands-free recording with a 3-2-1 countdown.

Instagram Reels - #9 Use Hands Free

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  • Align Clips: Align your clips for seamless transitions between moments in your footage.
  • Add Effects: Tap the three stars icon above the record button to browse and add effects from Instagram’s gallery.

Instagram Reels - #10 Add Effects

  • Edit Clips: Tap “Next,” then “Edit clips” to trim, reorder, or add additional clips.

Instagram Reels - #11 Edit Clips

  • Delete Clips: To delete a clip, tap it and press “Discard.”

Step 3: Additional AR Effects and Text

Instagram Reels - #12 Step 3 Additional AR Effects and Text

Once you’re satisfied with your clips, go ahead and tap “Next.” After that, hit “Preview” to see how everything looks.

To bring your content to life, try using Instagram’s many effects. If you’re familiar with Instagram Stories tools, you’ll recognise most of these:

  • Text: Add some text to your Reels to say more. It’s perfect for sharing quotes, adding context, or just saying what’s on your mind.
  • Draw: Grab the draw tool to sprinkle in a bit of flair. A doodle here and there can make your content stand out.
  • Stickers: Spice up your videos with captions, GIFs, the time, and those fun Instagram stickers we all love. There’s something for every mood.
  • AR effects: Check out Instagram’s endless gallery of AR effects. Both Instagram and creators around the world have crafted them, so you’re sure to find something cool.
  • Filters: Swipe left to explore a range of filters to enhance your Reels. Filters can instantly change the vibe of your video.
  • Audio: Don’t forget to add some music from Instagram’s library. You can also throw in a voiceover or sound effects to make things more interesting.

TIP: Visit the Reels tab on Instagram to find trending audio. Scroll through and note any tracks with the “trending” arrow for your next clip.

Step #4: Share Your Reel

Let’s get your amazing Reel out there. First, pick a standout cover photo by tapping “Edit cover”. Then, add a catchy caption that will draw everyone in.

Decide if you want your Reel on the Instagram Feed by toggling the option — sharing to Feed usually gives you the best reach. Tap “Tag People” to tag other Instagram accounts, and you can even invite someone to collaborate.

If they accept your collaboration invite, your Reel appears to their followers too, with both of you listed as co-authors. Don’t forget, you can add a location, tag products, and include up to three topics. You can also choose “Recommend on Facebook” for even more visibility.

Once you’re happy with everything, tap “Share”. Just like that, you’ve posted your first Reel—great job.

How to Create Best-in-Class Instagram Reels

So you’ve got the basics of making a Reel on Instagram down. But how do you make yours stand out? It’s all about how you execute it!

Here are three top tips for creating best-in-class Instagram Reels:

  • Get Your Audience Hooked
  • Jump on Some of the Timely Trends
  • Offer Value

Get Your Audience Hooked

According to this particular study, businesses and brands have just eight seconds to capture a user’s attention. That’s less than the attention span of a goldfish, which is nine seconds! To keep users engaged, you need a strong opening hook that grabs their attention right away.

Your hook could be an intriguing question, a striking visual, or an exciting announcement. Experiment with different ideas and see what resonates best with your audience. Often, the simplest hooks can be the most effective.

Take a look at how Chamberlain Coffee teased an upcoming product launch. They kept it straightforward and clear, using a fun, ASMR-like animation to convey their message instantly.

Jump on Some of the Timely Trends 

Want to go viral on Instagram Reels? Jumping on trends like dances, audio clips, and challenges is how you do it. Stay immersed in Instagram Reels content to spot what’s trending. This will help you weave new trends seamlessly into your strategy and niche.

TIP: Make it a habit to scroll through the Reels feed regularly. Check out the explore page and jot down any trends that catch your attention.

Offer Value

It’s no secret that Instagram Reels can skyrocket a brand’s reach and impressions. But what truly makes a video stand out? It’s all about offering real value.

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Here’s the secret sauce: knowing exactly who you’re talking to and what they want. Whether they’re hungry for quick tips, a simple recipe, or a joke they can relate to, value comes in many forms.

Instagram Reels - #13 Offer Value

Source: Krave Beauty Instagram Account

Take KraveBeauty, for instance. They post nifty tutorials on handling stressed skin with their products. With a clear caption to complement the video, this particular post racked up over 37K views and drew a lively comments section. It just goes to show — on Instagram Reels, value is where the magic happens.

How to Write Catchy Captions for Your Instagram Reels

Creating Reels can be a real time-sink. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in perfecting your video that you forget the caption.

So, how do you write a catchy caption for your Instagram reels?

Don’t overlook your captions

When you craft a caption that resonates, it’s going to get saved. A lot. Those saves and shares are gold because Instagram notices them. The more your post is saved and shared, the more likely it is to appear on the Explore or Instagram Reels tab. And guess what? That means more eyes on your content.

Encourage Saves

To get more people to save your posts, pack your captions full of helpful info. Whether you’re a travel blogger or a fashion influencer, this little trick can make a big difference. If you’re sharing your latest travel adventure, make sure to include a summary of all your top recommendations for the city.

On the other hand, if fashion is your game, don’t forget to list every item you’re wearing in the caption. Your followers will appreciate it, and they’ll be more likely to save your post for later.

Leverage Keywords

Just like Google, captions are searchable too. That means your Reel captions need those all-important keywords. Think about what folks are typing into search bars: “Neutral Outfit Ideas,” “Sustainable Clothing Brands”,  “Dog-Friendly Hotels.”  Don’t rely on your video to do all the work.

Make sure your captions paint a vivid picture and are packed with all the details people might be looking for.

The Best Hashatags for Your Instagram Reels

Just like captions, hashtags play a big role, too. Sure, Instagram might not spill the beans on exactly how much reach your Instagram Reels get thanks to hashtags, but don’t worry—they definitely help. Think of hashtags as little amplifiers for your content’s reach.

So, go ahead and use them to your advantage.

Here are a few pointers to observer while at it:

Steer Clear of Generic Hashtags

Are you tired of seeing the same hashtags over and over again? We get it, using popular hashtags like #reels or #explorepage may seem like a quick way to gain more followers and likes on your posts. But here’s the thing: everyone else is doing it too.

Using saturated and generic hashtags can actually hurt your content’s reach rather than help it. It makes your post blend in with thousands of others using the same hashtag, and let’s face it, no one wants to be just another drop in the ocean.

Why Aren’t My Instagram Reels Going Viral?

Honestly, there could be a bunch of reasons why. Maybe your video was a tad boring, or you forgot to clean your camera lens before filming. Your audio sync might have been off too. We all know there’s always room to make things better. But what if you’ve given it your all and still, nothing seems to work?

Let’s chat about privilege for a moment because it plays a huge role in social media success. Let’s not pretend otherwise: if you’re white, slim, and beautiful, you might find it easier to go viral on Instagram.

The system favors you. It’s harder for marginalized groups. This unfairness is exactly why representation and inclusion are crucial. We need to push for this both online and in our communities in real life.

Money also comes into play on social media. If you can splash out on designer bags and luxurious getaways, you’re more likely to get noticed and go viral.

How Many Reels Should You Post in a Day?

When it comes to Reels, posting consistently is super important if you want to have a shot at going viral. Sure, not every Reel will hit it big. Think of your Reels like darts. The more darts you throw, the better the chances one will hit the bullseye. Of course, the more Reels you put out there, the more opportunities you have to go viral – but you probably guessed that already.

Aim to post 3 to 5 Reels a week based on what fits into your schedule. While posting two Reels a day might get you even better results, you’d end up sacrificing your social life and self-care. Just do the best with the time you have.

Remember, consistency is key. Posting 20 times in one week and then disappearing for two months because you’re burnt out isn’t the best strategy. It’s important to take healthy breaks from social media, too.

And don’t stress about fluctuating views. It’s totally normal for your Instagram views to be all over the place.

Cross-posting Your Instagram Reels to Other Platforms

“Create once, post thrice.” That’s our social media mantra. What does it mean, you ask? Simple! You make one video and share it across three different platforms: Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest.

But why stop there?

You can take it up a notch and post the same video on five platforms by including Facebook and YouTube Shorts. Let’s face it—nobody has the time to come up with unique content for each platform, right?

The idea is to tart with Instagram. Taking an extra 10 minutes to share that video on TikTok and Pinterest really maximizes your reach. Don’t let your awesome videos gather digital dust on your camera roll or hard drive. Upload them everywhere you can for the widest visibility.

A little tip: editing your videos in an external app like CapCut or InShot can save you from those pesky Instagram or TikTok watermarks. So, go ahead, streamline your process and let your content shine across multiple platforms.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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